New features available with macOS Big Sur.

macOS Big Sur brings a refined design, powerful controls, and intuitive customization options to the most advanced desktop operating system in the world.

Key Features and Enhancements


Updated menu bar

The menu bar is now taller and more translucent, allowing your desktop picture to extend from edge to edge. Words lighten or darken based on the color of your desktop picture. And pull-down menus are larger, with more space between the lines to make everything easier to read.

Floating Dock

The redesigned Dock is lifted from the bottom of your display and is more translucent, allowing your desktop wallpaper to shine through. And app icons are all-new and even easier to recognize.

New icons for apps

App icons have been redesigned to feel both familiar and fresh. Icons have a uniform shape but retain the stylistic touches and details that give Mac its character.

Lighter window appearance

Windows have a lighter, more spacious appearance that makes them cleaner and easier to work with. Additional translucency and rounded edges designed to match the radii of Mac create a cohesive look and feel throughout macOS.

Redesigned sheets

Sheets in apps have been completely redesigned, removing borders and bezels to put the focus on your content. They automatically dim the background and scale into the center of the app.

New and updated sounds

System sounds are all-new and even more pleasing to the ear. The new system alerts were created using snippets of the originals, so they sound familiar.

Full-height sidebars

A new look for app sidebars makes it easier to find what you want and gives you more space to get things done. Easily track your Mail inbox, access Finder folders, and organize Photos, Notes, Stocks, and more.

New symbols throughout macOS

New symbols in toolbars, sidebars, and controls bring clarity and consistency across apps, helping you immediately recognize where to click. When apps share common tasks — like viewing the inbox in Mail or Calendar — they share the same symbol. There are also localized versions of symbols with numbers, letters, and dates to match your system language.

Control Center

Control Center

Designed just for Mac, the new Control Center consolidates your favorite menu bar items into a single place to give you instant access to the controls you use most. Just click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and adjust Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and other settings — without opening System Preferences.

Customize Control Center

Add controls for the apps and features you use most, like Accessibility or Battery.

Click for more options

Click to expand the menu. For example, click Display to see options for Dark Mode, Night Shift, True Tone, and AirPlay.

Pin to menu bar

Drag and pin your favorite menu items to the top of your menu bar for easy one-click access.

Notification Center

Updated Notification Center

A redesigned Notification Center puts all your notifications and widgets into a single, dedicated column. Notifications are automatically sorted by most recent, and redesigned Today widgets deliver information at a glance.

Interactive notifications

Do more with your notifications on Mac for Apple Podcasts, Mail, Calendar, and more. Simply click and hold the notification to take action or get more information. Reply to an email, listen to the latest podcast, and even expand a Calendar invitation to see where the event falls in your day.

Grouped notifications

Notifications are grouped by thread or app. Expand each group to see earlier notifications. You can also disable grouped notifications if you prefer to see them individually.

Redesigned widgets

Experience brand-new widgets and beautifully redesigned widgets for Calendar, Stocks, Weather, Reminders, Notes, and Podcasts. Widgets also come in different sizes, so you can pick the one that works best for you.

Customize widgets

Easily add new widgets to Notification Center by clicking Edit Widgets. Then customize the size to show the amount of information you want to see and drag it into your widget list.

Discover more third-party widgets

Discover new third-party widgets for Notification Center on the App Store.


Customizable start page

Customize the new start page to make it your own. You can set a background image and select new sections to display on the start page — including Favorites, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, iCloud Tabs, and even a Privacy Report. You can also rearrange the sections using the customization controls.

Improved performance

Safari was already the fastest desktop browser — and now it’s even faster. Safari loads frequently visited sites 50 percent faster on average than Chrome.1

Improved power efficiency

Safari is optimized specifically for Mac, so it’s more efficient than other browsers on macOS. Stream video for up to one and a half hours longer and browse the web for up to one hour longer on a Mac notebook compared with Chrome or Firefox.2

Favicons in tabs

Default tab favicons help you easily identify open tabs at a glance.

See more tabs at once

The new tab bar design displays more tabs onscreen at once so you can quickly move between them.

Website previews

When you just want a peek at what’s on a tab, hold the pointer over it to get a quick preview of the page.



Translate entire web pages in Safari.3 When you encounter a compatible page, just click the translation icon in the address field to translate into English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese.

Safari extensions on the App Store

An all-new extensions category on the App Store showcases Safari extensions with editorial spotlights and top charts, making it easier to discover great extensions from developers. All extensions are reviewed, signed, and hosted by Apple for your security.

