macOS Monterey

The latest version of macOS is macOS 12.0 Monterey, which Apple released on October 25, 2021. 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 12.0 Monterey

Apple’s newest Mac operating system is macOS 12.0, also known as macOS Monterey. This is the eighteenth major release of the Mac operating system.

macOS 12.0 Monterey drops support for some Macs that ran macOS 11.0 Big Sur. Here’s how to tell if your Mac can run Monterey.

Monterey includes SharePlay for watching videos in sync with other people, a controversial new Safari browser redesign, Focus Modes that sync with the Focus status on your iPhone, and more. Here’s Apple’s overview of the new features in Monterey.

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 Monterey” and version “12.0”, you have Monterey, As long as it starts with “12.”, you have Monterey 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.

The Overview pane in the About This Mac window.

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 Monterey installed, you can easily update to it from the Mac App Store. You can either open the App Store and look for Monterey or click the following link to open the Monterey page on the Mac App Store.

Click the “Download” or “Get” button on the macOS Monterey page to download Monterey and install it on your Mac. The operating system is 12.1GB in size so it may take a while. The installer will automatically open after the download is finished. Click through it to install Monterey 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?

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, 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 nearly one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »