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Apple macOS Versions- Everything you need to know!


All the 16 Apple macOS versions always had a ’10’ in their official title. Mac OS X 10.0 was the initial macOS release, followed by Mac OS X 10.1. Apple didn’t switch to a new number until 2020. Big Sur or macOS 11.x is the current version of macOS. Here is a walkthrough of all the Apple macOS versions and everything you need to know about them.

Cheetah- Mac OS X 10.0 

Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah)- Apple macOS Versions

Cheetah was released on March 24, 2001, at $129. However, it was criticised for being an incomplete solution with few third-party apps accessibility. Despite its release, many Mac users chose to remain on Mac OS 9, the last version of the old Mac operating system. Starting with Cheetah in 2001, the first nine versions of macOS were named after cats. New macOS versions have been named after California locations since 2013’s OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Moreover, the famous Mac dock and Terminal tool were introduced in the initial edition of macOS. Also, Mac OS was one of the few operating systems without a command-line interface prior to this.

Puma- Mac OS X 10.1

Puma- Mac OS X 10.1- Apple macOS Versions

The second version of macOS was announced just six months after releasing Cheetah. OS X 10.1, codenamed Puma, included performance improvements, better AppleScript, DVD playback support, and other features. It was also $129, but Cheetah owners would get it for free. In January 2002, the company announced that Mac OS X would replace Mac OS 9 as the default operating system for all Mac products.

Jaguar- Mac OS X 10.2

Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar)- Apple macOS Versions

In August 2002, the operating system got a premium $129 upgrade, Mac OS X Jaguar, 11 months after Puma. The code name was initially used in advertising for the third edition of macOS. QuickTime started supporting MPEG-3, and an Address book was added. The Mac Finder got search capabilities. This was Apple’s first operating system in 18 years that did not have the Happy Mac at launch.

Panther- Mac OS X 10.3


Apple released Mac OS 10.3 Panther in 2003. Panther came with an array of new features. This included increased performance and major user interface improvements. Expose, FileVault, Font Book, Safari, iChat, enhanced PDF rendering, and more were among the new features. Panther cost $129 for a single licence, just like the preceding versions.

Tiger- Mac OS X 10.4

Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

Apple didn’t release a new version of Mac OS X until April 29, 2005, when Tiger launched. This upgrade gave more than 200 new features to the operating system. This includes Spotlight, Dashboard, and Smart Folders. QuickTime, Safari, Automator, and other programmes received important improvements as well. Tiger was the first Mac OS X release for the then-revolutionary Intel-based Macs. Although, for the first time this edition did not feature Classic Mac. Moreover, the price remained the same even for this upgrade.

Leopard- Mac OS X 10.5


The $129 price remained the same for the next upgrade. This came 17 months after Tiger, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Leopard, “Mac OS X’s largest update to date,” added 300 new capabilities to both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Pre-installed features were Time Machine, Spaces, and Boot Camp. Also, Mail and iChat had major changes. Leopard was the first macOS release that did not include or support Classic Mac. Furthermore, it was also the last to support PowerPC processors.

Snow Leopard- Mac OS X 10.6

Snow Leopard
Apple macOS Versions- Everything you need to know! 19

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard came in 2009. This was the first macOS version to focus on underlying enhancements. Also, backups with Time Machine became faster, and the Finder was more responsive. The Mac App Store was originally supported in version 10.6.6. Also, Apple lowered the price of a macOS version for the first time. A single licence for Snow Leopard cost $29 USD.

Lion- Mac OS X 10.7

Lion- Apple MacOS versions

Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in July of 2011. It brought LaunchPad and increased the use of multi-touch gestures. Exposé, Spaces, and the Dashboard were combined in the new Mission Control. Also, this update only cost $30.

Mountain Lion- Mac OS X 10.8

Mountain Lion

This Apple macOS version was released in July 2012. Instead of a two-year cycle, Apple releases a new version of macOS every year from this point forward. Game Center, iMessage, and Reminders came in the update. These were first released on the iPhone with iOS 5. Mountain Lion was the first macOS version to be sold through the Mac App Store. Moreover, it was also the last one to need a $20 fee. It was also the final iteration of the ‘cats’.