WebExtensions API support

New support for the WebExtensions API and migration tools allows developers to bring Chrome extensions to Safari — letting you personalize your browsing experience with new Safari extensions from your favorite developers.

Web Speech API

New support for the Web Speech API allows web developers to incorporate speech recognition into their web pages, enabling real-time captioning of calls and video, dictating email, and navigating websites with your voice.

Grant extensions website access

Keep the websites you visit and tabs you use even more private. Safari asks you which websites a Safari extension can work with — and you can grant access for one day or all the time.

Privacy Report

Safari uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention to identify trackers and help prevent them from profiling or following you around the web. A new Privacy Report shows how Safari protects your browsing across every website you visit. Go to the Privacy Report from your Safari menu and you’ll get an in-depth overview of every cross-site tracker prevented over the last 30 days.

Privacy Report for each website

See the privacy practices for every website you visit. Just click the Privacy Report button in your Safari toolbar for a summary of all cross-site trackers prevented by Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Start page Privacy Report

Add a Privacy Report to your start page — so every time you open a new window or tab, you can see how Safari protects your privacy.

Import passwords and settings from Chrome

Easily import history, bookmarks, and saved passwords from Chrome into Safari.

Password monitoring

Safari securely monitors your passwords, automatically keeping an eye out for any saved passwords that may have been involved in a data breach. If a breach is discovered, Safari helps you upgrade existing passwords and even generates secure passwords automatically. Safari keeps your data private and doesn’t reveal your password information to anyone — even Apple.


Pin conversations

Pin your favorite conversations to the top of your list. New messages, Tapbacks, and typing indicators animate in right above the pin. And when there are unread messages in a group conversation, you’ll see the most recent participants circle around the pinned conversation.

Multiple pinned conversations

You can have up to nine pinned conversations that sync across Messages in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.


It’s easier than ever to search all your past messages for links, photos, and phrases. A new search experience for Messages organizes your results into links and photos and highlights matching terms. It also works great with keyboard shortcuts — just press Command-F to open.

Share your name and photo

Automatically share your name and photo when you start a conversation or when the other person responds in a message. Share with everyone, just your contacts, or not at all. You can even choose to use a Memoji, image, or monogram for your photo.

Group photos

Set an image for your group conversations using a photo, Memoji, or emoji. Group photos are automatically shared with all members of the group.


Direct a message to an individual in a group conversation by typing the person’s name or using the @ sign. And choose to receive notifications only when you’re mentioned.

Inline replies

Messages allows you to reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation. See all related messages in their own view to easily keep track of a thread.

Message effects

Celebrate special moments with balloons, confetti, lasers, and more. Or send a message loudly or gently, or even slam it. Send a personal message with invisible ink that remains blurred until you swipe over it with your cursor.


Find trending images and GIFs and quickly add them to any message. Discover popular memes when you open #image, or search by keyword to find images relevant to your conversation.

New emoji

Add personality to your messaging using new emoji. You can choose separate skin tones for each individual in all variations of the kissing couple emoji and the couple with heart emoji There are also new face emoji, heart emoji, and a woman with a beard emoji.

Memoji editor

Easily create and edit a Memoji that reflects you. Choose from a wide range of hairstyles, headwear, facial structures, and other features to create one of over a trillion possible combinations.

Memoji stickers

Express yourself with Memoji stickers. The stickers are automatically generated for your personalized Memoji character, making it quick and easy to share with friends.

Enhanced photo picker

Use the updated photo picker to quickly access and share your recent photos and albums.



Discover the best places to eat, shop, and explore in cities around the world with Guides created by brands you trust.4 Save Guides so you can easily get back to them later. And Guides update automatically when new places are added so you always have the latest recommendations.

Create your own Guides

Create Guides for all your favorite places, like “best pizzerias in Chicago,” or soon‑to‑be‑favorites, like “sites to see in Paris.“ Then share them with friends and family.

New maps available in more countries

Detailed new maps are coming to more countries later this year, including Canada, Ireland, and the UK. See detailed roads, buildings, parks, marinas, beaches, airports, and more.


Privacy information on the App Store

A new section on each app’s page on the App Store helps you understand the privacy practices of the app before you download it.5 It’s similar to the way nutrition labels help you understand what’s in food before you buy it.

Self-reported privacy practices

Developers self-report their app privacy practices on the App Store.5 See the types of data their app might collect — like usage data, contact information, or location — and whether that data is shared with third parties.

Displayed in a simple format

Just as nutrition labels are convenient and easy to read, an app’s privacy information on the App Store is displayed in a consistent, simple format.5 This lets you quickly and easily see the app’s privacy practices.

