​How and when to download OS X Yosemite

The latest version of Apple's OS X operating system is now available. Here's how you can download it.

Dan Graziano Associate Editor / How To
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
2 min read


Apple's latest version of its OS X operating system is now available as a free download for iMac and MacBook owners. OS X Yosemite delivers a more modern look to Apple's desktop operating system, with a redesigned dock, improved Notification Center and better integration with iOS, among other new features. Here's what you need to know before installing OS X Yosemite:

System requirements

All Macs that are capable of running OS X Mavericks will be able to update to OS X Yosemite. Meaning if your Mac has at least 2GB of RAM, 8GB of available storage, and is running at least at least OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, you should be good to go. You can find a complete list of Macs compatible with OS X Yosemite below:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (13-inch, late 2008 aluminum, early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, mid-2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid/late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Not all features will be available to all compatible devices, however. Apple has said that to take full advantage of all of the features in Yosemite, such as the new Handoff feature, Macs must include support for Bluetooth 4.0.


As mentioned above, OS X Yosemite is free and updating to it is quite simple. I recommend that your computer is connected to the charger. Open the Mac App Store, you should see a large banner advertising the new operating system, but if you are having trouble finding it, search for "OS X Yosemite" or click this link.

The file is relatively big (it's larger than 5GB) and could take a long time to download. It all depends on your Internet connection. Once the it has finished downloading, the OS X Yosemite installer will launch. Tap Continue and agree to Apple's licensing agreement. Select the hard drive you would like to install the operating system to (usually it's the default Macintosh HD) and click Install.

OS X Yosemite will now begin to install on your Mac. Enjoy.