macOS (/ˌmækˈɛs/;[7] previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system[8] developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers. Within the market of desktop and laptop computers, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows and ahead of ChromeOS.

macOS Ventura, the latest release of macOS
DeveloperApple Inc.
Written in
OS family
Working stateCurrent
Source modelProprietary (with open source components)
Initial releaseMarch 24, 2001; 22 years ago (2001-03-24)
Latest release13.4[3] (22F66)[4] (May 18, 2023; 14 days ago (2023-05-18)) [±]
Latest preview13.5 beta 2[5] (22G5038d)[6] (May 31, 2023; 1 day ago (2023-05-31)) [±]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
user interface
Aqua (graphical)
LicenseCommercial software, proprietary software
Preceded byClassic Mac OS, NeXTSTEP
Official Edit this at Wikidata
Support status

macOS succeeded the classic Mac OS, a Mac operating system with nine releases from 1984 to 1999. During this time, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs had left Apple and started another company, NeXT, developing the NeXTSTEP platform that would later be acquired by Apple to form the basis of macOS.

The first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released in March 2001, with its first update, 10.1, arriving later that year. All releases from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard[9] and after are UNIX 03 certified,[10] with an exception for OS X 10.7 Lion.[11] Apple's other operating systems (iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, audioOS) are derivatives of macOS.

A prominent part of macOS's original brand identity was the use of Roman numeral X, pronounced "ten" as in Mac OS X and also the iPhone X, as well as code naming each release after species of big cats, or places within California.[12] Apple shortened the name to "OS X" in 2011 and then changed it to "macOS" in 2016 to align with the branding of Apple's other operating systems, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. After sixteen distinct versions of macOS 10, macOS Big Sur was presented as version 11 in 2020, macOS Monterey was presented as version 12 in 2021, and macOS Ventura was presented as version 13 in 2022.

macOS has supported three major processor architectures, beginning with PowerPC-based Macs in 1999. In 2006, Apple transitioned to the Intel architecture with a line of Macs using Intel Core processors. In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M series processors on the latest Macintosh computers.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article macOS, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.