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I'm trying to upgrade from El Capitan 10.11.6 to the latest version of Sierra 10.12.x.

I'm following this tutorial which recommends getting Sierra through the App Store.

However when I open the App Store and go to the Updates tab, I do not see Sierra as an option, only upgrading security patches for my existing 10.11.6 installation:

enter image description here

What's going on here? How can I find 10.12.x and upgrade to it?

3

Forget that guide. It is incorrect at this point and giving you misleading instructions.

The Update tab is only for updates for your currently running system.

As you phrased correctly in your question title, you want an upgrade.

That means a completely new system.

Currently, the Sierra installer – or upgrade – is on the first tab. The Featured-tab marked with a star. Top link on the right. Text only.

You may also search for "macOS Sierra" in the search box, upper right corner.

All respecting the prerequisite that your machine is supported for this kind of upgrade.

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