What system software can my Mac run?

This blog entry is a little different from my usual. Normally I have handy tips and tricks for the average user. But I wanted to make a reference document both for myself and for anyone else who might need it. I will try to update this document every year when the new system software is announced.

Below you will find tables of every model of Intel Mac ever released, a list of all OSes it’s capable of running, and a table of all OSes with useful details.

Apple releases system software upgrades every fall, and unfortunately from time to time some older Mac models don’t make the cut. There is no precise pattern, but usually your computer will get OS upgrades for about 8 to 9 years, and then you’ll receive security patches for another two years. In the other direction, you can never run software older than what was available when the computer was released.

What Mac do I have?

To find out what system software you can run, you’ll first need to determine which Mac you have.

Click the Apple menu and choose “About this Mac…”. If you are running OS X 10.7 through 10.10 you will also need to click “More Info”.

Apple’s naming convention has varied over the years, but generally, you will see the model (MacBook Pro) and the variation (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports). The specifics of the variation may be important, especially if it has a particular time of year. An Early 2012 MacBook Pro is very different from a Late 2012 MacBook Pro.

If you are running OS X 10.6 or earlier you will need to click the Apple menu > About this Mac > More Info and look for the Model Identifier. These older versions of the Mac system software do not use the user-friendly names. I have included the Model Identifier in my tables below.

From time to time I’ve seen some computers running newer system software that don’t show the model name. In that case you will need to click the “System Report” button and look for the Model Identifier.

About each version of macOS

First, here are the specifics of each version of macOS that was ever released for Intel Mac.

The prerequisite column could be useful if, for example, you have a Mid-2010 MacBook running 10.6 that you want to upgrade to 10.13. You’ll see that you must make a stopover at 10.10 along the way, and there is a download link for 10.10 in the table.

Please pay attention to the “End of Support” column. Running system software that is no longer getting security patches is risky, and I never recommend using these older versions with a connection to the internet.

NameVersionRelease DateEnd of SupportWhere To GetPrerequisite OSKey Features
macOS Catalina10.15October 7, 2019Fall 2022 (predicted)Mac App Store10.9Find My app, Sidecar, Music/Podcasts/TV replaces iTunes
macOS Mojave10.14September 24, 2018Fall 2021 (predicted)Mac App Store10.8Dark Mode, Desktop Stacks
macOS High Sierra10.13September 25, 2017Fall 2020 (predicted)Mac App Store10.8Apple File System, Metal 2, HEVC and HEIF support
macOS Sierra10.12September 20, 2016October 2019Download10.7Siri, Apple Pay, Desktop & Documents in iCloud
OS X El Capitan10.11September 30, 2015September 2018Direct download or Mac App Store10.6Public Transit in Maps, Metal API
OS X Yosemite10.10October 16, 2014August 2017Direct Download10.6UI redesign without skeuomorphism, Continuity & Handoff, Photos replaces iPhoto
OS X Mavericks10.9October 22, 2013September 2016Unavailable10.6iBooks, Apple Maps, first OS X upgrade to be free
OS X Mountain Lion10.8July 25, 2012September 2015Download code for purchase from Apple10.6iMessage, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center
Mac OS X Lion10.7July 20, 2011October 2014Download code for purchase from Apple10.6Launchpad, auto-hiding scrollbars, Mission Control, iCloud
Mac OS X Snow Leopard10.6August 28, 2009February 2014(unofficial) from Amazon10.4Stability Refinements
Mac OS X Leopard10.5October 26, 2007June 2011Unavailable10.4Time Machine, Spaces, 64-bit support, MobileMe
Mac OS X Tiger10.4April 29, 2005September 2009Only with a new Intel MacNot available for upgrade on IntelFirst release for Intel
NameVersionRelease DateEnd of SupportWhere To GetPrerequisite OSKey Features

About downgrading OS versions

Downgrading OS versions in-place can be disastrous to the stability of your computer. Instead, you should back up your data, create a USB installer for the version you want to install, and use the USB installer to erase your computer and install the old OS. Then you can manually restore your documents and reinstall your software if needed. If Terminal is beyond your ability or you want something easier, DiskMaker X is great.

One fringe case, if you have just upgraded to a new OS version you can boot into macOS Recovery mode and restore from a Time Machine backup, which will also downgrade your software to the version you had at the date you select. Any changes to files and settings made since that date will be lost, so it’s best to do this immedately after you upgrade and find that the upgrade doesn’t work for you.

Mac system software compatiblity

MacBook

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
MacBook (13-inch)MacBook1,1
MacBook (13-inch Late 2006)MacBook2,1
MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007)MacBook2,1
MacBook (13-inch Late 2007)MacBook3,1
MacBook (13-inch Early 2008)MacBook4,1
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2008)MacBook4,1
MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)MacBook5,1
MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009)MacBook5,2
MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)MacBook5,2
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009)MacBook6,1
MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)MacBook7,1
MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)MacBook8,1
MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)MacBook9,1
MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)MacBook10,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15

MacBook Air

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
MacBook AirMacBookAir1,1
MacBook Air (Late 2008)MacBookAir2,1
MacBook Air (Mid 2009)MacBookAir2,1
MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010)MacBookAir3,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010)MacBookAir3,2
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011)MacBookAir4,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011)MacBookAir4,2
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)MacBookAir5,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)MacBookAir5,2
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)MacBookAir6,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)MacBookAir6,2
MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)MacBookAir6,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)MacBookAir6,2
MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)MacBookAir7,1
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)MacBookAir7,2
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)MacBookAir7,2
MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)MacBookAir8,1
MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)MacBookAir8,2
MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020)MacBookAir9,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15

