How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac - UPDATED


Macs are like cars
The make and model of your Mac  <br>Click to see a larger image
The make and model of your Mac
Click to see a larger image
UPDATE: From the comments below and the flood in my Inbox, I see I messed up. The tip as written is Lion only and I didn't mark it as such. If you are going to check the model year of your Mac to see if it will run Mountain Lion, chances are good that you don't have Lion installed.

I've added a way to check your Mac's model for any version of OS X below.

ORIGINAL TIP: Unlike most computer makers (or other device makers for that matter), Apple doesn't give its products model numbers like iMac 4503c++. An iMac is called an iMac regardless of what type it is or what features it has. Apple denotes Macs with a model year like car manufactures do. For example, my MacBook Pro is "Early 2011," just like my Honda is a 2006 Civic. Nothing on the body of the Civic says "2006" but it is on the cover of the owner's manual in the glove box. Nothing on the case of the MacBook Pro says "Early 2011."

Most support documents (like requirements for Mountain Lion) list Macs by model year so you need to know what you have. Here's how to tell your Mac's model year.

For Lion:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu on the Menu Bar and choose About this Mac. This gives you some important info about your Mac but not the model year.
  2. Click the More Info... button.
Under the model name of your Mac is the year in grey text.

Everymac Ultimate Lookup  <br>Click to see a larger image
Everymac Ultimate Lookup
Click to see a larger image
For previous versions of OS X:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu on the Menu Bar and choose About this Mac.
  2. Your version of OS X will be in grey text under Mac OS X. Click the grey text twice to see your Mac's Serial Number. (And yes, I did test that this works in Snow Leopard which is the oldest version of OS X that I have but I verified that it also works in Leopard.)
  3. Note the last 4 characters of the Serial Number.
  4. Go to the Everymac.com Ultimate Mac Lookup
  5. Enter the last characters of your serial number.
The Ultimate Mac Lookup will show the model name and basic specs for your Mac.

Related: Mountain Lion

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Comments


How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac - UPDATED | 6 comments
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 19 2012

I did that all of this, but it did not list the model year under the model name. Under model name, it just listed "model identifier", "processor name" and on down the list, but no model year anywhere! Am I doing something wrong?

How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 19 2012

This info does NOT appear to apply to my iMac. When I click on the More Info button, which opens the System Profiler, I find only the following info:

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac10,1


How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 19 2012

Didn't work for me either... Just said 'MacBook'. It's a 13" and I don't know if '08 or'09. My iMac did say 'mid 2011.

I do appreciate the tips you share. Thanks.

How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 20 2012

It worked... mine is an '08... Thank you again...

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How to Determine the Model Year of Your Mac - UPDATED
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 22 2013

Perfect! thanx so much! finally found serial number. the 'everymac.com' link is awesome, got more info than i wanted! mine is late 2006, too old to get maverick upgrade for free...