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A full history of macOS (OS X) release dates and rates

Updated and republished for macOS 11.0.1; skip it unless you really really care about all the macOS releases. Originally published on November 14th, 2005.

Below the break is a table showing all major releases of macOS (previously Mac OS X) from the public beta through the latest public version, which is 11.0.1, as of November 12th, 2020—the 140th release in total.

Note: Click the ⓘ symbol to read Apple's release notes for a given update.

The following was culled from Apple's support downloads page, and as such, some of the dates may be off just a bit. If you know for certain that something is incorrect, please let me know and I'll get it fixed. (Scroll to see all entries.)

 Year
  Date
   Days
    Version
      Size
 Comments
2020Nov 12711.0.112.18 GB Big Sur - This one goes to 11. (Or 12, in GB!)
Nov 54310.15.7 SU11.21 GB
Sep 234210.15.72.86 GB
Aug 122810.15.6 SU13.22GB GB
Jul 154410.15.63.35 GB
Jun 1610.15.5 SU11.59 GB
May 264810.15.53.37 GB
May 21--10.14.6 SU4151 MBFixes a launch issue for certain 32-bit apps*This release is not included anywhere on Apple's site.
Apr 81510.15.4 SU11.38 GB
Mar 245610.15.43.0 GB
Jan 284910.15.33.0 GB
2019Dec 104210.15.23.0 GB
Oct 291410.15.14.5 GB
Oct 15810.15 SU1985 MBNo info page
Oct 71110.154.9 GB Catalina - You need more permission!
Sep 263110.14.6 SU31.32 GB
Aug 262510.14.6 SU21.25 GB
Aug 11010.14.6 SU1949 MB
Jul 227010.14.62.7 GB
May 134910.14.52.5 GB
Mar 256210.14.42.8 GB
Jan 224810.14.32.0 GB
2018Dec 52810.14.22.5 GB
Nov 7810.14.1 SU11.3 GB For 2018 MacBook Air
Oct 303610.14.13.3 GB
Sep 242710.145.2 GB Mojave - You need permission!
Aug 283810.13.6 SU21.32 GB For 2018 Touch Bar MBP…again
Jul 241510.13.6 SU11.31 GB For 2018 Touch Bar MBP
Jul 93810.13.61.32 GB AirPlay 2
Jun 16410.13.52.12 GB Messages in iCloud
Mar 293710.13.42.36 GB Sortable Safari bookmarks!!
Feb 202810.13.3 SU40.4 MB Indian character/Messages crash fix
Jan 233310.13.31.97 GB
Jan 83310.13.2 SU633.6 MB Spectre and Meltdown fixes
2017Dec 63610.13.22.08 GB
Oct 312610.13.11.47 GB
Oct 51010.13 SU915 MB Addresses two security issues
Sep 256810.134.8 GB High Sierra - Higher in the mountains?
Jul 196510.12.61.98 GB
May 154910.12.51.57 GB
Mar 276310.12.41.56 GB Night Shift
Jan 234110.12.31.05 GB
2016Dec 135010.12.21.94 GB
Oct 243410.12.11.36 GB
Sep 206410.124.77 GB Sierra - Still in the mountains.
Jul 186310.11.6759 MB
May 165710.11.5759 MB
Mar 206110.11.41.58 GB
Jan 194110.11.3662 MB
2015Dec 94910.11.21.4 GB
Oct 212110.11.11.19 GB
Sep 304810.116.08 GB El Capitan - Go climb something!
Aug 134410.10.51.02 GB
Jun 307510.10.41.09 GB
Apr 16810.10.3 SU1.8 MB Supplemental Update
Apr 87110.10.31.52 GB Includes Photos app
Jan 277110.10.2544 MB
2014Nov 173210.10.1311 MB
Oct 162910.105.2 GB Yosemite - No surfers here.
Sep 177910.9.5139 MB
Jun 304610.9.4283 MB
May 157910.9.3461 MB
Feb 257110.9.2460 MB
2013Dec 165510.9.1243.4 MB
Oct 221910.95.3 GB Mavericks - All out of big cats!
Oct 32110.8.5 SU19.6 MB Supplemental Update
Sep 1210010.8.5273.7 MB
Jun 48210.8.4152.0 MB
Mar 1416110.8.3249.0 MB
2012Oct 41510.8.2 SU26.7 MB Supplemental Update
Sep 192710.8.2665.5 MB
Aug 232910.8.124.2 MB
Jul 257710.84.1 GB Mountain Lion - App Store only
Oct 41510.7.5 SU2.0 MB Supplemental Update
Sep 1913310.7.51.1 GB Released w/ 10.8.2
May 99810.7.4692.7 MB
Feb 111210.7.31.3 GB Only combo updater available
2011Oct 125610.7.2768.8 MB Now iCloud enabled
Aug 172910.7.179.3 MB
Jul 192610.74.1 GB Lion - App Store only (USB stick later)
Jun 239410.6.8453.6 MB App Store readied for Lion
Mar 217410.6.7475 MB
Jan 65710.6.6143.6 MB Can you say "App Store?"
2010Nov 1014810.6.5644.5 MB
Jun 157810.6.4607.2 MB
Mar 2914010.6.3719.2 MB
2009Nov 96010.6.2473 MB
Sep 101310.6.171.5 MB
Aug 282310.62.31 GB Snow Leopard - First Intel-only release
Aug 58510.5.8274 MB
May 1214810.5.7442 MB
2008Dec 159110.5.6372 MB
Sep 157710.5.5316 MB
Jun 303310.5.488 MB
May 2810710.5.3420 MB
Feb 118810.5.2343 MB Combo updater only
2007Nov 152010.5.1110 MB
Oct 2612810.52.15 GB Leopard - First universal binary release
Nov 1414710.4.11128 MB This '10' goes to '11'
Jun 209910.4.1072 MB
Mar 1316510.4.9160 MB
2006Sep 299410.4.8206 MB
Jun 278510.4.7133 MB
Apr 34810.4.6163 MB
Feb 143510.4.516 MB
Jan 107110.4.455 MB First Intel-capable release
2005Oct 3111110.4.397 MB
Jul 125710.4.244 MB
May 161710.4.137 MB
Apr 291410.41.78 GB Tiger
Apr 156510.3.951.3 MB
Feb 95610.3.826.6 MB
2004Dec 154010.3.797 MB Combo updater only
Nov 58810.3.634 MB
Aug 97510.3.5???
May 267210.3.479 MB Combo updater only
Mar 158910.3.370 MB Combo updater only
2003Dec 173710.3.236.9 MB
Nov 101710.3.11.5 MB
Oct 242110.31.54 GB Panther
Oct 35710.2.840 MB
Sep 2213910.2.7???Only for certain G5s/G4s
May 62610.2.626 MB
Apr 105610.2.581.9 MB
Feb 135610.2.476 MB
2002Dec 193810.2.351 MB
Nov 115410.2.224.4 MB
Sep 182610.2.116.3 MB Update not available?
Aug 237910.21.03 GB Jaguar
Jun 54710.1.545.1 MB Combo updater only
Apr 195710.1.41.7 MB
Feb 216210.1.316 MB
2001Dec 213710.1.229.2 MB
Nov 145010.1.113.8 MB
Sep 259510.1989 MB Puma
Jun 224410.0.412 MB
May 9810.0.315 MB
May 11510.0.215 MBReleased but replaced (see comments)
Apr 162310.0.14 MB
Mar 2419210.0659 MB Cheetah
2000Sep 13--10.0β676 MB Public Beta

