Mac Os All Version List

  

The OS X frameworks provide the interfaces you need to write software for Mac. Some of these frameworks contain simple sets of interfaces while others contain multiple subframeworks. Where applicable, the tables in this appendix list the key prefixes used by the classes, methods, functions, types, or constants of the framework. You should avoid using any of the specified prefixes in your own symbol names.

All packages are 64-bit only. The build date is listed in parentheses, in a YYMMDD format, after the version number. The install package is used if you don't have the application already installed, while the update package is used to update an existing installation. To view release notes, see Release notes. September 16, 2021. Version 16.53.1. How can I get all the Java versions installed on my Mac? Is there a terminal command for this? When I run java -version, I get the current JRE version that is in use in my system, but I want to list all the JREs installed on my Mac.

System Frameworks

Table A-1 describes the frameworks located in the /System/Library/Frameworks directory and lists the first version of OS X in which each became available.

Table A-1 System frameworks

Name

First available

Prefixes

Description

Accelerate.framework

10.3

cblas, vDSP, vv

Umbrella framework for vector-optimized operations. See Accelerate Framework.

Accounts.framework

10.8

AC

Provides access to user accounts stored in the Accounts database. See Accounts Framework Reference.

AddressBook.framework

10.2

AB, ABV

Provides access to the Address Book, which is a centralized database of user contact information. Apps that target OS X v10.11 or greater should use Contacts.framework.

AGL.framework

10.0

AGL, GL, glm, GLM, glu, GLU

Contains Carbon interfaces for OpenGL. See AGL Reference.

AppKit.framework

10.0

NS

Contains classes and methods for the Cocoa user-interface layer. In general, link to Cocoa.framework instead of this framework. See AppKit Framework Reference.

AppKitScripting.framework

10.0

N/A

Deprecated. Use AppKit.framework instead.

AppleScriptKit.framework

10.0

ASK

Contains interfaces for creating AppleScript plug-ins.

AppleScriptObjC.framework

10.6

NS

Contains Objective-C extensions for creating AppleScript plug-ins.

ApplicationServices.framework

10.0

AE, AX, ATSU, CG, CT, LS, PM, QD, UT

Umbrella framework for several app-level services. See Application Services Framework.

AudioToolbox.framework

10.0

AU, AUMIDI

Contains interfaces for getting audio stream data, routing audio signals through audio units, converting between audio formats, and playing back music. See Audio Toolbox Framework Reference.

AudioUnit.framework

10.0

AU

Contains interfaces for defining Core Audio plug-ins. See Audio Unit Framework Reference.

AudioVideoBridging.framework

10.8

AVB

Supports Audio Video Bridging (AVB) and implements the IEEE P1722.1 draft standard.

Automator.framework

10.4

AM

Umbrella framework for creating Automator plug-ins. See Automator Framework.

AVFoundation.framework

10.7

AV

Provides interfaces for playing, recording, inspecting, and editing audiovisual media. See AVFoundation Audio Functions.

AVKit.framework

10.9

AV

Provides API for media playback including user controls, chapter navigation, subtitles, and closed captioning. See AV Kit Framework Reference

CalendarStore.framework

10.5

Cal

Deprecated. Use Event Kit instead. See Event Kit.

Carbon.framework

10.0

HI, HR, ICA, ICD, Ink, Nav, OSA, PM, SFS,SR

Umbrella framework for Carbon-level services. See Carbon Framework.

CFNetwork.framework

10.3

CF

Contains interfaces for network communication using HTTP, sockets, and Bonjour. See CFNetwork Framework Reference.

CloudKit.framework

10.10

CK

Provides a conduit for moving data between your app and iCloud that can be used for all types of data. It also gives you control of when transfers occur. See CloudKit Quick Start or CloudKit Framework Reference.

Cocoa.framework

10.0

NS

Wrapper for including the Cocoa frameworks AppKit.framework, Foundation.framework, and CoreData.framework.

Collaboration.framework

10.5

CB

Contains interfaces for managing identity information. See Collaboration Framework Reference.

Contacts.framework

10.11

CN

Provides access to the Contacts store, which is a centralized database of user contact information. See Contacts Framework Reference.

CoreAudio.framework

10.0

Audio

Contains the hardware abstraction layer interface for manipulating audio. See Core Audio Framework Reference.

CoreBluetooth.framework

10.10

CB

Contains the classes used for communicating with Bluetooth Low Energy devices. See Core Bluetooth Framework Reference

CoreAudioKit.framework

10.4

AU

Contains Objective-C interfaces for audio unit custom views. See CoreAudioKit Framework Reference.

CoreData.framework

10.4

NS

Contains interfaces for managing your app’s data model. See Core Data Framework Reference.

CoreFoundation.framework

10.0

CF

Provides fundamental software services, including abstractions for common data types, string utilities, collection utilities, plug-in support, resource management, preferences, and XML parsing. See Core Foundation Framework Reference.

CoreGraphics.framework

10.0

CG

Contains the Quartz interfaces for creating graphic content and rendering that content to the screen. See Core Graphics Framework Reference.

CoreImage.framework

10.4

CI

An image processing and analysis technology designed to provide near real-time processing for still and video images. See Core Image Programming Guide.

