If a Mac shipped new with 10.11 it can be updated to 10.14 Mojave direct from the Mac App Store.
If a Mac has 10.8 on it, it can be upgraded to 10.13 High Sierra if it doesn't meet 10.14's requirements but does 10.13's.
If a Mac has 10.7.5 or later on it, it can be updated to 10.12 Sierra if it meets 10.12's system requirements. 10.12's availability just became known to the author of this tip on October 1, 2018.
These tips all refer to the client version. If you are using Mac OS X server, please check: Server forums
for more posts on Mac OS X Server.
Some important dates:
September 17, 2018, Apple released iOS 12. Synchronizing with it needs El Capitan or newer on a Mac.
El Capitan is only available to those who downloaded it before, or have 10.6.8 installed. Sierra is available to
those with preloaded 10.7 or later Macs. Either one can be installed on its own partition to allow compatibility with older apps while synchronizing iTunes with iOS 12.
September 25, 2017, Apple replaced Mac OS Sierra with Mac OS High Sierra on the Apple Mac App Store.
September 20, 2016, Apple released Mac OS Sierra and changed the minimum system requirements of its operating system.
September 30, 2015, Apple released Mac OS X 10.11, El Capitan.
December 8, 2015: Apple fixed issues with Image Capture scanning that existed with 10.11.0, and 10.11.1, with the release of 10.11.2 at least for the Canon Pixma MX922, and probably other multifunction printers and scanner...
January 19, 2016: Apple released 10.11.3.
January 27, 2016: Apple has updated support links for several printers on 10.11.
March 12, 2016: This tip got updated with additional links from January 27, 2016 updates, and manufacturer El Capitan Printer and Scanner drivers.
March 21, 2016: 10.11.4 was released.
May 16, 2016: 10.11.5 was released.
July 18, 2016: 10.11.6 was released
July 19, 2017: 10.11.6 Security update was released: Security Update 2017-003
September 20, 2016, Apple released Mac OS 10.12, Sierra. El Capitan is no longer available except to people who purchased machines with it, and purchased it for download before Sierra's release.
Note: A special release is available of El Capitan for 10.6.8 users, be sure to read this tip first as there are
some significant compatibility changed from 10.6.8 to 10.7 before downloading 10.11 for 10.6.8 here:
While ostensibly to allow 10.6.8 users to get up to Sierra, some may not be compatible with Sierra.
And 10.7 paid with combo 10.7.5 free will also take 10.6.8 people who are compatible to go up to Sierra, who want a different stepping stone to try. And the system requirements say 10.6.8 or later. Can anyone verify if it will install 10.11 on something newer than 10.6.8?
Note: The 6 GB file takes approximately 37 minutes at 25 Mbps. After
which point you'll have to check through the license agreement and then it will proceed with the installation of about 24 minutes. That 24 minute installation may be longer depending on the capacity and memory support of your system, and should not be regarded as an exact time. If it takes longer than 2 hours in the 24 minute process, feel free to post on the forum to ask if there is something that might have been overlooked.
Before installing, be sure to backup your data:
iPhoto moved to the Pictures App which loses some capabilities in Mac OS X 10.10.2 and later. This tip explains how to keep both:
And make sure your system is otherwise functional.
Also if you are upgrading from 10.6.8 or earlier, please read this tip first, as the "free" upgrade may cost a lot more, given that Apple
has not supported a software allowing older applications since the release of 10.7:
Then look at the software reports after 10/1/2015 on http://roaringapps.com/apps?platform=osx
Don't just consider the table having a green circle saying that it is compatible as people have been testing with pre-release versions of 10.11, and may have reported it in there. The only release version of 10.11 tests could have been performed on 9/30/2015 or later.
There are some known issues with Microsoft Office that they have listed on their knowledgebase and they have issued 14.5.6 & 14.5.7 of Office 2011 to address these.
El Capitan Compatible printer and scanner models that are on Apple's knowledgebase article are available. Additional entries are on printer websites with Apple software update links below:
NRG (January 27, 2016)
Printers on the article that are not reflected by those downloads have El Capitan drivers available directly from their vendors, as listed below:
HP - http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c04473034 has more direct info about compatible printers on their support documents page including 10.11 compatibility.
Canon has this page to find if your printer is El Capitan Compatible:
Kodak has a generic 7.9 driver for all in one printers and El Capitan: http://support.en.kodak.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17378/selected/true
Dell's listing is here: http://www.dell.com/support/Article/us/en/19/SLN299394/EN
Samsung gave me the Yosemite & El Capitan printers via their online support chat, as they have not made a specific page for these:
Sl-C1810, Sl-C1860, SL-C410, SL-M2020, Sl-M2070, SL-M2835, SL-M2875, SL-M2885
There may be open source drivers that work as well, that have not be investigated by me, though are put on my own personal FAQ*: http://www.macmaps.com/printersx.html
10.11.2 patches some issues with 10.11 and automatic document feeder scanning from the Canon Pixma MX922, and may help other scanners that no longer had their Image Capture interface for the document feeder.
Also found with another copy of 10.11.2, was the Canon MX922 was automatically recognized on launch, and with waiting for the dialog, it was able to locate the right drivers to download automatically.
I'm watching responses to my thread here to find out if there are other printers other than that which I own:
Apple has released RAW camera update for 10.11 here:
Additional updates may come with a newer version, and can be searched on your favorite internet search engine.
Apple lists the following models whose Machine ID found in your System Profiler application.
Compatible with most features:
- MacBook (Early 2015) [8,1]
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) [5,1 or 5,2]
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) [3,1]
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer) [2,1]
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer) [3,1]
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer) [7,1]
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer) [3,1] *
- Xserve (Early 2009) [3,1]
* Note: As the model #s are very similar to 10.8, 10.9, and 10.10, it is possible that the solution that allows earlier Mac Pros to be used may be feasible for 10.11.
That solution is here: 1,x to 2,x not officially supported solution (for Mountain Lion) No one has yet reported trying this on anything later. Note, the 2018 El Capitan Security updates do not work well with these older Mac Pro models.
Other models mentioned for unique features of 10.11 include:
- MacBook Pro (2012 or newer) [9,1]
- MacBook Pro with Retina display (Mid 2012 or newer) [10,1]
- MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer) [9,1]
- MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer) [8,1]
- MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer) [5,1]
- MacBook Air (2012 or newer) [MD508LL/A, 5,1]
- MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer) [5.1]
- MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer) [4,1]
- MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer) [3,1]
- Mac mini (2012 or newer) [6,1]
- Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer) [6,1]
- Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer) [5,1]
- Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer) [4,1]
- iMac (2012 or newer) [13,1]
- iMac (Late 2012 or newer) [13,1]
- iMac (Mid 2011 or newer) [12,1]
- iMac (Early 2009 or newer) [9,1]
- Mac Pro (Late 2013) [6,1]
- Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010 or newer) [4,1]
Some applications may need to run with System Integrity Protection disabled. See this tip for details:
Another similar tip for 10.11 compatibility on audio applications is here:
* Links to my pages may give me compensation