Apple Numbers file compatibility 10.1 (Mac) vs 13.0 (iOS)

I have Numbers 10.1 on an older MacBook running 10.14. I have Numbers 10.3.9 on the iPad/iPhone running iOS15.

If I were to update Numbers iOS to current version (13.0), would the files still be compatible with the Mac Numbers 10.1 app?

I am trying to avoid updating iOS Numbers and then not be able to open the files on the MacBook.

Currently the files work fine and sync via iCloud. I am keeping this MacBook on an older version of macOS for some software compatibility issues. I do plan on getting a new iMac when the new models come out, but in the meantime I am stuck with Numbers 10.1 and macOS 10.14.

I cannot find any info on Apple’s site about file compatibility between versions.

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That’s what I asked in the comments on the TidBITS article announcing Numbers 13. Having been burned once before by an older version being unable to open a file saved by a newer version, I have not upgraded. It’s sad that Apple doesn’t address this issue.


Yes have been burned before here as well. Cannot risk a loss of interoperability and like you I have not updated the iOS app, despite a lot of new features that look good.

My macOS version doesn’t even allow me to upgrade to more recent versions of Numbers due to the older macOS I am running.

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I’m using Numbers 12.1 on macOS 11.7.6, and minimal testing has revealed no incompatibilities with Numbers 13 on iOS 15.7.1. That doesn’t answer your question about Numbers 10.1, which I don’t have.

“Minimal testing” means I opened an existing Numbers file on the iPhone with Numbers 13, edited it, and then opened it on the Mac in Numbers 12.1; I also created a new Numbers file on the iPhone, entered a formula in a cell, and then opened it on the Mac. In both cases, all looked fine.

Numbers 10 is old enough that it might be the version that was incompatible with the next major release. If you don’t need to use Numbers on the iPhone (personally, I avoid that tiny screen for any real work, so it’s a good as a test bed), you could update Numbers on the iPhone and run your own tests, leaving the iPad with the old version until you’re comfortable updating it. Good luck.