Note: The Days column reflects the number of days between releases.

Some entries may appear out of chronological order (i.e. 10.5 is shown on Oct 26, but above Nov 14 for 10.4.11). This is to keep the version numbers in the proper order, even when an older OS received an update after a major new release came out. This has happened a few times over the years.

Some random notes, updated from the original post:

  • Starting with the Public Beta and up through 11.0.1, there have been 141 macOS releases, both major and minor. This figure includes the one odd macOS X release: 10.2.7. This version was only for the then-new PowerMac G5 and the flat panel iMac G4, and was never generally released.
  • As of November 12th, 2020 (11.0.1's release date), it's been 7,365 days since the Public Beta was released. So on average, we've seen some sort of update every 52.25 days.
  • The shortest time period between any two releases is six days, which is how quickly the 10.15.5 Supplemental Update 1 came out after the 10.15.5 release.
  • The longest time period between any two minor releases is 165 days, which was how long we waited for the 10.4.9 update. (Tecnically, it's actually the 192 day interval between the Mac OS X Public Beta and version 10.0, but I'm counting from the official 10.0 release.)
  • The smallest update was 10.3.1, at only 1.5MB. The largest (non-combo, non-main OS release) update was 10.15.1 at 5.3GB.
  • The "???" entry for Size on a given release indicates I was unable to find the size. Feel free to contact me if you can help replace any of the "???" entries.

And now, gratuitous graphics…

Releases by version number

Releases by year

A special "thank you!" goes to Mr. Ziebell (for providing some size values on very-old minor updates), and to Benton Quest (for providing size info on all the major releases up through Snow Leopard). See Benton's comment below if you want a nicely detailed history of those early releases.

66 Comments

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  1. Any idea why they're calling the Mojave 10.14.6 releases "Supplemental Updates", rather than just upping the version number? I mean, if you've released 3 gigs worth of updates, over 2 months after the original... then you might as well just call it 10.14.7 right?

    1. No official idea, but I'd guess it's related to how much they're changing, what those things are, and how big the update is—all of the supplemental updates (in 10.14 and before) have been at or below 1.32GB. Of course, confusingly, there have been full updates that size or smaller, too. Some are obvious why they got full versions—one such update added AirPlay 2, for instance. Others, no idea.

