It is important to keep R and RStudio up-to-date. While it might be the case that you won’t have any issues with older versions, as packages are updated, you may receive strange errors. Follow steps 1 to 5 to also upgrade R and RStudio to new versions.

1. Determine the version of your operating system

About the Mac

In this example, the version of OS X is 10.10.5. This will dictate which version of R to download in the next step.

2. Download the appropriate version of R

Click on R for Mac OS X. You will see different options for different versions of OS X. Click on which package corresponds to your version. This will bring up the dialog to save the file.

3. Install R

Double click on the downloaded R package (PKG file) in the folder you specified. An example is shown below.

Downloaded R

Follow the installation instructions. You do not need to open R after the completed installation. RStudio will automatically do that after it is installed and opened.

4. Download RStudio

RStudio is currently only available for Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. Click on RStudio for Mac OS X 10.6+. Click on the appropriate file corresponding to Mac OS X. This will again bring up the save file dialog.

5. Install RStudio

After your download has completed, find your version of RStudio in the folder you specified.

Downloaded RStudio

Double click on the downloaded DMG file and follow the installation instructions.

6. Download MacTeX

MacTeX installs many of the things needed to use TeX for typesetting. Click on this link to download MacTeX: This is a large file and may take five minutes (or more, depending on your internet connection) to download. More information is available here:

7. Install MacTeX

Find your version of MacTeX in the folder you specified.

Downloaded MacTeX

Double click on the PKG file and follow the installation instructions. You do not need to open anything after MacTeX is finished installing.

8. Install useful R packages in RStudio

Download the file available at startup_packages.R. This is a text (script) file containing R commands that you will run. Double click on this downloaded file in your specified directory. This will open the file in RStudio. Shown below is only the top left pane of the four panes in RStudio and an example script file.

R Script Open

You now want to run all of this code to install the packages listed at the top. To do this, click on the Source button in the upper right of the top left pane (the one that has this code in it).

Source Script

You should see some red text appear in the Console tab of the bottom left panel in RStudio. The code has downloaded the packages specified and you can now use them in your code as needed.

9. Test installation

To check that R, RStudio, and TeX have been installed correctly, we will create a sample R Markdown document. These types of documents will give you the ability to nicely document your code, include your code, and also the output that your code produces.

Select File > New File > R Markdown from the RStudio taskbar menu.