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Are older MacBook Air's (Mid 2012) able to update to OS X 10.10 and later?


Feb 9, 2015

I'm fairly new to these MacBooks but am getting one for school and the school said the Mac OS X has to be minimum of OS X 10.10 Yosemite and I am not sure if the older MacBook I'm buying is compatible with the newer updates, I am getting a Mid 2012 MacBook Air 13" with Intel i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB HD. I'm scared that when I buy it, it will be a version update lower than the minimum of my school and I can't update it in anyway, I hope this is not going be like how Apple does the update thing to iPhones, like older generation iPhones can't update to iOS 8,9,10.etc.

Please bare with me and try to understand as it is 2AM in the morning for me currently


Generally, the Macbooks are dropped from newer versions of OS X when their hardware is considered obsolete because it physically cannot support features Apple decides to make required in OS X. It's not like the iPhones and iPads where the hardware is perfectly capable of running the new iOS and its features (e.g. Siri) but Apple drops support to try to make you buy a new device. Unlike the iOS devices where the vast majority of purchasers are individuals, a significant fraction of Mac sales are to businesses who would throw a fit and probably switch to PCs if Apple dropped support for a silly reason like that.

The mid-2012 Macbooks were based on Ivy Bridge processors, so you should be good to go. The main drawback of your older MBA will be significantly slower integrated graphics than modern computers, if you ever plan to play the occasional 3D game. Aside from that, everything looks good. It even uses the newer Apple-proprietary SSD connector (took 2 years for OWC to reverse engineer it). SSD upgrades and replacement batteries are available from OWC.


The next Macbooks to lose OS X support will probably be those based on the older Core 2 architecture (2010 and earlier). So unless some compelling new features come out in the next few years, you've probably got 3-5 years of OS X support left in that particular MBA.


Sep 29, 2015
Yes. The following computers are compatible not only with Yosemite, but with the latest version, Sierra.

iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
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