• ON1 Resize 2021.1 v15.1.0.10100 Flawless retouching is just a click away with ON1 Portrait AI. It uses machine learning to find every face in your photo and make them look great.
  • Downgrade Catalina to Mojave. If you’ve installed macOS Catalina and run into problems with some of your apps, or you’ve just decided that you don’t like it as much as Mojave, the good news is that you can downgrade back to the previous version of macOS. The bad news is that it’s a lengthy process with several steps.
  • Apple introduced the iCloud facility back in 2011 and, since then, has been offering a 5 GB free iCloud storage space with every Apple ID. In a device where you want to store your work files, family photos, music tracks, and other digital content — 5 GB is a peanut space.
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  3. Clean My Mac Catalina Free Download
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Let”s just say it: 2020 is a weird year — messing with an ordinary state of things to the extent that you no longer know what”s ordinary. So don”t panic if you google “What is the latest macOS 2021?” and can”t find the macOS version 10.16. It doesn”t exist.

This year, Apple hosted its first virtual-only WWDC event where they announced a transition to macOS 11, hence ending the era of Mac OS X generation. The new macOS Big Sur version 11.0 arrives with an overhauled design that features lots of iOS elements. Also, macOS 11 will be the first operating system to support Macs with Apple silicon chips. So just like anything 2020, macOS Big Sur is pretty unusual — but is it really worth an upgrade?

Big Sur upgrade assistant

There are many differences between the macOS Big Sur and Catalina. Some of the most obvious ones are the addition of Control Center, the change to Notifications, and the improvements in Safari. But there are many other changes too. Before you upgrade, it’s worth running CleanMyMac X to optimize the performance of your Mac and clear space.

Before you switch to a new macOS, install Setapp. It’s a suite of apps that will keep your data protected on any system.

macOS Big Sur review: What”s new

Before we look at the pros and cons, let”s focus on the major changes that Apple Big Sur is bringing to the table. The following section will help you understand whether an upgrade to Big Sur makes sense in your case. If you decide to skip it over, we won”t judge you — but make sure you check the infographic below for a quick summary.

macOS Big Sur requirements: Will your Mac run macOS 11?

Full disclosure: This article only makes sense if you can give a positive answer to the question “Can my Mac run Big Sur?” If it”s a no, breathe out and continue enjoying Catalina. Or, get a new Mac. If you compare device compatibility in macOS Big Sur vs Catalina, you”ll notice a change. Essentially, Big Sur moves a year to two years ahead, cutting off support for all Macs released prior to 2013.

Here’s the full list of macOS Big Sur compatible devices:

  • MacBook (2015 or later)

  • MacBook Air (2013 or later)

  • MacBook Pro (2013 or later)

  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

  • Mac Mini (2014 or later)

  • iMac (2014 or later)

  • iMac Pro (2017 or later).

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You’ll find more on macOS Big Sur system requirements here.

Design changes that change it all

Apple calls it the biggest design change in the last 20 years. We call it an iPad marries a Mac. Here”s a quick dive into why macOS Big Sur is very different from what you experience with Catalina:

  • New Control Center featuring quick access to settings and controls on Mac

  • Full-size sidebars across apps

  • Notifications grouped by apps

  • Three new widget layouts

  • Widgets and notifications can be combined within one view

  • Translucent Dock icons and the menu bar

  • Rounded corners across windows and app icons.

It looks like macOS Big Sur takes a content-first approach, removing visual complexity and helping you customize lots of things on a desktop. It also has that sweet homely iOS vibe about it, which you’ll recognize instantly if you’re an iPhone/iPad user.

The iPadification of Mac

Apart from the design change, the latest macOS is embracing more iOS apps via Catalyst. For instance, Maps and Messages have been redesigned with the Mac Catalyst app — and Catalyst itself is getting some major enhancements. Particularly, it arrives with access to more iOS frameworks, new APIs, and the ability to control Mac Catalyst apps using just the keyboard.

The Catalyst era kicked off in 2019, with the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina. Apple made it possible to port iOS apps to macOS, and introduced Screen Time as the first native app to undergo the Catalyst transition. With macOS 11, Catalyst apps continue arriving — easy to port and fitting the Big Sur design perfectly.

What’s more, Macs with Apple silicon chips will be able to run iOS apps natively on Big Sur. This means one thing: In the battle of Big Sur vs Catalina, the former certainly wins if you want to see more iOS apps on Mac.

