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How do you upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" from Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard"? Is it possible to upgrade from older versions of Mac OS X?
Apple's official instructions to upgrade to OS X Lion from OS X Snow Leopard are quite simple and involve only three steps -- amounting to little more than "make sure your Mac can run Lion, make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard, and download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store."
Best case scenario, those instructions are sufficient, and you definitely will need to verify that your Mac is compatible with OS X Lion, that it has at least 2 GB of RAM, and that it has been updated to Mac OS X 10.6.6 "Snow Leopard" or higher (10.6.8 is recommended).
However, before you even get to those three steps you absolutely should do the following:
After making at least one backup of your hard drive, verifying the backups were successful, checking to make sure that your software is compatible and/or you have the funds to upgrade or replace incompatible applications, and accessing your willingness to use your computer to essentially test a new operating system, then you are ready to proceed with Apple's official instructions.
Officially, you cannot upgrade a Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" directly to Mac OS X Lion, but MacWorld has provided a clever unofficial method of doing so.
Site sponsor Other World Computing sells a wide variety of external hard drives for backups.
Also see: What are the "pros and cons" of upgrading to Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion"? Is it worth it? What are the best reasons to upgrade? Are there reasons not to upgrade?