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How to download macOS Big Sur – get macOS 11.0 on your Mac today

Apple has released macOS Big Sur, the latest version of its operating system for MacBook laptops and Mac desktop computers.

The free update also known as macOS 11.0 is one of the more substantial upgrades of recent times and can be downloaded and installed on compatible Macs right away.

In order to download macOS Big Sur, head to System Preferences on your Mac and select Software Update. Here you should see the new OS and the ability to Upgrade Now.

Our 12-inch MacBook is showing the download as a 12.18GB file, so you’ll need to be sure you have enough space and don’t need to use your Mac for half-an-hour or so.

As always, Apple has done a tremendous job of keeping older Macs alive and well with access to new software updates. The availability dates all the way back to the 2013 MacBook Pro, for example. Here is the list of Macs that will play nice with Big Sur:

  • MacBook: 2015 and later
  • MacBook Air: 2013 and later
  • MacBook Pro: 2013 and later
  • Mac mini: 2014 and later
  • iMac: 2014 and later
  • iMac Pro: 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro: 2013 and later

Apple is debuting the biggest change to the design and interface in years and includes many features inspired by iPadOS and iOS. There’s a new Control Centre, a revamped Notification Centre and the Dock now has a more consistent feel across the ecosystem.

Related: Best MacBook 2020

Beyond that, there are new versions of Messages and Maps that mirror the recent mobile updates, while the Safari browser is ‘faster, more personal and more private’ according to Apple.

Apple is also doubling down on privacy controls, especially on the Mac App Store, which will require developers to summarise their privacy practices. This week we learned iOS and iPadOS apps will be available natively within Big Sur if you have one of the new Apple Silicon-based M1 Mac computers.