OS X El Capitan is officially available for download in the Mac App Store, complete with a pretty new background picture, and a boatload of new features. If you’ve got a compatible Apple computer, you should get ready to download.
The best news about El Capitan is that it’s free, and your MacBook probably supports it. If you are running Yosemite (or actually, any version of OS X since Mountain Lion), you’re good to go. You don’t even need to be on Yosemite — you can update from older versions too. However, to use some of the cooler OS X features like Airdrop and Handoff (which appeared in Yosemite), you’ll need to be running a machine from 2012 or later.
The complete list of compatible machines looks like this:
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later), (12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
To download the update, you just need to go to the Mac App Store and grab the updater. Make sure you’ve got a little spare drive space, and a good internet connection: the installer weighs about 6GB. Once download the 6GB file, just follow the installer’s instructions, and make sure you have an hour or so of free time to kill. And, as ever, remember to back up first: shit happens.