Upgrading Apple Snow Leopard

I am running Mac OSX Snow Leopard and as a consequence I am receiving notifications that Safari needs to be upgraded in order to view the web page properly.  "your version of Safari is no longer supported by our website or webpage".  How do I upgrade Safari?  Do I have to upgrade the OSX and if so how do I do that?  My sense is that a jump from Snow Leopard to Yosemite to too large a jump and this upgrade may have to be incremental.  What is your advice?  The computer is an iMac...approximately 5 years old.  
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAsked:
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Which version of Snow Leopard are you using? You can check by pulling down the Apple Menu to About this Mac. Let us know.

Have you tried pulling down the Apple Menu to Software Update and running Software Update? It will update your system software to the latest version of Snow Leopard and update Safari to the newest version supported by Snow Leopard.

With respect to updating to Yosemite, first check this page: https://www.apple.com/ca/osx/how-to-upgrade/ to make sure your system will support Yosemite.

Also, let us know exactly what model iMac you have, how big a hard drive you have, how much free space you have on the hard drive and how much RAM you have installed. Much of this information will also be in "About this Mac". You can get the hard drive information by right-clicking on the hard drive icon and selecting Get Info.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
The version of snow leopard is 5.1.10.  I have gone to the apple menu to software update and it says that there are no updates.  I am fairly certain that this computer will support Yosemite.  The CPU is running at 3 GHz and there is more than adequate RAM.  My guess is that the computer is approximately 5 years old.  The question is can I go directly from snow leopard to Yosemite or should I (can I) just go to Mavericks.  I have upgraded a MacBook pro (8 Years old)...core two duo with 2 GB of RAM and the MacBook Pro cannot handle it.  With that computer I was looking at the colored beach ball on a very frequent basis.
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Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
Short answer: I do not believe it will work.

Long answer:  My wife's macbook was early 2008 edition with Snow Leopard.  A year or so ago, when I tried to update iTunes, it said to upgrade to the latest OS Lion.  After a few hours of tinkering with the macbook and searching through apple's forums,  I bought Lion and tried to install it however, the macbook's hardware was not capable of running the OS.  The macbook's hardware was too old according to Apple's Lion OS requirements.  :*(

We ended up getting a new macbook versus replacing the insides of her 2008 model.
There is no Snow Leopard version 5.1.10.

Please post a screen shot of the box that comes up when you pull down the Apple Menu to "About this Mac".

Then hit More Info and post a screen shot of the screen box that pops up next.
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
you can download yosemite from the appstore, when you go to install it, if the hardware is insufficient it will not run, if it is then enjoy yosemite.


Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
If viewing these websites are your main reason for trying to upgrage then FORGET ABOUT IT.

Drop Safari and use Chrome or Firefox which are not tied into OSX and can therefore be updated to most recent releases much more easily.

In terms of OSX update I'd sincerely doubt that any Mac built in the Snow Leopard era OSX 10.6 will happily and comfortably run OSX 10.10.   If you look in the About this Mac you should see the serial number and also when your Mac was built (or the model range).

If upgrading - I'd not recommend going beyond OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion (which would still leave you with Safari compatibility issues in a year or two from now all over again).  Up[grading 10.6 to 10.8 needs OSX system disk images .. or DVDs both of which are no longer for sale from Apple .. you can get them via eBay or from a good Apple repair technician.

@nattygreg - there is NO AppStore on OSX 10.6 so upgrading to Yosemite is not possible via that method.  The Yosemite upgrade installer won't work with 10.6.  The hardware on that Mac may also have issues with drivers and support on Yosemite - checking hardware compatibility with any newer OSX version before upgrading is critical before starting the process.

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There are a few macs from the Snow Leopard Era that can be upgraded to Yosemite.  Basically, any of the i3, i5, and i7 series and some of the Core2 Duos can be updated to Yosemite.  Anything Earlier can only upgrade to Snow Leopard.

