Mac OS MacBook air. Apple macOS Ventura Review

How to Install macOS Ventura or Sonoma on Unsupported Macs, for Security Improvements

From a security standpoint, using the latest version of macOS—the Mac operating system—is essential, especially if you want to stay safe from actively exploited vulnerabilities.

However, if your Mac is several years old, there’s a good chance that the current version of macOS won’t run on your Mac; Apple drops support for Mac models that it declares to be vintage or obsolete.

If you wish to use the latest version of macOS but Apple no longer supports your Mac, the best option (in terms of speed, system stability, and the full range of Apple features) is to simply buy a new Mac. Of course, not everyone can necessarily afford to do so.

But what if there were a way to continue running the newest and safest version of macOS for much longer than Apple is willing to support your Mac model?

There’s hope for older Macs

There is, in fact, hope for users of many old Mac models. With a bit of effort, you can use source-available, third-party utility that makes it possible for you to run the latest macOS version on significantly older hardware, with (for the most part) relatively minimal caveats.

The newest Mac operating system is macOS Ventura. Following is the complete list of Apple’s supported models for macOS Ventura (macOS 13.x):

MacBook (2017) MacBook Air (2018 or newer) MacBook Pro (2017 or newer) iMac (2017 or newer) iMac Pro (2017) Mac mini (2018 or newer) Mac Pro (2019 or newer) Mac Studio (2022 or newer)

The list of additional Macs that can run macOS Ventura, unofficially (we’ll explain what that means later), includes some much older models, as follows:

MacBook (Late 2008 through Early 2016) MacBook Air (Late 2008 through 2017) MacBook Pro (Early 2008 through Late 2016) iMac (Mid 2007, after upgrading the CPU) iMac (Early 2008 through Early 2016) Mac mini (Early 2009 through Mid 2014) Mac Pro (Early 2008 through Late 2013) Xserve (Early 2008 and Early 2009)

One additional Mac doesn’t support macOS Ventura, but can be unofficially upgraded to macOS Monterey (Note: Apple does not patch all known vulnerabilities for the previous macOS, b ut it’s better than running a much older macOS version):

The mid-2007 iMac requires a processor upgrade (not for the faint of heart). But incredibly, this computer that is now nearly sixteen years old can still run macOS Ventura.

Those unofficial lists look a lot better than Apple’s official support list, right? Perhaps it seems too good to be true, and to be fair, there are some known issues with some of those models (see the OpenCore Legacy Patcher supported models list for details).

You might be wondering how such a thing could possibly work. In part, it uses a similar methodology to so-called “hackintosh” computers, where additional Apple drivers from previous versions of the operating system are included to make the current version of macOS work with a wider range of hardware.

Apple may not want to exert the effort to keep the latest macOS working on your old Mac hardware. (This actually makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that Apple makes money by selling new Macs and doesn’t directly profit from macOS upgrades.) But thankfully, a handful of hobbyists are willing to pour a lot of hours into making new macOS versions work on older Macs without any support from Apple.

Preparing to patch

If you want to run macOS Ventura or Monterey but can’t due to your Mac not being officially supported, here is how to go about it:

  • First, go to your Apple menu and select “About This Mac.” Write down what it says next to “Model” (if it’s listed). Then click on “System Report…” (or “ Info…”). In the hardware overview window that pops up, a “Model Identifier” will be listed; write this down as well.
  • Now that you’ve confirmed your Mac model, next you’ll need to verify that OpenCore Legacy Patcher works with your Mac by reviewing the supported models list.
  • Back up all your data. Use Apple’s Time Machine and/or Intego Personal Backup, follow a “3-2-1” backup strategy. and ensure that your backups are really working.
  • Grab a USB flash drive (or any USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt external hard drive) that can be erased and is 16 GB or larger in size. (Ideally, choose a fast external drive. This will save time when copying the macOS installer to the drive and booting your Mac from it during installation.)
  • Download the latest version of OpenCore Legacy Patcher from this site. Be sure to choose the “GUI” version that’s several hundred megabytes.
  • If you normally use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and/or mouse, it’s ideal to instead use a wired USB keyboard and mouse for this process. (If you’re upgrading a MacBook, the built-in keyboard and trackpad are fine, in most cases.)

As an aside, you can find many of the steps from this guide (and a few additional details) on the OpenCore Legacy Patcher site. But I’ll take the journey with you using my iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007, with an upgraded CPU) and add some helpful tips based on my experience. Mine is the oldest supported (er, unsupported) model, and it’s ten years older than the minimum iMac model that Apple still supports. (Note that I’m upgrading from a patched version of Catalina, but the steps below are the same regardless. The screenshot below is actually from another Mac running OS X El Capitan 10.11.6, which happens to be the final macOS version that Apple supported on my iMac, too.) Although hardware upgrades are not usually required, you may wish to upgrade your Mac to the maximum amount of RAM and replace your hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD), assuming your Mac model is user-serviceable and you’re comfortable doing such upgrades. This will make your machine run much smoother.

Of course, it probably goes without saying, but Intego cannot provide technical support if something goes wrong. Proceed at your own risk.

Now that you’ve got everything ready to go, let’s begin!

How to install macOS Ventura or Monterey on an unsupported Mac

Note: This step-by-step guide was originally written for macOS Monterey, but it should still apply to macOS Ventura as well. See the section Will macOS Sonoma be supported? for additional details about Sonoma.

Having completed all your prep work from the previous section, now you can follow this step-by-step guide to installing macOS Monterey on your unsupported Mac.

