Service Notice: Big Sur Release Potential Compatibility Issues

On November 12, 2020, Apple released its new operating system called Big Sur (version 11.0).

Technology Services does not recommend upgrading to Big Sur until a more thorough test and review of the release version of Big Sur can be performed and known software incompatibilities are resolved.

*Please note that the Optimized Storage feature in Big Sur may transfer sensitive or confidential materials from your hard drive to iCloud. Technology Services strongly recommends that any faculty and staff upgrading to Big Sur disable Optimized Storage and refrain from using iCloud to store any university data as the data may not be stored in compliance with privacy legislation and university policy.

The following website is a crowdsourced library of programs that reports on compatibility with Big Sur, it may help inform whether a program you rely on is compatible with Big Sur:

Updating your Mac:
It is especially important that you back up your Mac prior to upgrading to avoid data loss in case the upgrade fails.
If you are planning to update your existing Mac to Big Sur yourself you should follow Apple's recommended process:

If you would like support with your Mac upgrade, please contact the Services Desk.

Purchasing a new Mac:
If you are buying a new Mac it may come with Big Sur pre-installed. We recommend that you run Software Update to ensure you have any updates both for macOS but also for any Apple applications that may require an update to run under Big Sur.
You may rely on software that is not compatible with Big Sur. This will include any 32bit-only applications, which will be reliant on updates from vendors to 64-bit. This could include hardware drivers (printers, scanners, lab equipment, etc). If you're considering purchasing a new Apple Computer, please take care to ensure the software you require can run on Big Sur.

We will continue to provide updates to as we test additional features and compatibility with Big Sur.

If you have any questions about Big Sur, please contact the Service Desk for additional information.

Acadia Technology Services
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