How to get old versions of macOS

If your Mac isn't compatible with the latest macOS, you might still be able to upgrade to an earlier macOS, such as macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan.

To get the latest features and maintain the security, stability, compatibility, and performance of your Mac, it's important to keep your software up to date. Apple recommends that you always use the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Learn how to upgrade to macOS Big Sur, the latest version of macOS.

Check compatibility

If a macOS installer can't be used on your Mac, the installer will let you know. For example, it might say that your Mac doesn't have enough free storage space for the installation, or that the installer is too old to be opened on this version of macOS.

If you want to check compatibility before downloading the installer, learn about the minimum requirements for macOS CatalinaMojaveHigh SierraSierraEl Capitan, or Yosemite. You can also check compatible operating systems on the product-ID page for MacBook ProMacBook AirMacBookiMacMac mini, or Mac Pro.

 


Make a backup

Before installing, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac. Time Machine makes it simple, and other backup methods are also available. Learn how to back up your Mac.

 


Download macOS

It takes time to download and install macOS, so make sure that you're plugged into AC power and have a reliable internet connection.

These installers from the App Store open automatically after you download them:

Your web browser downloads the following older installers as a disk image named InstallOS.dmg or InstallMacOSX.dmg. Open the disk image, then open the .pkg installer inside the disk image. It installs an app named Install [Version Name]. Open that app from your Applications folder to begin installing the operating system. 

 


Install macOS

Follow the onscreen instructions in the installer. It might be easiest to begin installation in the evening so that it can complete overnight, if needed.

If the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool, enter the administrator name and password that you use to log in to your Mac, then click Add Helper.

Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. Your Mac might restart, show a progress bar, or show a blank screen several times as it installs both macOS and related updates to your Mac firmware.

 


Learn more

You might also be able to use use macOS Recovery to reinstall the macOS you're using now, upgrade to the latest compatible macOS, or install the macOS that came with your Mac.

Published Date: