Will macOS 14 Sonoma Run on My MacBook or Desktop Mac?

With the passing of each year comes a free major update to macOS, available as a free download sometime in the fall. macOS 14 Sonoma comes with some nice new features.

Compatible With Apple Silicon and Some Intel Macs

Despite Apple switching its entire Mac lineup to Apple Silicon (finally announcing the M2 Ultra Mac Pro), macOS 14 Sonoma will still have limited support for Intel Mac models. On top of support for all models of Apple Silicon with an M1 chip or better, macOS 14 Sonoma will also support the 2019 iMac, 2017 Mac Pro, 2017 iMac Pro, 2018 MacBook Air, 2018 MacBook Pro, and 2018 Mac mini or later.

A list of macOS 14 Sonoma compatible Mac models

You can find out which model of Mac you have by clicking the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen followed by the “About This Mac” option. You’ll see your Mac model name and the year of release appear in a window on your desktop.

With macOS 14, 2017 is the new cutoff point for older Mac models. That means that this year’s release drops support for the 2017 and 2018 iMac, 2017 MacBook Pro, and all models of the MacBook range. These models were supported in the previous release, macOS 13 Ventura.

If your Mac is no longer supported, you should still receive limited security updates. You may even be able to install macOS 14 Sonoma on your unsupported Mac when the update drops.

Some Features Will Require Apple Silicon

As was the case with macOS Ventura, not all features will be compatible with all Mac models. Just because your Mac can run macOS 14 doesn’t mean you will get all of the new features, but it does mean you’ll see major new versions of core apps like Safari, Messages, and enhancements to services like FaceTime.

One such feature missing on Intel Mac models is the new Presenter Overlay video conferencing mode, which allows you to share your screen and overlay your webcam image at the same time. A similar feature that lets you trigger reactions with hand gestures is also limited to Apple Silicon models.

macOS 14 video conferencing overlay

Game Mode, which prioritizes the game you’re playing on the CPU and GPU and greatly reduces latency when using AirPods and Bluetooth controllers is also limited to Apple Silicon models, as is the new Personal Voice accessibility feature which allows modern Apple devices to mimic your voice.

Coming as a Free Update in Fall 2023

macOS 13 Ventura was released on October 24, 2022. This continues Apple’s usual tactic of releasing its annual Mac software update once the iPhone update is out of the door.

Check out the standout macOS 14 Sonoma features coming to your compatible Mac in the fall. Got an iPhone or iPad? Get the lowdown on iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 too.

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