macOS Big Sur Compatibility: Will Your Device Work With It?

Find out which Macs support Big Sur

If you’re thinking of making the jump to macOS Big Sur, you need to make sure your Mac is capable of handling it. While Big Sur is compatible with a wide variety of Macs, it isn’t supported by all models. We’ll walk you through how to check if your Mac is compatible with Big Sur and what to do if it’s too old to upgrade.

You’ll need 35.5GB of available storage in order to upgrade to Big Sur from macOS Sierra or later. If upgrading from an earlier macOS release, you’ll need up to 44.5GB of available space.

Which Macs Are Compatible With Big Sur?

If your Mac was released in 2015 or later, it’s compatible. Thankfully, Apple helpfully lists all Mac models that are compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur on its website. Here’s the full list:

  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or later)
  • Mac mini (2014 or later)
  • iMac (2014 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

Is My Mac Too Old for Big Sur?

If your Mac isn’t one of the models listed above, it’s likely too old to upgrade to Big Sur. However, if you’re unsure which model you have, there’s an easy way to check.

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen.

  2. Choose About This Mac.

    Selecting About This Mac from Apple menu.
  3. Locate model information under the Overview tab (note: the screenshot below was captured on a MacBook Air running macOS Catalina).

    Overview tab under About This Mac.

If your Mac is too old to upgrade to Big Sur, you’ll likely receive a notification from the App Store or installer when you try to download it. In this case, you may want to look into using an older version of macOS. It’s recommended you use the latest version possible so even if your Mac is over a decade old, you may still be able to use something as recent as macOS High Sierra.

Once you’ve figured out which version of macOS you’d like to install, you can read up on how to update your Mac.

  • How do I install macOS Big Sur?

    To update your Mac to macOS Big Sur if you're currently using macOS Mojave or later, select the Apple menu > System Preferences and click Software Update. Alternatively, visit the macOS Big Sur page on the App Store and select Get. If your Mac is running an operating system earlier than Mojave, go to the Apple menu > App Store and click Updates.

  • Should I update my macOS to Big Sur?

    Updating your macOS to Big Sur is a good idea from a security point of view, especially compared with macOS Mojave. For example, starting in Big Sur, apps have to gain permission to access your Desktop and Documents folders, as well as your iCloud drive and any external volumes. You'll be alerted if any apps try to log your keystrokes or take a screenshot. There are also accessibility improvements in Big Sur, including Voice Control, which was first introduced with macOS Catalina.

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