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All macOS Version System Requirements

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Last updated: September 14, 2023

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macOS, the operating system developed by Apple Inc. for its Mac computers, undergoes regular updates and introduces new features, enhancements, and security improvements with each version. However, not all Mac computers can support every macOS release. 

In this guide, I’ve shared all macOS version system requirements, starting with macOS Ventura and going as far back as OS X Lion. Let’s find out which macOS your Mac can run.

All macOS Version System Requirements

macos versions system requirements

As the macOS ecosystem expands, it becomes crucial to understand the system requirements associated with different versions. By familiarizing yourself with these specifications, you can ensure smooth and optimized performance on your Mac device, enabling you to make the most of Apple’s cutting-edge operating system.

Let’s find out all macOS version system requirements, starting with macOS Ventura and going back to OS X Lion.

1. macOS Ventura

macos ventura homescreen 1

macOS Ventura, also known as macOS 13, is the latest macOS version released on October 24, 2022. It introduces a range of new features and enhancements.

To determine if your Mac is compatible with macOS Ventura, check the model and year information by clicking the Apple menu and selecting About This Mac.

click apple icon and select about this mac

It will show a window with all the info about your Mac’s make and model.

about this mac info

macOS Ventura Compatible Models

Of all MacBooks ever released, macOS Ventura is compatible with the following models:

  1. MacBook (2017)
  2. MacBook Pro (2017 and later)
  3. MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  4. Mac mini (2018 and later)
  5. iMac (2017 and later)
  6. iMac Pro (2017)
  7. Mac Studio (2022)
  8. Mac Pro (2019 and later)

2. macOS Monterey

macos monterey homescreen 1

macOS Monterey, or macOS 12, arrived on October 25, 2021, bringing exciting features and improvements to Mac users. To see if your Mac can run Monterey, identify your model and year from the About This Mac section.

General Requirements for macOS Monterey

  • OS X 10.2 or later
  • 8GB of memory
  • 26GB available storage on macOS Sierra or later
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS Monterey Compatible Models

Compatible models for macOS Monterey are:

  1. MacBook (Early 2016 and later)
  2. MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
  3. MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
  4. Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
  5. iMac (Late 2015 and later)
  6. iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  7. Mac Studio (2022)
  8. Mac Pro (2013 and later)

3. macOS Big Sur

macos big sur homescreen 1

macOS Big Sur, also known as macOS 11, was released on November 12, 2020. It brought a refreshed design and numerous new features to Mac users.

General Requirements for macOS Big Sur

  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • 4GB of memory
  • 35.5GB available storage on macOS Sierra or later
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS Big Sur Compatible Models

The following models are compatible with macOS Big Sur:

  1. MacBook (2015 or later)
  2. MacBook Air (2013 or later)
  3. MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or later)
  4. Mac mini (2014 or later)
  5. iMac (2014 or later)
  6. iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  7. Mac Pro (2013 or later)

4. macOS Catalina

macos catalina homescreen 1

Released on October 7, 2019, macOS Catalina (macOS 10.15) introduced significant updates and new capabilities.

General Requirements for macOS Catalina

  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • 4GB of memory
  • 12.5GB of available storage
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS Catalina Compatible Models

The compatibility list for macOS Catalina is as follows:

  1. MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  2. MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  3. MacBook Pro (Mid-2012 or newer)
  4. Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  5. iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  6. iMac Pro (2017)
  7. Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)

5. macOS Mojave

macos mojave homescreen 1

macOS Mojave (macOS 10.14) was released on September 24, 2018, and it featured a system-wide dark mode and other notable improvements.

General Requirements for macOS Mojave

  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 12.5GB of available storage
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS Mojave Compatible Models

The compatible Mac models for macOS Mojave include:

  1. MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  2. MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  3. MacBook Pro (Mid-2012 or newer)
  4. Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  5. iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  6. iMac Pro (2017)
  7. Mac Pro (Late 2013; Mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards)

6. macOS High Sierra

macos high sierra homescreen 1

macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13), released on September 25, 2017, brought improvements to core technologies and refined features.

General Requirements for macOS High Sierra

  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 14.3GB of available storage to perform upgrade
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS High Sierra Compatible Models

The following Mac models are compatible with macOS High Sierra:

  1. MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
  2. MacBook Pro (Mid-2010 or newer)
  3. MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
  4. Mac mini (Mid-2010 or newer)
  5. iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
  6. Mac Pro (Mid-2010 or newer)

7. macOS Sierra

macos sierra homescreen 1

macOS Sierra (macOS 10.12) arrived on September 20, 2016, introducing Siri integration and other enhancements.

General Requirements for macOS Sierra

  • OS X 10.7.5 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 8.8GB of available storage
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

macOS Sierra Compatible Models

The compatible Mac models for macOS Sierra are:

  1. MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
  2. MacBook Pro (Mid-2010 or newer)
  3. MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
  4. Mac mini (Mid-2010 or newer)
  5. iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
  6. Mac Pro (Mid-2010 or newer)

8. OS X El Capitan (10.11)

macos el capitan homescreen 1

Released on September 30, 2015, OS X El Capitan introduced several enhancements and performance improvements. To determine if your Mac meets the requirements for OS X El Capitan, consider the following specifications.

General Requirements for OS X El Capitan (10.11)

  • OS X v10.6.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 8.8GB of available storage
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

OS X El Capitan Compatible Models

Here are the OS X El Capitan compatible models:

  1. MacBook (Early 2015)
  2. MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or Early 2009 or newer)
  3. MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  4. MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  5. Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  6. iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  7. Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  8. Xserve (Early 2009)

9. OS X Yosemite (10.10)

macos yosemite homescreen 1

OS X Yosemite, released on October 16, 2014, brought a visually refreshed interface and tighter integration with iOS devices.

General Requirements for OS X Yosemite (10.10)

  • OS X v10.6.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 8GB of available storage
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

OS X Yosemite Compatible Models

The following models are compatible with OS X Yosemite:

  1. MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
  2. MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
  3. iMac (2012 or newer)
  4. Mac mini (2012 or newer)
  5. Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Some features like AirDrop and Handoff require Macs from 2012 or newer.

10. OS X Mavericks (10.9)

macos mavericks homescreen 1

Released on October 22, 2013, OS X Mavericks introduced several new features and performance improvements.

General Requirements for OS X Mavericks (10.9)

  • OS X v10.6.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 8GB of available space
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

OS X Mavericks Compatible Models

The compatible models for OS X Mavericks are:

  1. iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  2. MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or Early 2009 or newer)
  3. MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  4. Xserve (Early 2009)
  5. MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  6. Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  7. Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

11. OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)

macos mountain lion homescreen 1

OS X Mountain Lion, released on July 25, 2012, focused on further integrating iOS features into the Mac environment.

General Requirements for OS X Mountain Lion

  • OS X v10.6.8 or later
  • 2GB of memory
  • 8GB of available space
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

OS X Mountain Lion Compatible Models

The following Apple computers are compatible with OS X Mountain Lion:

  1. iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  2. MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum or Early 2009 or newer)
  3. MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  4. Xserve (Early 2009)
  5. MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  6. Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  7. Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

12. OS X Lion (10.7)

macos lion homescreen 1

Released on July 20, 2011, OS X Lion introduced a range of new features and a more streamlined user interface.

General Requirements for OS X Lion

  • Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • 2GB of memory
  • OS X v10.6.6 or later (v10.6.8 recommended)
  • 7GB of available space
  • An Apple ID for some features
  • A compatible internet service provider for some features

OS X Lion Compatible Models

OS X Lion supports the following devices:

  1. MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)
  2. MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
  3. MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
  4. iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
  5. Mac mini (Mid-2010 or newer)
  6. Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card or Mid 2010)

Final Thoughts

When considering upgrading your Mac’s operating system, ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. However, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind to optimize your experience:

  • Before updating macOS on your Mac version, make sure you have sufficient free storage space on your Mac.
  • It’s always a good practice to back up your important files on Mac before performing any major system updates.
  • Take the opportunity to declutter your Mac before upgrading to a new macOS version by deleting unnecessary files, uninstalling unused applications, and clearing out temporary files and caches.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I upgrade my Mac to the latest macOS version if it doesn’t meet the system requirements?

    No, you cannot upgrade your Mac to the latest macOS version if it doesn’t meet the system requirements. macOS versions have specific system requirements, and if your Mac doesn’t meet them, you won’t be able to upgrade to that particular version.

  2. Are the system requirements the same for all Mac models within a particular year?

    No, the system requirements are not the same for all Mac models within a particular year. System requirements may vary for the same year’s Mac models. It’s essential to refer to the specific requirements mentioned for each macOS version to determine compatibility with your Mac model.

  3. Where can I find the official and most up-to-date information on macOS system requirements?

    For the most accurate and up-to-date information on macOS system requirements, refer to Apple’s official documentation and support page, or consult the About This Mac section on your Mac.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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