CoreLocation.framework

10.6

CL

Provides interfaces for determining the geographical location of a computer. See Core Location Framework Reference.

CoreMedia.framework

10.7

CM

Contains low-level interfaces for for managing and and playing audio-visual media in an app. See Core Media Framework Reference.

CoreMediaIO.framework

10.7

CMIO

Contains interfaces of the Device Abstraction Layer (DAL) used for creating plug-ins that can access media hardware.

CoreMIDI.framework

10.0

MIDI

Contains utilities for implementing MIDI client programs. See Core MIDI Framework Reference.

CoreMIDIServer.framework

10.0

MIDI

Deprecated in OS X v10.6. Use CoreMIDI.framework instead.

CoreServices.framework

10.0

CF, DCS, MD, SK, WS

Umbrella framework for system-level services. See Core Services Framework.

CoreText.framework

10.5

CT

Contains the interfaces for performing text layout and display. See Core Text Reference Collection.

CoreVideo.framework

10.5

CV

Contains interfaces for managing video-based content. See Core Video Framework Reference.

CoreWLAN.framework

10.6

CW

Contains interfaces for managing wireless networks. See CoreWLAN Framework Reference.

CryptoTokenKit.framework

10.10

TK

Contains interface for using smart cards. See CryptoTokenKit Framework Reference.

DirectoryService.framework

10.0

ds

Deprecated in OS X v10.6. Use OpenDirectory.framework instead.

DiscRecording.framework

10.2

DR

Contains interfaces for burning data to CDs and DVDs. See Disc Recording Framework Reference.

DiscRecordingUI.framework

10.2

DR

Contains the user interface layer for interacting with users during the burning of CDs and DVDs. See Disc Recording UI Framework Reference.

DiskArbitration.framework

10.4

DA

Contains interfaces for getting information related to local and remote volumes. See Disk Arbitration Framework Reference.

DrawSprocket.framework

10.0

DSp

Contains the game sprocket component for drawing content to the screen.

DVComponentGlue.framework

10.0

IDH

Contains interfaces for communicating with digital video devices, such as video cameras.

DVDPlayback.framework

10.3

DVD

Contains interfaces for embedding DVD playback features into your app. See DVD Playback Framework Reference.

EventKit.framework

10.8

EK

Provides an interface for accessing a user’s calendar events and reminder items. See Event Kit Framework Reference.

ExceptionHandling.framework

10.0

NS

Contains exception-handling classes for Cocoa apps. See Exception Handling Framework Reference.

FinderSync.framework

10.10

FI

Provides API for enhancing the Finder’s user interface by adding badges, shortcut menu items, and toolbar buttons. See Finder Sync Framework Reference

ForceFeedback.framework

10.2

FF

Contains interfaces for communicating with force feedback–enabled devices. See Force Feedback Framework Reference.

Foundation.framework

10.0

NS

Contains the classes and methods for the Cocoa Foundation layer. If you are creating a Cocoa app, linking to the Cocoa framework is preferable. See Foundation Framework Reference.

FWAUserLib.framework

10.2

FWA

Contains interfaces for communicating with FireWire-based audio devices. See FWAUserLib.h Reference.

GameController.framework

10.9

GC

A collection of classes for discovering and interacting with connected game controllers. See Game Controller Programming Guide

GameKit.framework

10.8

GK

Provides APIs that allow your app to participate in Game Center. See Game Kit Framework Reference.

GLKit.framework

10.8

GLK

Provides functions and classes that reduce the effort required to create new shader-based apps or to port existing apps that rely on fixed-function vertex or fragment processing provided by earlier versions of OpenGL ES or OpenGL. See GLKit Framework Reference.

GLUT.framework

10.0

glut, GLUT

Contains interfaces for the OpenGL Utility Toolkit, which provides a platform-independent interface for managing windows.

GSS.framework

10.7

gss

Contains interfaces for Generic Security Services Application Program Interface (GSSAPI).

Hypervisor.framework

10.10

hv

Allows virtualization vendors to build virtualization solutions on top of OS X without needing to deploy third-party kernel extensions (KEXTs). See Hypervisor Framework Reference.

ICADevices.framework

10.3

ICD

Contains low-level interfaces for communicating with digital devices such as scanners and cameras. See Carbon Framework.

ImageCaptureCore.framework

10.6

IC

Contains Objective-C interfaces for communicating with digital devices such as scanners and cameras.

ImageIO.framework

10.4

CGImage

Contains interfaces for importing and exporting image data.

IMServicePlugIn.framework

10.7

IM

Contains interfaces for building third-party plug-ins for Chat services. Umbrella framework for IMServicePlugInSupport.framework.

InputMethodKit.framework

10.5

IMK

Contains interfaces for developing new input methods, which are modules that handle text entry for complex languages. See Input Method Kit Framework Reference.

InstallerPlugins.framework

10.4

IFX

Contains interfaces for creating plug-ins that run during software installation sessions. See Installer JavaScript Reference.

InstantMessage.framework

10.4

FZ, IM

Deprecated in OS X v10.9. Do not use.

IOBluetooth.framework

10.2

IO

Contains interfaces for communicating with Bluetooth devices.