  • Plug in your USB flash drive or external hard drive. (You’ll need this for later steps.)
  • Open the “OpenCore-Patcher” app (the GUI-Offline version that you downloaded in step 5 of your preparation). Click “Open” if prompted.
  • In the app’s main window, click on the “Create macOS Installer” button.
  • A new window will appear listing many macOS versions. Click on the most recent non-beta version, which should appear near the bottom of the list.
  • The macOS version you selected will begin to download. When the download finishes, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password “to add InstallAssistant” for the next step (this copies the “Install macOS Ventura” [or Monterey] app to your Applications folder).
  • Next, click on the “Flash Installer” button. You’ll then be prompted to choose the “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) app that you downloaded in the previous step. (If you have multiple options, choose the most recent version version of Ventura or Monterey in the list.)
  • You’ll then be prompted to choose your USB flash drive or external hard drive. (If you have multiple options to choose from, select carefully; the next step will completely erase the drive.) You may wish to write down the disk details; you’ll need to choose the same disk again later.
  • Again, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OCLP-Helper wants to make changes” (OCLP is short for OpenCore Legacy Patcher; this step allows for your external drive to be formatted). As explained on the “Creating Installer” screen, the process of copying data to your external drive can potentially take a very long time; this step took almost 90 minutes on my 2007 iMac.
  • Once that process is complete, you’ll get a “Success” dialog box, and then you can click on the “Return to Main Menu” button.
  • At the “main menu” window, click on the “Build and Install OpenCore” button. A new window will appear; click on the “Build OpenCore” button to continue.
  • Once the text stops scrolling, the “Build OpenCore” button will change to say “Install OpenCore” instead; click on Install OpenCore.
  • In the “Install OpenCore” window, click on the button for the same disk that you chose in step 7 above (i.e. your external drive).
  • Next you’ll need to choose the partition. There should only be one button in this list (it will probably say “EFI” in the middle). Click on that button to continue.
  • Again, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to mount your EFI.” This is necessary to prepare the external drive for the next steps.
  • Moments later, you’ll see a bit of text, ending in “OpenCore transfer complete.” Your Mac is now ready to install macOS Ventura or Monterey.
  • Now it’s time to install the new OS on your Mac! Read this entire step carefully before you proceed; you’ll need to be ready to press buttons on the keyboard quickly. Click on the Apple menu, then select “Restart…” and click Restart again when ready. Immediately begin holding down the Option key on your keyboard (or “Alt” if you’re using a third-party USB keyboard). Immediately as soon as you see multiple drive options, stop holding the Option/Alt key, and use the arrow keys to choose the “EFI Boot” option with the blue-and-white OpenCore logo. Press the Return or Enter key to select this option. Next, use the arrow keys and Return/Enter to select the “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) option. Your Mac will start booting up from the installation disk. Depending on the age and speed of your Mac and your external drive, this may take a few minutes.
  • Once your Mac finishes booting, you should see the following options: Restore from Time Machine, Install macOS Ventura (or Monterey), Safari, and Disk Utility. Choose “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) and let the installer run as normal. In the pane where you’re prompted to select a disk, be sure to choose your Mac’s internal drive (e.g. “Macintosh HD”).
  • After a while, your Mac will probably restart on its own. If it brings you back to the screen shown in step 17, just click on the Apple menu and select Restart, and immediately begin holding Option again. Select “EFI Boot” again, but this time you’ll need to choose the “macOS Installer” option with the internal hard drive icon superimposed (pictured below). This will allow the operating system installation to complete.
  • When macOS Ventura or Monterey has finished installing, there are just a few more steps remaining. First, you’ll want to set up your internal drive properly to ensure you no longer need the external drive attached. To do this, open the OpenCore-Patcher app (the one you used in step 2). From the main menu (as depicted in step 3), repeat steps 10 and 11 again to build and begin installing OpenCore.
  • Although in step 12 you chose your external drive, this time you’ll instead select your internal drive (which is most likely disk0, but may vary depending on your Mac).
  • Like step 13, there should only be one option that says “EFI” near the middle; click this button.
  • Like step 14, you’ll prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to mount your EFI.” This is necessary to prepare the internal drive to boot without the external drive attached.
  • Once you see a window similar to step 15, again you’ll see a bit of text ending in “OpenCore transfer complete.” Click on “Return to Main Menu” to prepare for the next step.
  • From the main menu, click on the “Post Install Root Patch” button. (This will help you install any additional fixes that may be necessary to make Ventura or Monterey work with your Mac’s legacy hardware.) Then click on the “Start Root Patching” button.
  • When you receive the “Relaunch as root?” prompt, click Yes. Again you’ll be prompted for an administrator’s username and password, because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to relaunch as admin.” The app will relaunch at the main menu, at which point you should repeat step 24. Then proceed to step 26.
  • Once it says, “Patching complete,” you’ll also see the message, “Please reboot the machine for patches to take effect.” Before you reboot, drag your external (e.g. USB) drive’s icon from the desktop to the Trash to eject it, and then physically unplug the external drive from your Mac. Then click on the Apple menu, click “Restart…” and then click Restart. Hold Option/Alt one more time, and select the internal drive’s EFI Boot option.

You’re all set! Your Apple-unsupported Mac is now running macOS Ventura or Monterey!

Installing macOS updates (minor and major)

The next time there’s a minor macOS update, i.e. a new version of Ventura, here’s what to do to ensure everything goes smoothly:

  • Back up important files from your computer. (Refer to step 3 in the “Preparing to patch” section of this article for tips.) You should do this anyway, regardless of whether you’re using a Mac that’s supported or not.
  • Run the OpenCore-Patcher app to check for updates. If it informs you that an update is available, download the GUI-Offline version.
  • Most of the time, you’ll be able to install macOS Ventura updates like normal.
  • Ventura updates might occasionally include significant changes that may require an OCLP update first. You may want to wait a day or two after Apple releases a new Ventura update, and check OCLP’s known issues page, before installing Ventura updates. You can get the latest Ventura update via Apple menu System Settings General Software Update.
  • Monterey is essentially in maintenance mode (some security updates, but no new features), so it’s probably okay to update without waiting. You can get the latest Monterey update via Apple menu System Preferences… Software Update.
  • After installing a Ventura or Monterey update, your Mac will reboot automatically. After you log in, you’ll need to reinstall the Post Install Root Patch (steps 24 and 25 above), and then restart your Mac again.

