MacMost Now 848: Correctly Identifying Your Mac

If you are posting to Apple's discussion forums, or are simply asking for service or help, it is important to be able to convey critical information about your Mac. Learn how to find the correct name for your Mac, the amount of memory and storage space you have available, and the version of OS X you are using. Also, if you are discussing an app, it is important to mention the version of the app you are using.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 848: Correctly Identifying Your Mac.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to correctly identify your Mac.

Now if you ever have to report trouble to Apple or perhaps post a question to the discussion forums at or for any other reason to tell somebody what type of Mac you've got it is important to be able to know what information you need to convey and to get the correct information.

It can be very difficult for somebody to help you if they don't know really what you've got. It's like asking a mechanic what is wrong with your car but not telling them what type of car you've got.

So let's take a look how to figure out what Mac you've got, what to call it properly, and how to get important information like the amount of memory you've got, hard drive space, and things like that.

The first thing you want to do is you want to make sure you have the proper name for your Mac. Now you can go to your Apple menu here and About This Mac and it will give you some basic information here about your Mac. But if you click the More Info button then the screen that appears will tell you the name of your Mac. For instance I'm currently using Mac Pro. It is important to look at this name and understand the difference between things.

For instance, Apple doesn't really make a MacBook anymore. They make a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air. Also the MacBook Pro is divided up into two very different types. The MacBook Pro with the retina display and the regular MacBook Pro.

Also you will see here is some more information. For instance this says this is a Mac Pro from early 2008.

So this should give you a pretty complete picture of the name of your Mac.

Now if you have an older Mac or you are running an older version of OS X then you may see something different when you hit the More Info button. In this case you get this list here on the left and you can click on Hardware here at the top and then you get a list here of information. You get the same information. Here is says you have a MacBook Pro 15". So you can get the same thing there, it just doesn't look as nice. So whichever version of OS X you are running it might look a little different. But the information is there.

Now on this screen you will also notice other things. What type of processor you've got, things like that. What is really important for somebody to know might be the amount of memory you've got. So you may want to go and say I have a Mac Pro, early 2008, and I have 10 GB of memory in it.

Then in addition on this screen, but also previously when we were looking at About This Mac, bring that up there, we can see that we've got some of that information too and it tells you the version of OS X you are running. This is critically important for anybody that is trying to help you with something. You need to know what version. In this case you have version 10.8.3 and that's critical for you to tell someone.

Another thing that is pretty critical is to know how much disk space you have available. If you are running out of disk space then that could really give a hint to any problems you are having. So in About This Mac you can click on Storage and it will give you a rundown. I have several hard drives here but it will give you a run down of what is on each hard drive. How much space. So in this case, this is my main hard drive here, it tells me how much I have free out of the total. So you can see I have about 102 GB free out of about 500 GB of space.

Now if you are trying to talk to somebody about something going on inside of an App then it is important that you tell them what version of that App you've got. For instance here I am running Pages and say I have a question for somebody about Pages. Well I can go to Pages, About Pages.

This is true for almost any application. You can go to the menu item with the name of the App and find the About box there. Sometimes for some Apps it is under Help. But usually it is right here and you go to that, and then this will give you the version number.

Now in this case, for instance, it is not enough to say I'm using Pages '09. What you really want is the version number. In this case version 4.3.

So there are the critical pieces of information that you need to know about your Mac. You need to know the model name and also the version of that model like Mac Pro 2008. You need to know how much memory you've got. You need to know how much storage space you have on your drive and how much is available and you need to know the version of OS X that you are running. In addition to that it also helps to give the version number of the App that you are discussing.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 848: Correctly Identifying Your Mac”

    Kim Sinclair
    6 years ago

    another excellent tip video

    mary parks
    6 years ago

    Excellent, but how do I identify whether I have Lion or Snow Leopard, for instance?

      6 years ago

      Cat names refer to the version of OS X. When someone says Mountain Lion, they mean OS X 10.8. Lion is 10.7. Snow Leopard is 10.6, etc. Easy to find the full list if you need more.

        6 years ago

        I would be curious to know what OS X 10.9 is going to be called (if Apple gets that far.)

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