How scared of High Sierra should I be!?

My subject line is kind of humorous, but I really would like some feedback from people who upgraded to High Sierra last year.

My main Mac is a 2011 27-inch iMac. It is still running 10.11 El Capitan. It continues to be a great machine and I still see myself happy with it for several more years.

Unfortunately, it missed the cut-off to be eligible to run 10.14 Mojave. So, I’m faced with only being able to upgrade to 10.13 High Sierra (or maybe just 10.12 Sierra).

But, I’ve heard such bad things about High Sierra. My sense is that it was a very disappointing release and caused a lot of trouble even as Apple worked on it throughout its lifecycle. I’m nervous about updating to High Sierra and turning my iMac from a solid performer into a broken mess from which I can never do anything to change.

So, I’m interested to know if High Sierra was a terrible OS for people. Did it break as much, or more, than it fixed from prior macOS releases? Do people wish they just stayed on Sierra (at least until Mojave came out)? Are there any issues Apple never addressed (or never fixed until Mojave)?

I look forward to hearing people’s experiences.

I upgraded my 2016 TouchBar MBP to HS in September or so of this year and have had zero problems. Wary of Mojave because of all the new automation permissions.

Also, I’d recommend you look at the macrumors forums which are organised by OS version and which have a lot more traffic than you’ll find here.

I wish’d I’d stayed on Sierra when I upgraded a 2014. Most of the buggieness was patched out, but it never got back to the full snappiness of Sierra. Some of that may have been to the software I had loaded but I presume a 2011 has just some cruft built up as well. I wouldn’t upgrade that machine at this point as its purpose isn’t to be the latest and greatest anyway. What new feature are you looking to get from it?

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I skipped Sierra and went right to High Sierra, and have not had any regrets. In fact, I’m sticking with it on Macs that could upgrade to Mojave.

Not sure what problems others have had with High Sierra, but I don’t think they were universal.

My wife’s late 2009 27" iMac is currently running High Sierra. The only problem was with the “point-release” update in Sierra to version 10.12.2 in late 2016. That version introduced the new PDFKit and caused problems with PDF files and Preview app (subsequently fixed). MacOS 10.12.2 also caused problems with the Fujitsu ScanSnap Manager software that was finally fixed much later, although the word didn’t get out to all ScanSnap owners. No particular problems were encountered when upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra.

If you don’t use a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, you should be OK with High Sierra. You might want to check to see what features are offered on High Sierra that are not on your current El Capitan. I think one big feature is the new APFS file system that is good for SSDs.

If your iMac now has a spinning HDD, you could certainly speed it up by installing a SSD - prices are very low these days, even for a 1TB SSD. If you decide to do that, High Sierra is probably a good idea.

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I had HS on my 2011 27” iMac, no problems whatsoever.

I upgraded a 2009 iMac and a 2011 iMac to High Sierra with no trouble at all. It may be the placebo effect, but I think I got a bit of a performance bump after the upgrades.

No issues with High Sierra on a 2017 iMac, 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, or 2011 Mac mini. No earthshattering new features either, but nothing that made me sorry I upgraded.

If anything I think with an older Mac like this you’ll want to be on the most modern OS you can get so you’ll get security updates as long as possible.

I upgraded a higher end 2013 MBP to High Sierra and regretted it. It felt like I’d dipped it in molasses afterwards - at least from a graphics standpoint. Nothing was really broken but it was noticeably slower.

Minimum memory requirement is 4GB
Make sure you have at least 8GB if you dont want to bring it down to a crawl speed.

Checking the MacRumors forum was a good suggestion. I made sure to look at the most recent posts as well as the initial ones, because those early posts did not paint a good picture at all! It seems like it took way too long for some issues to be corrected.

I am glad to hear that your upgrade on your MacBook Pro has been successful.

I’m not interested in any new feature of High Sierra in particular. There are two reasons I am thinking of updating the iMac.

One, I would like to continue to receive security updates for this Mac for as long as possible. At this point, updates for El Capitan have finally stopped.

And two, more and more I’m seeing updates for software I’m using which now have 10.12 as their minimum required OS. (TurboTax is the latest example of this. Even though I’m pretty sure arithmetic still works in El Capitan as it does today, Intuit has decided that Sierra is the minimum OS necessary to fill out a Form 1040!!! :grinning:)

The problems with PDFKit are a perfect example of why I am aprehensive about High Sierra. I think I remember stories of developers who had to alter good, functional code in their programs just to work around PDFKit’s bugs! I’m glad to hear the issues were resolved (eventually).

I had horrible trouble with the upgrade to High Sierra. Spent hours on the phone with Apple Support, loading up the recovery tools and ended up having to do a fresh install. Luckily, I had a full backup to restore, but it was a lot of work getting everything back. High Sierra never ran as good as Sierra on my 2017 iMac 5k.

Regular Sierra had no issues, except for the constant nagging to upgrade to HS once released…

I have High Sierra installed on a mid 2010 iMac and didn’t have any problems when I upgraded from El Capitan.

I’m concerned about being that trailing edge. I have two devices that won’t upgrade to Mojave.

They will eventually have to go as in not many years time security patches will stop. (But not yet.)

I think all the PDFKit issues have been sorted out now. At least there are none I notice any more running HS with Preview, Skim and Highlights.

I upgraded my 2011 MacBook Air about a week ago. It only has 4GB memory but I found HS much faster than Sierra. I tested everything I normally use and have had no problems at all so far. I am actually upgrading my 2013 iMac as I type. Currently at the making my second bootable backup after doing a little bit of pre-upgrade cleanup per the Take Control book on upgrading.

My current plan is that once the iMac is upgraded and running HS successfully for a week I’ll upgrade the laptop to Mojave, run for a week and then upgrade the iMac to Mojave as well.

My main reason for upgrading is to take advantage of new features in Omnifocus.

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Running High Sierra on a late 2011 MBP so similar to your situation. Only issue encountered was the aforementioned ScanSnap problem of pages getting out of order. That’s been fixed and it’s working fine for me. No Mojave for me until I get a new machine.

I’m running High Sierra on my 2011 MacBook Air (i5, 4GB, 128GB) and have never had problems. I upgraded a week after HS was released. Since the cutoff for Mojave is 2012, the MBA will be on HS for the rest of its life. That’s not a bad thing. I’m close to needing a new battery.

My 2013 iMac was upgraded to Mojave a week after its release. It runs great, too.

@OogieM Your MacBook Air won’t accept Mojave.