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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. Nice tables! :)

    The interesting question for me is, how many bug fixes/features did each of these releases contain over the previous ones?

  2. 10.2.7 was available only on certain new models shipping late Summer 2003 - Fall 2003. I don't believe it was available as a seperate download.

    -DaMacGuy

  3. Ah, that's right -- I think it was for the first-gen G5s. I've changed the note on the table to indicate that...

    Thanks;
    -rob.

  4. Your table doesn't have 10.0.4 in it, which i am almost certain existed. I think it came out in late June 2001.

  5. Sorry, that was an editing oversight -- it's in there now, and yea, it was June 22, 2001. It *was* included in all the other analyses, though (total releases, releases by month, etc.). I just missed it putting the table together.

    Thanks;
    -rob.

  6. There was at least one re-release (I forget which). It probably isn't even listed on the download section as the first release had some major problems (hence the immediate re-release). And I hate to point it out, but you put " 'to minor' " instead of " 'two minor' " on the third bullet.

  7. Actually, 'to minor' is what I meant to write -- as in if you only count updates that went to minor version numbers, instead of to major version numbers...

    -rob.

  8. I had put together a similar table, but I also had a weighted average of all the time in between releases. The idea being that it might give me some indication for an educated guess on how long it will be before the next release. I had a % accuracy of all my numbers and a projected time span for the next minor release. About numbers, statistics and Excel... I thought I was the only one ;) Recently I started focusing all that energy and effort on stocks (something useful, and something that can make me money!). Keep up all the good work on the Robservatory. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

  9. i was just wondering if anyone could help me, this probably isn't the right place to ask but you all seem pretty smart and i am technologically retarded so, my dilema... i need to upgrade my os x (currrently 10.2.8) but i can't download anything higher than 10.3 if i don't already have 10.3, which i have been looking for frantically but havent been able to find anywhere. does it exist for me to download? is it that my system will not be able to take it anyway? i don't know what to do now but i am quickly slipping into technological redundancy as i need to download things which require a better os. any help would be greatly appreciated. thankyou.

  10. 10.3 is a purchase upgrade from 10.2.8. At this point, your best bet is to just jump to 10.4, also a purchase-only upgrade.

    And for future reference, you'll get much better help from forums such as those at macosxhints (http://forums.macosxhints.com) and Macworld.

    -rob.

  11. Hmm. I said it had 10, and that's still what I get to based on the table above. What am I missing ... or counting twice, as it may be?

    -rob.

  12. Rob,

    Thanks, just the information I needed!
    Are you going to update this now that 10.4.5 and 10.4.6 have been released? If not, do you know anyone else who does? E.g. Juz10Mac pointed out that he made some prognosis stuff, but didn't leave a URL (shame on you, Justin!).

  13. You list 10.0.2 as "never released", but in fact it was. I'm having trouble finding the exact date, but I'm pretty sure it was the 1st of April 2001 (I can find news references to in from April 2nd, backing up that date).

    The reason you're not finding it in the KBase is that, for some unknown reason, Apple all but erased its existance when 10.0.3 (which only makes minor changes from .0.2) shipped; although Software Update would in fact produce an incrimental updater, the 10.0.3 update completely replaced every trace of the 10.0.2 one on Apple's site.

    I remember there being some confusion as to why Apple had done this, and here's an article Google dug up for me that goes into great detail about it:

    http://www.macjournals.com/special/weekly_mystery_update.html

    10.0.2 was real, though, I'm almost certain I remember installing it, and there were products (initial OSX Cro-mag Rally beta, for example) that required it.

  14. #16: Thanks for the clarification; I updated the comments section to refer to the version as released then replaced.

    -rob.

  15. What I'd like to know is the total elapsed time from when Apple starts a Major release such as 10.5 to when they actually release it for Public retail purchase. I suspect its around 2 or 3 years.

  16. The reason you're seeing more minor releases is the time between the major ones is increasing. If you do the maths the number of minor releases for all versions work out very similar: (ignoring actual release dates) for Puma it worked out to be a minor release every 46 days, for Jaguar 55, for Panther 53, and Tiger 55.

    The release times are: Cheetah to Puma 185 days, to Jaguar 332, to Panther 427, to Tiger 553. As of today, Leopard's at 684...

  17. I don't think that's correct: the iMac was the first Intel Mac, introduced in January of 2006, and it shipped with 10.4.4.

    I don't think any Intel Macs existed before January 2006, and 10.4.3 came out in the fall of 2005.

    -rob.

  18. Actually, 10.5 is the first universal binary. Previous installs of the OS were either PPC or x86 separately. I would call 10.4.4 (10.4.3?) the first public release of an x86 build of the OS.

  19. bdog: Correct you are; I changed the label on 10.4.4 and gave the Universal sticker to 10.5.

    Of course, 10.4.11 coming out after 10.5 messes up the sorted-on-date view of the table, but I think it makes more sense to keep the OS releases togeter. (Hopefully there's not a 10.4.12 coming.)

    -rob.

  20. Rob: I noticed that you noted that 10.5.1 removes the "blue screen Windows sharing icon". I can still find the same icon resource at the same location: /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/public.generic-pc.icns .

    Or are you saying the resource might be still there, but the Finder doesn't use it when displaying Windows shares anymore? If so, what does it use now?

  21. Hmm, my bad, I think. I was looking at GenericPCIcon.icns, which is a gray version of the Windows diamond logo. The public file is still there. I wonder which will get used (I don't have a PC to connect to).

    For now, I've taken the note out.

