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I’d like to know if it’s possible to know what macOS version is installed in a Mac (such as macOS 10.14.3) if you can get the firmware version (such as in System information).

I sometimes cannot log into a customer’s Mac because it’s Filevault encrypted. So this way, by starting the Mac from a macOS external volume, I can get the firmware version, and, hopefully, the macOS version.

Is there any website that lists firmware version and corresponding macOS version? such as:

Boot ROM Version: 238.0.0.0.0 macOS 10.14.4

or the same firmware version could be in different versions of macOS?

Any help much appreciated.

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  • Not reliably or consistently. You'd get a much better idea by looking at the version of the Recovery volume on their system, although that's not guaranteed to be the same minor version as the primary system. Apr 25, 2019 at 20:38
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    Unless the user updated the firmware, it will be the firmware that has been shipped with the machine. I use the app mactracker.app to find out the machines capability. Apr 25, 2019 at 21:35
  • The firmware gets updated when macOS does. Apr 26, 2019 at 5:04

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No, you can't.

  1. Some Macs didn't get their updates. For a host of possible reasons. Install by image would be one where this is expected (Such as copying a partition from another Mac). Then the firmware is older than the expected OS.

  2. Some Macs did get their updates with OS updates/upgrades. But then the owner decides that Mojave for example is still too buggy and they downgrade to what they had before. Then the firmware is newer than the associated OS.

What you get with the firmware info is just a weak indicator of what was installed at one point, but not a reliable one for what actually is installed.

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    Much appreciated. Great answer. Apr 26, 2019 at 4:57

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