Installing Apple’s new macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update can be tempting, but there are some steps you should take before moving your Mac from your current version of macOS Monterey, macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, or older software to the company’s latest firmware.
Apple has pushed new macOS Monterey 12.3.1 firmware to Mac users and it is now available for download. macOS Monterey 12.3.1 is compatible with all Mac models that can run macOS Monterey and most models that can run macOS Big Sur. Apple did keep some older Mac models on macOS Big Sur.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brings a short list of changes for Mac users. Onboard changes include two bug fixes and two security patches.
Moving from the latest version of macOS Monterey gives you the shortest change log and smallest download. If you move to macOS Monterey 12.3.1 from older software, your upgrade could be much more extensive.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 is an important update and many of you should be installing it in the near future. That said, it’s hard to predict how the new software will affect your Mac’s performance.
While some of you may see a boost, others will encounter frustrating bugs and performance issues. And that’s exactly why it’s important to do some prep work before starting the installation. A little work ahead of time can help you avoid serious problems.
With that in mind, we want to help you prepare for the transition from your current version of macOS to macOS Monterey 12.3.1. We always recommend spending 30 minutes or more preparing yourself and your device for the move.
Learn more about macOS Monterey 12.3.1
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the changes in macOS Monterey 12.3.1 before installing it. That way you won’t be overwhelmed.
We’ve released a guide that walks you through the more notable changes on board. If you’re moving from macOS Big Sur or older software, you should also check out Apple’s guide to macOS Monterey on her website†
Decide whether to upgrade or perform a clean install
There are two ways to install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 on your Mac. You can update everything and keep it in place, or you can do a clean install if you want to start from scratch.
The update option is the easiest route and the route most Mac users should take. This keeps all your files, apps and photos in place and takes the least amount of time.
Of course, it can also bring problems and it also keeps the clutter going. If you don’t regularly delete unnecessary files from your Mac, a clean install can wipe your drive and free up space. It will only install the apps and files you need.
You can perform a clean install using this guide. Make sure to backup all your important files before doing this.
Back up your Mac
Make sure to back up your Mac before installing the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update.
Before clicking install, make sure your important files are backed up to the cloud. We also recommend having a local Time Machine backup handy.
If you’re having trouble installing macOS Monterey 12.3.1, you can restore from a backup and get back up and running with older macOS software pretty quickly.
From there, you can try to reinstall macOS Monterey 12.3.1 or try to resolve the issue.
Make sure you know your passwords
Before installing macOS Monterey 12.3.1 on your Mac, make sure you have all your passwords ready.
When you restart your Mac after installing macOS Monterey 12.3.1, you’ll need to sign in to your computer and may need to sign in to your Apple account and your apps and services.
We recommend using a password manager like LastPass, 1Password, or even Apple’s built-in manager to store this information for you.
If you don’t want to use it, make sure to sign in to your Apple account and test your email.
Dive into macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Feedback
If you’re suspicious of moving to macOS Monterey 12.3.1, you should read the feedback from early adopters.
Again, there is a chance that you will encounter bugs and/or performance issues on your Mac after you move to Apple’s new macOS firmware.
Software updates like macOS Monterey 12.3.1 often hit older Mac models the hardest, so if you own an older Mac model and are concerned about the jump up from your current macOS software, you’ll want to find feedback from those who have cut the knot.
This feedback alerts you to potential bugs and issues. You can also learn about potential benefits of Apple’s latest macOS update.
You want to poke around on Apple Discussion ForumsYouTube and social media sites such as Twitter for feedback from macOS Monterey 12.3.1 users.
Some of you may want to wait for long-term feedback to emerge before committing. And others may even want to wait for Apple to roll out the next batch of bug fixes for macOS Monterey issues.
Prepare for macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Problems
Apple has been testing macOS Monterey 12.3.1 behind the scenes, but unsurprisingly, issues slipped through the cracks into the final version.
As we push away from the release, we are already hearing about a number of different issues ranging from installation issues to third party and third party apps issues.
If you don’t have an encyclopedia of solutions to macOS problems in mind, you’ll want to find and bookmark solutions to potential problems.
Check out our list of solutions to the most common macOS Monterey problems to get you started. We’ve also released a guide to help you fix macOS Monterey battery life issues.
Check app ratings, compatibility and install updates
If you rely on your apps to get through the day, you may want to read app reviews before installing macOS Monterey 12.3.1 on your computer(s).
App developers are rolling out support updates for macOS Monterey. These updates are critical to your experience with the new software.
Before installing macOS Monterey 12.3.1, you should go to the App Store and read user reviews. If the reviews are mostly positive, go ahead and install the latest update(s).
If the feedback is negative, it’s best to wait for a new version of macOS Monterey or for the developer to update the app before moving your device to the latest software.
Talk to IT before installing
If you use your Mac for work, you may want to contact your IT team (if you have one) and make sure you get the green light to install macOS Monterey 12.3.1.
Enterprise issues plague every single version of macOS, and they can be especially annoying after Apple releases new macOS software.
If you depend on your device to get work done, it’s important to check with IT to see if the update is safe to use. If you have an IT department, they should be able to give you feedback on the top apps and services you use.
If you don’t have an IT department or a tech on site, you can ask around the office or talk to friends who use the same services to see how they’re doing with the software.
Learn more about the downgrade process
You should familiarize yourself with the downgrade process before downloading macOS Monterey 12.3.1.
If you run into issues, apps not working, battery life issues, or just don’t like the new update, you can downgrade to older macOS Monterey software, macOS Big Sur, or an older version of macOS. It’s a lot easier than downgrading iOS and there’s no limit to how far back you can go.
The easiest way to do this is to restore a Time Machine backup you created right before installing the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update. Having a backup will help get your Mac running on an older version of macOS very quickly.
Learn more about downgrading macOS software to an older version here.
4 reasons not to install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 and 11 reasons why you should
Install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 for better security
If security is important to you, consider installing the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update right away.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brings two security patches for Mac users. You can read more about it at Apple’s website† These help protect you and your device from damage.
As for older macOS updates, Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.3 update had more than 40 security patches on board. To learn more about these upgrades, check out the details at Apple’s security site†
The macOS Monterey 12.2.1 update brought an important patch for Mac users. You can learn more about the patch on Apple’s security site†
Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.2 update had 13 security patches on board. If you are interested in the details, go to Apple’s website learn more.
macOS Monterey 12.1 included 40+ new security patches for Macs. You can read all about it on the company security site†
Microsoft says it discovered a new ‘Powerdir’ vulnerability lurking in macOS. Powerdir allows an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent and Control (TCC) technology and gain unauthorized access to a user’s protected data. Fortunately, Apple has fixed the problem in macOS Monterey 12.1.
macOS Monterey 12.1 also included some significant privacy upgrades. The supplied software Apple’s communications security features for children. You’ll find these features in the Messages app, Siri, Spotlight, and Search.
If you’re moving from macOS Big Sur, you’ll also get the 30+ security patches of macOS Monterey 12.0.1 in your update. If you are interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can: Read more about it on Apple’s website†
In addition to these patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.
If you are an Apple Card user, you now get a security code that changes regularly to use when making online transactions.
Apple has also added a built-in authenticator similar to Google Authenticator. Allows you to generate verification codes for enhanced login security under your passwords.
New email privacy protection helps prevent senders from tracking your email activity, and there’s a new recording indicator in the Control Center for apps that access your microphone.