macOS High Sierra: Everything you need to know about Apple’s latest Mac operating system

The next version of Apple’s operating system for the Mac is called macOS High Sierra. While the OS is mostly about software refinements, it also lays the foundation for future innovations in the worlds of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).

You can learn more by taking a look at our favorite High Sierra features listed below. That’s followed by an FAQ, where you can get details on High Sierra’s release date, system requirements, installation instructions, and more.

macOS High Sierra: The Macworld review

Here’s our full review of macOS High Sierra. High Sierra is mostly an under-the-hood upgrade that sets the Mac up for the future. There are cool features in Photos and Notes, and Safari 11 has controls for autoplay videos. Read our review to learn more.

A new file system

Ever since System 8, the Mac has used the HFS+ file system to keep our documents and directories running smoothly, but at last year’s WWDC, a new Apple File System (APFS) was announced. It made it into iOS with the iOS 10.3 update, and with High Sierra it’s also coming to the Mac. But where the changes to iOS are largely behind the scenes, you’ll really get it see it in action in the new macOS.

One of the main tenets of High Sierra, APFS will be new the new default file system, bringing an advanced 64-bit architecture and a responsive design to cut down on the time it takes to do common tasks. Apple VP Craig Federighi quickly demoed how fast files are copied, and it should save quite a bit of time, even on older Macs. APFS also brings some heavy-duty security, including built‑in encryption, crash‑safe protections, and simplified data backup on the go.

APFS works with SSDs, and when you upgrade to High Sierra, the SSD will automatically be converted from HFS+ to APFS. APFS does not work with Fusion Drives and hard drives, so those storage devices will continue to use HFS+.

A recent AppleInsider report states that some games have problems running on APFS. Unity recommends that developers working on games based on the Unity Engine (such as Cities: Skylines) should not upgrade to High Sierra or upgrade to Unity 5.5. AppleInsider also states that other games that have problems since the APFS upgrade include Civilization V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Half-Life 2, and Team Fortress 2

Learn more about APFS in our APFS FAQ.

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