OS X overview

OS X is the operating system that powers every Mac. It includes features and apps you’ll use each day, and it enables your Mac, iOS devices, and Apple Watch to work together.

What’s new in OS X

OS X El Capitan gives you simpler, smarter ways to use your Mac—such as working in two apps side by side, searching for files using your own words, or keeping your favorite websites handy by pinning them. Learn more about new features in What’s New in OS X.

Two apps side by side in Split View

New to Mac

If this is your first Mac, it shouldn’t take long to get the hang of it. Dock, Finder, Spotlight—they might be unfamiliar now but once you get to know them, you’ll wonder how you worked without them. Learn more about Mac basics in New to Mac.

A Finder window on the desktop

Your Mac and Apple devices

Your Mac can work together in many ways with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch—for example, you can make and receive iPhone calls from your Mac, connect to the Internet using the personal hotspot on your iPad, or start reading an email on your Apple Watch and pick up where you left off on your Mac. Learn more.

An app's Handoff icon at the left side of the Dock

Apps for everyday things

Your Mac comes with fun yet powerful apps you can use to surf the web, send email and messages, capture notes and ideas, get directions, and more. Many apps are integrated, so you can easily do things like map an address from a contact card or add a calendar event from an email. Learn more.

Notes, Mail, and Maps windows open on the desktop

iCloud for everywhere you go

When you set up iCloud on your Mac and other devices, you can use iCloud features with apps such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iTunes, and more. You can also use iCloud features on your Apple TV, Windows computer, and iCloud.com. Learn more.

The same note on Mac, iPad, and iPhone

Search your Mac and beyond

Spotlight is the fastest way to find apps, documents, images, and more on your Mac. You can also get results from sources such as Wikipedia, news sites, Maps, iTunes, and movie listings. Just click to view a document, open an email, or check when a movie starts. Learn more.

The Spotlight window on the desktop

Customize your Mac

System Preferences offers many ways to customize your OS X experience. For example, you can use your favorite photo as the desktop picture, position the Dock vertically, or change how dates and times are shown in the menu bar. Learn more.

Desktop with the Dock on the left edge of the screen and a custom desktop picture

Security built in

OS X includes many features that help protect your Mac and the information on it. Security & Privacy preferences keep your information under your control. iCloud Keychain and the Keychain Access app can securely store your passwords, so you don’t have to remember or manage them. Learn more.