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macOS Catalina, aka macOS 10.15, is the newest version of the operating system that runs on the Mac. macOS Catalina’s name was inspired by Santa Catalina Island, popularly known as Catalina and one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California.
In macOS Catalina, Apple has eliminated the iTunes app that’s been a staple of the Mac operating system since 2001. iTunes was split into three apps: Music, Podcasts, and TV.
The new apps are similar in function to iTunes now, but are split up by feature. You can still manage your devices in Catalina, but it’s now done through the Finder rather than through an app. Syncing media can be done using the Apple TV, Podcasts, or Music apps.
If you’re using one of these computers with OS X Mavericks or later,* you can install macOS Catalina. Your Mac also needs at least 4GB of memory and 12.5GB of available storage space, or up to 18.5GB of storage space when upgrading from OS X Yosemite or earlier.
MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
MacBook Air introduced in 2012 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 or later
Mac mini introduced in 2012 or later
iMac introduced in 2012 or later
iMac Pro (all models)
Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later
* To upgrade from Lion or Mountain Lion, first upgrade to El Capitan, then upgrade to Catalina. To find your macOS version, Mac model, memory, and storage space, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu . If your Mac isn’t compatible with macOS Catalina, the installer will let you know. View the complete list of compatible computers.
Make a backup
Before installing any upgrade, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. Time Machine makes it simple, and other backup methods are also available. Learn how to back up your Mac.
It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. If you’re using a Mac notebook computer, plug it into AC power.
Download macOS Catalina
If you’re using macOS Mojave, get macOS Catalina via Software Update: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update.
Or use this link to open the macOS Catalina page on the App Store: Get macOS Catalina. Then click the Get button or iCloud download icon.
After downloading, the installer opens automatically.
Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You might find it easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed.
If the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool, enter the administrator name and password that you use to log in to your Mac, then click Add Helper.
Allow installation to complete
Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart, show a progress bar, or show a blank screen several times as it installs both macOS and related updates to your Mac firmware.
Stay up to date
After installing macOS Catalina, you will be notified when updates to macOS Catalina are available. You can also use Software Update to check for updates: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update.
Or get macOS Catalina automatically
If you’re using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later and your App Store preferences or Software Update preferences are set to download new updates when available, macOS Catalina will download conveniently in the background, making it even easier to upgrade. A notification will inform you when macOS Catalina is ready to be installed. Click Install to get started, or dismiss the notification to install later. When you’re ready to install, just open the file named Install macOS Catalina from your Applications folder.
- If the installer shows a list of apps that are not optimized for your Mac, learn about 32-bit app compatibility, then choose whether to proceed with the installation.
- For the strongest security and latest features, upgrade to macOS Catalina. If you have hardware or software that isn’t compatible with Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan.
- You can also use macOS Recovery to reinstall macOS.
Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.