    -rob.

  22. Windows PC icon for Network environment window is the same in 10.5.1 as it was in 10.5, i.e. it's a beautifully rendered old-fashioned CRT monitor with BSOD image. It looks especially funny along with great Mac icons, which correspond to real Mac hardware (if it runs Leopard). So, one may judge who's running Leopard on the LAN by their icons amongst others.

  23. Okay, I have crunched numbers in this thread. I have read the bones. I prognosticate uselessly! Feb 09 will bring a release that could be dubbed OS11.

  24. I run a plastic cards company and we use macs for everything. We have top end mac pros and macbook pros running snow leopard and some older machines (I cant bare to get rid of them) G5 power macs and G4 power books that run leopard.

    I find that with snow leopard, apple mail is much nippier than it was on leopard but in general, a 8 core mac pro - feels sluggish.

    I love using macs and will never go back to using pc's but they just don't seem to have any speed about them these days.

    I remember many many years ago when I bought my 1st G4 powerbook, it was great and speed wasn't an issue but now, installed with the most upto date OSX that will run on it, it is rather sluggish to say the least.

  25. I think 10.4.7 was the first universal binary system that came out. Certainly was the first Retail release that could be installed on both. Perhaps I'm thinking the server version…?

    Some more comments next to each release, as well as a link to the Knowledge Base article would be useful additions.

    To Paul Wilburn — get yourself a Solid State Harddrive. This is where the big bottle neck is on anyone's system. Get a small one to try it out and stick your toe in the water. You will not regret it at all.

  26. There were separate releases for Intel and PPC (10.4.3, 10.4.4, 10.4.5, 10.4.6 etc) until 10.4.7 when you could get the Universal installer. Updates after this were listed as Universal for those that had started with a 10.4.7.

  27. Charlie:

    I think you're thinking of Server; Apple's update site still lists Intel and PowerPC as separate downloads for 10.4.7 through 10.4.11. For Server, though, there's only one listed (for any Server release), but I don't see any system requirements, so I can't tell if it's universal or not.

    -rob.

  28. I've now added a link to Apple's Support site (the ⓘ symbol) so you can read what Apple had to say about each release. The only two that are missing are the two non-releases in the list (10.0.2 and 10.2.7).

    -rob.

  29. If you going to go all the way back to the Public Beta, you may wish to add the Rhapsody releases (see http://goo.gl/AG8Mh ) as well, as that was the first place that I was able to experience what was to become OS X.

  30. you say there was only 1 public beta

    but there were 2

    US version had build number 1H39

    But there was also an international version with build number 2E14

  31. Rob, very useful information! This is a tremendous help for our Tech Support Dept when trying to quickly communicate with our on-campus users.

  32. Hi guys sat here chuckling , all I was looking for was info on what worked with my early imac 2006 , and here's you 2 , slugging it out over updates etc , all I wanna do is make the damm thing work ,ha ha

  33. I have a Mac OS X at 10.6.8 version. And I need to upgrade to the newest. How and where can I get this done pretty quick. I need to replace my HP printer and the newer ones (I was told) are not compatible with my OS that I currently have. Thank you so much.

  34. Thank you! I did not find this useless, I found it very helpful. Managing resources at a university with a myriad of versions everywhere, it gets confusing and this is helpful just to sort out what is compatible with what!
    Thanks.

  35. I also didn't find this useless. I've just set up a caching server and wanted to know when and how big the next release might be. thanks!

  36. Very useful actually! With the release of Sierra and the disappearance of El Capitan in the APP Store, the older MBPs are being put out to pasture. El Capitan 10.11 original download now says "corrupt when try to install." Thanks to this page, I was able to just manually reset the MBP date to the release date of September 30, 2015 for the app and off she went! Thanks!

  37. "The smallest update was 10.3.1, at only 1.5MB. The largest (non-combo) update was 10.12.2 at 1.94GB. (No idea why this one was so large.)"

    You have 10.12.6 listed as 1.98GB, so that's the new king of that hill. What will be the first update to pass 2 GB? Probably when we get 8K iMacs?

    1. You realize I created those graphs too, right? I'm planning on keeping them updated, but not as part of this post, as I see them as distinct. But what type of graphs were you thinking of, if not the two that are already here or the rate of update charts?

      -rob.

  38. Thanks for the clear list of the versioning of OS X. I'm currently helping to clean up an estate, which included a bunch of old Mac stuff where drives need to be formatted etc before systems are sold or donated.

    I'm coming to the whole OS X world cold, and I have not found a list that shows which upgrades were free, and which ones were paid upgrades. Could this be another column?
    Cheers,
    Dean

    1. I don't think it's worth another column -- historically, anything other than a dot update was paid, all dot updates are free. But since I'm not quite sure when, even the major updates have been free.

      -rob.

  39. What about the macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update for MacBook Pro ?
    Shouldn't it be listed here, too?

  40. Hi, I think that "as of July 9th, 2018" is not correct… :)
    (fell free to delete this comment after the correction)

    1. Thanks, fixed! And not deleting your comment, as I try not to hide from my occasional stupidity :).

      -rob.

    1. You do realize that I maintain my blog in my spare time, make no money from it, and it's a hobby, right? That means there are times when updates won't be timely because Real Life is intruding. Yesterday was such a case.

      -rob.

      1. Thanks for you wonderful time spent on such a great hobby! I really appreciate the details in time, when you do get too it. Always a fan of the Blog and your funny stuff too!! Please when you can keep us honest! Really many Thank you-s, Bear

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