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macOS 12 Monterey compatibility: See if your Mac can run it

macOS MOnterey
(Image credit: Apple)

macOS 12 Monterey is coming very soon — in fact you can already try the macOS 12 Monterey public beta. Even if you decide to wait for the full release, though, you’ll need to make sure that your Mac or MacBook is compatible with this shiny new operating system.

Unlike finding out if a PC runs Windows 11, macOS 12 Monterey compatibility is relatively simple: as long as your macOS device is from a certain generation or later, you should be fine to download, install and run Monterey.

Apple has listed macOS 12 Monterey system requirements, but basically you’ll need one of these Macs, iMacs or MacBooks to run it:

  • iMac: Late 2015 and later
  • Mac Pro: Late 2013 and later
  • iMac Pro: 2017 and later
  • Mac mini: Late 2014 and later
  • MacBook Air: Early 2015 and later
  • MacBook: Early 2016 and later
  • MacBook Pro: Early 2015 and later

Simple, right? Though as ZDNet notes, this list leaves some older models out in the cold, even if they currently support macOS Big Sur. If you own one of the following, or anything older, you’ll need to upgrade if you want to take advantage of Monterey’s new features:

  • iMac: Mid 2014, Late 2014 and Early 2015
  • MacBook: Early 2015
  • MacBook Air: Mid 2013 and Early 2014
  • MacBook Pro: Late 2013 and Mid 2014

One of the biggest additions to macOS 12 Monterey is Universal Control, which lets you use a single keyboard and mouse to control any Apple devices — including iPads — that are placed near to your main macOS computer. Given the likely complications in making the huge amount of potential hardware combinations all work together, it’s not surprising that Apple is keeping macOS 12 Monterey compatibility to newer models.

Other highlights include a redesigned Safari browser, a port of iOS’ popular Shortcuts app and AirPlay to Macs, which should be a good match for the latest Apple iMac 2021 and its high-performance speakers.

James Archer

James joined Tom’s Guide in 2020, bringing years of experience in consumer tech and product testing. As Audio Editor, James covers headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also covers the occasional spot of computing and gaming news, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.