How-to: Upgrade to OS X El Capitan GM from a beta build

Apple has just released OS X 10.11 El Capitan GM, but users and developers running beta builds will not be able to upgrade directly from the App Store. In order to upgrade from a El Capitan beta build, for example, seed 15A278b to the El Capitan GM release 15A282b, you’ll need to jump through a few minor hoops first.

  1. Launch the App Store, but instead of going to the “Updates” page (where you’ll see none), go to the “Purchases” page.
  2. If you’ve previously installed an El Capitan build, you’ll find “OS X El Capitan GM Candidate” in the list of purchases, alongside a button to download:El Capitan App Store
  3. Selecting “Download” will bring up a warning dialog stating that this will download the entire installation image instead of updating, and advising you to “Update” instead – unfortunately, at the time of this writing this is not an option and you must click “Continue” to download anyway:El Capitan Download Warning
  4. The OS X App Store will begin to download the entire image – yes, all 6.06 GiB – as apparently there is no delta update at this time:El Capitan Download in Progress
  5. Once the download has finished, the installation should begin. If not, you can manually launch the install from the same page. Make sure to back up your Mac before starting the upgrade.

Update: Based off of an email Apple has sent beta testers, it does not seem that there will be a delta update made available for current beta testers:

If you are currently testing OS X El Capitan, please back up your Mac and do the following to install the GM Candidate. Go to your Purchased tab in the Mac App Store and click the Download button next to OS X El Capitan GM Candidate. When your download finishes, the installer will automatically launch.
Follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.

22 thoughts on “How-to: Upgrade to OS X El Capitan GM from a beta build

  1. Fixed my issue trying to get the latest download, I had to clear the software update catalog as so: sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog

  2. Mine is the same, shows already downloaded with a date of July 9th. However the trick you shared, Sam is not working for me to resolve it. :-/

  3. Downloaded El Capitan GM. Commenced installation. Seems to have gone ok but now not finishing installation with less than one minute remaining. Help pleas

  4. Thanks for the tip Sam but unfortunately I now get
    “We could not complete your purchase.A server with the specified hostname could not be found.”

    Any ideas?

  5. Tried to install it, after some reboots I see the installation process aborting due to some problems with map MBR to GPT.
    I have bootcamp installed. Any Hint?

  6. I messed up my GPT by upgrading my Windows Bootcamp image to Windows 10. There is a round about way to resolve it, but since I had nothing there that I needed I just wiped the partition. Have you tried rebooting and doing a disk repair from the boot recovery menu? Hold Option when restarting.

    As an aside has anyone actually seen the proper build number when upgrading to GM? I am part of the Public Beta and after “upgrading” I am thrown back to 15A227h which was like Beta 1…

  7. I had the same problem this is how i fixed it.
    On my computer I still had backup of the old Public Beta installer after removing this i could download the GM candidate.

    Hope this will help you

  8. Damn I also upgraded to win 10… But I have all my savegames there… I tried with disk utility but id the same… Thanks anyway… I will search again…

  9. Thanks everyone for these helpful comments.

    I ran into this as well. Since I was following the solutions people have shared here, I did things in this order:

    1. sudo softwareupdate –clear-catalog
    2. Re-ran the (old) installer which rebooted once, but had no other apparent effect. Still on Public Beta 6.
    3. Deleted the “Install OS X El Capitan Public” in /Applications
    4. Deleted “OS X Install Data” that was left in / (the root of my filesystem).
    5. Opened App Store
    6. Purchases — The GM is now available and I’m downloading it again.

    I suspect that ALL you have to do, if you are running into this, is simply delete the previous Install Public Beta app in /Applications.

    I think that all the other things are side-effects me re-running the beta installer.

  10. Mine is refusing to download. Says 5 days on a 40 mbps connection. Any help or advice will be welcome. I

  11. Apple says that the correct build number should be 15A282b. But after I install it is shows (15A282a) which is what somebody posted earlier. Which one is correct? Apple can’t be wrong with the build number. But why don’t we have this version?

  12. @Patrick: probably just so you can be guaranteed to pick up future point releases and minor updates that would not be issued delta upgrades against a GM Candidate build.

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