New interface elements were integrated, including sheets dialog boxes attached to specific windows and drawers, which would slide out and provide options. The use of soft edges, translucent colors, and pinstripes, similar to the hardware design of the first iMacs , brought more texture and color to the user interface when compared to what Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X Server 1. According to Siracusa, the introduction of Aqua and its departure from the then conventional look "hit like a ton of bricks.
To some extent, Apple has used the successful transition to this new design as leverage, at various times threatening legal action against people who make or distribute software with an interface the company says is derived from its copyrighted design. Apple has continued to change aspects of the macOS appearance and design, particularly with tweaks to the appearance of windows and the menu bar. Since , Apple has sold many of its Mac models with high-resolution Retina displays , and macOS and its APIs have extensive support for resolution-independent development on supporting high-resolution displays.
Reviewers have described Apple's support for the technology as superior to that on Windows. The human interface guidelines published by Apple for macOS are followed by many applications, giving them consistent user interface and keyboard shortcuts. The graphics system OpenGL composites windows onto the screen to allow hardware-accelerated drawing.
This technology, introduced in version The Finder is a file browser allowing quick access to all areas of the computer, which has been modified throughout subsequent releases of macOS. It allows for dynamic previews of files, including videos and multi-page documents without opening any other applications. Spotlight , a file searching technology which has been integrated into the Finder since version Its functions are to instantly display all open windows as thumbnails for easy navigation to different tasks, display all open windows as thumbnails from the current application, and hide all windows to access the desktop.
Features introduced in version The operating system then managed conflicting edits and data consistency. In more recent releases, Apple has developed support for emoji characters by including the proprietary Apple Color Emoji font. There are 39 system languages available in macOS for the user at the moment of installation; the system language is used throughout the entire operating system environment. Until OS X In Mountain Lion and later, this was merged into the Mac App Store application, although the underlying update mechanism remains unchanged and is fundamentally different from the download mechanism used when purchasing an App Store application.
In macOS Prior to its release, Mac OS X After the immense buzz surrounding Mac OS X Apple has also registered "Lynx" and "Cougar" as trademarks, though these were allowed to lapse. The "PB", as it was known, marked the first public availability of the Aqua interface and Apple made many changes to the UI based on customer feedback.
It featured increased performance and provided missing features, such as DVD playback. Apple released It was discovered that the upgrade CDs were full install CDs that could be used with Mac OS 9 systems by removing a specific file; Apple later re-released the CDs in an actual stripped-down format that did not facilitate installation on such systems. Mac OS X v It significantly improved performance and incorporated the most extensive update yet to the user interface.
Apple stated that Tiger contained more than new features. The initial release of the Apple TV used a modified version of Tiger with a different graphical interface and fewer applications and services. This operating system functioned identically on the PowerPC-based Macs and the new Intel-based machines, with the exception of the Intel release lacking support for the Classic environment. It brought more than new features. The single DVD works for all supported Macs including bit machines.
New features include a new look, an updated Finder, Time Machine , Spaces , Boot Camp pre-installed,  full support for bit applications including graphical applications , new features in Mail and iChat , and a number of new security features. Rather than delivering big changes to the appearance and end user functionality like the previous releases of Mac OS X , Snow Leopard focused on "under the hood" changes, increasing the performance, efficiency, and stability of the operating system.
For most users, the most noticeable changes were: the disk space that the operating system frees up after a clean install compared to Mac OS X The OS X It brought developments made in Apple's iOS, such as an easily navigable display of installed applications called Launchpad and a greater use of multi-touch gestures, to the Mac.
This release removed Rosetta , making it incompatible with PowerPC applications. Documents auto-save by default. It incorporates some features seen in iOS 5, which include Game Center , support for iMessage in the new Messages messaging application, and Reminders as a to-do list app separate from iCal which is renamed as Calendar, like the iOS app.
It also includes support for storing iWork documents in iCloud. Application pop-ups are now concentrated on the corner of the screen, and the Center itself is pulled from the right side of the screen. Mountain Lion also includes more Chinese features including support for Baidu as an option for Safari search engine, QQ , It was a free upgrade to all users running Snow Leopard or later with a bit Intel processor. It features a redesigned user interface similar to that of iOS 7 , intended to feature a more minimal, text-based 'flat' design, with use of translucency effects and intensely saturated colors.
Similar to Mac OS X Metal also delivers up to 10 times faster draw call performance for more fluid experience in games and pro apps. The major change under the hood is the switch to the Apple File System , optimized for the solid-state storage used in most new Mac computers.
It was the first version to require a GPU that supports Metal. App updates remain in the App Store. Catalina officially dropped support for bit applications. This is the first time the major version number of the operating system has been incremented since the Mac OS X Public Beta in It brings ARM support,  new icons, and aesthetic user interface changes to the system.
As of July , macOS is the second-most-active general-purpose desktop client operating system used on the World Wide Web following Microsoft Windows , with a 4. It is the second-most widely used desktop operating system for web browsing , after Windows, and is estimated at approximately five times the usage of Linux which has 1.