Before you consider upgrading to a major new macOS version (like macOS Sonoma, aka macOS 14, which will likely be released around October 2023), you’ll need to wait to ensure OCLP is compatible first. An update to OCLP is always required before you can safely upgrade to the next major macOS version. (See the section, Will macOS Sonoma be supported?)

If the installation was successful and you’re thrilled to be able to run the latest operating system on your old Mac hardware, consider offering to donate hardware to the OpenCore Legacy Patcher developers to help them test updates more quickly on a wider variety of older Macs.

Additional tips

Now that you’re using macOS Ventura or Monterey on an unsupported Mac model, here are a few more things you might like to know:

  • Back up your important files often. Not only are you running macOS in an unsupported manner, but your hardware is also quite old, so there is an increased risk of data loss. To keep your documents safe, you can use Apple’s Time Machine and/or Intego Personal Backup, use a 3-2-1 strategy, and confirm that your backups actually work.
  • Keep the external drive handy that you used for installing Ventura or Monterey. You will need it for installing future major macOS updates, like macOS 14 (assuming, of course, that your Mac will be unofficially compatible with it).
  • Another way to stay aware of OpenCore Legacy Patcher software updates is to subscribe to Mr. Macintosh on YouTube. He releases a video for each new OCLP update and macOS update, so if you have any concerns about the process or want to be sure there aren’t any “gotchas” before you update, this is a good way to keep informed.

Welcome to the legacy patching community!

Congratulations! Your older Mac will now be able to keep up with the latest security updates. Although firmware updates are not included (those are model-specific, and Apple only releases them for supported Macs), your macOS will nevertheless be much more secure than it was with the old version of Mac OS X you were running before.

Every time a new macOS is released, I look forward to the next macOS patcher, as it keeps our beloved—and still more than capable—old Macs around for just a while longer.

Will macOS Sonoma be supported?

Apple recently announced its upcoming Mac operating system, macOS Sonoma, at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. (Learn more about macOS Sonoma’s upcoming features, and how to install the beta on supported hardware.) Sonoma is scheduled to be released in “fall 2023,” which typically means around October, give or take a couple weeks.

As usual with new macOS versions, macOS Sonoma drops support several Mac models, which poses challenges for t he OCLP developers. The following models that Apple officially supported for macOS Ventura will not be officially supported for macOS Sonoma:

  • iMac (2017), which Apple sold new until 10/2021
  • MacBook (2017), which Apple sold new until 7/2019
  • MacBook Pro (2017), which Apple sold new until 7/2019

The team behind OpenCore Legacy Patcher is already working with macOS Sonoma betas to try to resolve newly introduced compatibility issues. They hope to bring Apple’s upcoming macOS Sonoma to these soon-to-be unsupported Macs, as well as to the previous Macs that can currently (unofficially) run macOS Ventura.

It may take the OCLP developers several months to be able to stably support macOS Sonoma—perhaps even months after its initial public release. But for now, macOS Ventura remains the latest stable public version of macOS. Therefore, you may wish to upgrade your older Mac to Ventura to get the maximum number of security updates from Apple.

Keep an eye on this article, or this OCLP Sonoma issues GitHub page and OCLP’s Discord, for future developments.

You can download a Ventura-compatible version of OCLP from their GitHub releases page.

How can I learn more?

Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, Intego’s Mac security experts discuss the latest Apple news, security and privacy stories, and offer practical advice on getting the most out of your Apple devices. Be sure to follow the podcast to make sure you don’t miss any episodes.

You can also subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep an eye here on The Mac Security Blog for the latest Apple security and privacy news. And don’t forget to follow Intego on your favorite social media channels:

Apple macOS Ventura Review

Ventura is a worthy upgrade to Apple’s fast, reliable, and elegant macOS, with improvements that help you FOCUS, use your phone as a webcam, find things more easily in email, and much more.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.


  • Solid, reliable upgrade with a minimal learning curve
  • Stage Manager helps FOCUS on the current app
  • Continuity Camera lets you use your phone as a webcam
  • Mail and Messages get edit and unsend features
  • Improved Spotlight searches
  • Shared photo library for family use


  • New System Preferences app makes advanced features harder to find
  • Message editing leaves older versions of the message still visible
  • Shared photo library lets family members delete or edit any photo

Just about every Mac user will be happy with macOS Ventura, the latest version of Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system, available as a free download for any compatible Mac. Happy, yes, but no one will be especially excited, which is why Ventura is exactly the kind of upgrade a smooth, elegant operating system like macOS should get. The most visible new feature is Stage Manager, which lets you FOCUS on one or two apps with fewer distractions. Apple adds dozens of smaller changes and improvements, plus a few interface changes that make macOS more consistent with iPhones and iPads. There’s still room for improvement, but Ventura makes the case that macOS is the most enjoyable and productive OS overall, as well as a PCMag Editors’ Choice winner.

Since our initial review, the OS has received two point updates, 13.1 and 13.2. The first added a completely new collaborative whiteboard-style app called Freeform. The second’s major contribution is support for hardware security keys like the YubiKey, something that’s been available in Windows for several years.

A Bit of Subtlety

Unlike last year’s macOS Monterey, Ventura doesn’t confront you with a major overhaul to the interface. Instead, it improves the operating system’s look, feel, and security, and it adds flexible new features like a family-shared photo library in Photos. Ventura continues Apple’s push to integrate iOS and macOS. For example, you can now use your iPhone as your Mac’s webcam, a feature called Continuity Camera. To make it work effortlessly, Apple is selling a 29.95 mounting bracket by Belkin that snaps onto your laptop, though it’s not required. You also get new security features like passkeys, a secure login method that’s an alternative to passwords.

