Apple on Tuesday released macOS Sierra to an eager public. The new operating system is available to Mac users as a free download via the Mac App Store.
macOS Sierra can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store, and it should begin showing up on the “Update” tab shortly. Before downloading, be sure to check out our helpful guides: Will macOS Sierra Work on Your Mac? and How to Get Your Mac Ready for macOS Sierra.
New Features of macOS Sierra
Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent capabilities make your photos, music, and messaging even more enjoyable.
Get things done by asking Siri, the intelligent assistant now on your Mac.
• Enjoy your favorite features from iOS as well as new ones optimized for Mac.
• Send messages, create reminders, search the web, and more while you work.
• Drag and drop or copy and paste Siri results into your documents.
• Pin Siri results in Notification Center and reference them later.
• Find files, adjust settings, and get system information just by asking Siri.
Copy and paste between your devices with Universal Clipboard.
• Copy a quote, image, or video from an app on one device and paste it into an app on another device.
Automatically log in with Auto Unlock.
• Log in to your Mac automatically when you wear your Apple Watch — no need to type your password.
Enjoy the convenience and security of Apple Pay when you shop on the web.
• Use Apple Pay to make easy, secure payments when shopping in Safari on your Mac.
• Complete your purchase with Touch ID on your iPhone or with your Apple Watch.
Access files on your Mac desktop from your iPhone with iCloud Desktop and Documents.
• Automatically store all the files on your desktop and in your Documents folder in iCloud, and access them from all your devices.
• Keep the same desktop and Documents folder on your other Mac. Easily free up space on your Mac with Optimized Storage.
• Automatically store seldom-used files in iCloud, where they’ll be available on demand.
• Additional tools help you remove files you don’t need, to save even more space.
Get control of your desktop with tabs in apps.
• Use tabs to manage multiple windows in Maps, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and more.
• Work with tabs in your favorite third-party apps — no developer adoption required.
Keep an eye on the big game or your favorite video with Picture in Picture.
• Float a video window from Safari or iTunes over your desktop as you work.
• Place the Picture in Picture window in any corner, and it stays put when you switch spaces or work in full screen.
Rediscover the most meaningful moments in your Photos library.
• Enjoy favorite and forgotten occasions from your photo library with Memories.
• View your images by who’s in them. Photos uses advanced face recognition technology to automatically group photos of the same person together.
• Search your photos by what’s in them, such as beaches, dogs, or concerts, thanks to intelligent search that can recognize objects and scenes.
• Track your photo expeditions across an interactive world map.
Enjoy an all-new Apple Music experience in iTunes.
• Easily navigate your library with the redesigned Apple Music.
• Discover great new music thanks to expert curation and advanced machine learning that give you the best recommendations.
Liven up your Messages conversations.
• See web content previews and watch web videos right in a conversation.
• Respond to messages with quick, handy Tapbacks.
• Express yourself with 3x larger emoji.
• View the stickers, Digital Touch, invisible ink, and handwritten messages that friends send from their iOS devices.
Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. Some features have hardware requirements. Some features require an iCloud storage plan.
Most Macs made in 2009 or after will be compatible with mcOS Sierra, however, not all of those compatible Macs will be able to handle all of the new features.
If you have any of the following Macs, you can install macOS Sierra:
- MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
- Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
- iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
In order to support ALL of the new features in macOS Sierra, such as: Handoff, Auto Unlock, Siri, Apple Pay on the Web, Continuity features, and more, your Mac will have to be a 2012 or newer model. (And you’ll also need an Apple Watch running watchOS 3, if you want to make use of Apple Pay on the web, or Auto Unlock.)
The following model Macs will support all of the above features:
- MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (2012 or newer)
- MacBook Air (2012 or newer)
- Mac mini (2012 or newer)
- iMac (2012 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Note: For some of the Continuity features, and Apple Pay; you’ll also need an iPhone 6 or newer, running iOS 10.
System Requirements for macOS Sierra:
- A Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or later
- At least 2GB of RAM. (The more the merrier!)
- At least 20GB of available hard drive space. (More, if possible.)
- An Apple ID to use iTunes, iCloud, and the Mac App Store
Although macOS Sierra is now available, you might consider holding off a few days before updating, just to allow all the early adopters to install the upgrade and find any critical issues that Apple might have missed during the beta testing period. Plus, if you try to update immediately, you’ll likely find that everyone else is updating too, and things are going to be r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-o-o-w! You probably won’t be able to perform this update on your lunch hour. Wait until you get home tonight, have a glass of wine, a beer, or a decaffeinated coffee, and chill out for a casual upgrading experience.