Oct 20, 2014

Upgrade your Macs without Using all your Monthly Bandwidth

I have almost exhausted my download bandwidth for this billing cycle and, lest you assume anything, I haven’t downloaded any torrents or movies from the Internet. All I have done is updated the Macs to the recently released OS X Yosemite and also downloaded the latest version of Apple iMovie, Keynote and other Mac software.


The Mac OS X Yosemite installer is about 5 GB in size and, for some unknown reason, the Apps Store doesn’t always support resumable downloads. So if your Internet connection goes down while the installer is getting downloaded or if there’s a problem connecting with Apple servers, you get the “unknown error has occurred” message and you’ve to download the whole thing again. I have to upgrade two Apple computers – an iMac and a Macbook – so the downloads are even a bigger hit on the monthly bandwidth.


Mac OS X Yosemite


If you are like me and have more than one Mac to upgrade, here an obvious tip that will help you save data – upgrade the OS and apps of one Mac and use the same offline installers to upgrade the software on your other Mac computers.


After some Twitter hunting, I figured out a Dropbox page where you can download the standalone offline installer of Mac OS X Yosemite. This is better than downloading from the Mac Store since the Dropbox client will automatically download the file to my Mac and it can resume broken downloads automatically.


Download and extract the zip file and double-click the yosemite.app file to run the installer on your Mac. The upgrade takes about 20-30 minutes and goes through without a hitch. If the progress bar at the OS X installation screen isn’t moving, you can press the CMD+L key to open the installation log and you’ll know if anything is happening in the backgroud.


The next step is to upgrade your existing Mac apps like iMovie (2 GB), Keynote (0.5 GB), Garageband (1.2 GB) and others. They are huge file and thus, in order to save data, you can upgrade them on one Mac and transfer the apps to your other Mac computers through the LAN or a USB drive.


Here’s what I do. My iMac and Macbook are connected to the same network and thus I can easily access each other’s files through the Finder. Say I have upgraded the apps of Mac A and need to transfer them all to Mac B. I will go to Mac A and temporarily share the Applications folder. I’ll launch Finder on Mac B and open the shared Applications folder of Mac A. I can now drag and drop the upgraded .app files from A to B. It will ask for the administrator password and the files are copied. You can’t do it the other way though (copying to B from A computer).


Copy Mac Apps


This is the easiest approach to copy applications from one Mac to another (and perfectly legal* if you own both the computers) but a downside is that your settings aren’t transferred. In that case, you’ll also have to manually copy the associated application folders from ~/Library/Preferences and ~/Library/Application Support/ to your other Mac.


[*] Apple says that “Apps [downloaded] from the Mac App Store may be used on any Macs that you own or control for your personal use.”


This story, Upgrade your Macs without Using all your Monthly Bandwidth, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 20/10/2014 under Apple Mac, Software



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