      But it does seem to hold true that if the update is around 1.3GB or less, it's likely to be called supplemental unless part of that 1.3GB is some major new feature or change.

      That's my guess, at any rate :).

      -rob.

  2. You know what's missing from your big lists? Build numbers.

    And because you asked nicely, here's some extra size data for the list:

    Mac OS X 10.0.0 "Kodiak": There were four different iterations of the Mac OS X Public Beta, but they all fit onto a single CD-ROM. DP1 occupied slightly more of the CD than the final DP4 release did, so you can count either: DP1 is 679.1 MB, DP4 is 676 MB.

    Mac OS X 10.0.4 "Cheetah": Standard way to get it was to bu the box that was approximately 85% air, 10% printed matter and 5% being a single CD in a sleeve. It was slightly smaller than Kodiak as it didn't pack as much nerd into it - it is a consumer OS first and foremost - so Cheetah's disk-usage is 659 MB

    Mac OS X 10.1 "Puma": The retail Puma package has two CDs; the main OS installer is still a single CD, but there's a second CD labeled "Tools" that has some extra fonts, utilities and a few dev goodies that are all completely optional. You got a LOT more when you bought a brand-new Mac that shipped with Puma - eleven CDs, which included Puma, Mac OS 9.2.2, a Hardware Test CD, an Applications disc, and a 6-CD set holding a system-restore image. Most folk who bought Puma as a retail/upgrade would install the tools too, so 648MB + 341 MB = 989 MB

    Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar": For the first time, Mac OS X comes in two flavours, regular and Server editions. Jaguar 10.2 Server costs more, and uses a serial-number, but with general-user apps replaced with administrator-level server toys, it is a single CD of 635MB. The regular, or 'Client' OS installer now comes on two CDs but most of the second is fonts & printer drivers that you can choose not to install. There's a third CD in the retail package, "Apple Developer Tools" which has another 338MB of stuff on it. Without the Dev Tools, Jaguar Retail is 648 MB + 341 MB = 989 MB.

    Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther:" The retail boxed version comes with four CDs, three for the Panther installer and one for the rebranded dev tools: Xcode. Macs that shipped with Panther usually got a DVD or two, or a whole wallet of CDs like the Jaguar Macs had. Not counting the 637 MB of stuff on the Xcode disc, the Panther installer adds up to 1.54 GB.

    Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger": Apple started including DVD installers with Macs that shipped with a DVD drive back in the Jaguar days, but retail and upgrade Mac OS X installers were always CD-only ... until Tiger. The boxed edition of 10.4 comes as a single DVD holding 3.03 GB worth of OS-installer, Xcode, and a bevy of extra fonts, language kits & printer drivers, although it could be ordered as a 4-CD set. Even though the big switcharoo from PowerPC to Intel happened during Tiger's reign, the retail/upgrade editions of Tiger were PowerPC-only. Ignoring the optional extras, the app and all the packages that make up the default Tiger installer add up to 1.78 GB.

    Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard": When you're supporting two disparate CPU architectures, everything takes up more than twice the space. Retail OS X Leopard ships on a dual-layer DVD that is absolutely chock-a-block full - 7.553 GB of the 8 GB capacity is taken, but not all of that is OS. The System you run when you boot the DVD is 1.1 GB, there's another gig's worth of 'Optional Installers' (mostly Xcode), but the main folder of installers amounts to 6 GB worth, which happens to include all the language packs, fonts for same, and over 2 GB worth of printer drivers. There's also a 460 MB hidden ISO partition that's got the Boot Camp software on it for Windows. If you add up the size of just the installers used to make up the default OS X - remember, it carries all the baggage needed for both PowerPC and Intel - it adds up to 2.15 GB.

    Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard": The boxed retail Snow Leopard ships on a dual-layer DVD like Leopard did, and it too is chokka-block. You'd think going Intel-only would free up a lot of space on the disc, but no, they've filled the once-free-space with even more extras, including the PowerPC emulator, Rosetta - including the hidden Boot Camp partition, it all adds up to a very full 7.82 GB. There are two releases, 10.6.0 and 10.6.3 (in fact, Apple still sell the 10.6.3 DVD through the Store) with the latter release squeezing in even tighter, but if I cherry-pick the installer packages for a default OS install, it comes to 2.31 GB.

    1. Benton: Wow, thanks much for the sizing info; I'll add it to the table shortly. As for build numbers, I thought about it once a few years ago, but decided that there's too much variability for my liking. (For example, Apple will sometimes release hardware that gets a new build number of macOS, even though the version number is unchanged.) This post is mainly a fun diversion, and including all the build number info would turn it into more of a job :).

      -rob

  3. I just realised I got the Jaguar sizes wrong - wasn't watching my copypasta properly :)

    Jaguar Retail is 661 MB + 374 MB = 1.03 GB.

    1. I'm not sure I understand the question - size of what? The last updater? The full OS after the last updater? I don't know that latter, but the former is shown as 1.98GB in the table.

      -rob.

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