Forum Question: Snow Leopard Users Preferentially Upgrading To Lion Rather Than Mountain Lion ?

Is there any real reason for a Snow Leopard User (like myself) to upgrade to Lion in preference of Mountain Lion & indeed is this possible?
Is it also possible for someone who has upgraded to Mountain Lion, to then if they so wish downgrade to either Lion or Snow Leopard for whatever the reason maybe ?
kind regards………

Comments: 32 Responses to “Snow Leopard Users Preferentially Upgrading To Lion Rather Than Mountain Lion ?”

    7/31/12 @ 7:31 am

    No, there’s no reason to go to Lion now. Just skip directly to Mountain Lion.
    In fact, you have no choice. There is no easy way to upgrade to Lion anymore. It is no longer available from the Mac App Store. If you are still running Snow Leopard, your only choice is to go to Mountain Lion. (Or, find one of the few USB flash drive upgrades that Apple sold).
    Downgrading is very difficult. Since Lion isn’t available, you’d need to downgrade back to Snow Leopard using your Snow Leopard install disc or the disc that came with your Mac (if that was Snow Leopard). I would downgrade back to your old OS only as an extreme measure — in other words, give MLion some time to get used to the new features, gestures, functionality. It can be a shock to jump two versions of an OS.
    Also, make sure your 3rd-party applications are up-to-date. Using old versions of software (like Adobe stuff) can mean that those apps are not compatible with an up-to-date OS.

      7/31/12 @ 7:42 am

      Thats fine. Your comments in the final paragraph lead me onto another interesting point:

      Why is it many Apps now state: for Mac OSX 10.7 or later ie Lion or MLion, as in why are these apps not “backward compatible” (if thats the correct wording with Snow Leopard or Leopard) and indeed that reasoning alone would be justifiable enough for Snow Leopard users to upgrade immediately.

        7/31/12 @ 7:57 am

        Hard to say “why” without talking to the developers to ask them. It is all in the details.
        But usually this is because they upgrade their software to work with the latest versions of OS X. Doing an upgrade like that sometimes means it won’t work on older OSes. For instance, it might rely on a feature only found in Lion or newer.
        All software has to do this eventually — the can’t be expected to run on OS 9, for instance, iMac G3s, or old Mac Classics, etc. Even if it were possible to include all of the code for all of the old operating systems, it becomes a nightmare of a bloated app that is impossible to maintain and test.

          7/31/12 @ 8:21 am

          In your first response, you also mention the so called shock from jumping 2 OSs forward. I am relatively new to the Mac platform and have just got used to using Snow Leopard.

          Any particular advice relating to moving to MLion. I have heard it is very iOS-esque in nature, which may put me at a disadvantage since I dont own an iPhone etc

            7/31/12 @ 8:35 am

            My only advice is to be patient. Some people upgrade, try it for 5 minutes, and don’t give it much of a chance. Apple’s designers and engineers make changes for a reason — they want to make things better. But the idea of “change” is harder for some than others. You may experience this, or you may take to it right away. Hard to predict. Go into it with a positive attitude (fun new cool stuff!) rather than caution (new stuff to learn) and you’ll be fine.

              7/31/12 @ 9:08 am

              Thanks for the advice, I’m in no real hurry to upgrade straight away, but i’m sure I will in the near future

                9/3/12 @ 5:26 am

                Simon – I would not be in any hurry to ‘upgrade’ from SL to ML. I did this on a mini mac (4GB Ram 2.53 GHz). It is now much slower in all respects and works poorly with gmail and other some other apps I use. I am currently trying to find a procedure for uninstalling ML and reloading SL from Time Machine or the original OS disc. From what I have read so far, this will not be easy.

      9/5/12 @ 2:02 pm

      I have an iMac running ML upgraded from Lion and previously SL. I also have a MacBook Pro which can run SL at best. So I just upgraded the laptop to a more recent refurbished model of the MacBook Pro which came running SL 1063 – I’ve updated that to SL 1068 so that I could get access to the App Store. From there I went to Purchases and found Lion available for Download. So Lion is available from the AppStore but only, it appears, if you have previously purchased it.

      2/17/13 @ 9:12 pm

      my mac won’t run the newest mountain lion, but i would like to upgrade to lion. is there anywhere to find it?

