I was reading through first El Captain reviews from the Mac App Store. There’s many one star reviews with people who lost some or all of their data, having performance issues and lags after upgrade. I upgraded three Macs and I don’t have any issues with. Here’s how to take care of your Mac before the upgrade and in general. Next 3 steps, except the last one, is not required for those lucky people who use iOS exclusively.

Use Disk Utility.

Because current Mac file system is outdated it doesn’t have any data integrity validation, it always corrupt itself over time. First time I did Disk Utility trick, I even acquired lost disk space.

I learned this from John Siracusa.

I am trying to use Disk Utility every month to repair my disk. The best way to do it is too boot from external disk. I have USB stick with OS X for this purpose. Use Terminal command createinstallmedia to make your own bootable flash stick.

Do two backups.

Don’t just use Time Machine. Use Time Machine and some other backup solution. I use Backblaze. Backblaze is not ideal, it is not expensive, the app is native and good but restoring process is cumbersome. Remember, that you can use Time Machine with multiple drives.

Don’t forget regularly test your backups and run Disk Utility to check your external hard drives as well.

Don’t use crappy software.

Use good software from trusted companies. Don’t use free poor quality alternatives. Check developers website on the latest OS X compatibility. If app is not ready on day one of the release, this is a warning sign, consider to use alternative software. Update all your software before the upgrade to have the best experience. Also, install all Apple updates before upgrading OS X. Delete apps that you don’t use. I also recommend to delete Adobe Flash.

Don’t upgrade on day one.

Newest OS will always have major issues with a first release. Be patient and wait for .1 release. This applies to iOS too.