Are you an iMac or MacBook owner and want to try out macOS Sierra without having to interfere with your current installation of EL Capitan? Well, the good news is there’s nothing wrong with that, its natural to want to try out something before you decide to commit or not. Plus, doing something like this would allow you to test out all of the new features and additions that Apple has integrated into macOS Sierra. However, unless you have a spare mac knocking around (most people don’t) then read on for a real solution …
Getting Started with Full System Back Up
As with almost everything involving software, there is a risk involved with this procedure. So, you should rule out the possibility of losing any data and fully backup all your system.
To be thorough, and give you all the information possible, you could install macOS sierra onto an external hard drive, an SD card or even a USB drive. This would still allow you to dual boot in the same way between the beta macOS and OS X El Capitan, but you will see some degradation in performance because this is just what happens when running on operating system via an external device.
However, for this tutorial, we are going to focus on installing the operating system onto a partition for the purpose of dual booting.
What You Need Before We Get Started
- As I mentioned above, make sure you have backed up your Mac before starting if you don’t know how to, here’s some official advice from Apple.
- You need to know whether your Mac supports MacOS Sierra or not, check out this article to find out if your Mac can run 10.12 or not.
- Make sure you have at least 15GB of free space on your computers hard drive.
- And last but not least, you need to have an active Apple developer account, which is registered, so that you can download the macOS Sierra 10.12 beta installer.
Now that you’re sure that you have met all of the requirements above, you can move on to downloading and the installation process of macOS Sierra, by following the instructions below.
MacOS Sierra Download
As you have an active Apple developer account, you will be familiar with the process. However, you will need to log on with your Apple ID to the developer portal and then navigate to the Downloads section. When you reach the downloads section, move down the page until you findmacOS 10.12 Beta, and click the download button. When you complete this action, you should be able to see that the Mac App Store has started the download.
Create a Partition for macOS Sierra
We’ve now reached one of the most important parts of this tutorial, this is where we will create the partition / the place where you can install macOS Sierra without disturbing your current installation of EL Capitan. To do this, you will have to start by launching the Disk Utility app on your Mac, and then select your hard drive. Next, you need to click the partition button.
Next, you will need to give the partition a name, I would suggest something like “macOS Sierra” and give it a minimum size of 15GB. However, I would recommend you give it somewhere between 20GB and 50GB as this is not changeable at a later stage. Next, make sure that the Format of this new partition is set as OS X Extended (Journaled) at then click the apply button.
You should now see the Disk Utility create the partition for you. Be patient at this point, because it could take some time. Once the new partition has been created you will be notified that it has been completed successfully.
Installing macOS Sierra Beta
At this point in the process, you will need the installer that you downloaded earlier via you Apple Developer account. The file you should look for is, “Install 10.12 Developer Preview.app.”, you will be able to find this in the / Applications folder or the Launchpad.
Next, click and launch the installer, and then click continue when prompted. You should now follow the on-screen instructions that are a part of the process.
During this process, you will be asked to select the install location you created earlier for macOS Sierra, you must select the partition called “macOS Sierra” prior to clicking install. And that is actually all there is to the actual install process.
The installer has been developed to be intelligent, so the software can run the installation process and get mac OS Sierra Beta installed and ready on the partition you created earlier. The only issue you may run into is with your own patience, as the installation time can vary greatly depending on the age and speed of your Mac.
Once completed, your Mac should boot straight away into macOS Sierra.
How to Dual Boot macOS Sierra with OS X El Capitan
Now that you have this new gleaming version of the macOS on your computer, it’s no good having it there is you don’t know how to access it. So here’s how to do just that.
1. Shut down your mac using the normal procedure.
2. When you hear the Startup Chime, quickly hold down the Option /Alt Key to enter into the boot menu.
3. You should now be able to see the partition you created with macOS Sierra installed, select it.
Removing macOS Sierra
And that is that you are now free to play around with the new OS to your hearts content, but if you should ever want to remove it from you Mac the process of doing so is simple. All you have to do is, start up the disk utility app and select the partition and delete it. It really is that simple!