IOBluetoothUI.framework

10.2

IO

Contains the user interface layer for interacting with users manipulating Bluetooth devices.

IOKit.framework

10.0

IO, IOBSD, IOCF

Contains the main interfaces for creating user-space device drivers and for interacting with kernel-resident drivers from user space. See IOKitLib.h Reference.

IOSurface.framework

10.6

IO

Contains low-level interfaces for sharing graphics surfaces between apps. See IOSurface Framework Reference.

JavaFrameEmbedding.framework

10.5

N/A

Contains interfaces for embedding Java frames in Objective-C code.

JavaScriptCore.framework

10.5

JS

Contains the library and resources for executing JavaScript code within an HTML page. (Prior to OS X v10.5, this framework was part of WebKit.framework. See JavaScriptCore Framework Reference.

JavaVM.framework

10.0

JAWT, JDWP, JMM, JNI, JVMDI, JVMPI, JVMTI

Deprecated in OS X v10.7. Use Oracle Java instead.

Kerberos.framework

10.0

GSS, KL, KRB, KRB5

Contains interfaces for using the Kerberos network authentication protocol.

Kernel.framework

10.0

numerous

Contains the interfaces for kernel-extension development, including Mach, BSD, libkern, I/O Kit, and the various families built on top of I/O Kit. See Kernel Framework Reference.

LatentSemanticMapping.framework

10.5

LSM

Contains interfaces for classifying text based on latent semantic information. See Latent Semantic Mapping Reference.

LDAP.framework

10.0

N/A

Do not use.

LocalAuthentication.framework

10.10

LA

Contains API for requesting authentication from users using specified policies. See Local Authentication Framework Reference

MapKit.framework

10.9

MK

Provides classes and protocols for embedding maps into the windows and views of your apps. Includes support for annotations, overlays, and reverse-geocoding lookups. See Map Kit Framework Reference

MediaAccessibility.framework

10.9

MA

Provides API to access user preferences for captions that can accompany media, such as closed captioning. See Media Accessibility Framework Reference

MediaLibrary.framework

10.9

ML

Provides a read-only data model representing a user’s collections of images, audio, and video. See Media Library Framework Reference

Message.framework

10.0

AS, MF, PO, POP, RSS, TOC, UR, URL

Contains Cocoa extensions for mail delivery.

Metal.framework

10.11

MTL

Provides GPU-accelerated 3D graphics rendering and>

MetalKit.framework

10.11

MTK

Contains functions and classes that reduce the effort required to create a Metal application. See MetalKit Framework Reference and MetalKit Functions Reference.

ModelIO.framework

10.11

MDL

Provides classes that support import, export, and editing of 3D model assets and related resources. See ModelIO Framework Reference.

MultipeerConnectivity.framework

10.10

MC

Contains API for finding and communicating with services provided by nearby devices using infrastructure Wi-Fi networks, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth personal area networks. See Multipeer Connectivity Framework Reference.

NetFS.framework

10.6

NetFS

Contains interfaces for working with network file systems.

NetworkExtension.framework

10.11

NE, NW

Provides support for configuring and controlling Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels. See Network Extension Framework Reference.

NotificationCenter.framework

10.10

NC, NS

Contains the interfaces for creating and managing extensions in the Today view of the Notification Center. See Notification Center Framework Reference

OpenAL.framework

10.4

AL

Contains the interfaces for OpenAL, a cross-platform 3D audio delivery library.

OpenCL.framework

10.6

CL, cl

Contains the interfaces for distributing general-purpose computational tasks across the available GPUs and CPUs of a computer. See OpenCL Programming Guide for Mac.

OpenDirectory.framework

10.6

OD

Contains Objective-C interfaces for managing Open Directory information. See Open Directory Programming Guide.

OpenGL.framework

10.0

CGL, GL, glu, GLU

Contains the interfaces for OpenGL, which is a cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics rendering library. See OpenGL Programming Guide for Mac.

OSAKit.framework

10.4

OSA

Contains Objective-C interfaces for managing and executing OSA-compliant scripts from Cocoa apps.

PCSC.framework

10.0

MSC, Scard, SCARD

Contains interfaces for interacting with smart card devices.

PreferencePanes.framework

10.0

NS

Contains interfaces for implementing custom modules for the System Preferences app. See Preference Panes Framework Reference.

PubSub.framework

10.5

PS

Contains interfaces for subscribing to RSS and Atom feeds. See Publication Subscription Framework Reference.

QTKit.framework

10.4

QT

Deprecated in OS X v10.9. Use AVFoundation.framework instead.

Quartz.framework

10.4

GF, PDF, QC, QCP

Umbrella framework for Quartz services. See Quartz Framework.

QuartzCore.framework

10.4

CA,CI, CV

Contains the interfaces for Core Image, Core Animation, and Core Video. See Quartz Core Framework Reference.

QuickLook.framework

10.5

QL

Contains interfaces for generating thumbnail previews of documents. See Quick Look Framework Reference for Mac.

QuickTime.framework

10.0

N/A

Deprecated in OS X v10.9. Use AVFoundation.framework and AVKit.framework instead.

