macOS Big Sur: Guides, how-tos, tips, and everything you need to know about Apple’s new Mac OS

The “10” era of the Mac operating system (Mac OS X and macOS 10) is now over. Apple decided to turn it up to (version) 11 and released macOS Big Sur.

With macOS Big Sur, you’ll find that still a very familiar OS, but there are several changes that will help you be more productive. To help you learn about those new features, we have written guides and how-tos so you can get the most out of the software. We have a list of those articles here to help you get started.

macOS Big Sur FAQ

Want a quick overview of what’s in Big Sur? Read our macOS Big Sur FAQ. The FAQ also has a Mac compatibility list, how to install Big Sur, and more.

User interface and Control Center

Apple stays true to its UI philosophy with Big Sur, but the graphical components have been refined to give the OS a modern look. While a when or dialog box may look different, don’t worry, it works just as you remember it.

Apple also brought over the Control Center that you are used to using in iOS. It’s a great way to quickly access some Mac controls. Control Center is accessed by clicking on the Control Center icon in the upper right of the menu bar, near the date/time.

Learn more about the user interface changes in macOS Big Sur.

Notifications Center

Apple redesigned Notification Center so that it more closely resembles the iOS 14 version. Notifications are now grouped together, and the Center now supports widgets. Here’s how to add, remove, and manage notifications and widgets in Notification Center.

Messages

Apple used its Mac Catalyst technology to convert the iOS version of Messages to a version for the Mac. The result is that the Mac’s instant messaging app is more robust and works just like it does on the iPhone and iPad. Find out what’s new in Messages.