Mountain Lion Up-to-Date Program: What You Need to Know

| How-To

Apple promised customers that purchased a new Mac starting on June 11 that they would be eligible for a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion. Now that Mountain Lion is available, they can point their favorite browser to the Apple website and request a redemption code.

Bought a Mac after July 11? Get Mountain Lion for freeBought a Mac after July 11? Get Mountain Lion for free

Purchase Window
Macs that qualify for the free OS upgrade must be purchased between June 11, 2012 and July 25, 2012.

Not all Macs hitting store shelves after that window, however, will have Mountain Lion pre-installed. Apple is offering a free upgrade for those purchases, too.

Eligible Macs
Apple has done a good job of detailing exactly which Macs are eligible for a free Mountain Lion upgrade, complete with model numbers. Here’s your quick reference list:

  • iMac - Dual Core and Quad Core
  • Mac mini - Core 2 Duo
  • Mac Pro - Quad-Core Intel Xeon and Six-Core Intel Xeon
  • MacBook - Core 2 Duo
  • MacBook Pro - 13.3-inch, 15.4-inch, 17-inch models
  • MacBook Air - Dual-Core Intel Core i5

Some of those Macs are refurbished models, too.

OS X Server
Apple’s Up-to-Date program also applies to OS X Server. Mac Server models purchased between July 11 and July 25 qualify for a free Mountain Lion Server upgrade, and systems purchased on or after July 26 that didn’t include Mountain Lion server qualify, too.

After requesting your free copy of Mountain Lion, Apple will email a redemption code you can use at the Mac App Store. It may take a couple days for the code to show up, so don’t be surprised if you can’t satisfy your need for instant gratification.

For everyone else, OS X Mountain Lion costs US$19.99 and is downloadable through the Mac App Store. OS X Server for Mountain Lion is an additional $19.99.

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Requested a code 24 hours ago. No reply yet. Fortunately I grabbed my Claim Reference Number so if I don’t hear today I’ll drop them a note.


Ditto - requested mine 24 hours ago and still no response.


Well, at least I’m not alone… 24 hours and counting. On the bright side I figure other people are letting Mac know about bugs & we may reap those benefits…


Called 12 hours ago and no email response yet. Called Apple Support and they said it will be 72 hour before it comes. 72 hours! you have got to be kidding me Apple! Really disappointed!


Really disappointed!

Having been through this a few times I won’t say disappointed. The pattern of; Apple releases something, their systems are swamped because everyone in the world wants it NOW, so as a result there are delays, is well established.

One idea I stumbled on yesterday is that this is deliberate, but not malicious. They know they can only feed so many downloads at one time. Non-Revenue downloads, like Up-To-Date customers are held back while the surge of paying customers go through. I wouldn’t begrudge Apple for making this choice.


If it is throttling, bad business practice indeed… Prioritize the customer paying $19 and anger the customer like me who just dropped $2500 on a retina MBP.


Apple really screwed the pooch on this one. I dropped over $3500 on a retina MBP with AppleCare and taxes… and after 38 hours, NO code. At least I didn’t get a “dead” code or a code for Mountain Lion Server. But NOTHING. No email, no code, nothing. Called Apple’s “Customer Service” and was told it could take up to 72 hours… are you freaking kidding me? I drop $3500 on a computer and have to wait THREE DAYS to get the free OS X upgrade code? Forget the pooch. I got screwed.


Well people are being awfully dramatic. No one will remember this in a week when theyve all had it for a few days! ... with that being said I’m so impatient and CAN NOT WAIT. Im not mad. I am anxious and excited.


Going on 24 hours without a code.  Was told the same “up to 72 hours” by AppleCare.  I’m patient, but validating shouldn’t been this difficult.


Going on 24 hours without a code.? Was told the same ?up to 72 hours? by AppleCare.? I?m patient, but validating shouldn?t been this difficult.

Apple should have damn well been validating codes all along… just get them queued and ready to go… then when Mountain Lion went live, send them out. This whole thing has been bungled beyond belief.

Way to treat those dropping a bundle on new hardware, Apple.


OK now I’m starting to get annoyed.
I haven’t gotten the Up-To-Date code yet but I did just get an e-mail from Apple. It’s an ad for why I shouldn’t wait to upgrade to ML. How great it is for their newer notebooks (I just got a MBP). Worst of all it has a link to the Up-To-Date registration page.



Are you all kidding me?  “I paid x-amount of dollars and Apple is treating me like this?!”  How about you reverse the point of view—Apple is giving away its operating system to you for free, and you’re complaining about how long it takes? Other than the fact it’s the latest and greatest, why do you NEED Mountain Lion so badly that you have to complain about a little delay (and throw around dollar amounts while you’re at it, as if you’re proving something to the community)?

We’re all grown adults here.  Stop complaining about pity things.


waiting for mine too… yeah lame that Apple can’t figure out how to do this faster than 72 hours, as it’s just a simple DB lookup with serial # and purchase date.. That said:

#firstworldproblems, people!!

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