How to Install macOS Ventura

Now that we’re at the second point release, version 13.2, it’s probably safe to go ahead and update your Mac to the new OS version, though there’s always the possibility that something won’t work after updating (as you’ll see if you peruse Apple’s support forums). If you want to try out Ventura without risking any changes to the system you use daily, use the macOS Disk Utility app to create a new volume on your hard disk and call it Ventura—or anything else you’ll remember. (Note that you need about 50GB of disk space.) Next, download macOS Ventura from the App Store and run it. Be extremely careful when clicking on the prompts to avoid upgrading your existing system! When the installer prompts you to install Ventura on your current system, which is probably named Macintosh HD, click the button that says Show All Disks (don’t skip this essential step). Then carefully choose to install Ventura on your new volume instead of one with your existing system.

Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)

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When Ventura starts up for the first time, you can choose the option to transfer your settings, and—if you have room for them—your applications, from your existing disk. If you don’t have room to copy your apps, you can probably run them from the Applications folder in your old system. While you’re trying out Ventura, you can switch back to Monterey by selecting its volume in the System Preference’s Startup Disk pane. (I explain in a moment how to find that pane in Ventura’s revamped System Preferences app.)

Later, when you’re ready to upgrade your existing system, choose Software Update on your Monterey system, and let it update your Monterey setup to Ventura. When you no longer need the Ventura volume you were using for testing, use the Disk Utility app to delete its partition—but only after you’ve made sure you’ve safely copied any documents you created in that test partition.

Can My Mac Run Ventura?

Ventura runs on almost any Mac released in the past five years. It works on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. Ventura supports:

  • iMac 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro 2019 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017
  • Mac Studio 2022
  • MacBook Air 2018 and later
  • Mac mini 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2017 and later
  • MacBook 2017

A simple way to tell is that if your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air dates back to 2015 and uses the old MagSafe connector, it won’t run Ventura. Similarly, the 2017 MacBook Air with the old connector can’t run Ventura. If you’re in doubt, check Apple’s Ventura support page (Opens in a new window).

Managing the Stage in Ventura

Ventura has two visually spectacular enhancements, but you’ll only see them if you look for them. One is the new Stage Manager feature, which helps you FOCUS on one app (adding one or more other apps if you want them) while moving everything else out of the way. The other is the Continuity Camera feature, which lets you use your iPhone’s high-tech camera as a webcam instead of the low-tech camera in your Mac.

Let’s start with Stage Manager. This feature, which is also available on many iPad models, is a clever addition to the anti-distraction features already in the Focus feature in macOS and iOS that limits interruptions while you’re working or sleeping. When you click on the Stage Manager icon in the Control Center, the app you’re working in moves to the center of the screen. Any other open apps shrink to a stack of icons on the left and apps and folders on your desktop disappear entirely, though you can set an option that keeps them visible. Drag the current app to the left, and the stack of icons for your other open apps disappears also—or you can make the other app icons disappear by default. If you drag one of the open app icons into the window with the current app, you can keep both open, with everything else remaining invisible or icon-ized.

Apple has been improving FOCUS in recent macOS and iOS versions, and Stage Manager is the best improvement yet. It extends the existing subtle feature that grays out the main window of an app when you open a sub-window to print or set preferences. Like other interface features, you can start Stage Manager either by clicking its menu bar icon or by setting a hotkey that toggles it on and off. You can’t start it from a desktop Hot Corner, but you can hope Apple will add that option someday. Stage Manager isn’t perfect. I wish Apple hadn’t indulged its taste for razzle-dazzle graphics by reducing inactive apps to icons with a distracting perspective effect so that they look as if they’ve been turned 45 degrees to the left and seem to recede into the background. When it comes to Windows arrangement, Apple still has some catching up to do with Windows.

Your iPhone Is a Webcam in Ventura

Continuity Camera is Ventura’s other dazzling interface feature. Last year, Apple introduced the Sidecar feature that lets you use an iPad as a second display for your Mac and move the mouse or files between the two devices. This year, with Continuity Camera, your iPhone running iOS 16 works effortlessly as a superior alternative to your Mac’s webcam, and wirelessly.

It helps to have a stand to prop up your phone, so you may want to buy the aforementioned Belkin clip that attaches to the top of your screen and grips your phone magnetically (though it’s not required). The stand also works as a kickstand for your phone. Belkin says it will release a similar stand for desktops and standalone monitors soon. If you buy one of these stands, don’t make the beginner mistake I did when I tried to attach my phone without removing its protective case; the magnet only grips the stand when it makes direct contact with the phone’s surface. When your phone is on the stand, your Mac automatically switches from its built-in camera to the phone’s camera, but drop-down menus in apps with camera support let you choose the built-in camera if you prefer. This feature worked seamlessly in Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, and it’s an excellent example of how macOS at its best just works.

The Continuity Camera feature includes video effects like Center Stage, which tries to keep you in the frame as you move around the room. Portrait Mode blurs the room behind you while keeping your face in FOCUS, a feature familiar to anyone who has used video conferencing tools in the last two years. Studio Light dims the background and highlights your face. This feature also supports Desk View, which uses your phone’s ultrawide camera feed to split the window horizontally, showing your face on the left and your desk on the right. I wasn’t able to make Desk View work smoothly, but that may be because my phone is a low-end iPhone 12 mini.

Each of these features requires recent phones—some requiring an iPhone 11, some an iPhone 12. Also, it took me a while to figure out that you turn on these features by clicking on the little green light that appears in the Control Center in the top-line menu when the camera is running. Once you figure that out, you won’t forget it.

One last continuity enhancement is the ability to hand off a FaceTime call from a Mac to an iOS device, and vice versa.