Software Updates

Faster updates

Once macOS Big Sur is installed, software updates begin in the background and complete faster than before — so it’s easier than ever to keep your Mac up to date and secure.

Signed system volume

macOS Big Sur introduces a cryptographically signed system volume that protects against malicious tampering. It also means that your Mac knows the exact layout of your system volume, allowing it to begin software updates in the background while you work.

Even More


Automatic device switching

AirPods automatically switch between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac paired to the same iCloud account — making it even easier to use your AirPods with your Apple devices.6 When you turn to your Mac, a pop-up banner helps you seamlessly switch the audio over. Automatic device switching works for all Apple and Beats headphones featuring the Apple H1 headphone chip.

Apple Arcade

Game controllers

New support for playing games on Mac with the latest Xbox Series X Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense™ Wireless Controller.

Friends playing recommendations

See Apple Arcade games that are popular with your Game Center friends right from the Apple Arcade tab and game pages.


Visit Apple Arcade game pages to see your achievement progress and explore the goals and milestones you can unlock in games.

Continue playing

Launch the games you’ve recently played across your devices directly from the Apple Arcade tab.

See all games and filter

Browse the entire Apple Arcade catalog. Sort and filter by release date, updates, category, controller support, and more.

Game Center in-game dashboard

The in-game dashboard showcases you and your friends’ game progress at a glance. Quickly access your Game Center profile, achievements, leaderboards, and more from within your game.

Coming soon

Get a sneak peek at upcoming Apple Arcade games and download them as soon as they’re released.


Optimized Battery Charging

Optimized Battery Charging is designed to reduce the wear on your battery and improve its lifespan by ensuring that your Mac notebook is fully charged when unplugged. Optimized Battery Charging learns your daily charging routine and activates only when your Mac predicts that it will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time.

Battery usage history

Battery usage history displays graphs of battery level and usage for the past 24 hours and the past 10 days.


Sign language prominence

FaceTime now detects when a participant is using sign language and makes the person prominent in a Group FaceTime call.


Home status

A new visual status at the top of the Home app gives you a summary of accessories that require your attention, have important status changes to share, or can be quickly controlled.

Adaptive Lighting for smart light bulbs

Light bulbs that change color can be automatically adjusted throughout the day to maximize comfort and productivity.7 Ease into morning with warmer colors, stay focused midday with cooler colors, and wind down at night by removing blue light.

Face Recognition for video cameras and doorbells

In addition to person, animal, and vehicle detection, security cameras can identify people you’ve tagged in the Photos app for richer activity notifications.7 Easily tag people, and choose to be notified based on the person.

Activity Zones for video cameras and doorbells

With HomeKit Secure Video, you can define Activity Zones within a camera’s view to capture video or receive notifications only when motion is detected in those areas.7


Listen now

The new Listen Now tab is designed for playing and discovering your favorite music, artists, interviews, and mixes all in one place. Listen Now starts with a summary of your Top Picks across your music interests. As you play, Apple Music8 learns what you love and provides new suggestions.


When you’ve reached the end of a song or playlist, Autoplay finds similar songs to keep the music playing.

Improved search

Search has been redesigned to give you quick access to the genres, moods, and activities you love. Suggestions now let you do more, such as view an album or listen to a song. New filters let you refine your results to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Library: Made For You

Apple Music makes it even easier to find your personal mixes and Replay playlists with a Made For You library shortcut.

Listen Now: Live events badging

Listen Now will show upcoming and live special events based on your tastes.

City charts

Explore what’s popular in over 100 cities across six continents, with local charts updated daily.

Label search

Record label pages on Apple Music help you discover the latest and most popular releases from selected labels. You can find record labels in search results or by clicking the Record Label link below the track list on album pages.


Top Hits in search

Top Hits appear at the top of your search results in Notes and surface the most relevant results — making it easier to find what you need.

Quick styles

Access additional text styles and formatting options with a click of the Aa button.

Enhanced scanning

Continuity Camera has never been better. Use your iPhone or iPad to capture sharper scans that are more precisely autocropped, and have them automatically transferred to your Mac.


Expanded video editing capabilities

Adjustments, filters, and cropping are now supported for video editing so you can rotate, increase exposure, or even apply filters to your videos.

Expanded photo editing capabilities

Now you can apply the Vibrance effect to photos and adjust the intensity of filters and Portrait Lighting effects.

