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OS X El Capitan ( ) (version 10.11) is the twelfth of , 's desktop and operating system for computers. It is the successor to and focuses mainly on performance, stability and security. Following the landmark-based naming scheme introduced with , El Capitan was named after a in , signifying its goal to be a refined version of Yosemite. El Capitan is the final version to be released under the name OS X; its successor, Sierra, was announced as . El Capitan received far superior reviews when compared to Yosemite.

The first beta of OS X El Capitan was released to developers shortly following the 2015 keynote on June 8, 2015. The first public beta was made available on July 9, 2015. There were multiple betas released after the keynote. OS X El Capitan was released to end users on September 30, 2015, as a free upgrade through the .


System requirements[]

All Macintosh computers that can run , , or can run El Capitan, although not all of its features will work on older computers. For example, Apple notes that the newly available is available on "all Macs since 2012".

These computers can run El Capitan, provided they have at least 2GB of RAM:

Of these computers, the following models were equipped with 1GB RAM as the standard option on the base model when they were shipped originally. They can only run OS X El Capitan if they have at least 2GB of RAM.

The following computers support features such as , , between Mac computers and iOS devices, as well as the new :

  • iMac: Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air: Mid 2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro: Mid 2012 or newer
  • Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
  • Mac Pro: Late 2013

The upgrade varies in size depending upon which Apple Mac computer it is being installed on, in most scenarios it will require about 6 GB of disk space.


OS X El Capitan includes features to improve the security, performance, design and usability of OS X. Compared to OS X Yosemite, Apple says that opening is four times faster, app switching and viewing messages in is twice as fast and launching apps is 40% faster. The maximum amount of memory that could be allocated to the graphics processor has been increased from 1024 MB to 1536 MB on Macs with an .OS X El Capitan supports , Apple's graphics API introduced in to speed up performance in games and professional applications. Apple's typeface replaces as the system .OS X El Capitan also adopts in replacement of used in previous versions.

Window management[]

An example of the view in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan introduces new features such as creating a full-screen split view by pressing the green button on left upper corner of the window or Control+Cmd+F keyboard shortcut, then snapping any supported other window to that full screen application. This feature is slightly similar to, although less extensive than, the snap-assist feature in (and later) and several , such as .OS X El Capitan improves to incorporate this feature across multiple spaces. It also enables users to spot the pointer more easily by enlarging it by shaking the mouse or swiping a finger back and forth on the .


Messages and Mail[]

OS X El Capitan adds gestures to applications like Mail and that allow a user to delete or mark emails or conversations by swiping a finger on a multi-touch device, such as a trackpad. OS X also analyzes the contents of individual emails in Mail and uses the gathered information in other applications, such as . For example, an invitation in Mail can automatically be added as a Calendar event.


in El Capitan shows public transit information similar to Maps in . This feature was limited to a handful of cities upon launch: , , , , , , , , , , , and


The application receives an overhaul, similar to Notes in iOS 9. Both applications have more powerful capabilities, such as (like in the application), inline webpage previews, photos and videos, digital sketches, map locations and other documents and media types. Notes replaces traditional -based with , which offers better and faster syncing.


in El Capitan lets users pin tabs for frequently accessed websites to the tab bar, similar to and . Users are able to quickly identify and mute tabs that play audio without having to search for individual tabs. Safari supports video streaming to an without the need to broadcast the entire webpage. are now hosted and signed by Apple as part of the updated Apple Developer program and they received native support for , allowing developers to block website components (such as advertisements) without injection. The app also allows the user to customize the font and background of the Reader mode.


is improved with more contextual information such as the weather, stocks, news and sports scores. It is also able to process queries in natural language. For example, users can type "Show me pictures that I took in Yosemite National Park in July 2014" and Spotlight will use that request to bring up the corresponding info. The app can now be resized and moved across the screen.


introduced editing extensions which allows Photos to use editing tools from other apps.

System Integrity Protection[]

Main article:

OS X El Capitan has a new security feature called (SIP, sometimes referred to as "rootless") that protects certain system , and from being modified or tampered with by other processes even when executed by the or by a user with root privileges (). Apple says that the root user can be a significant to the system's security, especially on systems with a single user account on which that user is also the administrator. System Integrity Protection is enabled by default, but can be disabled.

Release history[]

Previous release Current release Beta Version Build Date Notes Standalone download 10.11 15A284 September 30, 2015 15.0.0 Original Mac App Store release N/A 10.11.1 15B42 October 21, 2015 10.11.2 15C50 December 8, 2015 15.2.0 10.11.3 15D21 January 19, 2016 15.3.0 10.11.4 15E65 March 21, 2016 15.4.0 10.11.5 15F34 May 16, 2016 15.5.0 10.11.6 15G31 July 18, 2016 15.6.0 15G1004 September 1, 2016 15G1011 15G1108 October 24, 2016 15G1212 December 13, 2016 15G1217 January 17, 2017 15G1421 March 27, 2017 15G1510 May 15, 2017 15G1611 July 19, 2017 15G17023 October 31, 2017 15G18013 December 6, 2017 15G19009 January 23, 2018 15G20015 March 29, 2018 15G21013 June 1, 2018 15G22010 July 9, 2018



This section needs expansion. You can help by . (October 2015)

Upon release, OS X El Capitan was met with positive reception from both users and critics, with praise mostly going towards the overall functionality of the new features and improved stability. Dieter Bohn of awarded the operating system a score of 8.5 out of 10; while of was also positive, rating it 4.5 out of 5.


After the 10.11.4 update, many users started reporting that their MacBooks were freezing, requiring a . This issue mostly affects Early 2015 computers, although many others have reported freezes in other models. Several users created videos in which showed the freezes. Soon after this, Apple released the 10.11.5 update, which contained stability improvements. Apple later acknowledged these problems, recommending their users to update to the last point release.

After the December 13, 2016 release of Security Update 2016-003, users reported problems with the WindowServer process becoming unresponsive, causing the GUI to freeze and sometimes necessitating a hard reboot to fix. In response, on January 17, 2017, Apple released to fix "a kernel issue that may cause your Mac to occasionally become unresponsive" and at the same time released an updated version of Security Update 2016-003 which includes the fix released in the supplemental. Users who have not previously installed Security Update 2016-003 are advised to install the updated version to reach build 15G1217, while users who have already installed the December 13, 2016 Security Update 2016-003 only need to install the supplemental update.


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External links[]


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