"I don't know if I
have System 7, OS 9, OS X, or what. How do I find out
which Macintosh operating system
Up in the top-left
corner of the screen, you have a little Apple logo. This is the Apple
. If it's rainbow-colored, you're in OS 9 or earlier. If it's
blue or gray, you have some version of OS X ("X" is for "ten", like
the roman numeral). Click on that Apple to open the Apple menu, and
choose the first item on the list: it will be About This Mac
, or About This Computer
, or About This Macintosh
. A window will open telling you what version you have. That's it!
Not at the computer? You might still be able to figure it out. You
might know the nickname of your operating system
, for example,
Panther. If it's a big cat name, then you have some version of OS X.
Cheetah is 10.0,
Puma is 10.1,
Jaguar is 10.2,
Panther is 10.3,
Tiger is 10.4.
If your computer was made before March 2001, it has OS 9 or earlier
unless you've bought and installed OS X. If your computer was made
before October 1999, it has System 8 unless you've bought and installed
a later version. If your computer was made before January 1998, it has
System 7 unless you've bought and installed a later version. If your
computer was made before 1991, then you had better hope it's been
upgraded to System 7, or you'll have a real hard time getting on the
If you have bought a used Mac computer and it won't start up and you want to know which version of Mac OS it's compatible with so you can install it and get the computer working, download Mactracker
(onto a working computer, of course) and look up your model.