My daughter has an Early 2015 MacBook Air running Sierra 10.12. In addition, she has Office 2011 installed on it as well (used through her GCSE's and A'Levels).

We now need to upgrade Office, but before I do that, I would like to know:

  1. What's the latest OS to which I can upgrade her laptop?
  2. Can the upgrade be performed in a single upgrade, or will I need to upgrade gradually through increasing OS versions?

Looking online, it seems I can upgrade to Big Sur. When I open the Apple Store, I can search for Big Sur, but I cannot download it. (No Get option is available.)

  • Have a look at apple.stackexchange.com/questions/309399/… for more info. I think High Sierra is going to be your 'jump point' Get that on there first & I think you should then be OK to go straight to Big Sur.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 5, 2021 at 12:08
  • Thank you for the feedback, I'll check out the link now. Thanks again.
    – Jason
    Mar 5, 2021 at 13:32
  • Note you need to upgrade past High Sierra for latest Office. I am stuck on High Sierra on my old iMac and stopped getting security updates etc in November or December as Microsoft only support last three (I think) releases.
    – lx07
    Mar 5, 2021 at 14:15
  • Update. First of all, thank you for your help, I installed the last update received on the mac book air which moved the OS to 10.12.6. From there bigsur was downloadable from the appstore and I installed this. Needless to say I could now upgrade the version of office. Thanks again for your help.
    – Jason
    Mar 6, 2021 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


Apple states you can upgrade to Big Sur directly from Sierra. You say you can not find Big Sur in the Apps store. Perhaps, you can use a link from this Apple website.

The recommendation to first upgrade to High Sierra not uncommon. High Sierra includes a firmware upgrade that allows booting from Apple's new APFS format. Although if you upgrade directly to Big Sur, the firmware upgrade will still take place. Apple offers this webpage for information on how to obtain and install High Sierra.

You should be aware that do to a the firmware upgrade, installation can take longer that you would normally expect. If your computer seems stop working during the upgrade, be patient this may be normal.

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