Usage share generally continues to shift away from the desktop and toward mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android. In its earlier years, Mac OS X enjoyed a near-absence of the types of malware and spyware that have affected Microsoft Windows users. At first, the malware installer required the user to enter the administrative password, but later versions installed without user input.
Apple announced an OS X update to fix the problem. An estimated , users were affected. As a device company, Apple has mostly promoted macOS to sell Macs, with promotion of macOS updates focused on existing users, promotion at Apple Store and other retail partners, or through events for developers. In larger scale advertising campaigns, Apple specifically promoted macOS as better for handling media and other home-user applications, and comparing Mac OS X especially versions Tiger and Leopard with the heavy criticism Microsoft received for the long-awaited Windows Vista operating system.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Operating system for Apple computers. For other uses, see OSX disambiguation. This article is about the current Apple operating system for Mac computers. For an overview of all Mac operating systems from Apple, see Macintosh operating systems.
Screenshot of macOS Monterey version List of languages. System Preferences ARM64 Rhapsody Developer Release Hera Server 1. Main article: macOS version history. Main article: Architecture of macOS. See also: List of Macintosh software. Afterwards, users could either revert to iChat or upgrade to a newer version of OS X Two minor updates, 1. Otherwise, Mac OS X Main article: Mac transition to Intel processors.
Main article: Mac transition to Apple silicon. Main article: Aqua user interface. Main article: List of macOS components. Old version. Older version, still maintained. Latest version. Latest preview version. Future release. Main article: Mac OS X Main article: OS X Lion.
Main article: OS X Mavericks. Main article: OS X Yosemite. Main article: macOS Sierra. Main article: macOS High Sierra. Main article: macOS Mojave. Main article: macOS Catalina. Main article: macOS Big Sur. Main article: macOS Monterey. See also: Usage share of operating systems.
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High Sierra was released in late If you haven't updated since then, you should be sure to update as soon as you can to keep your computer safe. From the above screen, you'll be given the option to update your Mac. Any Mac computer released in or later should be able to update to at least macOS Catalina.
If your Mac is so old that it can't even do that, it might be time to buy a new model. And, for future reference, don't worry about accepting an update and then having your computer unexpectedly restart — you'll be notified beforehand if a restart is required. Smart Home. Social Media. More Button Icon Circle with three horizontal dots. It indicates a way to see more nav menu items inside the site menu by triggering the side menu to open and close. Devon Delfino and William Antonelli. You should update your Mac whenever you can, as every update comes with new features and security patches.
Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Devon Delfino. Devon Delfino is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist specializing in personal finance, culture, politics, and identity. Follow her on Twitter at devondelfino. William Antonelli.
You can use this method to update from the two previous versions of macOS. For example, with this method, you can upgrade to Big Sur Here's how:. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen. Select System Preferences. Choose Software Update. After your Mac has found the latest update, click Update Now. This begins the installation process, which can take around half an hour to complete depending on your MacBook Pro, and which ends with your device restarting.
If you have an older compatible version of macOS, download the upgrade from the App Store. For example, you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur Click the Updates tab. If you see a Software Update available, click Update. This begins the installation process, which can take a while to complete and which ends with your Mac restarting. If you don't have a high-speed internet connection, take your computer to any Apple Store for an upgrade download.
The actual process of updating a MacBook Pro is simple enough. However, there are a few steps you may want to take in preparation for the process. Here's how to back up your Mac using Time Machine. This isn't percent necessary, but it's always better to have a backup in case something goes wrong. Here's what you do to create a backup for your Mac. Click System Preferences. Click Time Machine. Click Select Backup Disk. Select your external drive and then click Encrypt backups and Use Disk.
Click the On button in the left column of the Time Machine window. The first backup takes the longest. One other thing you may want to do before updating your operating system is to tune up your Mac. Doing this involves cleaning your Mac's disk. A cleanup isn't required, but it may help your Mac run more smoothly, making it more capable of handling a newer operating system. Here's what you do. These step-by-step instructions involve CleanMyMac X , but you could do it with another free Mac cleaner:.
Upgrade to macOS Catalina. Chances are, your Mac can run macOS Catalina. Upgrading is free. And easier than you think. Upgrading from macOS Mojave? Upgrading from an older version of macOS? General Requirements. OS X Some features require an Apple ID; terms apply. Some features require a compatible internet service provider; fees may apply.
Mac Hardware Requirements. Feature Requirements. Dictation and Voice Memos Requires a microphone built-in or external. Spotlight Suggestions Requires a broadband internet connection. Force Touch gestures require a Force Touch trackpad. FaceTime Audio calls require a microphone built-in or external and broadband internet connection. AirPlay for web video requires an Apple TV 2nd generation or later. Time Machine Requires an external storage device sold separately.
App Store Available only to persons age 13 or older in the U.
From the Apple menu in the corner of your screen, choose System Preferences. · In the System Preferences window, click Software Update. · Click. If you're using macOS Mojave or later, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update. If you're using an earlier macOS, use the App. Check for updates manually · To download macOS software updates, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update. Open Software Update.