FaceTime also gets a Live Captioning feature (labeled beta as of this writing) in the preferences pane where you can turn it on. After turning it on, wait for the OS to download a large language pack, and then you may or may not be happy with the results. In my informal tests, the feature ignored many words and misinterpreted others. The friend I was talking with hadn’t enabled captioning on her iPhone (it’s available in both Ventura and iOS 16) and said, “I don’t see any captions here.” My Mac rendered that as “I don’t see any cats in here.” Like many newly-introduced Apple features, you can expect this one to get a lot better in the future.

Ventura’s New Settings App

A surprising but less spectacular interface change is Ventura’s redesigned System Preferences. Instead of a grid of icons, as in all previous versions, you get a sidebar menu on the left, with each item on the menu opening to a preferences pane on the right. The general idea is to make System Settings have a similar menu structure to Settings in iOS.

Your iCloud and Apple ID settings are at the top, and then you work your way down through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Network, Notifications, and more than 20 additional items, more or less as in iOS. The change that takes the most getting used to is having to use a new menu item named General that leads to controls like Software Update, Time Machine, and Startup Disk, which used to be instantly available in the main window of the old System Preferences app. This new system makes sense, as you’re likely to use these controls a lot less often than others, though tinkerers and advanced users will probably mourn the old layout where you didn’t need to hunt through a menu for those controls.

In the old System Preferences app, you could go to the Sound panel to find the option to show the volume control in the menu bar, or go to the Bluetooth panel to find the option to show Bluetooth in the menu bar. In a move to make System Preferences more logical, all these options have moved to the panel that manages the Control Center. You can find them easily by typing volume or Bluetooth in the app’s search field, but I wish Apple had prioritized convenience here.

Upgrading to Mac OS Ventura

Apple made a similar interface change to the system-wide Print dialog, but here it’s entirely welcome. Previously, if you wanted to scroll through the thumbnail preview images, you had to view them one at a time. The new dialog displays a preview of multiple pages in a thumbnail sidebar like the one in the Preview app. And the options in the main panel of the dialog are easier to manage. Third-party apps like Microsoft Office still use Print dialogs that look like the old macOS dialog, but they will probably change as third-party developers update their apps for Ventura.

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The Freeform App in Ventura

Arriving in the 13.1 update to Ventura, Freeform is a digital whiteboard app that lets you brainstorm and collaborate with others. To the borderless whiteboard, you can add drawings, shapes, images, links, stickers, videos, and even files. Everything you do in the app syncs among all invited users on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

For collaboration to work, you need to enable iCloud syncing. It’s a flexible and interesting app that competes with Google Jamboard and Microsoft Whiteboard, both of which are collaborative and cross-platform.

Mail Gets Better in Ventura

The big usability enhancements in Ventura are in Mail, Messages, and FaceTime. Mail’s search feature gets a major overhaul and is more reliable than in earlier versions, though still not as powerful as it should be. When you click in the search field, a drop-down shows you a list of links and attached documents found in recent messages, because those are the things you’re most likely to look for. Searches for names and words are faster than before, and searches now include Google-style synonym searching and autocorrect for mistyped words.

If you have multiple mailboxes, and you probably do, you’ll be grateful for one subtle change: When you start typing a search string, the search goes through all mailboxes by default, so you no longer need to click an option for each. Also, Ventura’s mail search seems far more thorough than earlier versions. I used to keep a copy of the Thunderbird mail client on my Mac because Thunderbird’s search always found messages macOS Mail couldn’t.

Mail finally gets an Undo Send feature that lets you second-guess yourself after going forth with an angry message or wondering if you left a typo in an important email. For 10 seconds after you click Send, an Undo Send button appears at the foot of the Mail sidebar. If you click it, the message-editing window opens so you can either delete your message entirely, or edit it and resend it.

By clicking and dragging right on a received message, you can click a clock icon that sets a reminder that puts the message back into your inbox on the reminder date. For messages in English, a Follow Up feature detects messages that specifically ask for a response and pushes them to the top of the inbox. Also, as in Thunderbird and other mail clients, Mail finally prompts you if you mention an attachment in your message and then forget to include it.

Updates to Messages in Ventura

The Messages app now lets you mark a conversation as unread by right-clicking the conversation or from the top-line menu, although you won’t find the option by right-clicking on an individual message. The app continues to add collaboration features, such as the ability to share a document or presentation directly from Messages. When someone joins a Messages thread, you can add them to the collaboration with a click. Deleted messages are now retained for 30 days in case you need to retrieve them, so you no longer need to scour your phone in the hope of finding a message you’ve deleted from your Mac.

The Messages app plays catch-up with WhatsApp and Messenger by giving you two minutes to unsend a message. You also get 15 minutes to edit it. What seems wrong with this feature is that earlier versions of an edited message remain visible to the recipient, so if you send a message that says I quit, and then revise it to say I look forward to working with you forever, the recipient can click a button and see the original version. So, if you’ve said something you think you might have regretted, you’ll definitely want to unsend the message and start over.

This doesn’t happen with WhatsApp or Messenger. And unlike in those two apps, you can’t hide a message only on your side of the conversation, leaving it visible to the recipient, so that anyone looking over your shoulder won’t see your message, but the recipient can.

Sharing Your Photo Library in Ventura

Photos now gets a Shared Library feature you can set up from the app’s Preferences and share with family members or anyone else. Members of the sharing group can edit or delete photos in the shared library.

You can set up your phone to save photos directly to the Shared Library instead of to your private library. You can also click on a drop-down in the Photos app to display either your personal library or your shared library, or both at the same time.