Ruby.framework

10.5

N/A

Contains interfaces for the Ruby scripting language.

SceneKit.framework

10.8

SCN

Provides a high-level, Objective-C API to efficiently load, manipulate, and render 3D scenes in an app. See SceneKit Framework Reference.

ScreenSaver.framework

10.0

N/A

Contains interfaces for writing screen savers. See Screen Saver Framework Reference.

Scripting.framework

10.0

NS

Deprecated. Use Foundation.framework instead.

ScriptingBridge.framework

10.5

SB

Contains interfaces for running scripts from Objective-C code. See Scripting Bridge Framework Reference.

Security.framework

10.0

CSSM, Sec

Contains interfaces for system-level user authentication and authorization. See Security Framework Reference.

SecurityFoundation.framework

10.3

Sec

Contains Cocoa interfaces for authorizing users. See Security Foundation Framework Reference.

SecurityInterface.framework

10.3

PSA, SF

Contains the user interface layer for authorizing users in Cocoa apps. See Security Interface Framework Reference.

ServiceManagement.framework

10.6

SM

Contains interfaces for loading, unloading and managing launchd services. See Service Management Framework Reference.

Social.framework

10.8

SL

Provides an API for sending requests to supported social networking services that can perform operations on behalf of users. See Social Framework Reference.

SpriteKit.framework

10.9

SK

Provides API for animating arbitrary textured images, or sprites. It includes sound playback, a physics engine, and a rendering loop. See SpriteKit Programming Guide

StoreKit.framework

10.7

SK

Supports requesting payment from a user to purchase additional functionality or content from the Mac App Store. See Store Kit Framework Reference.

SyncServices.framework

10.4

ISync

Deprecated in OS X v10.7. Use Contacts.framework or Calendar.framework instead.

System.framework

10.0

N/A

Do not use.

SystemConfiguration.framework

10.0

SC

Contains interfaces for accessing network configuration and reachability information. See System Configuration Framework Reference.

Tcl.framework

10.3

Tcl

Contains interfaces for accessing the system’s Tcl interpreter from an app.

Tk.framework

10.4

Tk

Contains interfaces for accessing the system’s Tk toolbox from an app.

TWAIN.framework

10.2

TW

Contains interfaces for accessing TWAIN-compliant image-scanning hardware.

vecLib.framework

10.0

N/A

Deprecated. Use Accelerate.framework instead. See Accelerate Framework.

VideoDecodeAcceleration.framework

10.7

VDA

Deprecated in OS X v10.11. Use VideoToolbox.framework instead.

VideoToolbox.framework

10.8

VT

Comprises the 64-bit replacement for the QuickTime Image Compression Manager.

WebKit.framework

10.2

DOM, Web

Umbrella framework for rendering HTML content. See WebKit Framework.

XgridFoundation.framework

10.4

XG

Deprecated in OS X v10.8.

Contains interfaces for connecting to and managing computing cluster software.

OS X contains several umbrella frameworks for major areas of functionality. Umbrella frameworks group several related frameworks into a larger framework that can be included in your project. When writing software, link your project against the umbrella framework; do not try to link directly to any of its subframeworks. The following sections describe the contents of the umbrella frameworks in OS X.

Accelerate Framework

Table A-2 lists the subframeworks of the Accelerate framework (Accelerate.framework). If you are developing apps for earlier versions of OS X, vecLib.framework is available as a standalone framework.

Table A-2 Subframeworks of the Accelerate framework

Subframework

Description

vecLib.framework

Contains vector-optimized interfaces for performing math, big-number, and DSP calculations, among others.

vImage.framework

Contains vector-optimized interfaces for manipulating image data.

Application Services Framework

Table A-3 lists the subframeworks of the Application Services framework (ApplicationServices.framework) that are not links to top level frameworks. These frameworks provide C-based interfaces and are intended primarily for Carbon apps, although other programs can use them. The listed frameworks are available in all versions of OS X unless otherwise noted.

Table A-3 Subframeworks of the Application Services framework

Subframework

Description

ATS.framework

Deprecated in OS X v10.8. Use CoreText.framework instead.

ColorSync.framework

Contains interfaces for color matching using ColorSync.

HIServices.framework

Contains interfaces for accessibility, Internet Config, the pasteboard, the Process Manager, and the Translation Manager. Available in OS X v10.2 and later.

LangAnalysis.framework

Contains the Language Analysis Manager interfaces.

PrintCore.framework

Contains the Core Printing Manager interfaces.

QD.framework

Contains the QuickDraw interfaces.

SpeechSynthesis.framework

Contains the Speech Manager interfaces.

Automator Framework

Table A-4 lists the subframeworks of the Automator framework (Automator.framework).

Table A-4 Subframeworks of the Automator framework

Subframework

Description

MediaBrowser.framework

Contains private interfaces for managing Automator plug-ins.

Carbon Framework

Table A-5 lists the subframeworks of the Carbon framework (Carbon.framework). The listed frameworks are available in all versions of OS X unless otherwise noted.

Table A-5 Subframeworks of the Carbon framework

Subframework

Description

CarbonSound.framework

Deprecated in OS X v10.5. Use CoreAudio.framework instead.

