This timelapse of macOS 10.0 through 10.15 is a nostalgic wonder

Mac OS X El Capitan on MacBook
Mac OS X El Capitan on MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple launched Mac OS X in March 2001.
  • It's seen a lot of big updates since, with macOS 11 arriving later this year.
  • You can watch every one of them being installed in this amazing timelapse.

Apple was a very different company when it launched Mac OS X in March of 2001 and nobody could have guessed where we'd be in 2020 – even without everything that's going on right now. But those 19 years have given us some great – and some not-so-great – software updates over the years. Wouldn't it be great to see them all one last time?

Why yes. Yes, it would. It'd be even better if we could watch them be installed, too.

Apple's macOS 11 Big Sur announcement at WWDC 2020 marked the end of the macOS X era which began in 2001. In memory of such an event, I will be installing every single version of the macOS operating system, from 10.0 Cheetah to 10.15 Catalina.

Put together by Martin Nobel and shared to YouTube, this five-minute timelapse shows us some software that I'd forgotten existed. And I'd certainly forgotten how it looked. At the time these software updates looked amazing and at other times, futuristic. But it's amazing how quickly interface design language looks dated in this video.

Apple has had some big wins in the last 19 years but there were some real nightmare releases in this video. Lemme know in the comments which releases of macOS were your favorite or if there was a particularly nightmarish one, shout that one out too!

Here's hoping the upcoming macOS 11 Big Sur is one of the good ones!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.