It’s a potentially terrific feature, but I have mixed feelings about the way Ventura implements it. In the similar Shared Album feature introduced in earlier versions of macOS and still available, only the user who contributed a photo has the ability to delete or modify it. In the new Shared Library, everyone has equal control, so your little brother can draw a mustache on your selfies, and there’s nothing you can do to stop him. Also, the Photos app only lets you move a photo from one library to the other, not copy from one library to another, so if you want to keep a backup copy before you move a photo to a shared library, make sure to choose Duplicate Photo from the context menu.

The Photos app now stores your recently deleted photos in a separate library, accessible only with a password or Touch ID. And an impressively well-executed Copy Subject feature reminiscent of recent Photoshop capabilities automatically copies the person (or people) in a photo to the clipboard without the background. This means you can paste the resulting image into a message or document. When you select Copy Subject from a photo’s pop-up menu, Photos shows you what will be copied by drawing a white outline around the section it selects.

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Safari Tab Groups in Ventura

As it does in each new version of the OS, Safari gets improvements to its organizing features, and, as always, Apple adds more ways to share almost everything with almost everyone.

Earlier macOS versions added Tab Groups—sets of tabs you can open with a click on the name of the group. Ventura adds shared Tab Groups, so you can send a Tab Group via Messages and then, in real time, see which of your colleagues is viewing which of your tabs. Each Tab Group can get its own start page. If you click on the controls icon at the lower right of the page, you can choose which sections of Safari’s default start page will appear on the group’s start page. You can apply a background image either chosen from a gallery provided by Apple or by selecting an image of your own; a plus sign button makes it possible. None of these features is especially intuitive to figure out, but you only have to try it once to get the idea.

Обзор macOS 13 Ventura! Как работает на MacBook Air M1? Что за Central Stage?

Ventura Passkeys and Security

The biggest security enhancement involves passkeys, a new kind of credential that combines a biometric identification like Touch ID or Face ID with an encrypted digital key that’s stored, in this case, on your Mac and propagated to all your other devices via your iCloud Keychain. Passkeys are touted as a much safer alternative to the standard username and password combos for logins. Passkey isn’t exclusive to Apple, but Ventura marks the first release of it on macOS.

Passkeys only work on websites that support them, but they should make digital life far more secure than it is now, partly because passkeys can’t be phished and they only work from your own devices. If you log in to a supported website from a Windows or Android device, the site displays a QR code that, when scanned, lets you log in from your iPhone.

Other password improvements include the ability to edit Safari’s suggested strong passwords to match a website’s login requirements and easy access to Wi-Fi passwords via the Network Settings panel, where you can click to copy a password to share it.

Security Key Support

At PCMag, we often stress the importance of enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA), and hardware keys like those in the YubiKey line are some of the strongest forms of MFA available. With the 13.2 update to Ventura, you can now require a hardware security key to log in to your Apple ID account on your Mac. You need two FIDO-certified keys for this to work, according to Apple’s documentation (Opens in a new window) —read our roundup of hardware security keys for help selecting one.

Favorite Apps From Your Phone to Your Desktop in Ventura

Ventura brings to the Mac features you take for granted on your phone. For example, a new Clock app works like a spacious version of the iOS equivalent. You can create alarms and set a time or stopwatch. A new Weather app is an equally spacious version of the iOS app and opens all the locations you’ve added on your phone. The existing Reminders app gets the ability to pin lists in the same way you can pin conversations in the Messages app. You can also create templates for new lists and see all your completed tasks in a single list.

Ventura, like Monterey, lets you install many apps designed for the iPad but, as the App Store warns, not verified for macOS. I am disappointed Ventura doesn’t let me resize these apps, but it seems that Apple is respecting the settings made by the app developers for the iOS and iPadOS versions. If, like me, you’ve been reaching for your phone for apps that you don’t have on your Mac, search for those apps in the macOS App Store, because you may find them there.

Speaking of the apps, I’m still waiting for Apple to improve the App Store so I can search in my list of purchased apps, or at least display that list in alphabetical order instead of in reverse order of purchase date, which makes it impossible to find the app I’m looking for.

Search and Ye Shall Find

The Spotlight search feature gets an unusually hefty set of enhancements. You can finally open a Quick Look preview simply by pressing the spacebar, just as you could already do from the Finder. Spotlight now returns a more extensive set of search hits; for example, search for clock and the result list includes create timer.

A Rich Results feature displays a screen of information about performers, artists, businesses, and more, and also about your contacts, so you can enter a contact’s name and see their birthday and other information without opening the Contacts app. When a Rich Result is available, the Spotlight search field says Show. and you simply press Enter to see the information. If you search for something like house photos, Apple claims you’ll find photos of your house in the Photos app, but I had very mixed success with this feature, which found only a few of the dozens of house photos in my library.

As in previous versions, some Ventura features won’t be ready at the first release, and Apple says only that they’re coming later this year. The most notable one is Freeform, an infinite-canvas collaboration app along the lines of Miro, Microsoft Whiteboard, Google’s JamBoard, Zoom’s built-in Whiteboard, and others. It isn’t available for testing, but it looks as if its major advantage will be its integration into the Apple ecosystem, so you’ll be able to start a collaboration from FaceTime or see updates in Messages.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink. and a Few Customization Details

Apple says everything in Ventura runs on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, with the one exception of the above-mentioned Live Captions feature, which provides real-time transcriptions of calls and FaceTime calls and runs only on Apple Silicon. By contrast, Live Captions in Windows 11 work on all PCs. Earlier macOS versions had larger lists of features that required Apple Silicon, and my guess is that Apple’s decision to support Ventura only on post-2015-era Macs means all Intel Macs that can support Ventura are powerful enough to run almost all its features. Apple reports that its Metal 3 graphics technology will enhance speed and visual detail in games, but I haven’t tested it.

That doesn’t mean Ventura gives me everything I want from macOS. I’ve been begging Apple for years to provide an option to use darker folder icons than the glaringly bright blue ones. If you switch the interface to Dark Mode, the edges of the folder darken slightly, but the folders are still too bright. Until a few years ago, I was able to change the default icons by hand, but security updates in recent versions make it impossible.

