UNSW Recommendations for macOS Sierra

Wait and research before upgrading

Apple is releasing its new version of the Mac operating system, macOS 10.12 Sierra on September 21.

Mac users running 10.11 can upgrade their Mac via the Mac App Store from the 21st, however UNSW IT suggest you delay upgrading your Mac for a few weeks to give Apple and app developers time to address the many bugs that typically exist in a new operating system release.

If you rely on certain software (such as SPSS or Photoshop) it is worth waiting to see if other users are experiencing bugs with that software before upgrading. Checking the support forums of the software you use regularly is recommended. Roaring Apps maintains a list of applications that are known to be incompatible with Sierra.

New Settings in Sierra

UNSW IT Staff have been testing Sierra during the beta, and while we think it is a great update, there are two new features we have disabled on our own Macs.

If you’re using iCloud we strongly suggest you do NOT enable the new “Store files from Documents and Desktop in iCloud Drive” feature. After upgrading, you will see this screen:



We strongly advise you to uncheck this box, to turn off iCloud sync of Documents and Desktop. UNSW Macs are already backed up with CrashPlan ProE, and we’d like to see more testing Apple’s iCloud syncing before we’d recommend it to our users. We also think most users on a free iCloud plan will quickly fill up their storage quota, and we’re not sure what happens if you disable this feature once it has been enabled.

We also advise you turn off “Optimise Mac Storage” feature in the iCloud System Preferences. Optimise Mac Storage will ‘safely remove’ files on your Mac that aren’t often used – but again, we would recommend waiting to see how this new feature behaves before relying on it.  To turn this feature off:

Go to System Preferences;

System Preferences

iCloud Settings:

iCloud Settings
iCloud Drive Options:

iCloud Drive Options


And uncheck the Optimise Mac Storage box.

If you have any questions, please call the Service Centre on 9385 1333

For more info about the new features and enhancements in 10.12 please go to Apple’s Sierra website.

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