macOS is the software that runs your Mac, and knowing it is important. Certain apps and services only work with certain versions of macOS, and you may find that after updating (or not updating for a long time) that certain apps are running the way you’d expect. The first step in resolving these sorts of issues is to determine which version of macOS you’re running, which we’ll dive into now.
Method 1: Use your Mac menu
Like most of the settings and information related to your Mac, you can find what you’re looking for by clicking the Apple logo in the top-left of your screen.
Within that menu you’ll find an option labeled About This Mac. This option contains all of the nitty-gritty details on your Mac, like which Mac you’re using, your device’s serial number, and, yes, which version of macOS you’re running. So, without further adieu, go ahead and click About This Mac.
A little popup will appear housing all of the information we just mentioned and more. At the top of this box you’ll see the name of the macOS version you’re running (at the time of writing, the latest is macOS Catalina) and the exact numeric version of your macOS under that (at the time of writing, the latest is 10.15.3).
That’s all for Method 1!
Method 2: Use Spotlight
For a method that’s a bit easier to remember, you can just use Spotlight. Spotlight is the global search function on your Mac that allows you to search for settings, apps, files, and folders with ease. You can bring it up by tapping Command + Spacebar.
You can type in “macOS” or “About This Mac” and press Return to bring up the same popup box we pulled up in Method 1, like so:
Once again, you’ll see the name of the macOS version you’re running at the top of this popup box (at the time of writing, the latest is macOS Catalina) and the exact numeric version of your macOS directly under that (at the time of writing, the latest is 10.15.3). We think this method is a little easier since you can do it from anywhere on your Mac, though both are very straightforward.
What is macOS?
macOS (known as OS X in the old days) is the operating system that runs your Mac. It’s the equivalent of Windows for Apple’s lineup of computers. If your computer were a car, macOS would be the engine.
What’s the latest version of macOS?
At the time of writing (March 2020), the latest version of macOS is macOS Catalina 1o.15.3. macOS Catalina was released in the fall of 2019 and will be replaced (free of charge) with a new version of macOS that comes with lots of new features in the fall of 2020.
How can I update macOS?
The fastest way to update your Mac is to bring up the Spotlight search (Command + Spacebar), type in “Update”, and press Return. If your Mac is up to date, the popup will tell you that you’re running the latest version of macOS. If not, the popup will walk you through the update process, which usually takes about 30 minutes in total.