Safari reborn on macOS Big Sur

Apple introduced some great Safari improvements with macOS Catalina, including weak password flagging and tab switching. But compared to what they did this year, Catalina updates were just the beginning of a major Safari transformation. On macOS Big Sur, Safari is crazily customizable and 50% faster than Chrome. Here are some key changes:


  • Customizable start page. You can set any background picture and choose what should appear on your Safari start page.

  • Preview tabs. Hover over any tab for a quick website preview.

  • Bring extensions from anywhere. Developers can easily migrate third-party extensions to Safari.

  • Translate an entire web page. Translate a website page across seven languages in a flash.

  • See who’s tracking you. The new built-in Privacy Report gives you access to the list of trackers on any website, which is a huge leap forward in terms of safer browsing.

Is it safe to update to Big Sur?

Many users are wondering whether it’s safe to download and install Big Sur at this point. We’ve dived into the depths of Reddit and Twitter, searching for any hints about macOS Big Sur misbehavior. So far, there have been some reports on installation problems and Safari crashing. But considering betas are generally buggy, it seems normal.

According to Apple, macOS Big Sur will offer even more control over users’ personal data. Developers will be asked to provide extensive information on their privacy practices when bringing apps to the App Store — so that you know what types of data an app collects before installing it. And with the new Privacy Report in Safari, you can expect a safer browsing journey on Big Sur. So we believe it’s pretty safe to upgrade to Big Sur.

Make your macOS perform better

With CleanMyMac X on Mac, any operating system works better. Get the app to optimize your Mac for Big Sur in minutes.

Read more about how to upgrade mac os the right way

The only recommendation is to make sure your Mac is prepared well in advance. Free up storage with CleanMyMac X — you’ll need at least 20GB of free disk space — and back up data with Get Backup Pro just to be sure nothing disappears from your Mac. Both tools are on Setapp and available with a 7-day free trial.

Catalina vs Big Sur: Final verdict

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The question “Should I upgrade to Big Sur or not?” doesn’t have an easy answer. But we say give it a try if you like the new iOS-inspired design and enhanced Safari. Also, macOS Big Sur is the best operating system for porting iOS apps — and, hopefully, running iOS apps in the near future. Summing it up, here’s the final look at Big Sur vs Catalina features:

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After many months of fine-tuning, Apple finally released macOS 11.0 Big Sur in November 2020. The major features (like the new Safari) have been announced much earlier and fans, as well as haters, had their say. Still, many users ask themselves, whether macOS Big Sur is worth it. So, let’s take a look at macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina to find out what improvements it brings.

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Big Sur has more demanding system requirements than Catalina and you may also need to free up space on your Mac to install it. CleanMyMac X can help with both of those by running scripts to optimize your Mac’s performance and highlighting files you can safely remove, potentially freeing up several gigabytes of space.

Big Sur vs. Catalina: user interface

In Big Sur, Apple redesigned the interface for its built-in apps like Photos and Mail. They now have sidebars that stretch the full height of the window and toolbars with sleeker, simplified icons.

Finder windows now have more curved corners and plain white (or dark) backgrounds on title bars and toolbars.

The Dock has also been redesigned. The corners of the Dock are more rounded, and app icons are all the same shape, giving it a tidier look. Icons also have enhanced shading and shadows that make them appear less flat than in Catalina.

Control Center appears on the Mac for the first time in Big Sur, accessible from a menu bar item. Like on iOS, it allows you to control things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirDrop and volume and display brightness. You can drag your favorite items to the menu bar.

The Notification Center in Big Sur now puts notifications and widgets in a single view and it groups notifications by app. Some notifications are interactive, so, for example, you can play a podcast episode directly from Notification Center.

Sheets, the alerts that dropdown from the top of windows to request you take action, now scale to the center of the window, are accompanied by the rest of the screen dimming, but also are less obtrusive than previously.

Symbols for things like Share or Undo are now more consistent, all taken from one library of symbols.

macOS Big Sur vs. macOS Catalina: Safari

Apple says that the update to Safari in Big Sur is the biggest ever. It boosts performance, reduces energy consumption, and adds features to improve privacy. Big Sur Safari also allows you to customize your homepage by adding a background image. Then you can add elements like your reading list, iCloud tabs, and even a Privacy Report.

Tabs have been re-designed to allow you to see more of them at once, and hovering over a tab brings up a preview of the page. Safari can also translate pages between seven languages with one click, tell you if any of your saved passwords have been compromised, and show a report of all the cross-site trackers it is blocking to protect your privacy.

macOS Catalina vs. Big Sur: Messages

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Messages in Big Sur gets lots of new features, many of them similar to those that have been in other messaging apps for years, but better late than never. In Big Sur Messages, you can pin up to nine conversations to the top of the message list, reply directly to messages in group conversations and “mention” others, and add an image to identify a conversation.