I still can’t find a way to drag a System Preferences pane to the desktop or a folder to create a shortcut, and I wish macOS, like Windows, would let me compare creation dates and other details when I copy a file into a folder where another version of the same file already exists.

I also wish every macOS dialog box would let me navigate its buttons and options from the keyboard, instead of leaving me guessing whether I’ll need to use the mouse to select the button I want. All these are minor long-standing complaints about macOS, not specifically about Ventura.

Swift, Reliable, and Elegant

I’m writing this review while traveling with two laptops, a MacBook Air running Ventura and a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon running Windows 11, and Ventura helps me to FOCUS and relax in ways Windows 11 doesn’t. Of course, some of my PCMag colleagues have exactly the opposite opinion, and I’ll continue to rely on Windows for running apps that aren’t as feature-rich or convenient in their Mac versions. But except when I need those few apps, I’ll always reach for my Mac first.

In our testing, Ventura has consistently proven itself to be swift, reliable, and elegant, with deep security features no other OS can match. Ventura is a smooth, straightforward upgrade, and a clear Editors’ Choice winner that confirms macOS is the most polished operating system overall.

The Best Mouse For MacBook Pro And MacBook Air. Summer 2023 Mice Reviews

If you travel a lot with your MacBook in tow, you may be more comfortable using a mouse instead of your MacBook’s trackpad. In the past, finding the best mouse for MacBook models was challenging; now, just about every mouse you can find will work with Apple devices. Using a mouse instead of your MacBook’s trackpad can prevent wrist fatigue and is much better suited for tasks that require more precision, like photo editing or gaming. Since the new MacBook Pros only have USB-C ports, you’ll need a mouse with a Bluetooth connection if you have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. On the other hand, this also means you can wirelessly pair your mouse without worrying about dongles or USB receivers. We’ve focused on options with Bluetooth support in this list, and most are either rechargeable via USB or can last for months off of AA or AAA batteries.

We’ve tested over 290 mice. Below are our selections for the best mouse for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro users. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best mouse, the best wireless mouse, and the best ergonomic mouse.

Best Mouse For MacBook Pro And MacBook Air

Apple Magic Mouse 2

Apple is known for making devices that work well together, and it may be no surprise that we recommend the Apple Magic Mouse 2 as the best mouse for Mac users. Its iconic, low-profile design makes it easy to toss into laptop bags or even your A new black color variant is available, but the basic design hasn’t changed since its original release in 2015. The top of the mouse is a glossy Multi-Touch surface made of acrylic that behaves just like a trackpad. You register regular mouse clicks by tapping this surface, but it also recognizes a range of gestures, like scrolling, zooming, and swiping between applications. While its shape isn’t as ergonomic as other popular options, like our mid-range pick, the Logitech MX Anywhere 3, it’s suitable for all hand sizes. This mouse connects via Bluetooth and recharges with an included USB-C to Lightning cable. It’s important to note that you can’t use the Magic Mouse 2 while it charges since the charging port is on the bottom of the mouse. However, Apple advertises a battery life of up to a month or more, so it isn’t an issue you’ll need to contend with daily. It has a quick-charge feature, so two minutes of charging gives you around nine hours of use, which will get you through the workday without too much disruption.

Best Mid-Range Mouse For Macs

Logitech MX Anywhere 3

With a mid-range budget, we recommend checking out the Logitech MX Anywhere 3. It’s typically very similar in price to our best pick in this article, the Apple Magic Mouse 2, but it has quite a different design approach. While it lacks the multi-touch surface of the Apple mouse, it has a more traditional ergonomic shape making it a more comfortable choice if you use your mouse for long stretches at a time. This mouse feels very well-built and is made with premium-feeling materials. It also combines a solid offering of productivity features and portability. The scroll wheel is made of metal and feels very precise when scrolling. You can also toggle a free-scrolling mode for scrolling through content much faster. This mouse connects wirelessly with Bluetooth and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously. It recharges with a standard USB-C cable, and Logitech advertises that a fully charged battery can last up to 70 days. You can also reprogram buttons and set movement-based gesture controls with the software. You can pick this mouse up in one of three colors, and it has a dedicated version for macOS and for Windows. The Mac version only comes in one colorway but has several settings pre-configured for a Mac environment. The Mac version doesn’t include a USB receiver, but both versions support Bluetooth and are fully compatible with macOS.

Best Budget Mouse For Macs

Logitech M720 Triathlon

premium options in Logitech’s productivity-minded MX series might garner more attention; however, the Logitech M720 Triathlon quietly offers many of the same features, making it our recommendation as the best mouse for MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for any budget-minded individual. You may notice a large price gap between this pick and our mid-range pick above. While options are available at between these two, they don’t offer the same value as either of these. This mouse has an ergonomic, right-handed shape and is well-suited for all hand sizes using most grip types. You can connect this mouse with its USB receiver or via Bluetooth and wirelessly pair it with up to three devices simultaneously. Its scroll wheel has left and right inputs for horizontal scrolling, and you can toggle between a controlled, notched scrolling mode and a much faster free-scrolling mode. Along the side, there are three buttons and a gesture button integrated into the thumb rest, which by default is used to perform movement-based gesture commands while held. Logitech advertises a battery life of up to 24 months with a single AA battery and has companion software that offers a good range of customization options, including button remapping and custom profile settings. There’s also a compartment where you can store the USB receiver when it’s not in use.

