When Was Your Mac Built? How to Find The Make & Model Year of a Mac

Aug 20, 2012 - 8 Comments

Find Out When a Mac Was Made

You’ll often hear Mac users reference their machines by a model and the build year (for example, Mac Mini 2010, or MacBook Pro 2016), or by a timeline within the year it was released (iMac mid-2011 model). Sure some Mac users just have an amazing memory for this stuff, but everyone else can retrieve the model year and build date of their Mac by looking under the About This Mac screen in new versions of Mac OS X.

This tutorial will show you exactly how to find the model year of any Mac so that you’ll know when it was built. This can be invaluable information to know before seeking out hardware upgrades, warranty details, software compatibility, and much more.

How to Find Make & Model Year of Any Mac

Here is where you can quickly find the particular model make, and model year, of any Macintosh computer:

  1. Pull down the  Apple menu from the upper left corner of the screen, and select “About This Mac”
  2. At the “Overview” screen, look under the Macs model name to find the specific model and model year in the subheader

What you’re looking for is a text that says something like “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)”, as that spells out exactly the model name, the model specifics and the model year of that Mac.

Note that newer Mac OS versions will immediately go to an “Overview” screen where this is visible right away, whereas older versions of Mac OS X will need to click on the “More Info” button to reveal the expanded information to find the model year of a Mac computer.

Find Mac model hardware year was built

These hardware build dates are used to determine compatibility and system requirements for OS X upgrades like Mountain Lion, or to check for compatibility with other macOS system software releases, as well as to help determine support for specific features like AirPlay, and even to determine eligibility for the rare recall if there’s a hardware fault with a specific Mac model.

You can see why the Mac model year information is pretty important to know as it is often relied on for determining these aspects of software compatibility and hardware features, whether for upgrading, updating, warranty repairs, and much more.

mac-model-year

Note that all modern versions of Mac OS including macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, OS X El Capitan Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion and Lion include the improved About This Mac screen, though Macs running Snow Leopard or before will have to find the build date through System Profiler, and some pre-2008 Macs will need to go based on the “Model Identifier” instead of a direct date reference.

If you have any questions or thoughts about discovering what your Mac model and Mac model year of build are, let us know in the comments below!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

8 Comments

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  1. Colin Fox says:

    NOt on my mac mini I believe i got it mid 2009 though Its an intel core 2 duo

  2. cosmo says:

    Mine shows “15-inch 2.4/2.2GHz”
    I bought my Mac November 1, 2007.

  3. Atman says:

    I have the same model macbook air 2012 Core i5 with HD 4000 but i don’t have 512Mo VRAM i just have 384Mo Of VRAM ???

    What’s Wrong ?

  4. Jeff says:

    System Profiler….? OK, how?

  5. Seb says:

    Ever since I installed Sierra the trash sound has stopped working!!! I empty the trash and there is NO sound!!!

  6. 72Hoya says:

    Except that when I click on “About this Mac” and the “Overview” screen appears, it doesn’t say when my MacBook Pro was built. I suspect 2007-08 but am unsure. If I am correct, then my MacBook Pro is too old, I can’t use the new iOS, and I can’t get iMovie. :-(

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