How to check the model number of your Mac

MacBookProIconXApple’s common system for differentiating its various models in a given computer line is a bit unique, where instead of appending a collection of letters and/or numbers to a model as it did in the past (e.g. Performa 675), it now uses a segment of the year in which the model was introduced, such as the “mid-2012” version, or the “late-2013” model, or finally the “early-2014” model.

If you need to service your system, or update it, then you may need to know this detail about it in order to get the appropriate parts and upgrades, or even see if the latest version of OS X is compatible with it.

To do this, you just need to go to the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, and then click the “More Info” button. In the window that shows, you will see all of the necessary details for your system:

About This Mac window

The common model information for your Mac can be found in this window, which in this case is a Late 2013 model MacBook Pro.

While this common system for differentiating models may be enough, Apple does have a more sequential modeling routine for its systems. When a new type of Mac is introduced, it gets the name “model1,1.” Following this, insignificant updates such as a processor speed bump will change the second number (i.e., model1,2), but if a major upgrade is added to the line, then the first number will be updated (i.e., model2,1 or model3,1).

Since at times this sequential model notation is used to identify Mac systems, you can look it up in several ways. The first is to click the “system report” button in the window shown above, and then in the Hardware section see the ‘model identifier.”

The second option is to use the Terminal, where you can enter the following command to have the model identifier reported back to you:

sysctl hw.model

2 thoughts on “How to check the model number of your Mac

  1. darkdreamer4u

    10.9.3? Is that already out? It’s not available in the Software Update/App Store…

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      Yikes, yes that version of OS X is in testing. That’s all I can say about it right now; however, I doubt a screenshot of a panel that is otherwise identical to prior versions of OS X will matter at all.

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