OS X Yosemite: Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about this popular Mac operating system? Get answers to OS X Yosemite FAQs in this free lesson.

OS X Yosemite: Frequently asked questions

In October 2014, Apple launched OS X Yosemite. We'd like to offer you a brief overview of OS X Yosemite and try to answer some questions you may have at this time.

OS X El Capitan was released in September 2015 as a free upgrade, so Yosemite is no longer available from the App Store. For more information, check out our OS X El Capitan tutorial.

What is OS X Yosemite?

OS X Yosemite is the newest version of the desktop operating system for Apple computers. It contains several new features and improvements that will make your computer more efficient and easier to use.

How much does it cost?

Nothing—OS X Yosemite is a free upgrade.

Who can get OS X Yosemite?

Anyone with an Apple computer using Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks can upgrade to OS X Yosemite. The system requirements for Yosemite are the same as those for Mavericks. For a full list of hardware requirements, view the OS X Technical Specifications.

If you have an earlier version of OS X (such as Leopard), you cannot upgrade to OS X Yosemite.

How do I get OS X Yosemite?

If you buy a new Apple computer, it will come pre-installed. You won't need to do anything to install it.

If you want to upgrade an existing computer, you can download and install OS X Yosemite by going to the App Store on your Mac (shown below) and clicking Updates.

Screenshot of OS X MavericksOpening the App Store from the Dock

OS X Yosemite is only available as an online download—you cannot purchase a physical copy at a retail store.

What's new in OS X Yosemite?

Each new version of OS X generally includes several new features, and Yosemite is no exception. Some of the most important changes include a redesigned interface, easier connectivity with iOS devices, and Spotlight improvements. To learn more about these features, check out our New Features in OS X Yosemite lesson.

Will my apps still be there after I upgrade?

Any apps you previously had installed on your computer will still be there once you upgrade. Some Apple apps, such as Safari and Calendar, will be updated automatically when you upgrade.

Will my apps still work after I upgrade?

Almost all apps installed on your computer should work correctly in OS X Yosemite. However, as with any new operating system some software may not be totally compatible. A simple Google search will often be enough to tell if an app will be compatible with OS X Yosemite.