Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

macOS High Sierra arrives with new Files system, 4K codec, Safari and Photos boosts

Apple’s has released macOS High Sierra as a free download for Mac users with compatible machines.

Announced at WWDC, High Sierra is the 13th major version of Apple’s desktop operating system.

Although it has been available in public beta for months, the final version can be grabbed today from App Store > Updates on your Mac.

The update may be light on front-facing new features, with major change coming through a new back-end for the Apple directory system.

Related: macOS High Sierra features tested

Apple says the new File System lays a new foundation for macOS, that will future-proof the operating system and bring “a new level of security and responsiveness.”

Elsewhere, a Safari update makes it easier to block auto-playing videos by default, enables reading mode wherever available and adds intelligent tracking that keeps ad providers from following you around the web.

The Photos app gains a more robust editing suite, improved organizational tools and a better sidebar.

Built for 4K and VR

The company has also introduced a new HEVC video standard designed to improve 4K video streaming.

The new codec can compress video up to 40% more than the existing H.264 standard. This will make streaming easier without reducing quality. Downloaded files will take up less space on the Mac also.

Another significant addition is support for virtual reality headsets. Owners of new 5K iMacs (and those thinking about buying the soon-to-be-released 2017 Mac Pro) will be able to use a HTC Vive headset, complete with SteamVR support.

Mac owners without those machines can also gain access if they pair the macOS High Sierra device with a compatible external GPU.

Have you downloaded macOS Sierra yet? Share your initial impressions with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words