macOS Mojave requires a graphics card that supports Metal, an Apple technology that lets the system and apps efficiently tap into the capabilities of today’s graphics processors (GPUs). The graphics cards offered by Apple in Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012) don't have GPUs that support Metal, so these systems require upgraded graphics cards in order to install macOS Mojave.
Before you upgrade to macOS Mojave on these Mac Pro models, you need to update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 and then make sure that your graphics card is compatible. You also need to turn off FileVault.
Update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
First, use the Mac App Store to update your operating system to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6. Don't upgrade your Mac Pro (Mid 2010) or Mac Pro (Mid 2012) to macOS Mojave directly from macOS versions prior to 10.13.6.
Make sure that your graphics card works with Mojave
Next, check to see if the graphics card in your Mac Pro is compatible. You can use System Information to find out which graphics card your Mac has:
- Press and hold the Option key while choosing Apple () menu > System Information.
- In the sidebar, select Graphics/Displays. If your graphics card is compatible, you will see "Supported" next to the Metal entry. You can also note the name of your graphics card and see if it's in the list below.
These specific third-party graphics cards are Metal-capable and compatible with macOS Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012):
- MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDRR5
- SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
- SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
- NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
Some other third-party graphics cards* based on the following AMD GPU families might also be compatible with macOS Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012):
- AMD Radeon RX 560
- AMD Radeon RX 570
- AMD Radeon RX 580
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
- AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
- AMD Radeon Frontier Edition
If the graphics card in your Mac Pro isn't listed above, you need to install one that's compatible with macOS Mojave. If you need additional help, contact Apple Support.
* Third-party graphics cards vary, so you should check with the vendor of your specific graphics card for compatibility details.
Turn off FileVault, then install macOS Mojave
Many third-party graphics cards won't show anything on the display when macOS Mojave is starting up, including the Apple logo and startup progress bar. As a result, you can't log in to a system that uses FileVault. Choose a different startup disk before your Mac boots into macOS, or perform some hardware diagnostics.
If your Mac has more than one volume with macOS installed, you need to use the Startup Disk pane in System Preferences to switch between operating systems. Holding down Option while restarting doesn't allow you to choose an operating system on these Mac Pro models.