macOS Big Sur Overview Updated September 13, 2021

macOS Big Sur

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121 'macOS Big Sur' stories

June 2020 - September 2021


The next version of macOS, named Big Sur, was announced at WWDC on June 22nd, 2020. It includes a UI overhaul that brings it closer to iOS in style. Many buttons are now chromeless and highlight as you mouseover. There is a lot more translucency, and app icons in the Dock now look similar their iOS counterparts too.

macOS Big Sur Features

macOS Big Sur also brings Control Center to the macOS for the first time with quick access to brightness and other quick toggles.

The Notification Center in macOS is now up-to-date with the iOS version, featuring grouping and rich interface styles. The iOS 14 widget system is also available on macOS.

The Messages app for Mac has also been revamped with an inline photo picker and Memoji. The Apple Maps app has also been modernized, now as a  Catalyst app so it shares the same codebase with iOS.

Compatible Macs

Here’s the full list of macOS 11 Big Sur compatible Macs:

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

macOS Big Sur Release Date

A developer beta is available now, public beta in July, with the general release in the fall.

macOS Big Sur Stories September 13

While Apple continues beta testing of macOS 12 Monterey, a new macOS Big Sur update has landed for all Mac users with 11.6. The new software hasn’t been beta tested and brings two important security updates that may have been actively exploited. There’s also an update for those running macOS Catalina.

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macOS Big Sur Stories August 11

Following macOS 11.5.1 arriving at the end of July for all users with important security fixes, Apple has made macOS 11.5.2 available today with bug fixes and possibly more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories July 26

Shortly after launching macOS 11.5 last week with Podcasts app improvements and a lot of security fixes, Apple has made macOS 11.5.1 available today with additional “important security updates.”

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macOS Big Sur Stories July 21

Apple has officially released macOS 11.5 to the public today. The release comes after iOS 14.7 launched earlier this week. macOS 11.5 comes with a range of security and bug fixes as well as a fix for the Music app and an update for the Podcasts app.

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macOS Big Sur Stories July 19

Apple releases macOS 11.5 RC with Podcasts app improvements and Music app fix [U]

After a long beta cycle, Apple has seeded the macOS 11.5 Release Candidate to developer and public beta testers today. The release comes with bug fixes for the Music app and an update for the Podcasts app.

Update 7/19: Apple has released an updated Release Candidate build for macOS 11.5.

macOS Big Sur Stories July 8

The beta cycle continues for macOS 11.5 with the fifth build arriving for developers and public testers today, one week after the last release.

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macOS Big Sur Stories June 29

Two weeks after seeding developers with macOS 11.5 beta 3, the fourth beta has arrived for developers. The build comes just after the macOS Monterey beta 2 arrived yesterday.

Update 1:10 pm PT: The fourth macOS 11.5 beta is now available for public testers too.

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macOS Big Sur Stories June 23

This app lets you download full macOS Big Sur installer pkgs with one click

If you’re looking for a way to easily download the installer pkg of recent and future macOS software releases, a new app from Scripting OS X will let you do just that. “Download Full Installer” is a new app from Armin Briegel that lists the full macOS Big Sur and later installer pkgs available from Apple’s software update catalogs.

macOS Big Sur Stories June 3

Two weeks after a surprise launch of the first macOS 11.5 beta, Apple has seeded developers with the second. The update comes alongside the second beta of iOS 14.7.

Update 6/3: Now available for public beta testers as well.

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macOS Big Sur Stories May 24

Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.4, which comes with expanded support for external GPUs, bug fixes in Safari, and more. However, this update also makes the system more secure as it patches an exploit that let malware take screenshots without the user’s knowledge.

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Apple has officially made macOS 11.4 available to the public. The latest software enables support for several AMD GPUs as well as support for paid subscriptions in the Podcasts app, some serious security fixes, as well as smaller bug fixes for Safari, Preview, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories May 20

In a surprise move today, Apple has seeded developers with the first macOS 11.5 beta after just releasing the RC build of macOS 11.4 just two days ago. The latest build comes alongside the first iOS 14.7 beta and more.

Update May 20: Apple has made the first macOS 11.5 beta available to public testers too.

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macOS Big Sur Stories May 17

Apple has just released macOS Big Sur 11.4 RC to developers. This comes ahead of the final release, which is expected sometime later this month or early June. The update brings support for paid subscriptions on Apple Podcasts, compatibility with new AMD GPUs, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories May 10

After one week since the release of macOS 11.4 beta 2, Apple is now seeding developers with the third beta of macOS Big Sur 11.4.

Update: macOS 11.4 beta 3 is now available to public beta users as well.

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macOS Big Sur Stories May 3

In addition to today’s release of iOS 14.5.1, Apple is also releasing macOS Big 11.3.1. This comes one week after macOS Big Sur 11.3 was released to the public with security improvements, deeper HomePod integration, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 26

After a three-month beta, Apple has released macOS 11.3 to the public. The new software comes with a variety of new features for the Reminders app, Apple Music, HomePod support, M1 optimizations, AirTags support, an important malware fix, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 22

We just got the macOS 11.3 release candidate shortly after Apple’s Spring Loaded event. And ahead of the 11.3 public launch that could coincide with iOS 14.5 next week, Apple has seeded developers with the first beta for macOS 11.4 that comes with support for new AMD GPUs.

Update 4/22: Now available for public beta testers.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 21

New M1 iMacs will ship with a new screen saver in macOS 11.3 RC entitled Hello, a not-so-subtle homage to the original Macintosh, and to the original iMac. The new Hello screen saver is available in macOS 11.3 RC, and can run on any M1 Mac (or Intel Mac) with a little bit of finessing. Watch our hands-on video for more details.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 20

After eight beta releases, Apple has seeded developers with the macOS 11.3 release candidate. The software features new sorting options in Reminders, expanded support for Xbox/PlayStation controllers, autoplay in Apple Music, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 19

Microsoft has announced that a public preview for its Visual Studio 2022 will be coming soon. Along with a number of changes and enhancements, the latest app development software will arrive with an all-new Mac version that includes a native UI, improved performance and reliability, support for macOS accessibility features, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 13

Apple has released macOS 11.3 beta 8 today. The software features new sorting options in Reminders, expanded support for Xbox/PlayStation controllers, autoplay in Apple Music, mentions of the first Apple Silicon Macs, and more.

Update: Now rolling out to public beta users as well.

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macOS Big Sur Stories April 8

Apple has released the seventh beta for macOS 11.3. The software features new sorting options in Reminders, expanded support for Xbox/PlayStation controllers, autoplay in Apple Music, mentions of the first Apple Silicon Macs, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories March 31

Apple has seeded developer and public testers with the sixth beta for macOS 11.3. Version 11.3 features new sorting options in Reminders, expanded support for Xbox/PlayStation controllers, autoplay in Apple Music, mentions of the first Apple Silicon Macs, and more.

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macOS Big Sur Stories March 23

Apple has seeded macOS 11.3 beta 5 to developers and public testers today. The update comes a week after beta 4 arrived. macOS 11.3 comes with new sorting options in Reminders, expanded support for Xbox/PlayStation controllers, autoplay in Apple Music, and more.

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