macOS Big Sur is the latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system. It is expected to be available as a free upgrade for Mac owners in October 2020. With this release, some Macs running Catalina are left behind and unable to upgrade.
Which Mac models are compatible with Big Sur?
Apple is removing support for some older Mac models with the release of macOS 1
The list of Mac models compatible with macOS Big Sur is:
- MacBook Air (2013 and newer)
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and newer)
- MacBook (2015 and newer)
- iMac (2014 and newer)
- iMac Pro (2017 and newer)
- Mac mini (2014 and newer)
- Mac Pro (2013 and newer)
If your Mac isn’t on the list, you will no longer receive major software updates. This includes updates to core apps like Safari and Mail. If you’re using an iOS device with iOS 14 or later, you won’t be able to use Finder to transfer files or do local backups.
Apple usually offers important security fixes for the previous two supported versions of macOS. This means that even if your Mac does not meet the hardware requirements, you should have another two years of security updates, which you can install using the “Software Update” option in “System Preferences”.
You may also have software compatibility issues with third-party apps that depend on the changes Apple has made to Big Sur. Make sure you read the minimum required operating system specifications before purchasing new software on a Mac that Apple no longer supports.
CONNECTED: What’s new in macOS 11.0 Big Sur, arriving Fall 2020
How to find out what Mac you have
If you’re not sure which Mac you have, you can check it from the Apple menu at the top of the screen. Click the Apple menu at the top of the screen and choose About This Mac. The name of your Mac model will appear in the window that appears under the currently installed version of macOS.
Some Mac models are segregated not only by year but also by the period in which they were manufactured. For example, if you have a MacBook Pro that is listed as a “Late 2013” model, your computer is compatible with Big Sur. MacBook Pro models from “early” or “mid-2013” are not.
It can be frustrating not to have the latest updates and features. However, your Mac should be serviceable for a few more years (at least until the security updates dry up). There are many things you can try to bring an old Mac back to life, including installing Linux or using it as a file server or media streamer.
Why Apple is removing support for older computers
macOS Big Sur is removing support for computers like the 2012 MacBook Pro, which is over eight years old at this time. While this is unfortunate for owners of old machines, the rationale is likely due to the limited capabilities of such hardware.
Big Sur is making some pretty big changes for the Mac. It’s the last major 10.x release, which means Big Sur is the first iteration of macOS 11.0. The changes seem to go deeper than a new naming convention. Big Sur introduces an updated user interface that is heavily based on Apple’s iOS and iPadOS mobile operating systems.
The new user interface makes heavy use of transparency and floating windows, and almost every core app included in the version gets some redesign. It’s likely that older machines just don’t have the graphical performance to keep up.
One last thing before you upgrade
If your Mac is no longer supported by Apple, you are likely considering upgrading. Before you buy anything, decide if this is the best time to buy a new Mac. You may find that if you wait a few months for the company to launch new models, your money will keep increasing because of Apple’s upgrade cycle.
This is especially important right now as Apple prepares to switch Intel Macs to custom ARM processors.
CONNECTED: Intel Macs vs. Apple Silicon ARM Macs: Which Should You Buy?