macOS Catalina release


macOS Catalina (version 10.15, hereafter referred to as Catalina) is the latest release of the Apple operating system for Macintosh workstations such as iMacs, MacBooks and Mac Pros. Released on October XX, 2019, Apple lists many new features and improvements over the previous version at

Catalina continues to use Apple File System (APFS) as the default file system, as introduced in macOS High Sierra (10.13):

Until a more thorough test and review of the release version of Catalina can be performed and known software incompatibilities are resolved, University Systems does not recommend upgrading to macOS Catalina (version 10.15). UVic specific services are currently being tested with macOS Catalina, and their compatibility with this new operating system will be itemized below as each service's testing is completed. 

*Please note that the Optimized Storage feature in macOS Catalina may transfer sensitive or confidential materials from your hard drive to iCloud. University Systems strongly recommends that any faculty and staff upgrading to macOS Catalina disable Optimized Storage and refrain from using iCloud to store any university data as as the data may not be stored in compliance with privacy legislation and university policy.

New Macintosh hardware

If you are buying a new Macintosh it may come with Catalina pre-installed. We recommend that you run Software Update to ensure you have any updates both for macOS but also for any Apple applications that may require an update to run under Catalina.

You may rely on software that is not compatible with macOS Catalina. This will include any 32bit-only applications, pending updates from vendors. This could include hardware drivers (printers, scanners, etc). If you're considering purchasing a new Apple Computer, please take care to ensure software you require can run on macOS Catalina. The following website is a crowdsourced library of programs that reports on compatibility with macOS Catalina, it may help inform whether a program you rely on is compatible with macOS Catalina:

Updating your Mac

If you have technical support through Desktop Support Services (DSS), in your department, or through the Computer Help Desk, please contact them to arrange your upgrade.

If you are planning to update your existing Mac to Catalina yourself we recommend you follow this process:

It is especially important that you back up your Mac prior to upgrading.

Networking, Security and printing

Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)

Symantec does not currently support a version of SEP that is compatible with macOS Catalina.

UVic Applications

IBM Spectrum Protect (TSM)

IBM Spectrum Protect (TSM) does not currently support a version that is compatible with macOS Catalina. 


iClicker is recommending you do not update to the newly released macOS Catalina. Instructors who update to Catalina will need to adjust their macOS settings before running their iClicker software on the new macOS. Please refer to the iClicker support article for more information on the privacy settings that need to be adjusted and contact the Computer Help Desk if you require assistance. 

Questions about Catalina?

If you have any questions about macOS 10.15, please contact the Computer Help Desk for additional information. We will continue to update this bulletin as we test additional features and compatibility with macOS 10.15.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Desktop Support Services or the Computer Help Desk at or 250-721-7687.