How to find operating system version on Mac

Finding operating system on your mac can help you solve different problems. Such as knowing the version can help you decide update the macOS. Otherwise, you can also learn which software or application is compatible with the current operating system.

Finding operating system with preferences

  • Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen. It’s placed on the status bar.
  • Click About this Mac and a window will appear, stating the version of the operating system.

On the top of the window, you’ll notice the name of the operating system such as macOS Big Sur along with the version number. Other details which you’ll find are the model of your macbook, processor, memory and graphics card details.

macOS operating system version
macOS Operating System version

In case, there is a newer version available for your mac then you simply need to update the software.

Finding operating system with terminal

Another less known method to find mac operating system is using terminal. Follow this procedure:

The output will look something like this:

Operating system version on macOS using Terminal
Find operating system version in terminal

You’ll need to find out what version 11.6.4 means in terms of macOS. In this particular case, it means that macOS Big Sur is installed.

Historical release and versions of mac operating system

In case, you are wondering different versions of macOS then lets explore their names as well as versions and release date.

VersionNameRelease Date
macOS 12Monterey25th October 2021
macOS 11Big Sur12th November 2020
macOS 10.15Catalina7th October 2019
macOS 10.14Mojave24th September 2018
macOS 10.13High Sierra25th September 2017
macOS 10.12Sierra20th September 2016
OS X 10.11El Capitan30th September 2015
OS X 10.10Yosemite16th October 2014
OS X 10.9Mavericks22nd October 2013
Different versions of macOS released in past as of 2013 – 2022


Finding version of mac operating system is as simple as making a few clicks. Otherwise, you can also use terminal to find the exact version details and match it with the list provided to find the name. For example, if the version is like 11.6.4 then it means it’s macOS 11 which is Big Sur. If it’s 10.14.6 then it’s macOS Mojave.