Update Bash on macOS

macOS doesn’t ship with the latest version Bash. The new version of Bash has some nice new features that are worth the effort of updating.

Update Bash on macOS


First of you can check the current version. Open up the Terminal application and run the following.

bash --version

This should show you which version of bash you’re using and some other copyright information. If you haven’t updated Bash in the past, it should say you’re running version >=3.0 or higher.


If you haven’t yet installed the Homebrew you can find more information about the installation process on their website.

Once you’ve got Homebrew up and running, you should now start by updating brew to the latest version.

brew update; brew upgrade; brew cleanup; brew doctor;

If your system is ready to brew, you can now install Bash.

brew install bash

Now when you check which version you’re running, it should show you >=4.0 or higher. Though, we aren’t done yet. Try running the command below.


This gives you another version, probably the previous older version. This is because the system doesn’t yet know that you want to use the newer version.

First of, you’ll need to add the new shell to the list of allowed shells.

sudo bash -c 'echo /usr/local/bin/bash >> /etc/shells'

Then you’ll also need to change to the new shell.

chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash

That’s it! Now close terminal and boot the machine. You’re now running the latest version of Bash.

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All articles written with ♥ by Vincent Klaiber