How to download macOS

Saturday, January 28, 2023 8:49 AM

How to download macOS

Download and install current or previous versions of the Mac operating system.

Apple recommends using the latest (newest) macOS that is compatible with your Mac. macOS updates and upgrades help to maintain your computer's security, stability, and compatibility, and they include the latest features and built-in apps.

Before installing, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. While installing, avoid putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac will restart, and it might show a progress bar or blank screen several times. 


Use Software Update

Using Software Update is faster and easier than upgrading by other methods, and it might require less storage space to download and install the upgrade. Software Update shows only upgrades that are compatible with your Mac.

Update macOS on your Mac


Or use the App Store or your browser

When you use these methods instead of Software Update, your Mac might need more storage space to download macOS and complete the installation.

Ventura 13

Monterey 12

Big Sur 11

Catalina 10.15

Mojave 10.14

High Sierra 10.13

  1. Click the link to open the App Store page for that macOS. 
  2. In the App Store, click the Get button to begin downloading the macOS installer.
  3. After downloading to your Applications folder, the installer opens automatically. Follow the onscreen instructions to install macOS.


Sierra 10.12

El Capitan 10.11

Yosemite 10.10

Mountain Lion 10.8

Lion 10.7

  1. Click the link to download a disk image (.dmg) file for that macOS.
  2. Double-click the .dmg file to open it and see the .pkg file within.
  3. Double-click the .pkg file, then follow the onscreen instructions. This installs the macOS installer into your Applications folder.
  4. Open your Applications folder and double-click the macOS installer, named Install [Version Name]. Follow the onscreen instructions to install macOS.


If you need help

If you're having difficulty getting the links to work, try again using Safari. It's in your Applications folder.

If you need more storage space to download or install, learn how to free up storage space.

If the macOS that you want isn't compatible with your Mac or the currently installed macOS, the installer will let you know, and the App Store might prevent you from downloading it. For example, it might dim the Get button, say that the macOS is not compatible with this device, or say that the requested version of macOS is not available.

Learn what to do if you get an error message saying that an error occurred while downloading, preparing, or installing, or that the installer is damaged or could not be verified.

Other ways to update or upgrade macOS include using macOS Recovery or using a bootable installer.