As Eoin mentioned, Don't use Safari anymore.  Use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or any of the others that are supported and updated.  Apple tends to drop support as they release newer OSes.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your answers.  Much appreciated.  My conclusion to this scenario of upgrading a Mac OSX is that it is a minefield.  Basically, it appears that Apple wants you to purchase a new computer.  That is not a good thing.  If their browser does not work with upgrades to their OSX they should be providing an opportunity to upgrade the browser...not the OSX!  This is a company that is totally oriented to making profits...buyer beware!  The other thing is that Apple should be making consumers more aware of the implications associated with doing an upgrade of a new OSX.  When they try to do this, it does not work very well, it is a form of minimalist support and that works very well for Apple.  Case in point...MacBook Pro 2009 vintage...upgraded to Yosemite...it does not work...it is a constant barrage of the rainbow beach balls.  I think that Apple is out of control!  More public awareness is required.  I would appreciate your feedback regarding this issue.  
I really don't think you should expect a 6 year old Mac to run the latest OS. Most 6 year old PC's are in the dump.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Good feedback.  Does this mean that we should be changing our PC's every 6 years or less?  If that is the case how do people protect themselves from this state of obsolescence?
Kyle SantosQuality AssuranceCommented:
I have a desktop PC that initially ran XP, then later Windows 7 when it came out, that I custom built in 2006.  It still runs like a charm.  The only things I have replaced were a power supply and sticks of RAM for less than $100.  

For the most part, Apple essentially tries to prevent customization of their computers to obligate you to buy new ones that will run their latest OS.  For example, if you bought a macbook with a retina display it most likely has the RAM (memory) soldered in.  This means you will not be able to replace the RAM...ever

Most 6 year old PCs are in the dump because most people aren't all that technical and will throw them out.  I know that some people will throw out their laptop after 3 years, when it becomes "slow" from viruses, rather than reinstall the OS or run antivirus.

You can still use that old computer, but at least with the old PCs, you have easier upgrade choices.  With Apple, you can only "upgrade" to linux or Windows Bootcamp to get a newer OS.  Most Mac users won't know how to do that.  You can also retain that Mac for children and let them play games on it, so you don't have to shell out for their laptops.

I kept my 2000 era IBM Thinkpad 570e as a home "server" for seven years until 2010 after I got a T40 in 2003.  It cut my electric bill from $20/month, while running a desktop, to about $2/month.  It had the benefit of a battery to act as a UPS during the first few years.
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Your 6 year old Mac works and works well .. nobody promised you and Apple never guarantee that after 6 years your mac would be able to run the latest OSX version.  If the Mac is still working fine .. you can upgrade to OSX 10.8 .. but you should've been doing that every 2 years or so to make it easier .. waiting for 6 years to begin the upgrades makes the upgrade process more complicated as you discovered.

Personally I sell my mac every 2 years and put the price towards a new one .. always keeping the hardware as up to date as possible and the annual depreciation is manageable. A six year old Mac or PC will have virtually no resale value (unless it is a vintage Apple II or limited model) so you just keep using it until it dies.  

BTW .. Safari is not a great browser, is still only a bit player on the overall browser market share .. to stay up to date use Chrome or Firefox and you'll not be left behind for another couple of years!!
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technicianAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the very good expert comment.  Much appreciated.  I am in good agreement!  The problem with most Mac users is that they are challenged by the "how do I upgrade my computer system"?  Apple does not make that an easy proposition.  With the old PC there are easier upgrade choices.  Thanks very much for your excellent analysis.
David AndersTechnician Commented:
Apple App Store appeared in Snow Leopard 10.6.8.
You can pay $20 to get Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks installers from Apple.
Or find a friend that have the installers saved, installation deletes the installer.
http://roaringapps.com/   lists software compatibility for various OSX versions and applications.
Snow Leopard could run with 2Gb RAM, MLion wants 4Gb, Yosemite needs 8Gb.
My laptop can boot to SLeopard, MLion, and Mavericks.  I spend most of my time in MLion.
Used Macs sell for more money than WIndows PCs.
If you have trouble getting OSX, you could always instal Linux Mint.

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