Best Cheap Mouse For Macs

Logitech Pebble M350

The Logitech Pebble M350 is an extremely portable choice with a very flat, low profile, just as its name suggests. It also comes in four different colors to suit your setup. Although its shape may look unusual, it’s designed to be easy to carry with you. You can connect this mouse wirelessly using Bluetooth, and it uses a single AA battery for power which Logitech indicates can provide power for up to 18 months. Unlike the Apple Magic Mouse 2, this mouse has a physical scroll wheel with clearly defined steps, which you may prefer over the Apple mouse’s virtual, touch-surface scroll wheel. Unfortunately, it isn’t a very comfortable option for extended periods because of its compact design. It’s also missing features typically found on productivity-oriented mice meant for desktop use, like side buttons or a free scrolling mode. Also, Logitech doesn’t offer customization software for this mouse, so you can only customize its settings or button functions with third-party software. That said, it’s a popular low-cost option if you’re frequently on the go and looking for the best Bluetooth mouse for Mac.

Best Work Mouse For Macs

Logitech MX Master 3S

Although we recommend the Logitech MX Master 3S here, you won’t go wrong with any mouse in the MX Master lineup. The older models are often on sale, so they’re worth checking out if you’re looking for a high-performing office mouse on a budget. The differences between versions are minor, so going with an older model won’t lose you any major functionality or comfort. Each model features the same ergonomic, right-handed shape with a thumb rest and two scroll wheels, and they all offer the same Bluetooth connectivity with a solid battery life of up to 70 days on a full charge. However, the main difference with the 3S, the most recent entry to this lineup, is that this mouse has quieter click buttons and an improved sensor that’s more compatible with high-resolution displays. It also has a Mac-specific variant with a USB-C to USB-C charging cable to be more compatible with newer MacBooks that lack USB-A ports. The Mac variant has a slightly different color scheme, and it comes with default gesture controls that are Mac-specific, like opening the Launchpad and switching between apps. You can also use the companion software to program profiles for specific apps, like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, so you can easily control the brush size, undo/redo, and image panning using the buttons right on the mouse.

Best Gaming Mouse For Macs

Logitech G604 LIGHTSPEED

Combining comfort and versatile gaming performance, we recommend the Logitech G604 LIGHTSPEED as the best gaming mouse for Macs. It isn’t as lightweight as some gaming mice designed exclusively for FPS titles. However, it has an array of programmable buttons, solid build quality, and an ergonomic right-handed shape well-suited for nearly all hand sizes and grip types. Performance-wise, it uses Logitech’s flagship sensor and has very low click latency, so playing games in any genre feels snappy and responsive. You can connect this mouse using Bluetooth right out of the box, and unlike many gaming mice, it doesn’t have RGB lighting, which can significantly drain battery life. This mouse uses a single AA battery for power, which Logitech advertises can provide up to five and half months of usage. The scroll wheel also has left and right tilt inputs and both a slower, notched scrolling mode and a free-scrolling mode you can engage manually with the press of a button. If you’re interested in a more affordable gaming mouse, the Razer Basilisk X Hyperspeed has a similar design. However, it has fewer buttons and doesn’t offer the same sensor performance. Also, its customization software isn’t compatible with macOS, so it’s a better option if you’re more of a casual gamer that isn’t looking to adjust your mouse’s settings.

Recent Updates

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mice for Mac users. We factor in the price (a cheaper mouse wins over a pricier one if the difference isn’t worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no mice that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all the mice we’ve tested to find the best mouse for MacBook Air and MacBook Pros. Be careful when choosing the best mouse for Mac to not get too caught up in the details. While no mouse is perfect for every use, most mice are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

The latest macOS version is Monterey — here’s how to check if you have it and how to upgrade

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  • The latest macOS version is macOS Monterey, which released in October 2021.
  • You can check what version of macOS you have by opening the About This Mac menu.
  • If you don’t have the latest version of macOS, you can update your Mac from this menu too.
macbook, apple, macos, ventura, review

It’s been nearly 40 years since Apple released the first version of Mac OS, the operating system inside all of their computers. Nowadays, Mac OS is known as macOS, and each version is named after a location in California.

The latest version as of this writing is macOS Monterey, released in October 2021. A new major macOS version debuts every year, and every almost every update comes with big changes.

Unless you’re a programmer or tech journalist, you probably don’t need to know the name of every Mac operating system ever. You just need to know what the latest is, how to check which macOS version you currently have, and how to update it if you need to.

How to check if you have the latest macOS version

To check what version of macOS you have:

Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, then select About This Mac.

A new window will appear. It should open to the Overview tab by default, but if it doesn’t, click Overview at the top of the window.

On this page, you’ll be able to see what macOS version your computer is running, right down to the build number (something like 10.14.6).

Underneath the OS name, you’ll find a collection of basic information about your computer, including its serial number, processor, and model name. If you click System Report… at the bottom of the window, you’ll be able to explore even more information about your device.

How to update macOS to get the latest version

If you think your Mac is outdated, try to update it.

Again, open the About This Mac screen from the Apple logo in the top-left corner. And again, go to the Overview page.

At the bottom of the window, next to the System Report option, click on Software Update…

Your Mac will connect to the internet to check if there’s a more current version of macOS for you to install. If there is, it’ll prompt you to install the update. If you have the most current version, it’ll let you know that, and you can close both Windows without worry.

Quick tip: You should almost always update your computer if a new version is available. The only exception is when Apple releases the new major update each year — these major updates are usually safe, but some security experts recommend waiting a few weeks to install them so Apple can fix any early bugs or glitches.

Steven John contributed to a previous version of this article.

William Antonelli (he/she/they) is a writer, editor, and organizer based in New York City. As a founding member of the Reference team, he helped grow Tech Reference (now part of Insider Reviews) from humble beginnings into a juggernaut that attracts over 20 million visits a month. Outside of Insider, his writing has appeared in publications like Polygon, The Outline, Kotaku, and more. He’s also a go-to source for tech analysis on channels like Newsy, Cheddar, and NewsNation. You can find him on @DubsRewatcher, or reach him by email at

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