CommonPanels.framework

Contains interfaces for displaying the Font window, Color window, and some network-related dialogs.

Help.framework

Contains interfaces for launching and searching Apple Help.

HIToolbox.framework

Deprecated in OS X v10.7. Use Cocoa.framework instead.

HTMLRendering.framework

Contains interfaces for rendering HTML content. The WebKit framework is the preferred framework for HTML rendering. See WebKit Framework.

ImageCapture.framework

Contains interfaces for capturing images from digital cameras. This framework works in conjunction with the Image Capture Devices framework (ICADevices.framework).

Ink.framework

Contains interfaces for managing pen-based input. (Ink events are defined with the Carbon Event Manager.)

NavigationServices.framework

Contains interfaces for displaying file navigation dialogs.

OpenScripting.framework

Contains interfaces for writing scripting components and interacting with those components to manipulate and execute scripts.

Print.framework

Contains the Carbon Printing Manager interfaces for displaying printing dialogs and extensions.

SecurityHI.framework

Deprecated in OS X v10.9. Use Security.framework instead.

SpeechRecognition.framework

Contains the Speech Recognition Manager interfaces.

Core Services Framework

Table A-6 lists the subframeworks of the Core Services framework (CoreServices.framework). These frameworks provide C-based interfaces and are intended primarily for Carbon apps, although other programs can use them. The listed frameworks are available in all versions of OS X unless otherwise noted.

Table A-6 Subframeworks of the Core Services framework

Subframework

Description

AE.framework

Contains interfaces for creating and manipulating Apple events and making apps scriptable.

CarbonCore.framework

Contains interfaces for many legacy Carbon Managers. Most of the APIs in this framework are deprecated in OS X v10.8 (for more information, see Carbon Core Deprecations).

DictionaryServices.framework

Provides dictionary lookup capabilities.

FSEvents.framework

Provides a mechanism to notify clients about directories to re-scan to keep internal data structures up-to-date with the true state of the file system.

LaunchServices.framework

Contains interfaces for launching apps.

Metadata.framework

Contains interfaces for managing Spotlight metadata.

OSServices.framework

Contains interfaces for Open Transport and many hardware-related legacy Carbon managers.

SearchKit.framework

Contains interfaces for the Search Kit.

Quartz Framework

Table A-7 lists the subframeworks of the Quartz framework (Quartz.framework).

Table A-7 Subframeworks of the Quartz framework

Subframework

Description

ImageKit.framework

Contains Objective-C interfaces for finding, browsing, and displaying images.

PDFKit.framework

Contains Objective-C interfaces for displaying and managing PDF content.

QuartzComposer.framework

Contains Objective-C interfaces for playing Quartz Composer compositions in an app.

QuartzFilters.framework

Contains Objective-C interfaces for managing and applying filter effects to a graphics context.

QuickLookUI.framework

Contains Objective-C interfaces for creating and managing a Quick Look preview panel, which is a UI object that displays preview items.

WebKit Framework

Table A-8 lists the subframeworks of the WebKit framework (WebKit.framework).

Table A-8 Subframeworks of the WebKit framework

Subframework

Description

WebCore.framework

Contains the library and resources for rendering HTML content in an HTMLView control.

Xcode Frameworks

Xcode and all of its supporting tools and libraries reside in a portable directory structure. This directory structure makes it possible to have multiple versions of Xcode installed on a single system or to have Xcode installed on a portable hard drive that you plug in to your computer when you need to do development. This portability means that the frameworks required by the developer tools are installed in the <Xcode>/Library/Frameworks directory, where <Xcode> is the path to the Xcode installation directory. Table A-9 lists the frameworks that are located in this directory.

Table A-9 Xcode frameworks

Framework

First available

Prefixes

Description

XCTest.framework

Xcode 5

XC

Interfaces for implementing unit tests in Objective-C.

System Libraries

Some specialty libraries at the BSD level are not packaged as frameworks. Instead, OS X includes many dynamic libraries in the /usr/lib directory and its subdirectories. Dynamic shared libraries are identified by their .dylib extension. Header files for the libraries are located in the /usr/include directory.

OS X uses symbolic links to point to the most current version of most libraries. When linking to a dynamic shared library, use the symbolic link instead of a link to a specific version of the library. Library versions may change in future versions of OS X. If your software is linked to a specific version, that version might not always be available on the user’s system.

Wiki

Copyright © 2004, 2015 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use Privacy Policy Updated: 2015-09-16

The first release of the new OS — Mac OS X Server 1.0 — used a modified version of the Mac OS GUI, but all client versions starting with Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 used a new theme known as Aqua. Aqua was a substantial departure from the Mac OS 9 interface, which had evolved with little change from that of the original Macintosh operating. Non-profit organization serving the online community by providing old versions of various programs.

So, you’ve decided to download an older version of Mac OS X. There are many reasons that could point you to this radical decision. To begin with, some of your apps may not be working properly (or simply crash) on newer operating systems. Also, you may have noticed your Mac’s performance went down right after the last update. Finally, if you want to run a parallel copy of Mac OS X on a virtual machine, you too will need a working installation file of an older Mac OS X. Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.

A list of all Mac OS X versions

We’ll be repeatedly referring to these Apple OS versions below, so it’s good to know the basic macOS timeline.

