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What is the latest macOS version

The latest version of macOS improves on Apple’s desktop OS in many ways, but what is it called?

Macbook pro notch on 2021 model
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: The latest version of macOS is macOS Sonoma 14. Apple announced Sonoma in June 2023 and launched it publicly on September 26, 2023.

If you haven’t updated your Apple computer or laptop in a while, you may wonder what the latest macOS version is. 

It’s important to keep your Mac device updated. An updated Mac can access Apple’s computer operating system’s best features, performance, and security. 

Security features and security measures are important right now. A Mac still running the older version of its operating system is at risk of getting hacked.

Short on time? Jump ahead

So, what’s the latest macOS version

Short answer: The current macOS version is Sonoma.

Apple announced Sonoma at its WWDC conference in June 2023 and launched it publicly in September 2023.

So, what are the top features of macOS Sonoma? How do you know if your Mac device is compatible with Sonoma? And how do you download Sonoma? Read on to find out.

What are the top features of macOS Sonoma

Short answer: There are many great features

Like any new version of macOS, Sonoma has features that’ll radically improve how you use your Mac device. 

With macOS Sonoma, you add Widgets to your desktop, just like how you can on iOS and iPadOS.

In fact, Continuity means you can use your iPhone widgets on your Mac’s screen and interact with them so that they update in both places.

Macos sonoma desktop widgets shown on a macbook
Image: KnowTechie

The most visible change is before you even get to the desktop, as Apple has moved the password entry field to the bottom of the login screen, from the middle.

Apple Music now has the ability to easily mark Favorites, and to create collaborative playlists. Personal Voice is a new feature that lets you train your Mac to use your voice for text to speech duties.

Gaming on Mac is getting a boost, with a new Game Mode that gives games the highest priority for using system resources. And more games should be coming, with a new Game Porting kit that makes it easier for developers.

Video conferencing gets a few new tricks like Presenter Overlay that uses AI to put your face over the presentation that’s on screen, and a way to add reaction emoji to the feed.

Safari gets a few quality-of-life improvements but the biggest is the ability to share Passkeys and Passwords with family or friends via iCloud Keychain. 2FA codes will also get auto-filled from SMS or email and then deleted.

And PDF users get a new AutoFill feature that ties in with Contacts to fill out PDF forms more quickly.

Will my Mac work with macOS Sonoma

Short answer: It should, if it was released in 2018 or later

If you own a Mac model released in 2018 or after, you can upgrade to macOS Sonoma without any issues. Apple published a definitive list of devices compatible with macOS Sonoma: macOS Sonoma hardware compatibility.

Some features will only work with certain Macs getting the update. They’re limited to Macs running Apple’s M1, M2, or M3 processors.

How to check if you have the latest version of macOS

Short answer: Click on “About This Mac

Determining whether your Mac device runs the latest macOS version is easy. Just click the Apple logo in the top corner of your screen, and press “About This Mac” in the dropdown menu.

Macos ventura screenshot
Image: KnowTechie

A small box will then appear on your screen, and if it doesn’t say macOS Sonoma, your Mac is using an outdated operating system. 

How to update to the latest version of macOS

Short answer: Head to System Preferences > Software Update

Before you can update to macOS Sonoma, you’ll need to ensure you have enough storage. For Macs running on macOS Sierra or newer, 26GB of free storage is required.

Meanwhile, older versions of macOS will need 44GB of free storage for you to upgrade to macOS Sonoma successfully.

We’d also recommend checking that your WiFi connection is stable and backing up your files to the cloud before the update.

So, how do you perform the update?

Macbook pro m2 front facing
Image: KnowTechie

Well, if your Mac runs on macOS Mojave or newer, it’s pretty simple: head into System Preferences and click Software Update.

To make things easier, here’s a step-by-step guide in getting your Mac up and running on the latest macOS. Before you update your macOS, it’s always a good idea to do a Time Machine backup of your Mac. Once that is complete, follow along below.

Before updating your macOS, it’s always a good idea to create a Time Machine backup of your Mac. Once completed, follow the instructions below.

<strong>How to update your Mac: Step-by-step instructions</strong>

Click on the Apple icon at the top left cornerMac home screen

Select System PreferencesSystem preferences menu

Click on Software UpdateUpdate screen for mac

If you have an update, you’ll see one of two messages

Update Now

This installs updates to the installed version of macOS, like macOS Big Sur 11 to macOS Big Sur 11.0.1Mac update now screen

Upgrade Now

This installs the next major version of macOS, like macOS SonomaUpgrade now screen

While you’re here, check the box next to Automatically keep my Mac up to dateScreenshot of mac software update with an arrow pointing to the automatic updates checkbox

That’s it. Here’s the full guide on how to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS: How to update your Mac.

Apple continues to improve macOS

macOS continues to improve as the years go by, and Apple shows no signs of slowing down. Each major update to Mac brings new features, security updates, and more. The same goes for the latest build, Sonoma.

Now publicly released, macOS Sonoma boasts lots of exciting new features. You’ll want to update your Mac if it’s compatible.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Nicholas is a freelance technology journalist from the Welsh valleys. He's written for outlets like the Financial Times, Forbes, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Next Web, Engadget and Computer Weekly. When Nicholas isn't writing, he's probably listening to Mariah Carey or watching videos of sausage dogs on TikTok.

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