macOS Catalina (10.15)

Apple released Catalina in October 2019.

If you use highly specialized academic software or have installed unique personal software, please verify with the vendor that it will be compatible with Catalina before upgrading, or contact LTS for assistance with this.

If you are running macOS 10.13 or older, please upgrade first to Mojave.

Before any upgrade, as always, we strongly recommend that you perform a backup of all your data.


Software incompatibility:

  • 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.

  • You may need to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2019 or later.

  • You may need to upgrade Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client (32bit versions). If your AnyConnect is no longer working after updating to macOS Catalina, please uninstall it (drag and drop it from the Applications folder to the Trash) and go here for the latest installer:

  • SCEP Anti-Virus Follow our instructions to install ESET.

  • Users must also enable the AnyConnect software extension in their macOS Preferences Security & Privacy pane.

  • Banner ERP and NolijWeb. Safari is not compatible with the Java applet required for Banner ERP and NolijWeb. 


New with Catalina:

Only 64-bit apps are supported. If you run 32-bit apps, please check if the vendor has a 64-bit version available for download or contact the Help Desk.

If you are not yet running Catalina and would like to check the 32-/64-bit status of your current apps, click on the Apple menu at the top left corner of your screen, and then choose About this Mac from the list. Then, in the resulting window, click System Report.
Look down the source column on the left, and in the Software section you’ll see a subsection called Applications. Click it, and wait for the results to appear in the main panel.
Review the list of apps on your Mac. On the right side, click on the 64-bit column to sort your apps based on their architecture. Anything in the list that says Yes will continue to work. Anything that says No is a 32-bit app, and will stop working unless updated. This 64-bit column does not exist once you update to macOS Catalina; instead, you can highlight individual applications in this list and note the Kind of application (32 vs 64) in their information pane.
When upgrading to ‌macOS Catalina‌, the installer will show a list of 32-bit apps. After viewing this list, you can choose to either cancel or continue with the installation. macOS Catalina‌ also shows a Stop symbol over the icon of 32-bit apps in the Finder, so you know that the app will not open.


Data protections: macOS Catalina checks with you before allowing an app to access your data in your Documents, Desktop, and Downloads folders; iCloud Drive; the folders of third-party cloud storage providers; removable media; and external volumes. In addition, you’re asked before an app can perform key logging or capture a still or video recording of your screen.

Other features

Restore from snapshot: If your third-party software is incompatible with an update you just installed, use macOS Recovery to restore from a snapshot of your computer taken right before the installation. macOS and all your apps will work just as they did before you installed the update.

Sidecar Extended desktop: Use your iPad as a second display for additional screen space. Refer to one app while you work in another, or see how a presentation looks in presentation mode on your iPad while editing it on your Mac.


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

Catalina requires at least 15GB of hard drive space available and 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)


If you have an older macOS and want to upgrade to Catalina, after making sure your files are backed up (just in case), and verifying that your hardware can run this version, you can download the installer directly.

Please contact the LTS Help Desk with any questions.