Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update is a point upgrade, but it can take quite some time to install on your Mac.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 is now available for download if you own a compatible Mac model. macOS Monterey is compatible with most models running macOS Big Sur, but it drops support for some older devices.
The new software has a very small change log with a mix of bug fixes and important security patches. It has no new features on board.
If you transfer your Mac from macOS Monterey 12.3 to macOS Monterey 12.3.1, you get the shortest list of changes and the “smallest” download size. The macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update is still a big download for users with the previous version of macOS Monterey.
If you’re upgrading from an older version of macOS, your macOS Monterey 12.3.1 download may be a lot bigger. The installation can also take much longer.
While some of you may want to skip the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 download for now, most people should be installing the software now or in the near future.
If you decide to install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 on your Mac, you’ll need to set aside some time to properly install the upgrade on your computer.
Moving your device from one version of macOS to another can cause problems, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the download and installation process. You also want to keep an eye on your Mac’s performance once the installation is complete.
We can’t tell you exactly how long the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 installation process will take, as it can vary. That said, we can help you estimate how much time you should set aside if you choose to install the firmware on your device.
If you’ve prepared for the move and have a fast Wi-Fi connection, it should take less than 30 minutes to complete.
|Backup to Time Machine (optional)||5 minutes – 1 day|
|macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Download||5 minutes to 45 minutes+|
|macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Installation||10 minutes to 20 minutes|
|Total macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update time||15 minutes to an hour+|
Before starting the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 download, make sure you are prepared.
If you’re not sure how to properly prepare for a macOS upgrade, check out our pre-installation guide. It walks you through the most important steps to take before starting the process.
You may be able to go through these steps in 30 minutes, but it all depends on your skill level and the current state of your Mac.
If you haven’t backed up your data in a while or are unfamiliar with macOS Monterey 12.3.1, the pre-installation process may take much longer.
You don’t have to follow every step in the guide, but you’ll want to make sure your Mac’s data is properly backed up.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Download
Once you’ve prepared, it’s time to start the download process.
Again, the exact size of your macOS Monterey 12.3.1 download will depend on your model and the version of macOS currently running.
If you’re using newer software, such as macOS Monterey 12.3, you’ll see the smallest download size again. If you’re using an older version of macOS, your download may be much larger.
If you have a fast Wi-Fi network and you’re switching from macOS Monterey 12.3, the download can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
If your connection is slower, you’re downloading during peak times, or if you’re switching from much older software, you may be looking at a much longer download process.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 Installation
Once your device has finished fetching macOS Monterey 12.3.1 from Apple’s servers, the installation process will begin.
If you’re switching from macOS Monterey 12.3, it will take about 10 minutes for the installation to complete. It took 11 minutes to install the software on a 2017 MacBook Pro.
Your Mac may reboot itself a few times during the installation process, but this is completely normal. Your device should boot normally once the installation process is complete.
After the installation is complete, you may need to spend time logging into iCloud, logging into your device’s various apps and services, and/or setting up Apple Pay.
You may also want to spend some time checking your important data (photos, music, etc.) to make sure it transfers properly to the new version of macOS.
After you’ve done that, make sure to test your core applications and services to make sure they work normally. If you notice a problem with one or more of your apps, try downloading the latest version. Developers are rolling out support updates for macOS Monterey.
You’ll also want to poke around your Mac for bugs and performance issues. If you notice anything, check out our list of solutions to common macOS Monterey problems.
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.