There come times when you need to know not only what version of OS X that you’re running, but also where you may want to know the actual build number.

This information usually comes mostly in handy when you’re running betas, but sometimes when filing bug reports with Apple, they might ask you to provide them with what version of OS X you are running on your Mac and the build number it shows.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you not only how to find out what version of OS X you’re running, but also where to find the build number of the version of OS X you have installed.

Why you need to know your OS X version & build number

In most cases, beta testers need this information more than regular Mac users, as it helps them to identify whether or not they have the latest beta installed at any given time. Most of the time, betas will have the same version number (10.11.x for example), but the build number will be different based on the iteration.

Another circumstance where you may be asked for this information is if you’re filing a bug report with Apple, because Apple will need to try to reproduce any symptoms you might be having on a machine with the same specs and software version as you for troubleshooting purposes. So, in order to provide this information, you’re going to need to know how.

It’s pretty easy to find your OS X version number, but the build number is a little bit hidden. Nevertheless, we’ll show you how to uncover it.

How to find what OS X version & build number you have

In order to find out what version of OS X you have installed on your Mac, you’ll follow these steps:

1) Go to the  (Apple) button in your Menu Bar and click on the About This Mac button.

How to find your Mac's version and OS X build number

2) The new window you see shows you a general overview of your Mac.

How to find your Mac's OS X version number

Included in the information is what version of OS X you’re running, but you will also see other information about your Mac, such as the model of your Mac, the type of processor it has, the amount of memory it has, the graphics it comes with, and its serial number.

Great, so you’ve just found out what version of OS X you have installed, but what about what the build number is for your installation? Carry on with stop 3 below…

3) Simply click on the version of OS X you have installed, and your Mac will display its hidden build number information for you.

How to find your Mac's OS X build number

In this case, our MacBook Pro is running OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan with the build number 15E65. You may see something different based on what you have installed on your system. This is the information you might include with an Apple bug report, should you ever have to file one.

Other things you need to know

Sometimes your Mac’s build number may differ from everyone else’s. Sometimes when a new Mac is launched and you buy it, your version of OS X might be the same as your buddy’s but the build number could be different.

This simply means that you’re running the same version of OS X, but yours is a more recently-modified build of that OS X version. It’ll still have all the same software features, but the modifications might just include support for your new Mac’s all-new hardware.

If your build number is lower than you believe the latest version of OS X to be, you can always perform a software update by opening the Mac App Store and opening the Updates tab to check for updates. This works for both beta and public software updates.

Wrapping up

Well, that wasn’t too hard was it? That’s how you find not only the version of OS X you’re running on your Mac, but also the version number.

Also read: How to change how frequently your Mac checks for updates

If you found this tutorial helpful, please let us know in the comments below.

If you have any questions about using your Mac, or would like to see something else explained, drop us a comment below or email tips@idownloadblog.com.

  • I never commented on any post in my life before, but Unfortunately I did on this post. This is something even a computer begginer child in Africa would find for first time before they use the computer. I’m really disappointed at the iDownloadBlog. After Jeff went everything is so boring! I normally use iDownloadBlog to see new stuff about Apple but now I’m going for other options because this site becomes babish by every day!

    • Hey. I can see your point but I tend to disagree. This post for example. Yes many Mac users probably know what version of OS X they’re running, but I really doubt a majority of people would know how to find the build number.

      Some of these posts are obviously intended for new Mac users, but long time users can usually get something out of it, or just learn something new.

      If iDB wants to thrive, it can’t just cater to power users. New people come to the Mac or iOS every day, and we’d love to be able to help these people in their journey.

      Now I understand these are topics you may not be interested in, but th good news is, if you skip this post and go to the next one, there will probably be something in there for you 🙂

      Anyways, thanks for the feedback.

      • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

        I understand both viewpoints. It is too easy for the majority of users to find this information, but some of them will search on Google for their OS version and build and therefore find this post.

        However, posts like this could be shorter, targeting its goal and nothing else.

      • Sailor_V90

        @varunsachith:disqus that’s a bit vague, and subject to personal opinion. I personally like that iDB covers an array of topics for everyone needs. I’ll admit there have been post, similar to this one, that are indeed simple in nature, but then later have been useful to me and I’ve been using Apple products since ’98.
        They clearly have a formula that clearly works for them, however if you don’t like the direction they are going then provide constructive criticism to help them and other user like yourself not just a personal opinion you want to be true. Its easy to critique and past judgement when you yourself have never been in such a potion.
        And if that’s still not a viable option for you then start your own Apple blog.

      • You should know that you just gave too much information to remember. 😐 plus, I gave my opinion because I don’t want to see iDownloadBlog becomes “nothing to post”. I have no interest in starting my own Apple blog. Because people like me develop apps and software for people like you.

      • Sailor_V90

        @Varun Sachith
        Okay see now you’re just being nasty and plain rude, you are an Internet Troll. Point. Blank. Period.
        “…People like me…”? Haha you’re so funny it’s tired. You do not know a thing about me or what I do for a living so you need to check yourself because details of your incompetence do not interest me.

      • As if I care about your anger towards tome. 😐 and as if I care about “internet troll”. Honestly I don’t give a damn. 😀 have a nice day amateur. 😉 😀

      • Personally, I didn’t know how to get the build number this way. So I definitely learned something new, which is the whole point, whether you’re a new user or a power user.

      • Myself included. I always knew how to see what version of OS X I was running, but I was unaware that you could reveal the build number here as well by clicking on it. I learned something new while writing this post and I’ve been an OS X user since 2010.

      • The trick is not just to find the Mac build version, it’s same for finding the IMEI number from iTunes or serial number stuff like that. That’s something a Mac user should know, because it’s kind of a fact that OSX and Apple does “to view more info”.

      • I agree it’s something every Mac user *should* know. Unfortunately, it’s not something every Mac user *does* know. Hence these posts.

  • Victor

    I agree with Varun. I, too, registered to voice my concern. Over the last few months, I have noticed the decline in the content quality. Personally I already bookmarked a couple of other websites for Mac news and I am visiting iDownloadBlog much less often. I feel that iDownloadBlog is padding their homepage with this kind of kindergarten-level articles. Instruction for finding build and number really doesn’t need to be this complicated. Instead, the homepage should be reserved for more meaningful and technical articles.

  • fawaz badranii

    Hi Sebastien, Do you know a way how can i fresh install OS X 10.10.5? And no, I do not have it on my purchases on the app store. maybe if you give me some help, that would be great, cause i dont know if i should upgrade to 10.11 on my macbook air

    • hulksince93

      Which OS X version are u running on currently?

  • James G

    This is helpful, thanks. Is there an easy way to get to model # as well?