Wondering which versions of macOS or Mac OS X your Mac can run? Our macOS compatibility checker will show you what Macs the different versions of macOS and Mac OS X support so you can tell what macOS you should be running on your Mac.
What Mac operating systems can my Mac run?
Apple releases a new version of the Mac operating system almost every year, but it won’t support every Mac. Each year more and more Macs fall by the wayside, unable to be updated to take advantage of the latest features. Read on to find out which Macs are supported by each version of the Mac operating system.
But it may not just be a case of wanting to know if your Mac can run the newest operating system. Some people will want to know if it is possible to downgrade their Mac to an older version of macOS. In which case they may want to know what the oldest macOS they can run is.
Officially, the operating system that was available on that Mac at the time that you bought it is the oldest version of macOS that can run on that Mac. It’s likely that an older OS won’t include the necessary drivers for the hardware on your newer Mac. For this reason it is unlikely that you will be able to install an older version of macOS on a new Mac – but you can take a look at
How to install old versions of macOS or OS X for guidance on what is possible. Nor will you be able to
run older versions of macOS on M1 Macs.
Note: In each case the year referenced below is the year that Mac was introduced – you could for example have bought a 2016 MacBook in early 2017, but it’s still the 2016 MacBook. This is important to keep in mind if you are looking to run an older version of macOS on a Mac. Macs are generally incompatible with versions of macOS that are older than the one it shipped with.