        2/17/13 @ 9:14 pm

        Call Apple and explain. Apparently you can get it through them that way.

    8/1/12 @ 1:29 am

    Upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion then to Mt. Lion was absolutely “seamless” in my experience.
    You’ll pick up the newer gestures quickly and the OS isn’t “all” that different – just slicker. Tip: The download of Mt. Lion takes a while so you’re best-off running it in the wee hours unless you like staring at progress bars in the daytime…

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/1/12 @ 12:03 pm

    The new iMac i received had Lion on it. I had both discs so i switched back to Snow Leopard. I have read a lot of review`s on Mountain Lion,and quite a lot of people were not impressed. You covered them in your video. A guy mention`s it above if you have an iPhone ect…I do not have an iPhone. To me Lion had a lot of changes on it,and like you said people only try it for 5 mins. Like me,but i am thinking of changing back to Lion,because a guy gave me a few tutorials on it.

    8/1/12 @ 4:50 pm

    I upgraded to ML but I don’t think Notification is working right. I only get mail Notices when I open mail, or Ical or messages when these are open. Also I cant seem to take GameCenter off of notification. What I mean is I can’t move it to not in notification center. Thanks for any ideas in advance.

    Keep up the great work.

      8/2/12 @ 8:17 am

      Have you looked at the Notification settings in the System Preferences? Try playing with them and see if you can get it to work the way you want to. For instance, to remove Game Center from Notifications, select it and uncheck all of the Game Center options.

    8/2/12 @ 9:03 am

    not about Snow Leopard but a question: many are posting on the net that ML has slowed their already slow systems. I fear. Can you give me some assurance.
    Macbook Pro
    Lion at present 10.7.4
    2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5
    Memory 4GB 1333mhzddr3

    Thank you. Even if you don’t get the time, energy inclination to answer, thank you for this good learning place.

      8/2/12 @ 9:10 am

      No slow down for me. About the same as Lion, just more features. If you look back at every OS X (and Windows) upgrade you will find some people talking about slow-downs and some talking about speed-ups. Probably a lot depends on what people have going on on their computers and if they are running old software or trying to push the limits of their machine, etc.

    8/2/12 @ 10:40 am

    Thank you!

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/8/12 @ 11:08 am

    I have come round to your way of thinking.
    Can i upgrade from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion now.
    My only concern is when you mentioned up above,that it might not be compatible with Adobe Stuff. I have Adobe Photoshop SC5 Extended.
    It was compatible with Lion,but what about Mountain Lion Gary.

    Emanuela Pompei
    8/14/12 @ 5:47 pm

    from my experience I definitely not recommend upgrading, since you will loose Rosetta (the software which lends backward compatibility for 32 bit applications); if you have open source software which you compiled, might not work anymore (my case), and some older applications will just stop working (example: Office 2004, which I *much* preferred over the newer 2007 version).

      8/14/12 @ 7:06 pm

      But if you like old old software (2004? — even if you don’t like 2007, what about the versions after that?) then why would you want Mountain Lion or even Lion?
      Rosetta shouldn’t be an issue anymore for the vast majority of users.

        Emanuela Pompei
        8/16/12 @ 10:26 am

        Hello Gary,

        my old old software is an open source for data reduction in astronomy. And, if it doesn’t compile on newer Mac OS, then I’d rather stay with the old OS than with the new, since it’s my work. The 2004 Office version offered compatibility with other users, while the docx or pptx files could be read only by people with the newer version and were much heavier. All in all, I prefer the Snow Leopard. I am worried by the fact that Apple doesn’t allow users out of the norm to choose the OS they want, since it seems impossible to downgrade from 10.8 to 10.6.8 if you bought everything legally, you own the disks and the computer.

          8/16/12 @ 3:16 pm

          Have you looked to see if that open source project has been updated to work correctly on today’s machines? If it is important software, then I think it would have been. Maybe contact some of the people involved and see what’s up with that.
          Not sure about your problem with Word. I use Word from Office 2011 and I can choose to save as docx or doc files.
          Also not sure what you would expect Apple to do in this situation. When they built Snow Leopard, they couldn’t see into the future and make it compatible with machines that didn’t yet exist. And if they were to upgrade Snow Leopard to work on today’s Macs, well — they did, it is Lion/Mountain Lion. See what I mean?

