Use the Mac operating system that came with your Mac, or a compatible newer version

Your Mac is designed to work only with compatible macOS versions and builds. If you try to use an incompatible version or build, your Mac might behave unexpectedly.

Avoid using a version of the Mac operating system that is older than what came with your Mac. If you copy older system files from another computer to your Mac, or try to use startup disks designed for older computers, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Your Mac doesn't start up, or you see a prohibitory symbol at startup.
  • You see a message that you're using an unsupported or incorrect version of the Mac operating system.
  • Your Mac doesn't respond to your trackpad, mouse, or keyboard.
  • Apps unexpectedly quit.
  • Your Mac doesn't sleep or wake.
  • You don't hear any sound from your Mac.
  • The fans in your Mac operate at a faster or louder speed.
  • The image on your display appears to shrink, has black bars around it, or appears tinted.
  • You can't use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

If you're starting up from an external drive or network volume

If you can't start up your Mac from an external drive, make sure that the macOS version and build installed on the external drive is the same as or newer than what came with your Mac. If necessary, use macOS Recovery to reinstall your operating system, or install a more recent version that is compatible with your Mac.

If the macOS version installed on your external drive is newer than what came with your Mac, check the system requirements of that version to make sure it works with your Mac.

If you're a network administrator setting up a NetBoot volume, you can create a NetBoot, NetInstall or NetRestore image that supports multiple Mac models.

If you're restoring from a Time Machine backup

If you try to restore a Time Machine backup that was created on a different Mac, you might see a message that  you can't restore the backup because it was created by a different model of Mac. Use Migration Assistant to move your personal information to your new Mac.

If you're installing OS X from a CD or DVD

Mac computers introduced before 2009 came with OS X Install or Restore discs. These discs were designed specifically for these older Mac models. If you see a prohibitory symbol when starting up from a disc, or an alert message that you're installing from an unsupported or incorrect disc, then you shouldn't try to use that disc with your Mac. If you need to reinstall OS X on your newer Mac, use macOS Recovery instead.

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