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.
2) The new window you see shows you a general overview of your Mac.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.