OS X Yosemite Minimum System Requirements

You can upgrade your Mac with RAM, storage, and Bluetooth

Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) was the last version of the operating system to be compatible with older Mac computers. With Yosemite, Apple made sure that if a Mac could run OS X Mavericks, it could run Yosemite without performance penalties.

If you're making the switch from Mavericks, here are the OS X Yosemite requirements you'll need to know.

OS X Yosemite

OS X Yosemite Requirements

Here are the system requirements for running Mac OS X Yosemite.

  • MacBook Air (late 2008 or later)
  • MacBook (late 2008 aluminum or later)
  • MacBook Pro (mid-2007 or later)
  • iMac (mid-2007 or later)
  • Mac mini (early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (early 2009)
  • 2 GB RAM minimum (a minimum of 4 GB of RAM is recommended)
  • 8 GB of drive space minimum. For a basic installation, with only the default apps plus one or two of your favorites, 16 GB is a practical minimum. If you want to test Yosemite with a full complement of apps, additional storage space is needed. At least 40 GB to 100 GB of available space is recommended for a clean install of Yosemite. The extra space should allow you to either install the apps you need or use the OS X Migration tool to bring apps over from a previous version of OS X.

Free Space and External Drives

If you're upgrading from a previous version of OS X, the minimum free space should be all you need to install OS X Yosemite. Having additional free space available on the Mac's startup drive is always a good idea. If the startup drive is close to full, consider adding an external drive to store some of your data.

Older Macs and Continuity and Handoff 

Running OS X Yosemite on a pre-2014 Mac does not require any new hardware requirements. The only requirement here is Continuity, which allows you to seamlessly move between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Continuity, or more specifically the Handoff feature that lets you pick up where you left off on another Apple device, requires a Mac with Bluetooth 4.0/LE. If your Mac does not have Bluetooth 4.0 hardware, you can still install and run OS X Yosemite, but you won't be able to use the new Handoff feature.

Add Bluetooth 4.0/LE to Your Existing Mac

If you want to use Continuity with your Mac and your Mac doesn't include Bluetooth 4.0/LE support, you can add the capabilities with an inexpensive Bluetooth dongle that supports the required Bluetooth 4.0/LE standards.

If you plug in a Bluetooth dongle, the Mac can use the dongle. However, it won't recognize the dongle as a native Bluetooth 4.0/LE device, and it won't turn on Continuity and Handoff. You need to install the Continuity Activation Tool. With the activation tool installed, you can use all the features of OS X Yosemite, even with older Mac models.