Mavericks- OS X 10.9

OS X 10.9 Mavericks
Apple macOS Versions- Everything you need to know! 20

In October 2013, Apple released the first macOS version named after a Californian location. Users with a 64-bit Intel processor running Snow Leopard or later Apple macOS versions received a free upgrade to OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Mavericks introduced Maps and iBooks (now Books) to Mac for the first time. It also brought Notification Center upgrades.

Yosemite- OS X 10.10

OS X 10.10 Yosemite
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OS X 10.10 Yosemite came in October of 2014. The text-based basic design was updated to be more simplistic. iPhoto and Aperture got their substitute, the Photos app. Also, Handoff was introduced.

El Capitan- OS X 10.11

OS X 10.11 El Capitan

OS X 10.11 El Capitan was the final ‘OS X’ version, released in September 2015. It significantly enhanced system performance while requiring minor changes on the outside. El Capitan included the Metal API. Thus, improving graphics speed and adding new features to the Notes app. Moreover, it was the first macOS version to include editing extensions in the Photos app.

Sierra- macOS 10.12

Sierra- Apple macOS Versions

In September 2016, the first official macOS version, macOS 10.12 Sierra, was released. This upgrade brought the first appearance of Siri on Mac. Moreover, it improved storage and upgraded Photos, Messages, and iTunes apps. Sierra is the first macOS version to have Apple File System compatibility.

High Sierra- macOS 10.13

macOS 10.13 High Sierra
Apple macOS Versions- Everything you need to know! 22

The Photos and Safari apps received new upgrades in macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which was released in September 2017. However, the majority of the modifications took place behind the surface. Thus, including performance enhancements and technological fixes.

Mojave- macOS 10.14

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Apple’s macOS 10.14 Mojave (2017) introduced apps that were previously only available on iOS. These were Apple News, Voice Memos, and Home. Mojave was also the first macOS release to include a more robust dark mode. Also, integration with Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Flickr was removed as part of the update. Furthermore, this was the last Apple macOS version to allow 32-bit apps.

Catalina- macOS 10.15

Catalina- Apple macOS Versions

MacOS 10.15 Catalina, the precursor to macOS Big Sur, was released in October 2019. The update was the first to contain Activation Lock. Furthermore, it was also the last version of macOS 10.x to be issued. Catalina however is notable for being the first Mac update to bring Catalyst online. Thus, allowing developers to create programmes for both macOS and iPadOS. Sidecar allowed a Mac to use an iPad as a wireless external display. Catalina deleted the iTunes app, which was one of the most significant changes in macOS history. There are now three different apps for music, podcasts, and television in its place.

macOS 11 Big Sur

macOS 11 Big Sur- Apple macOS Versions

When the latest macOS version was released in November 2020, it signalled the start of a new era for Mac. Big Sur introduced the largest improvements to Mac in a generation. As a result, including a new user interface and new icons. Big Sur is the first upgrade to support Apple silicon, as well as iOS and iPadOS apps, with a slick redesigned Control Center and Notification Center. Safari, Messages, Notes, Photos, and other apps have all been updated.

Monterey macOS 12

Monterey macOS 12- Apple macOS Versions

During the WWDC keynote speech on June 7, 2021, macOS Monterey was revealed. On October 25, 2021, it was released. New features in macOS Monterey include Universal Control, AirPlay to Mac, the Shortcuts app, and more of it. With this upgrade, you can move between devices using a single keyboard and mouse with Universal Control. Also, you may now show and share nearly anything via Airplay. Shortcuts, a service brought over from iOS, was also added to macOS. Thus, offering users access to galleries of pre-built shortcuts optimised for Macs. Users can now, among other things, create shortcuts.


With passing years, Apple has worked hard to provide upgrades to improve the Mac operating system. Mac OS X 10.0 (Cheetah) was one of the first upgrades in the series released in 2001. However, it cost $129 and was an incomplete solution for accessibility. By 2011, Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), the charges dropped to $30. LaunchPad and multi-touch gestures were its highlights. After some upgrades, the fees were removed and users with previous versions can install the latest ones free of cost. In 2021, the latest upgrade, Monterey was released. One of the key features of this upgrade was Universal Control, allowing you to move between devices using a single keyboard and mouse.

Have you upgraded to the latest macOS version? Tell us in the comments section below.

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