macOS Sierra in the wild

macOS Sierra IconApple launched macOS Sierra to the public on September 20th 2016

See: What’s New in macOS Sierra

After being in Public Beta since July, macOS Sierra (10.12) was released on September 20th 2016 to the general public, and is now available as a free upgrade via the macOS App Store, however before you upgrade you may wish to check the following information to see if your software or hardware has compatibility issues, and to see if your Mac is supported.

Known Issues

  • If you are running an external 4k Display or HiDPI display, do not upgrade to Sierra if you wish to continue using Screen Scaling. An error in macOS Sierra means the scaling panel is currently missing. Details


A number of software manufacturers have released information stating that their software is currently incompatible with macOS Sierra.

So far, I have determined the following based on the software I use and/or support for myself, my clients and at Royal Holloway University.


Software Notes Link
Microsoft Office 2016, 2011 & 2008 (as of 16A294a) are all compatible

On first launch of Word 2016 after an in-place upgrade you may recieve a warning stating:

Default Editing Language Changed (screenshot), which will change your Normal.dotm default document template. For more information on this, check out this link.

Mathworks MATLAB On 6th October 2016 Mathworks released patches for 2014a through to 2016b to fix the issues with Sierra. They have also since applied this patch to the downloadable version of 2016b, so any new downloads will already be pre-patched.

Users of 2013b or earlier, there are no patches available. Please upgrade to 2014a or later.

Wolfram Mathematica Mathematica 11 reported as working by user forums.

Mathematica 10.4 is unknown at this time.

VMWare Fusion Both Standard and Pro editions of 8.5 support macOS Sierra. Version 8.0 users may experience issues but can upgrade to 8.5 for free. Previous versions are not supported on macOS Sierra Details
Adobe Creative Cloud The core Creative Cloud application appears to function correctly with the macOS Finder Extensions also working correctly.
Adobe Lightroom Upgrade to the latest version of Lightroom Prior to upgrading (2015.7 / 6.7). Remain on your current macOS version if you are running Lightroom 5 or earlier Details
Adobe Photoshop There are a few known issues, however nothing show-stopping Details
Adobe Illustrator CS5 Illustrator CS5 may crash on quit; this problem also existed in El Capitan so try the solution offered at the Adobe forums (Illustrator CS5 crashing on exit), specifically the part about renaming
/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CS5.5ServiceManager
/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CS5.5ServiceManager.bak
Adobe Illustrator CS4 When starting the application, you may see an “Error loading plugins” alert which mentions PhotoshopExport.aip and PhotoshopImport.aip. This has been a problem for several OS X versions, and there is no fix that I know of. You can only work around it by clicking “Don’t show again” in the alert.
Adobe Creative Suite 2 Incompatible – Please upgrade to a later version of Adobe Creative Suite
iTerm2 Working, although 3.0.10 beta contains fixes specific to macOS Sierra.
Sophos Antivirus (Enterprise) Untested
Sophos Antivirus (Home) Reported by users online to be working, however minor issues such as accessing the Home Dashboard appear to be present  Details
1Password Version 6.3.3 was released on launch day for macOS Sierra and is fully compatible.  Details
Telegram IM Compatible as of v 2.16.47504 (25.06.16)
TRIM Enabler Reportedly fully compatible via forums
 MacTex 2016 No issues have been reported with v2016

Users of version 2015 or prior will need to upgrade their distribution via the MacTex page.

Running the Tex Live Utility will fail as it has has not been signed by a verified developer. To get around this, right-click Tex Live Utility and select Open.

A good way of testing if an app you’re using is compatible is to check which maintain a compatibility database spanning macOS and Windows operating systems.


Hardware Notes Link
Canon A number of compatibility issues have been detected with a multitude of products, spanning most of their DSLR’s, Printers, Scanners and MFD’s. Details
Konica Minolta Some printers and MFD’s are compatible using existing 10.11 drivers. Others are available through third-party drivers, and others will be available sometime in 2016 (date TBA)

If you do an in-place upgrade with out-of-date drivers installed, printing options (such as Duplexing, Stapling, etc) will not be applied to print jobs. To fix this, download and install the latest drivers to replace the existing ones.

Avid Artist (EuControl) The current verison (EuControl 3.4.1) does not support macOS Sierra, however it has not been tested by the community Details

Macs which are compatible with macOS Sierra

  • iMac (Late 2009 and later)
  • Mac mini (2010 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2010 and later)
  • MacBook (Late 2009 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2010 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2010 and later)

Apple Pay and Universal Clipboard requirements

The Macs listed above can run Sierra, but older models may not support features such as Apple Pay and Universal Clipboard. To use these features, you need the following:

  • iMac (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • MacBook (Early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)

If you want to use your iOS device with Universal Clipboard, that device needs to run iOS 10.

For Apple Pay, you also need:

  • iOS device running iOS 10, or
  • Apple Watch running watchOS 3

Auto Unlock requirements

You need these things to use Sierra’s Auto Unlock feature.

  • Any Mac model from 2013 or later
  • iPhone running iOS 10
  • Apple Watch running watchOS 3
  • Signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID
  • Two-factor authentication must be turned on

OS requirements

If you want to upgrade to Sierra, you can upgrade from OS X 10.7 Lion or later.


  • If you do an in-place upgrade, you may find your Mac running slower than normal. Give it a day or two to finish re-indexing all your files and tidying itself up before you decide it is slow and you want to reinstall from scratch. Should you wish to, you can follow my guide on Building a macOS Sierra USB Stick, which will allow you to do a clean install.
  • The Siri third-party API (SiriKit) which allows other applications to tie into and use Siri is currently only available for iOS. No third party applications can yet make use of Siri on the Mac


  • Thanks to Conrad Chavez for information on Adobe compatibility.
  • Thanks to the guys at Macworld for the information on the Siri Third Party app compatibility.


Author: TFindley

Tristan is an IT Professional, Photographer and motorcycle enthusiast. Working full-time as a Systems Administrator for Royal Holloway, but running his own photography company, and the occasional IT Contract. Tristan has been riding motorcycles since 2016, and is the original author of "My First Motorcycle", the forerunner to this site. He built it with the intention of providing a resource to those interested in riding, and to give something back to the community that had helped get him started in the world of motorcycles.

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