System requirements for it have jumped a mite over the last couple of years' updates. Catalina and Mojave came after a bit of a cull of support for some older Macs. Mojave supported Apple computers made from 2012 onwards, while Catalina supported Macs made from 2012 onwards. That's moved to largely 2013 models for Big Sur.
Going further back to 2017, High Sierra ran on many older machines, even going back to 2009.
Which Macs can run macOS 11 Big Sur?
- MacBook (2015 or newer)
- MacBook Air (2013 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
- Mac mini (2014 or newer)
- iMac (2014 or newer)
- iMac Pro (from 2017)
- Mac Pro (2013 or newer)
The requirements for compatibility have jumped by a year or so, model-wise, from the Catalina upgrade, with MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, in particular, jumping from 2012 to 2013.
Of course, Apple can't support its hardware forever. Some new features need better processors to work and the older a machine is, the less powerful it tends to be.
Want to know more?
Check out our guide to macOS Big Sur. We discuss all that version's big, new features and how to get started with them.