Improved Retouch tool

The Retouch tool now uses advanced machine learning to remove blemishes, dust specks, and other objects from a photo.9

Easy, fluid navigation

Zoom in and out to quickly get to the photos and videos you’re looking for in views across Photos — including Albums, Media Types, Import, Places, and more.

Add context to photos and videos with captions

View and edit captions, previously called descriptions, to add context to your photos and videos in the Info pane. With iCloud Photos enabled, captions sync seamlessly across all your devices, including captions you add on your iOS or iPadOS device.

Memories enhancements

Enjoy a more relevant selection of photos and videos in Memories, a larger selection of music tracks that automatically adapt to the length of your Memory movie, and enhanced video stabilization when playing Memory movies.


Listen Now

Listen Now makes it even easier to find what to play next. Easily resume the next episode in your queue from a more focused Up Next. And enjoy a new section devoted to helping you discover the latest episodes in shows you follow.

Coming soon

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions

Now you can subscribe to and directly support your favorite shows and channels. With monthly or annual subscriptions, you can unlock extras like ad-free listening, bonus episodes, archived content, and early releases.

Show Pages

A new Show Pages feature makes it easy to start listening and to customize your experience. Save space on your device by configuring download behavior on a show-by-show basis, and make sure you never miss a new episode by setting notifications.

Coming soon


Channels are a new way for podcasters to present multiple shows in one place. With Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, publishers can offer channel subscriptions that unlock extras like ad-free listening, bonus episodes, archived content, and early releases. And you can explore all free and premium channels in Search or Browse.

Library improvements

Save individual episodes to your library from anywhere in the app. Hold the pointer over an episode to reveal save and download options. Saved episodes automatically show up in your library so you can quickly find them later.


Explore popular categories and Top Charts right in Search. Now it’s easier than ever to discover your new favorite shows and channels.


Sort reminders

Easily sort your reminders by title, priority, due date, or creation date. Or manually move reminders up and down within any list — even your smart lists — so they are in the order you prefer.

Print reminders

With new support for printing Reminders lists, you can take a physical shopping list with you to the store, check off your to-dos on paper, and much more.

Assign reminders

Assign reminders to people you share lists with and they’ll get a notification. It’s great for splitting up tasks and knowing who’s responsible for what so nobody forgets.

Smart suggestions for dates and locations

Reminders automatically suggests dates, times, and locations for a reminder based on similar reminders you’ve created in the past.

Personalized lists with emoji

Personalize the appearance of your lists with emoji and newly added symbols.

Reminder suggestions from Mail

When you’re corresponding with someone in Mail, Siri recognizes possible reminders and makes suggestions for you to create them.

Organize smart lists

Customize your smart lists in the Reminders app. You can easily rearrange smart lists or hide them.

New keyboard shortcuts

Easily navigate your lists and smart lists, and quickly move dates of reminders to today, tomorrow, or next weekend.

Improved search

Find the right reminders by searching for people, locations, and even detailed notes you’ve added.


Improved performance

Spotlight is more optimized for speed. Results appear faster than ever, as soon as you start typing.

Streamlined list of results

Spotlight presents all your results in a streamlined list, making results easier to digest so you can get to the app, website, or document you need even faster.

Support for Quick Look

With support for Quick Look in Spotlight, you can access a full-size, scrollable preview of almost any document or website. You can rotate, crop, and mark up images, sign PDFs, or trim media files — without launching an app.

Integrated in Find menus

Spotlight technology now powers the Find menu in apps like Safari, Pages, Keynote, and more.

Voice Memos


Folders let you organize your Voice Memos recordings.

Smart Folders

Smart Folders automatically group Apple Watch recordings, recently deleted recordings, and Favorites — making it even easier to stay organized.


Easily mark recordings as Favorites so you can quickly access them later.

Enhance Recording

Automatically reduce background noise and room reverb with a single click.


Significant shifts

The Weather widget indicates when the weather will be much warmer, colder, or wetter in the next day.

International Features

New bilingual dictionaries

New bilingual dictionaries include French–German, Indonesian–English, Japanese–Simplified Chinese, and Polish–English.

Enhanced predictive input for Chinese and Japanese

Enhanced predictive input for Chinese and Japanese results in more accurate and contextual predictions.

New fonts for India

New fonts for India include 20 new document fonts. In addition, 18 existing fonts have been upgraded with more weights and italics to give you greater choice.

Localized message effects in Messages for India

When you send a greeting in one of 23 Indian local languages, Messages will add a corresponding message effect to help you celebrate the moment. For example, send “Happy Holi” in Hindi, and Messages automatically adds confetti to accompany the greeting.