There are some great new features in macOS Big Sur including: the biggest redesign in decades, lots of neat iOS features like the Control Centre, and huge updates to Messages, Safari and Maps and TV apps. But the big question you are probably asking is, will my Mac be able to run macOS 11 Big Sur? Here's everything you need to know about macOS Big Sur compatibility.
Big Sur is our now, but it won’t be possible to install Big Sur on every Mac - this year a few more Macs will be missing out on updating to the latest version of the macOS.
Here's an overview of the Macs that will run Big Sur:
- MacBook models from early 2015 or later
- MacBook Air models from 2013 or later
- MacBook Pro models from 2013 or later
- Mac mini models from 2014 or later
- iMac models from 2014 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro models from 2013 or later
However, there are reports that 2013-2014 MacBook Pro's are being bricked by Big Sur and you will need about 35GB free space plus 12.2GB to just to downloaded the Big Sur files.
This list is smaller than those Macs covered by macOS Catalina. in 2019 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models from mid-2012, and Mac mini from late 2012 were also supported. As for the iMac, Catalina supported iMacs from late 2012, but now only 2014 models are supported.
Read all about the changes coming in Big Sur and how they compare to Catalina here: macOS Big Sur vs Catalina: Will it be worth the upgrade?
Will my Mac run Big Sur?
Wondering whether the Mac you own will be able to run Big Sur? We outline the Macs that are compatible with the new version of the macOS below, hopefully you can easily identify your Mac from the description, otherwise read: Which Mac do I have.
MacBook models from early 2015 or later
This is the line of slimmer and smaller 12in MacBook models with Retina displays that Apple introduced in March 2015. If you have one of these MacBooks, available in Gold, Silver or Space Grey you should have no problems upgrading to Big Sur.
MacBook Air models from 2013 or later
Apple took its time about updating the MacBook Air, with no real update between 2015 and 2018, when the company introduced a new-look MacBook Air. However, MacBook Air models from 2013 will be able to run Big Sur, that includes both 11in and 13in models.
MacBook Pro models from 2013 or later
As long as your MacBook Pro doesn’t predate the late 2013 models you’ll be able to run Big Sur. Note that the 2012 model that was the last MacBook Pro to ship with a DVD drive was still sold in 2016, so beware that even if you bought the MacBook Pro after 2013 it might not be compatible with Big Sur.
Be aware that some 2013-2014 MacBook Pro models are apparently being bricked by Big Sur, as we mentioned above.
Mac mini models from 2014 or later
Like the MacBook Air the Mac mini wasn’t updated by Apple for a number of years. The supported models include the late 2014 model, the new 2018 model and the 2020 model (which is essentially the same as the 2018 model).
iMac models from 2014 or later
The main feature of the 2014 iMac was the introduction of the Retina 5K display for the 27in model. The following year the 4K iMac arrived. So, as long as your iMac has a Retina display you should be able to install Big Sur. If you have one of the entry-level non-Retina 21.5in iMacs that were sold after 2014 it will also be supported.
iMac Pro (all models)
The iMac Pro was only introduced in 2017, so not surprisingly it will be supported by Big Sur.
Mac Pro models from late 2013
The only Mac Pro models that are supported are the Trash-can style Mac Pro and the new, 2019 Mac Pro workstation. If you have one of the older aluminium towers, the original cheese-grater design, then you won’t be able to run Big Sur on it.
Is your Mac not supported? If you are desperate to install Big Sur on an unsupported Mac read: How to install macOS Big Sur on an old Mac.