How to find if your Mac can run macOS Big Sur

October 4, 2020

macOS Big Sur, also known as Mac OS 11 is slated to be the next major release of Mac OS software. A public address at WWDC 2020 keynote signaled the upcoming release will feature a revamped version of the Safari browser with greater privacy controls, a more stylized design focusing on ease of navigation, and a new Control Center for Mac. While the macOS Big Sur download will be generally available as a free software update for all users this fall, it’s better to find first if your computer is one of the macOS Big Sur Compatible devices.

macOS Big Sur

How to find if your Mac is a macOS Big Sur Compatible device?

Apple Claims Big Sur will represent the biggest design update since OS X was first released almost 20 years ago. However, to run the OS you'll need to have a compatible Mac. Apple lists the following models as compatible devices.

  1. Mac Pro, 2013 and later
  2. MacBook Air, 2013 and later
  3. MacBook Pro, late 2013 and later
  4. Mac Mini, 2014 and later
  5. iMac, 2014 and later
  6. MacBook, 2015 and later
  7. iMac Pro (all models), 2017 and later

A major disappointment here is the upcoming release will NOT BE compatible with all Macs, capable of running macOS Catalina. For example, the models like the mid- and late-year 2012 MacBook Pro, mid-2012 MacBook Air, late-2012 Mac Mini machines, and mid-2012 and late-2013 iMac have failed to find a place in the macOS Big Sur Compatible devices list.

 The abandoned systems, however, will continue to receive security-only updates until the summer of 2022.

How to find your Macbook Model Number?

  1. Click Apple Menu.
  2. Select About this Mac option.
  3. Switch to Overview tab. Check your Mac model.
  4. Alternatively, use the System Information app.
  5. Under the Application folder go to Utilities.
  6. Choose Hardware.
  7. See the information related to your model.

See the steps below for a more detailed description.

macOS Big Sur compatibility

Apple Menu Bar
Apple Menu Bar

Click the Apple menu visible in the corner of your screen.

About This Mac Description
About This Mac Description

Choose About This Mac option from the list displayed.

macOS Big Sur
macOS Big Sur

Switch to the Overview tab. Here, you should be able to view your Mac model and find if it supports the new OS by checking the list given above. If not, then, it’s the time for an upgrade.


Alternatively, you can find the model of your Mac using System Information. Here is how!

Open the System Information app.

Navigate to the Utilities folder of your Applications folder or you can use Spotlight.

macOS Big Sur Compatibility Test
macOS Big Sur Compatibility Test

Choose the Hardware option. Here, additional details related to your Mac model should become visible to you.

Is macOS Big Sur better than Catalina?

Possibly Yes! Because, macOS 11 Big Sur is the first OS to run Apple Silicon - Mac's own ARM processor. Its biggest advantage is that developers can make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications. Thus, natively running iOS apps on Macs.

Image Credits - Apple.

Hope that helps!


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Hemant Saxena
(410 Articles Published)

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