My Catalina upgrade experience


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 12, 2011
A reminder to anyone upgrading to Catalina, to back up their machine first. You never know if you'll need the information.

The Catalina upgrade for me was not as smooth as previous ones. Random thoughts:
  • the display looks crisper. It could just be better desktop photos
  • The apps you've been warned about truly don't work anymore
    • Had to update Microsoft Office 11? (to 19 Home/Student) I don't use it enough to justify another version, however I'm too uncomfortable not to have it based on it being the suite of programs I use at work. Not a fan of their pricing.
    • EyeTV3 doesn't work at all. Boo. About two years of promises... Same with SlingBox. You just feel lucky when Sling Box does a software upgrade.
  • Guest user account required a password. About 20 minutes of research to fix it.
  • Roxio Toast is toast. I suppose I'll eventually upgrade it, but I find I really don't use it anymore. Video conversions always seemed slower than what I thought they should be.
  • My personal pictures are gone. iPhoto is gone, and I can't find my picture library. (Everything is backed up, so I'm not too freaked yet.) I just ran out of time to find them.
  • Switching between accounts takes notably longer than in Mojave.
  • Still figuring out the AppleTV app. It appears it requires a unique subscription to services. For example, I have an HBO subscription through my cable provider. The appletv app doesn't let me access it. My only choice appears to be to get a new subscription if I want to use it within appletv app. Debating to myself is that a minor quibble (I can access HBO Go on the computer) or a major one (why isn't it just integrated?)
Last edited:


macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2010
Thanks for your thoughts. I hear there are lots of problems with Catalina.
After what I've been reading about Catalina, I will be sticking with Mojave for the foreseeable future.
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macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
The way to protect one's self when doing a big upgrade like this is to create a BOOTABLE CLONED BACKUP of the older OS on an external drive BEFORE running the "upgrade".

That way, if things don't go as planned, all you have to do is:
a. connect the backup
b. BOOT FROM the backup
c. use disk utility to "wipe" the internal drive
d. RE-clone the cloned backup BACK TO the internal drive.

Easy (although it takes a little time to "clone it back over".
And you'll be "right back where you started from".

But 98% of the folks who upgrade don't do this, and then they find themselves "up the creek without a paddle to get back".

Install Catalina onto an EXTERNAL USB3 SSD -- which is what I did.
My internal drive (2018 Mini) will remain "Mojave forever" because I have lots of 32 bit software with no replacements coming.

But I can still "boot and fool around" with Catalina (or what comes after it) without disturbing the internal drive...