MacBook Pro

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
MacBook ProMacBookPro1,1
MacBook Pro (17-inch)MacBookPro1,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch Glossy)MacBookPro1,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo)MacBookPro2,2
MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo)MacBookPro2,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid/Late 2007, 2.4/2.2GHz)MacBookPro3,1
MacBook Pro (17-inch Mid/Late 2007, 2.4 GHz)MacBookPro3,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2008)MacBookPro4,1
MacBook Pro (17-inch Early 2008)MacBookPro4,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)MacBookPro5,1
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)MacBookPro4,1
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)MacBookPro5,2
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)MacBookPro5,5
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009)MacBookPro5,4
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)MacBookPro5,3
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)MacBookPro5,2
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)MacBookPro7,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)MacBookPro6,2
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010)MacBookPro6,1
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)MacBookPro8,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)MacBookPro8,2
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)MacBookPro8,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)MacBookPro8,1
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)MacBookPro8,2
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011)MacBookPro8,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)MacBookPro9,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)MacBookPro9,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)MacBookPro10,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)MacBookPro10,2
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013)MacBookPro10,2
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013)MacBookPro10,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)MacBookPro11,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)MacBookPro11,2 or MacBookPro11,3
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)MacBookPro11,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)MacBookPro11,2 or MacBookPro11,3
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)MacBookPro12,1
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)MacBookPro11,4 or MacBookPro11,5
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBookPro13,1
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBookPro13,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)MacBookPro13,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBookPro14,1
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBookPro14,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)MacBookPro14,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)MacBookPro15,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)MacBookPro15,1 or MacBookPro15,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)MacBookPro15,2
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)MacBookPro15,1 or MacBookPro15,3
MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)MacBookPro15,4
MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)MacBookPro16,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15

iMac

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
iMac (Early 2006 17-inch)iMac4,1
iMac (Early 2006 20-inch)iMac4,1
iMac (Mid 2006 17-inch)iMac4,2
iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD)iMac5,2
iMac (17-inch Late 2006)iMac5,1
iMac (20-inch Late 2006)iMac5,1
iMac (24-inch)iMac6,1
iMac (20-inch Mid 2007)iMac7,1
iMac (24-inch Mid 2007)iMac7,1
iMac (20-inch Early 2008)iMac8,1
iMac (24-inch Early 2008)iMac8,1
iMac (20-inch, Early 2009)iMac9,1
iMac (24-inch, Early 2009)iMac9,1
iMac (20-inch, Mid 2009)iMac9,1
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009)iMac10,1
iMac (27-inch, Late 2009)iMac10,1 or iMac11,1 
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010)iMac11,2
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010)iMac11,3
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)iMac12,1
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)iMac12,2
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2011)iMac12,1
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012)iMac13,1
iMac (27-inch, Late 2012)iMac13,2
iMac (21.5-inch, Early 2013)iMac13,1
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)iMac14,1 or iMac14,3
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)iMac14,2
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014)iMac14,4
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)iMac15,1
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Mid 2015)iMac15,1
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)iMac16,1 or iMac16,2
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)iMac16,2
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)iMac17,1
iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)iMac18,1
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)iMac18,2
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)iMac18,3
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019)iMac19,2
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)iMac19,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15

iMac Pro

NameIdentifier10.1310.1410.15
iMac Pro (2017)iMacPro1,1

Mac Mini

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
Mac mini (Early 2006)Macmini1,1
Mac mini (Late 2006)Macmini1,1
Mac mini (Mid 2007)Macmini2,1
Mac mini (Early 2009)Macmini3,1
Mac mini (Late 2009)Macmini3,1
Mac mini (Mac OS X Server, Late 2009)Macmini3,1
Mac mini (Mid 2010)Macmini4,1
Mac mini Server (Mid 2010)Macmini4,1
Mac mini (Mid 2011)Macmini5,1 or Macmini5,2
Mac mini Server (Mid 2011)Macmini5,3
Mac mini (Late 2012)Macmini6,1 or Macmini6,2
Mac mini Server (Late 2012)Macmini6,2
Mac mini (Late 2014)Macmini7,1
Mac mini (2018)Macmini8,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15

Mac Pro

Do not confuse Mac Pro with MacBook Pro. They are different products. Mac Pro are desktop computers, not laptop computers.

NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
Mac ProMacPro1,1
Mac Pro (8-core)MacPro2,1
Mac Pro (Early 2008)MacPro3,1
Mac Pro (Early 2009)MacPro4,1
Mac Pro (Mid 2010)MacPro5,1
(note below)
Mac Pro Server (Mid 2010)MacPro5,1
(note below)
Mac Pro (Mid 2012)MacPro5,1
(note below)
Mac Pro Server (Mid 2012)MacPro5,1
(note below)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)MacPro6,1
Mac Pro (2019)MacPro7,1
Mac Pro (Rack, 2019)MacPro7,1
NameIdentifier10.410.510.610.710.810.910.1010.1110.1210.1310.1410.15
Note: Mac Pro 2010 and 2012 can only run 10.14 Mojave if a Metal-capable GPU is installed