Messages also allow you to search for and add GIFs and trending images, create and add Memoji on the Mac, and search messages more quickly. Early reports from Big Sur users suggest that searching in Big Sur is much faster than in Catalina and that Messages on the Mac is finally on a par with the iOS version, which is great news.

macOS Big Sur vs Catalina: Maps

Maps is another app that has lagged behind its iOS version. However, in Big Sur, that looks to have changed. Maps now allows you to create guides to locations, as well as access guides created by others.

It also has cycling routes, charging points for electric vehicles, and indoor maps for some locations. And then there’s Look Around, Apple’s version of Google Street View, also in Big Sur Maps. Look Around allows you to get a street-level 3D view of locations. Apple hasn’t yet said which areas will be covered, but it’s likely to be very limited initially.

Big Sur vs. Catalina: App Store

Privacy has been a key theme of the last couple of macOS releases, and Big Sur is no different. As well as the privacy report in Safari, Apple now displays privacy information in the App Store. For each app, types of data collected by the app are split into three categories: data used to track you, data linked to you, and data not linked to you. That makes it very easy to see at a glance how a specific app is using, say, your location data, or your financial information.

Big Sur vs. Catalina: More changes

There are lots of smaller improvements in Big Sur. Photos gets a refreshed interface, improved retouch tool that is driven by a machine-learning algorithm, new editing options, and better Memories with new soundtracks.

  • The Music and Podcasts apps, which replaced iTunes in Catalina, have new For You recommendations and new layouts. Podcasts also gets a Listen Now feature and a more focused Up Next to make it easier to find the next episode of the podcasts you’re listening to. There’s a new section to help you find the latest episodes of podcasts you subscribe to, and there are hand-picked episode recommendations. The startup chime that disappeared from some Macs has been restored. And system sounds have been updated to make them easier on the ear. Apparently, this has been done using snippets of the original sounds. So the new sounds should be familiar, yet more pleasing to listen to.
  • Spotlight has been beefed up in Big Sur and is now faster than ever. And it presents results in a more streamlined format to make them easier to browse. It also has Quick Look features that allow you to preview the whole of a document or web page by scrolling through it. It has the same markup tools that were added to the Finder in Catalina, allowing you to do things like rotating an image, cropping it, or signing a PDF, all within Spotlight. Spotlight also powers Find in Safari, Keynote, Pages, and other Apple apps.
  • Siri can now answer questions you ask by searching the web then telling you what it has found.
  • Voice memos, introduced in Catalina, gets the ability to organize recordings in folders and smart folders. It can also remove background noise automatically and room reverb with a click. And you can mark recordings as favorites.
  • The weather widget in Notification Center gets some of the features Apple acquired when it bought Dark Sky. In the US, it will display a minute-by-minute chart showing the intensity of rain or snow over the coming hour. In the US, Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia, it will display government alerts about severe weather. And all users will be able to see when the weather will be much warmer, colder, or wetter the next day.

How to improve your Mac’s performance with Big Sur

  1. Download CleanMyMac X if you haven’t done so already, and follow the instructions to install it.
  2. Launch it from your Applications folder.
  3. Choose the Optimization module and click View All Items.
  4. Review each category and check the boxes next to those you want to remove.
  5. Press Perform.
  6. If an item can’t be removed independently of its host app, click ‘Enabled’ next to its name to disable it.

There are many differences between the macOS Big Sur and Catalina. Some of the most obvious ones are the addition of Control Center, the change to Notifications, and the improvements in Safari. But there are many other changes too. Before you upgrade, it’s worth running CleanMyMac X to optimize the performance of your Mac and clear space.

macOS Big Sur vs. Catalina: The sumup

Big Sur



MacBook models from early 2015 or later

MacBook Air models from 2013 or later

MacBook Pro models from 2013 or later

Mac mini models from 2014 or later

iMac models from 2014 or later

iMac Pro (all models)

Mac Pro models from 2013 or later

2012 and Early 2013 MacBook Pro

2012 MacBook Air

2012 and 2013 iMac

2012 Mac mini

MacBook models from early 2015 or later

MacBook Air models from 2013 or later

MacBook Pro models from 2013 or later

Mac mini models from 2014 or later

iMac models from 2014 or later

iMac Pro (all models)

Mac Pro models from 2013 or later

Control Center:



Notification Center:

One tab

Two tabs

Designed for:

Intel and ARM-powered Macs

Intel Macs