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Building Blender on macOS

Building Blender for macOS needs a bit of preparation. However the steps are not very complicated and if you follow the instructions carefully you should be able to build Blender.

macOS version 11.2 and newer is supported.

Quick Setup

Install Development Tools

Install either:

  • Xcode from the App Store, to get a full development environment.
  • Xcode command line tools by running this in the terminal. This takes up less disk space.
xcode-select --install

Install CMake and Git LFS

CMake and Git LFS must be installed and available to be used by Blender.

There are multiples ways to install them. We recommend using Homebrew. Follow the install instructions on the Homebrew website, then run in the terminal:

brew install cmake git git-lfs

Other package managers like MacPorts and Fink work as well. You may also install CMake and Git LFS manually. This is more advanced and requires ensuring cmake and git-lfs commands are in the PATH.

Download Sources and Libraries

Now you are ready to get the latest Blender source code from's Git repository. Copy and paste the following instructions into a terminal window. These will create a blender-git folder off your home directory and download the latest source code, as well as add-ons and external libraries.

mkdir ~/blender-git
cd ~/blender-git
git clone
cd blender
make update


The easiest and fastest solution is to build Blender with the default settings, and simply run this in the Terminal:

cd ~/blender-git/blender

After the build finished, you will find ready to run in ~/blender-git/build_darwin/bin.


If you later want to update to and build the latest version, run:

cd ~/blender-git/blender
make update

If building fails, it sometimes helps to remove the ~/blender-git/build_darwin folder to get a completely clean build.


With the quick setup instructions the main branch will be built by default, which contains the latest Blender version under development.

To build another branch or a pull request, first checkout the branch and then run make update to update the add-ons, libraries and tests to match.

cd ~/blender-git/blender
git checkout <branch-name>
make update

Depending on how big the changes are compared to the main branch, it may be necessary to remove the build folder ~/blender-git/build_darwin. Otherwise the build folder may still refer to libraries from another branch.


See the Xcode development environment page for information on how to set up an Xcode project.

Cross Compiling

On a machine with Apple Silicon, by default a version optimized for that CPU architecture will be built. It is also possible to build an Intel version, as follows.

./build_files/utils/ --architecture x86_64