Upgrade to OS X El Capitan

Use the Mac App Store to install OS X El Capitan on Mac computers that meet the system requirements.

Can your Mac use El Capitan?

OS X El Capitan requires one of the following Mac models and versions of OS X. It also requires at least 2GB of memory and 8.8GB of storage space.

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, Early 2009, or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)
  • OS X Yosemite v10.10
  • OS X Mavericks v10.9
  • OS X Mountain Lion v10.8
  • OS X Lion v10.7
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.8


To find your model, memory, storage, and version of OS X, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu. Here's a shortcut: If your Mac is using OS X Yosemite or Mavericks, it can use El Capitan. Otherwise, make sure that your Mac meets the other requirements.

Upgrade to El Capitan from the Mac App Store

Before upgrading, it's a good idea to back up your Mac. Then open the Mac App Store and follow these steps:

  1. Search for El Capitan on the Mac App Store, or go directly to the El Capitan page.
  2. Click the Download button for El Capitan. After downloading, the installer opens automatically.
  3. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. 
    Installer screen

If you quit the installer instead of clicking Continue, you can open it later from your Applications folder. During installation, your Mac might restart several times. It then performs some initial setup tasks in the background. While those tasks are underway, activities such as using Spotlight or Mail might not seem as fast as they were before.

Don't have the Mac App Store?

  • If you're using Snow Leopard, check for software updates by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu. After installing all Snow Leopard updates, you'll have the Mac App Store.
  • If you're using Leopard, upgrade to Snow Leopard, then use the Mac App Store to upgrade to El Capitan.

Looking for an earlier version of OS X?

If you previously downloaded Yosemite, Mavericks, or another earlier version of OS X, you can still download it from the Purchased tab of the Mac App Store. If you can't find it in the Purchased tab, check for hidden Mac App Store purchases.

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