How to download OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan remains available for Mac computers that can't upgrade to macOS High Sierra, or that need to upgrade to El Capitan first.


Can your Mac use El Capitan?

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

  • OS X Yosemite
  • OS X Mavericks
  • OS X Mountain Lion
  • OS X Lion
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard


To find your model, memory, storage, and macOS version, choose About This Mac from the Apple () menu.

How to download and install El Capitan

Now that macOS High Sierra is available, you should upgrade to High Sierra instead of El Capitan.

If your Mac doesn't support High Sierra, or you're using Snow Leopard or Lion and would like to upgrade to High Sierra, you can get El Capitan from the App Store. If you previously downloaded El Capitan, you can also download it again from the Purchased tab of the App Store.

After downloading from the App Store, the El Capitan installer opens automatically. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

Installer screen

Don't have the Mac App Store?

If you're using Leopard, upgrade to Snow Leopard to get the App Store. Then check for software updates by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu. After installing all Snow Leopard updates, you should have the App Store app.

Learn more

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.

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