            Emanuela Pompei
            8/21/12 @ 11:35 am

            Hello Gary,

            from Apple I simply expect that they let me choose which OS I want on my computer. So, if I buy a new Mac, and I want an older system on it, it should be possible for me to install it.
            What I found instead is that it’s not possible, which I do not like.
            And, no, the open source software is no longer maintained, so no joy on that side

    Larry Bellinger
    9/3/12 @ 2:09 pm

    The key point about Mountain Lion is not it’s new features, but how many features you give up.

    1. It’s slo-o-o-o-w. Over two minutes to boot on an Apple custom-made iMac with SSDs. My old Mac Mini is faster, running Snow Leopard.

    2. It’s ugly. Gray colors look like design by accountants. Windows look like they are rendering improperly, with the bottom and sides cut off. It no longer tells you how many files are in the window and the remaining disk space, information I used frequently.

    3. Safari lost the activity window, and “email a link to this page,” both of which I used several times daily.

    4. No Outbox in Mail? How does that make sense? And no RSS?

    5. My main reason for “upgrading” from Snow Leopard was the dictation feature. It is pathetic. The correction feature that is supposed to offer up other word possibilities doesn’t work at all, the length of dictation is limited to 30 seconds, and there’s no way to train it to your voice to improve accuracy, which is just plain dumb.

    6. To top it all off nicely, Mountain Lion ate my Time Machine file. It just isn’t there, and I am unable to access it to restore my machine to Snow Leopard glory.

    Different users are going to have different opinions, based on how they use their Macs, so I accept your enjoyment of the new OS. But I would warn people to investigate VERY carefully before installing this $20 OS. I think Apple knew what it was worth. And, once installed, it is very difficult to downgrade.

      9/3/12 @ 4:54 pm

      Addressing some points:
      1. It shouldn’t be slow at all. I have it on many machines and none of them experience any slowness. You should have that checked out.
      2. Not true. In the Finder: View, Show/Hide status bar. Same as in Lion, SL, and before.
      3. Not true. Click the Share button, choose email. Then there is a pop-up menu on the right you haven’t noticed where you can choose page, pdf or link.
      4. Not true either. I see an Outbox. Of course that is a function of your email server, not the Mail app.

    geri sullivan
    1/28/13 @ 5:31 am

    Why cant Apple allow people to upgrade to Lion from Snow Leopard first then later when the bugs are more ironed out people can upgrade to Mountain Lion? I would be quite willing to pay the little bit extra for the security.

    1/28/13 @ 10:38 am

    Geri I think you might be in luck, I just came across this article dated 24th Jan 2013, which says that Lion is still available for purchase:

    Could well be worth considering, I myself am still on Snow Leopard.

    2/5/13 @ 10:18 am

    I am still running Snow Leopard on my Macbook because Lions system requirements are minimum of 2GB so thought Lion would really slow it down. Decided this week to take the plunge and bought Lion. I can confirm that you can buy Lion over the phone from Apple. They send you a download code to use in the App store,cost me £15.00. Not been brave enough to download it yet as I have slow wi-fi.

    Jeremy Tan
    2/23/13 @ 11:05 pm

    Hi Gary,
    I’m using MacPro, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1067 Mhz DDR3 and running Mac OS X 10.6.8 (10K549).

    I can’t decide if I should upgrade to ML. My immediate problems are;
    1. I have problem updating my software. The msg I got: [The file “Safari5.1.7SnowLeopard.pkg” couldn’t be found on the server “”,

    2. I can’t click download any files unless I used the ‘option+click’.

    3. There is an apparent slowing down.

    Please advised, thanks Gary.
    Regards, Jeremy

      2/24/13 @ 9:33 am

      Two separate issues: There is a problem with your Mac, and you are thinking of upgrading to Mountain Lion. I understand that you are wondering whether the upgrade might also fix the issues. Possible, but impossible to tell without either trying it or examining your problems more closely.
      For problems like this you really need to have someone take a look if you cannot fix them yourself. Just like a mechanic with a car, or a doctor with your body. A first-hand look is usually needed. So I would take it to the Genius Bar or another expert and see what they can do.
      Or, you could just try the ML upgrade and see if that works. Up to you.

    Jeremy Tan
    2/24/13 @ 6:04 pm

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for your advice, you’re right. I’ll bring it to a Mac clinic.

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