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How to Check Your Operating System Version: A Comprehensive Guide

How to know your operating system

Knowing the specific version of your operating system (OS) is crucial for a variety of reasons. The latest versions often come with new features, enhanced security, and improved performance, while older versions might lack support or security patches. 

Identifying your OS version ensures that your device is compatible with the software you’re using, allows you to manage updates effectively, and bolsters security. This article will guide you through the steps to determine your OS version across iOS/iPadOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux.

iPadOS displayed

iOS/iPadOS

Via Device Settings

  • Open the Settings app
  • Go to General
  • Tap About

Your Software Version should be listed here. This is the current version of your iOS or iPadOS.

Alternatively, you can also use your computer to find out the software version:

  • Connect your device to a Mac or Windows PC
  • On macOS Catalina or later, open the Finder. For older macOS or Windows, open iTunes
  • Locate your device and check under General or Summary tabs

Android

  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll and tap About Phone or About Device/Tablet
  • The Android Version will be displayed, along with Security Patch Level and Build Number

Note: The exact path may vary depending on the device manufacturer and model.


macOS

Via System Information

  • Click the Apple menu at the top left corner
  • Choose About This Mac

The macOS version will be displayed here. Click on the version number if you need to see the build number as well.

How to Compare

To check if your macOS is the latest, compare your version with the current versions listed on Apple’s official site. This will inform you whether your device is compatible with the newest macOS updates.

Windows logo

Windows

Quick Check

  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue box
  • Type “winver” and hit OK
  • An About Windows box will appear, listing the Windows edition and version under Windows specifications

Via Settings

  • Go to Start > Settings > System > About
  • Under Windows specifications, you’ll find the Edition, Version, and System Type (32-bit or 64-bit)

Note: Steps might vary depending on whether you are using Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11.


Linux

Via Terminal

  • Open a terminal window
  • Type uname -a to get the Linux kernel name and version
  • For distro-specific information, type lsb_release -a

Via Graphical Interface

Some Linux distributions provide an About or Details screen under system settings where you can find this information.


Conclusion

Being aware of your OS version is not just a technicality; it’s a significant aspect of maintaining your device’s health, security, and functionality. 

Always keep your operating system up-to-date to enjoy the latest features and security enhancements. Regular checks will ensure that your device remains compatible with the software and applications you use, thereby providing an optimized user experience.

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