I am currently using Apple 10.6 (Snow Leopard). How long will Snow Leopard be supported for? Does Apple provide an end-of-life policy in writing?

I have read that Apple tends to only provide security updates for the latest two versions of Mac OS X (an 'n-2' support policy, where 'n' is the latest version of the OS. Since Lion and Mountain Lion are out, Apple might drop security updates Snow Leopard.

According to "Mac users left wondering if OS X Snow Leopard's retired" from Computerworld and "Where are the Safari security updates for Windows and Snow Leopard? Users left exposed" on Sophos's blog, some believe that Apple has already, quietly retired Snow Leopard. However, those pages have some contradictory information (Tiger was updated in 2009).

However, the articles above seem to cite rumor. Does Apple provide their support policy in writing?

  • 1
    I'd certainly like to have a definitive answer to this one as well. Snow Leopard was a watershed release of OS X in that many people are deliberately not updating to subsequent releases because they feel the interface has gone downhill. It's very much like the situation with Microsoft and Windows XP, where MS bowed to market pressure and continued to support XP for 10+ years for those who chose not to upgrade. Apple, I hope, will do the same. Jun 12, 2013 at 18:20
  • And Microsoft has a clear EOL policy. I know when Windows XP is being retired, and I understand their rationale-- Windows XP is quite old. I'm still not clear on Apple's policy, and Snow Leopard isn't yet 4 years old yet. Jun 13, 2013 at 0:11

3 Answers 3


Apple don't provide any end of life information unfortunately, and you're correct that they only support the current and previous versions, although they do still release security patches for the one before that from time to time for another release cycle after this.

So you'll get up to 3 years out of an OS release, and that usually an Apple computer will be supported by new OS releases for around the same time.


Haven't yet come across a support policy in writing, but this page would seem to contradict the notion that older products stop receiving current updates. There are updates for 10.5 and XP as recently as June, 2012.


support lasts approximately 40 months.

OSX 10.9 is no longer receiving security updates: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222

OSX support lifespans


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