There are some great new features in macOS Catalina, including the new Music and TV apps, improvements to Photos, Mail, and Reminders, and the ability to use your iPad as a second screen, but the big question you are probably asking is, will my Mac be able to run Catalina? Here's everything you need to know about macOS Catalina compatibility.
It won’t be possible to install Catalina on every Mac, and 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 Catalina:
- MacBook models from early 2015 or later
- MacBook Air models from mid-2012 or later
- MacBook Pro models from mid-2012 or later
- Mac mini models from late 2012 or later
- iMac models from late 2012 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro models from late 2013
Wondering if the apps you use will be compatible with macOS Catalina? Read: Apps that won't work in Catalina.
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Will my Mac run Catalina?
Wondering whether the Mac you own will be able to run Catalina? 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 Catalina.
MacBook Air models from mid-2012 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 the middle of 2012 will be able to run Catalina, that includes both 11in and 13in models.
MacBook Pro models from mid-2012 or later
As long as your MacBook Pro doesn’t predate the June 2012 model you’ll be able to run Catalina. That 2012 model was the last MacBook Pro to ship with a DVD drive but Apple kept it on sale for quite some time - in fact you could still have bought one of these MacBook Pros in 2016.
Mac mini models from late 2012 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 2012 model, late 2014 model, and the new 2018 model.
iMac models from late 2012 or later
The iMac hasn’t really had much of a redesign since the end of 2012 when the unit was slimmed down. Prior to that change the iMac hadn’t been updated since 2009 when it still had a CD drive. So, as long as your iMac hasn’t got an optical drive you should be able to install Catalina.
iMac Pro (all models)
The iMac Pro was only introduced in 2017, so not surprisingly it will be supported by Catalina.
Mac Pro models from late 2013
Mojave supported mid-2010 or mid-2012 Mac Pro models with certain Metal-capable graphics processor, unfortunately, Catalina won’t. 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 Catalina on it.
Will Catalina run on older Macs?
We can't confirm if this will work yet, but if you wanted to run High Sierra on an older Mac there was a way to install macOS Mojave on older Mac here. Until Catalina launches we won't know for sure if this method will work there.
Read about how Mojave and Catalina compare here.
Will my iPad work with my Mac?
Sidecar - the ability to use an iPad as a second screen for your Mac - will work with any iPad running iPadOS 13. That includes the following iPads:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
You may also want to know which apps won't work in Catalina. We also have How to use Sidecar so your iPad can be a second screen for your Mac.