All you need to know about OS X El Capitan

The next version of Apple's Mac software is available for download. CNET explains where you can get it and how to use it.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
2 min read

Matt Elliott/CNET

Apple has released the latest update to its Mac operating system. OS X 10.11 El Capitan is available as a free download in the Mac App Store.

As Nate Ralph says in his review , El Capitan is more evolution than revolution, but it's the next step in Apple's relentless march toward efficiency, chock full of improvements along the way. And it'll run on just about every Mac purchased in the last few years: if your Mac can run Mavericks , you're all set.

Before taking the plunge, learn how to prepare your Mac for OS X El Capitan. And then read on to see how to use El Capitan's new features.

How to use Split View in OS X El Capitan: Viewing two apps side by side on a Mac just got a lot easier.

Getting started with the updated Mission Control in OS X El Capitan: Mission Control received a few tweaks, not all of which are improvements.

Wiggle to find your cursor in OS X El Capitan: Lost track of your cursor? El Capitan has a fun and useful way to find it.

Discover Spotlight's new talents in OS X El Capitan: Spotlight has some new tricks up its sleeve, making the OS X search agent that much more powerful with El Capitan.

See Mail's new tricks in OS X El Capitan: The new version of Mail boasts swipe gestures and better fullscreen flexibility.

Find out what's new with Notes in OS X El Capitan: Notes now supports checklists and a variety of media types. Plus, it shares well with others.

Apple's El Capitan refines workflow on your Mac (pictures)

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How to hide the menu bar in OS X El Capitan: Use every pixel of your Mac's screen by hiding the menu bar.

El Capitan Maps shows subway lines and shares directions with iPhones: Maps in OS X now has public transit maps for some cities and does it better (in some cases) than Google Maps. It also lets you shoot directions to your iPhone.

Browse better with Safari's new tools in OS X El Capitan: Safari looks to Chrome and iOS for inspiration for three new features it introduces with El Capitan.

Use Split View for better browsing in the OS X Photos app: Split View is coming to your Mac with El Capitan, but you can use a version of the feature right now with the Photos app.