Cheetah 10.0Puma 10.1Jaguar 10.2
Panther 10.3Tiger 10.4Leopard 10.5
Snow Leopard 10.6Lion 10.7Mountain Lion 10.8
Mavericks 10.9Yosemite 10.10El Capitan 10.11
Sierra 10.12High Sierra 10.13Mojave 10.14
Catalina 10.15

STEP 1. Prepare your Mac for installation

Given your Mac isn’t new and is filled with data, you will probably need enough free space on your Mac. This includes not just space for the OS itself but also space for other applications and your user data. One more argument is that the free space on your disk translates into virtual memory so your apps have “fuel” to operate on. The chart below tells you how much free space is needed.

Note, that it is recommended that you install OS on a clean drive. Next, you will need enough disk space available, for example, to create Recovery Partition. Here are some ideas to free up space on your drive:

  • Uninstall large unused apps
  • Empty Trash Bin and Downloads
  • Locate the biggest files on your computer:

Go to Finder > All My Files > Arrange by size
Then you can move your space hoggers onto an external drive or a cloud storage.
If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning the Mac manually, there are some nice automatic “room cleaners”. Our favorite is CleanMyMac as it’s most simple to use of all. It deletes system junk, old broken apps, and the rest of hidden junk on your drive.

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.4 - 10.8 (free version)

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.9 (free version)

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.10 - 10.14 (free version)

STEP 2. Get a copy of Mac OS X download

Normally, it is assumed that updating OS is a one-way road. That’s why going back to a past Apple OS version is problematic. The main challenge is to download the OS installation file itself, because your Mac may already be running a newer version. If you succeed in downloading the OS installation, your next step is to create a bootable USB or DVD and then reinstall the OS on your computer.

How to download older Mac OS X versions via the App Store


If you once had purchased an old version of Mac OS X from the App Store, open it and go to the Purchased tab. There you’ll find all the installers you can download. However, it doesn’t always work that way. The purchased section lists only those operating systems that you had downloaded in the past. But here is the path to check it:

  1. Click the App Store icon.
  2. Click Purchases in the top menu.
  3. Scroll down to find the preferred OS X version.
  4. Click Download.

This method allows you to download Mavericks and Yosemite by logging with your Apple ID — only if you previously downloaded them from the Mac App Store.

Without App Store: Download Mac OS version as Apple Developer

If you are signed with an Apple Developer account, you can get access to products that are no longer listed on the App Store. If you desperately need a lower OS X version build, consider creating a new Developer account among other options. The membership cost is $99/year and provides a bunch of perks unavailable to ordinary users.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you visit developer.apple.com/downloads, you can only find 10.3-10.6 OS X operating systems there. Newer versions are not available because starting Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.7, the App Store has become the only source of updating Apple OS versions.

Purchase an older version of Mac operating system

You can purchase a boxed or email version of past Mac OS X directly from Apple. Both will cost you around $20. For the reason of being rather antiquated, Snow Leopard and earlier Apple versions can only be installed from DVD.

Buy a boxed edition of Snow Leopard 10.6
Get an email copy of Lion 10.7
Get an email copy of Mountain Lion 10.8

The email edition comes with a special download code you can use for the Mac App Store. Note, that to install the Lion or Mountain Lion, your Mac needs to be running Snow Leopard so you can install the newer OS on top of it.

How to get macOS El Capitan download

If you are wondering if you can run El Capitan on an older Mac, rejoice as it’s possible too. But before your Mac can run El Capitan it has to be updated to OS X 10.6.8. So, here are main steps you should take:

1. Install Snow Leopard from install DVD.
2. Update to 10.6.8 using Software Update.
3. Download El Capitan here.

“I can’t download an old version of Mac OS X”

If you have a newer Mac, there is no physical option to install Mac OS versions older than your current Mac model. For instance, if your MacBook was released in 2014, don’t expect it to run any OS released prior of that time, because older Apple OS versions simply do not include hardware drivers for your Mac.

But as it often happens, workarounds are possible. There is still a chance to download the installation file if you have an access to a Mac (or virtual machine) running that operating system. For example, to get an installer for Lion, you may ask a friend who has Lion-operated Mac or, once again, set up a virtual machine running Lion. Then you will need to prepare an external drive to download the installation file using OS X Utilities.

After you’ve completed the download, the installer should launch automatically, but you can click Cancel and copy the file you need. Below is the detailed instruction how to do it.

STEP 3. Install older OS X onto an external drive

The following method allows you to download Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks.

  1. Start your Mac holding down Command + R.
  2. Prepare a clean external drive (at least 10 GB of storage).
  3. Within OS X Utilities, choose Reinstall OS X.
  4. Select external drive as a source.
  5. Enter your Apple ID.
Version

Now the OS should start downloading automatically onto the external drive. After the download is complete, your Mac will prompt you to do a restart, but at this point, you should completely shut it down. Now that the installation file is “captured” onto your external drive, you can reinstall the OS, this time running the file on your Mac.

  1. Boot your Mac from your standard drive.
  2. Connect the external drive.
  3. Go to external drive > OS X Install Data.

