Catalina Island at sunset.

The latest version of macOS is macOS 10.15 Catalina, which Apple released on October 7, 2019. Apple releases a new major version roughly once every year. These upgrades are free and are available in the Mac App Store.

The Latest Version is macOS Catalina

Apple’s newest Mac operating system is macOS 10.15, also known as macOS Catalina. This is the fifteenth major release of the Mac operating system.

macOS 10.14 Mojave supports most Macs from 2012 onward. If yours ran macOS 10.14 Mojave, it will almost certainly run Catalina.

Catalina removes iTunes, splitting it into separate Music, TV, and Podcasts apps. It completely removes support for any old 32-bit applications you may still be using. With Sidecar, you can use your iPad as a secondary display for your Mac. You can even use an Apple Pencil on an iPad’s screen to draw in applications on your Mac.

An iPad being used as a second display with the Sidecar app in macOS Catalina on a MacBook Pro.
Apple

RELATED: What's New in macOS 10.15 Catalina, Available Now

How to Check if You Have the Latest Version

To see which version of macOS you have installed, click the Apple menu icon at the top left corner of your screen, and then select the “About This Mac” command.

The name and version number of your Mac’s operating system appears on the “Overview” tab in the About This Mac window. If you see “macOS Catalina” and version “10.15”, you have Catalina. As long as it starts with 10.15, you have Catalina installed.

In the screenshot below, we have version 10.14 of macOS Mojave installed. For example, if it says you have macOS Mojave version “10.14.1” installed, this means you have Mojave with the “.1” update installed. These smaller updates contain security patches and other fixes. They appear as updates in the Software Update pane.

RELATED: How to Check Which Version of macOS You're Using

How to Update to the Latest Version

If you don’t yet have macOS Catalina installed, you can easily update to it from the Mac App Store. You can either open the App Store and look for Mojave or click the following link to open the Catalina page on the Mac App Store.

Click the “Download” or “Get” button on the macOS Catalina page to download Catalina and install it on your Mac. The download is over 6 GB in size so it may take a while. The installer will automatically open after the download is finished. Click through it to install Catalina on your Mac.

Note: We highly recommend backing up your Mac with Time Machine (or however you back up) before upgrading your operating system. The upgrade should leave everything in place, but it’s always better to play it safe just in case.

Apple only supports the most recent three versions of macOS with security updates, so you have to upgrade regularly to ensure you have the latest security patches.

RELATED: Which Releases of macOS Are Supported With Security Updates?

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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