Check Your Mac’s Version In OS X

If you have ever visited Apple’s forums, or generally read about information regarding different Macintosh (Mac) systems online, you might have noticed something common: They are mostly mentioned in the form of “Macbook Air Late 2012,” etc. These names generally suggest a model number and serve as a way to identify the Mac model being discussed.

However, this is not the true model identifier of your Mac. Alongside this common model number, each Mac revision has a specific Model Identifier. This Model Identifier is specific because of each different component of your Mac unit. In some cases, small and quick updates to hardware have resulted in a new Model Identifier being used, whereas the common name has remained the same.

Now, the most common way to find the basic identifier for your Mac is by accessing the Apple Menu and clicking on “About This Mac.”

From the Apple menu click on 'About This Mac.'

Here, you’ll see your Mac’s basic identifier alongside its specifications and serial number:

You'll see your Mac's basic identifier.

Now, the more specific way to identify your Mac is by finding its Model Identifier. Fortunately, that’s not such a difficult task to do; simply follow the steps detailed below:

1. Hold down the “Option” key on your keyboard.

2. From the Apple menu in the top left corner, select “System Information.” (Keep the Option key pressed)

3. Here, in front of Model Identifier, you’ll see the identifier for your Mac model. For example, for my system, the Model Identifier is “MacBook Pro 11,1”.

In front of Model Identifier, you'll see the identifier for your Mac.

Now using this identifier, you can search online for its manufacture year and timeframe.

You can also obtain the same information using Terminal and the following steps:

1. Open Terminal on your system, either by Spotlight or by navigating to “Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.”

2. Enter in the following command, and press Enter:

system_profiler SPHardwareDataType

3. Once entered, you’ll see the same information in Terminal from where you can obtain your Mac’s Model Identifier and search for it on the Web.

Where to obtain your Mac's Model Identifier via Terminal.

Now you can use this Model Identifier to identify your Mac version in any public forum or simply while discussing something related with any friend, relative etc. This is also very useful if you need to get your Mac repaired or need to find some details regarding it, as the Model Identifier is used on a lot of places on the Web.

Finally, if due to some technical failure, your Mac fails to power on, and you cannot use any of the methods above to find your Mac version number, use the Serial number written on the chassis of your Mac.

Once you have the Serial number, open Apple’s Support website and enter in your serial number which will then show you your Mac’s details and other relevant details that you can use for your Mac’s support from Apple.