Locate InstallESD.dmg disk image file — this is the file you need to reinstall Lion OS X. The same steps are valid for Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

How to downgrade a Mac running later macOS versions

If your Mac runs macOS Sierra 10.12 or macOS High Sierra 10.13, it is possible to revert it to the previous system if you are not satisfied with the experience. You can do it either with Time Machine or by creating a bootable USB or external drive.
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS High Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Mojave

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Catalina

Before you do it, the best advice is to back your Mac up so your most important files stay intact. In addition to that, it makes sense to clean up your Mac from old system junk files and application leftovers. The easiest way to do it is to run CleanMyMac X on your machine (download it for free here).

Visit your local Apple Store to download older OS X version

If none of the options to get older OS X worked, pay a visit to nearest local Apple Store. They should have image installations going back to OS Leopard and earlier. You can also ask their assistance to create a bootable USB drive with the installation file. So here you are. We hope this article has helped you to download an old version of Mac OS X. Below are a few more links you may find interesting.

These might also interest you:

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Running the latest software is not always the best decision. There are plenty of reasons you might want to downgrade or run an older version of macOS on your computer.

You may find that after the latest update your computer runs slower, your apps don’t function, or that the programs you need to run are not yet compatible with the upgrade. Maybe as a developer, you want to create a test environment to ensure your software runs properly in all available versions of OS X - check out the infographic below. Or you may simply like the look of the old version better (no judgement) and not want to upgrade until absolutely necessary.

Keep your apps while downgrading

Get Setapp, a collection of Mac apps that strengthen your macOS. Whenever you decide to downgrade, your apps will travel with you.

How to Install Old OS X on Your Mac

Although you might think that going back to the old macOS is not possible by looking at the App Store Updates tab, it’s actually quite easy to do. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to download and install an old OS X on your Mac.

Prepare your Mac first

Make sure you are ready to downgrade your operating system by checking in with what version of OS X you already have and ensuring you have enough hard drive room to download the older version. Clicking the apple in the top left corner of your desktop and selecting About This Mac will allow you to see what OS X version you are currently running. Tabbing over to Storage will let you know how much disk space you have available. You’ll need around around eight gigabytes free depending on which macOS you downgrade to.

Even if you do have enough space, it’s a good idea to clean your computer before installing the desired operating system. You can, of course, do so manually by deleting unused files and uninstalling old software to free up disk space. Depending on how tidy you are, this might take quite a bit of time.

To make things easy, use a specialized app like CleanMyMac, which will quickly free up space by detecting unused apps and large files, and offering to completely delete them, with all their hidden corresponding files, in one quick click.

Download Old Versions Of Mac Os Server Settings

Optimizing your Mac with CleanMyMac is effortless:

  1. Launch CleanMyMac
  2. Select the Smart Scan tab and click Scan
  3. Review Details to see the list of suggested optimizations
  4. Click Clean

To uninstall certain apps, find the Uninstaller tab and select the apps you haven’t been using for a while.

Download CMM X to prepare for Big Sur

The only solution that will free up disk space, remove duplicates, and solve tons of problems to prepare your Mac for a new macOS

The final preparation step is to make sure you back up all your important files to cloud storage or an external drive. A proper backup app like Get Backup Pro can save you a lot of headache here.

To create a new backup with Get Backup Pro:

List Of All Macos Versions

  1. Connect your external hard drive
  2. Click the plus icon in the bottom left corner
  3. Type in the name for your backup
  4. Choose your external drive as a destination
  5. Adjust all the settings according to your preference and click OK
  6. Tap the play button once you ready to perform the backup

Grab an old macOS with Setapp

Download Old Versions Of Mac Os

Downgrading to previous operating systems on Mac gets easier. To put it shortly, Setapp has your back here.

Free Mac Os Download

Download the OS X you want

Once you have space on your computer, figure out what version of OS X you would like to install. You can see all previous versions of OS X your Mac has installed by opening up the App Store and clicking the icon in Applications. Tab to the Purchase page of the menu and scroll down to find the line for previous operating systems. Clicking the install button of the macOS you want will begin downloading the file.

What if I can’t find the version I want in the app store?

If your goal is to download a version of macOS that you have not already used, or, that was not available as an update from the App Store after you bought your Mac, you may need to purchase it. The earliest versions, OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion are available on the Apple Store’s website and arrive to you via email for download. OS X Snow Leopard ships as a boxed version and requires a disk drive to install.

It could be helpful to know where you sit on the timeline of macOS X updates. Below is a chronological list of all the updates beginning with the most recent update, High Sierra, released in 2017:

  • OS X High Sierra 10.13
  • OS X Sierra 10.12
  • OS X ElCapitan 10.11
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10
  • OS X Mavericks 10.9
  • OS X Mountain Lion 10.8
  • OS X Lion 10.7, released in 2011

Visiting the Apple Support’s Downloads page makes it easy to search for any version of macOS you might need, and most are available for free. Downloads for previous versions of OS X are linked below and include:

Alternative sources for downloading macOS

If you can’t find the version you want from Apple, ask a friend who is running the macOS you’re looking for to make a copy of the installer file for you. Downloading a .dmg file from a torrent site may seem a quick solution, but it means risking your security. Alternatively, you could hit up your nearest Apple Store. They will likely have image files of all the different versions of the software and help you install it right there as well.

