Wondering what the name of the most recent macOS version is? Curious about the versions of Mac OS X that came in the past? Here we’ll fill you in on the names of the various versions of the Mac operating system: from the newest macOS to the first variation of Mac OS X and the codenames that Apple used for them. We’ll likewise show you how you can inspect which version of macOS you are running and discover what the latest version of macOS is.

If you are wondering what the latest version of macOS is it’s Big Sur! And rather than version 10.16, it is version 11.

Mac OS X was first introduced nearly twenty years ago in September 2000. With that anniversary turning up we have high hopes for the 20th anniversary variation of the Mac operating system, however that remains in the future. In this post we are interested in the history of Mac OS X, or macOS as it is now understood.

For a summary of the features of the different versions of the Mac os, showing how it has actually developed over time, have a look at our video above. If you need to know the names Apple appointed to Mac OS X for many years, and the codenames that were used internally, continue reading.


CleanMyMac X|Look inside your macOS

List of macOS variation names Here’s an overview of every variation of macOS and Mac OS X Apple has launched. You’ll find a total list of OS X version code names, together with internal code names (if available):

  • OS X 10 beta: Kodiak – 13 September 2000

  • OS X 10.0: Cheetah – 24 March 2001

  • OS X 10.1: Puma – 25 September 2001

  • OS X 10.2: Jaguar – 24 August 2002

  • OS X 10.3 Panther (Pinot) – 24 October 2003

  • OS X 10.4 Tiger (Red Wine) – 29 April 2005

  • [OS X 10.4.4 Tiger (Chardonnay)]

  • OS X 10.5 Leopard (Chablis) – 26 October 2007

  • OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – 28 August 2009

  • OS X 10.7 Lion (Barolo) – 20 July 2011

  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (Zinfandel) – 25 July 2012

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks (Cabernet) – 22 October 2013

  • OS X 10.10: Yosemite (Syrah) – 16 October 2014

  • OS X 10.11: El Capitan (Gala) – 30 September 2015

  • macOS 10.12: Sierra (Fuji) – 20 September 2016

  • macOS 10.13: High Sierra (Lobo) – 25 September 2017

  • macOS 10.14: Mojave (Liberty) – 24 September 2018

  • macOS 10.15: Catalina (Jazz) – 7 October 2019

  • macOS 11: Big Sur – 12 November 2020

The next variation of macOS is likely to be macOS 12.

We have a complete list of which Macs run which variations of Mac OS X and macOS here.

Mac OS X & macOS names

As you can see from the list above, with the exception of the first OS X beta, all variations of the Mac operating system from 2001 to 2012 were all called after huge cats, from Cheetah to Panther to Mountain Lion.

But while the public-facing develops were named after big cats, internally, they were named after white wines (aside from OS X 10.6 and macOS 10.13, both of which had no codename).

Even after Apple switched public-facing code-names to places in California back in 2013, it continued calling them after red wines internally until 2014. In 2015, Apple decided to change the theme of internal code-names from white wines to kinds of apple. Original.

We find it entertaining that in 2019 Apple’s Californian names circled back to a cat-theme with Catalina (which is named after a Californian island).

In 2016, Apple started to merge the branding of its operating systems by rebranding Mac OS X to macOS, which sits well together with iOS, tvOS and watchOS.

What’s the most recent macOS?

Wondering what the most recent variation of macOS is? It is presently macOS Big Sur, also known as macOS 11. You can find the information of the current version of Huge Sur and download most current variation from Apple here.

The variation of macOS before Big Sur was Catalina. We have this comparison of Big Sur and Catalina so you can see what’s changed.

If you need it you can download Catalina here.

Prior to the release of Catalina we had macOS 10.14 Mojave. Version 10.14.6 got here on 26 September 2019. The latest variation is here.

Prior to Mojave was, macOS High Sierra, with the 10.13.6 update being the most current. High Sierra is readily available here. If you want an older version of

macOS have a look at our article about getting old variations of macOS and Mac OS X. Whichever variation of macOS you are running you must always keep it updated with Apple’s latest updates and security fixes.

Apple launches different updates to the OS throughout the year, so you can expect updates from time to time. Read about the current variation of Catalina here, and find out about the current variation of macOS Mojave here.

How to inform which macOS you are running

You can inform which version of macOS you are running by clicking the Apple logo design in the leading left and selecting About This Mac.

How to update to the latest macOS If you want to update your Mac to a newer variation of macOS the approach will be figured out by the version

of macOS you are running. In older variations the Mac os updates came via the Mac App Shop, while in more recent variations the updates come via System Preferences > Software Application Update.

In truth many years ago system updates came by means of Software Update – it’s just remained in current years that they showed up by means of the Mac App Store. Since Mojave, which got here in 2018, there has actually been a brand-new pane in System Preferences where you can discover Software Updates.

You can get to System Preferences from the Apple menu: Click on the Apple logo in the leading left and choose System Preferences. You may be taken directly to the Software Update pane, if not click the Software application Update cog icon. Your Mac will look for an upgrade and if there is one you can select Update Now.

Some Macs will be set to update instantly. If you desire your Mac to update instantly follow these steps:

In Mojave or Catalina:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Software Application Update.
  3. Examine package beside Download brand-new updates when readily available.
  4. Now select package Install macOS updates.

In High Sierra or earlier:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on App Store.
  3. Examine package beside Immediately check for updates – it needs to have a tick in it as need to the 4 choices listed below that …
  4. Now deselect package next to Download freshly readily available updates in the background.

Read everything about how to update your Mac here.