Big Sur

macOS Big Sur (11.0)

Apple released macOS 11 Big Sur as an optional upgrade on November 12, 2020.


Because our ESET antivirus software is not yet compatible with Big Sur, please postpone upgrading any College-owned Macs until an ESET upgrade is available. 


For your personal Macs, to ensure you do not experience an interruption of service, please confirm that your files are backed up, and that your software and hardware are compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur before upgrading. 

As always, to ensure you do not experience an interruption of service, please confirm that your files are backed up, and that your software and hardware are compatible with macOS 11 before upgrading.

  • If you use highly specialized academic software or have installed unique personal software, please verify with the vendor that it will be compatible with macOS Big Sur before upgrading, or contact LTS for assistance with this.
  • If you are running macOS 10.11 or older, please contact LTS for assistance before upgrading.
  • Before any upgrade, as always, we strongly recommend that you perform a backup of all your data.


Known software incompatibility:

  • ESET Antivirus only has an installer compatible with macOS 10.15 and earlier. We are waiting on the vendor to release a new installer (6.10.x). Once released, any devices running Big Sur will need to upgrade to ESET v6.10.x to enable Real Time protection. Additional protection components will be added by our vendor in the following weeks/months after Big Sur’s release.

  • Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client 4.8 and earlier. Big Sur requires Cisco AnyConnect version 4.9 or later.

  • Code 42 requires you to grant access: follow these instructions to update your privacy settings and ensure files and folders from locations like the Desktop, Contacts, Photos, Documents and Downloads continue to back up.

  • Microsoft Office 2011 and Office 2016. We encourage you to request an upgrade to Microsoft Office 2019.

  • Filemaker 11

  • SCEP Antivirus SCEP is a 32-bit app which does run on macOS 10.14 and earlier. ESET is available for those who need a 64-bit option.

  • AstroImageJ 3.2.0 and earlier

  • ClustalX - 32 bit version

  • Fetch 5.7.6 and earlier

  • Mathematica 11.3 and earlier

  • Max8 and earlier

  • StarryNight Enthusiast 6 and earlier

  • Stella 10 and earlier

  • TurningPoint App 8.3.0

  • Wireshark 2.4 and earlier

  • Zotero 5.0.44 and earlier


New with Big Sur:

  • Redesigned Dock, Menu Bar, new icons, updated Notification Center and more
  • Safari updates including: WebExtensions API support, Safari extensions on the App Store and Privacy updates
  • Enhancements to built in macOS apps (Maps, Messages, Mail)
  • Improved Privacy:
    New privacy information detailed in the Mac App Store will help users understand the privacy practices of apps before downloading them, including the types of data the apps might collect — such as usage, contact information, or location — and whether that data is shared with third parties for tracking.

You may also need to consider the hardware specifications for this OS.

Big Sur requires at least 15GB of hard drive space to be available before installing.
Big Sur will be most compatible on these models of Macs:
Macbook (2015 or newer)
Macbook Pro (2015 or newer)
MacBook Air (2015 or newer)
Mac mini (2015 or newer)
iMac (2015 or newer)
Mac Pro (2013 or newer, or older models with Metal-compatible GPU)
iMac Pro (2017)
Accordingly, the following models capable of running macOS Catalina will not be able to be upgraded to macOS Big Sur:
2012 and Early 2013 MacBook Pro
2012 MacBook Air
2012 and 2013 iMac
2012 Mac mini


For more information about Big Sur, please visit Apple's website.
Please contact the LTS Help Desk with any questions.