Install the macOS

If you download the file from the App Store, the installer will start immediately. Follow the prompts and be prepared to restart your computer. If you acquire the installer from another source, just downloading the file will not install the OS X right away on your Mac, you’ll need to find the file in your Downloads or Applications folder, then open and run the installer from the downloaded file.

I can’t download an old version of Mac OS X

A downgrade is different than an upgrade. When you try to downgrade macOS, the installer may not launch right away depending on which versions of macOS you are moving between. If your installer does not launch, or you get an error message that reads: “This copy of the ‘Install OS X’ application is too old to be opened on this version of OS X,” you’ll need to use a bootable USB or external drive to work around this problem.

Get a bootable drive with OS X

Creating a bootable USB or a bootable drive is not complicated. You’ll need an external drive with enough space to hold your desired OS X on it and a basic familiarity with Terminal, Apple’s command line interface.

List Of Mac Os Versions

If you’re uncomfortable using Terminal to execute basic commands, use an app like Disk Drill to help create a boot drive. Whether you use Terminal or Disk Drill, our guide on creating a bootable installer will walk you through all the necessary steps.

Remove the old OS X

Once your drive is prepared with your bootable version of OS X, erase the unwanted version. After you restart your computer, press and hold Command + R. When you enter the macOS Utilities screen, navigate to Disk Utility, click continue, and find your Startup Disk. Tab to the Erase page and name the file you want erased (e.g. macOS High Sierra). Then select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the dropdown menu. Hit Erase and quit out of Disk Utility. This will return you to the OS X Utilities selector.

Install the bootable version of OS X

If you used Disk Drill for creating your bootable drive, a window will prompt your actions for using the install disk you made. But if you created your own using Terminal, use OS X Utilities Selector and find Reinstall OS X. Find and select your install disk with your bootable version of your preferred macOS, and click continue through to the license agreement. Once you agree, you should be prompted by the installer. Once the installation is completed, your computer should restart. If it does not restart itself, make sure you restart it normally. The downgrade should be complete!

As you can see, downgrading your OS X is not as dreadful as you might think, especially if you use helper apps like CleanMyMac, Get Backup Pro, and Disk Drill — all of which are available for a free trial on Setapp. So downgrade away!

Mac

macOS evolution inforgaphic

Mac Os All Version List


March 24, 2001

“When you saw it, you wanted to lick it,” said Steve Jobs about Aqua – the brand new UI born with the release of Cheetah. Preview, Mail, QuickTime, and TextEdit make debut at this point.

September 25, 2001

No big functionality updates, the focus is shifted to performance instead. From improved file management to CD and DVD burning, Puma just makes it work better.


Jaguar
OS X 10.2

August 23, 2002

A large grey Apple logo appears for the first time, replacing Happy Mac at startup. Optimized search functionality of Finder and the first release of Accessibility API – Universal Access. App arrivals: iChat and Address Book.

October 24, 2003

Panther release introduces Exposé, a feature for seamless management of open applications. Safari officially becomes the default web browser.


April 29, 2005

A rich harvest for Mac, Tiger marks the launch of 200+ new features. Spotlight search and Dashboard are the top stars, with Apple TV, Automator, and VoiceOver joining the crowd.

October 26, 2007

Long-awaited and Mac-changing. Leopard gives a spectacular leap, introducing Time Machine, Boot Camp, QuickLook, and full support for 64-bit software.

Snow Leopard
OS X 10.6

August 28, 2009

While Leopard did a great job, Snow Leopard arrives to refine it even more. Mainly, it comes with apps rewritten in 64 bit and OpenCL. The 2009 OS X release is also known for Mac App Store launch.

July 20, 2011

iCloud arrives. Apart from that, lots of iOS advancements find reflection in OS X Lion, covering Launchpad, multi-touch gestures, and more.

July 25, 2012

Mountain Lion adds new integrations and further iOS perks like Reminders, Notes, and Messages. It gets easier to track app updates via the Notification Center.

October 22, 2013

Maps, iBooks, and Tags debut in the first inanimate OS X – Mavericks. To enable secure password encryption and storage, iCloud Keychain in introduced.

Yosemite
OS X 10.10

October 16, 2014

A completely new sleek design is what Yosemite is remembered for. Continuity and Handoff integrated into the new OS strengthen bonds between iOS and OS X devices.

September 30, 2015

El Capitan features Split Views – dual-window functionality for arranging and managing app windows. Plus, OS X 10.11 comes with improved Safari, Mail, and Spotlight.

September 20, 2016

With Sierra, OS X dies and macOS is born. The renamed system introduces even more iOS perks like Siri and unlocking Mac with Apple Watch.

September 25, 2017

Major improvements go unnoticed for a user, but the overall performance skyrockets, due to embracing Apple File System and a new video standard, HEVC.

Mojave
macOS 10.14

September 24, 2018

Visual refinements introduced via Dark Mode and Dynamic Desktop take central stage in Mojave. The new apps migrating from iOS include Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memos..

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Mac Os All Version List
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Mac Os Version List Wiki

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