Upgrading Older Macs To Earlier Versions Of macOS

If your Mac is too old to install macOS Mojave, you can still upgrade to the latest version of macOS that is compatible with it, even if you can't find those versions of macOS in the Mac App Store. Apple has pages for High Sierra, Sierra and El Capitan than include links directly to the hidden Mac App Store pages with those downloads.

Video Transcript
What if you have a Mac that is too old to run macOS Mojave but you're not at the latest operating system that that Mac can run. How do you update to it?

If you have a recent Mac from the last few years you can probably update to Mojave and you've probably been bugged to do so. I'm a big advocate of always running the latest software. You get the latest features and you get the best security. If you want to upgrade to Mojave you can simply search for Mojave in the Mac App Store and it comes up and you can upgrade from there. But if your Mac is too old you won't be able to. As a matter of fact if you don't see it here and you can't get to it in the Mac App Store that probably means your Mac is too old.

So how do you get to a newer operating system that can run on your computer but is newer than what you've got. Like, for instance, maybe you're running Sierra but your Mac can run High Sierra and for some reason you haven't gotten around to upgrading to High Sierra yet. Well, you can still get to those in the Mac App Store but you won't find them by searching. If I search for High Sierra it doesn't come up. If I search for Mac OS it doesn't come up. I just get Mojave there and some other stuff. So how do you find it.

Well, Apple has you covered because they have links that go directly to these. So let's take a look here in Safari. Here is the page to upgrade to macOS High Sierra. I'll include the link here in the post at MacMost.com. You can find it pretty easily with a search. It gives you the details about how to upgrade. It even gives you a compatibility check. Now if you want to see a compatibility check for Mojave just to be sure whether or not you can upgrade to it, Apple has a page for that as well with all the requirements for upgrading to Mojave.

On this upgrade page here for High Sierra it has the requirements for upgrading to High Sierra. It has some general instructions and, most importantly, it has a link right here that will open up the Mac App Store to the page for macOS High Sierra. Even though before it was hidden. So this is great! But what if your Mac is even older than that.

There are other pages as well. As a matter of fact at the bottom of this page for High Sierra there is a link to the same page but for Sierra. It's got the requirements for Sierra and it has a link to go to the Sierra page. If we go back here we can see there was the link for El Capitan and you can go and click on that here and get to the El Capitan link in the Mac App Store.

So there are ways to upgrade to older versions than Mojave if your system can take them and if for some reason you haven't gotten around to upgrading all the way until now. I'll include all these links in the post at MacMost.com.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Upgrading Older Macs To Earlier Versions Of macOS”

    tim
    11/7/18 @ 7:54 am

    I have a 2011 iMac with MacOS Sierra and of course its not compatible to upgrade to High Sierra plus I have heard of some with a hard drive like mine found ways to upgrade to High Sierra but had a lot of problems. I know mine is 7yrs old but runs great. I could have security problems but I do have Norton 360. I do like High Sierra I run it on my 2015 MacBook Pro so I guess I will have to be satisfied with my iMac as it is.

    11/7/18 @ 7:57 am

    Tim: Look at the link. High Sierra runs on “iMac introduced in late 2009 or later.” So if your iMac is the 2011 model, you should be able to run High Sierra.

    Antonis Kimonis
    11/7/18 @ 11:56 pm

    I have mid 2011 iMac, do you think that I can upgrade to Mojave? I can see the Mojave in the apple store, at the moment I run High Sierra.
    Thank you

    11/8/18 @ 7:35 am

    Antonis: No need to guess. Just follow the link above. For iMacs you need 2012 or newer.

    Howard Pettigrew
    11/8/18 @ 1:40 pm

    Unless you want to watch a spinning beachball for a lot of the time, I wouldnʻt put anything beyond 10.9 on a MacBook Pro with Hard drive. Upgrade the Hard drive to an SSD and you can then put the latest your laptop will take. Bigger job but perhaps a Fusion Drive in an iMac? Makes them new computers!!!

    Bill Taylor
    11/8/18 @ 5:36 pm

    I have a 2008 iMac with El Capitan so I probably cannot upgrade anymore, so does Apple have a ‘trade in’ program for older computers? (mine is running pretty well but slow.)

    11/8/18 @ 8:05 pm

    Bill: Apple does have a program called Give Back (https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in) but if you have something that old (10+ years) you won’t get anything for it. They will recycle it for you though, I believe. You could always try to sell it, but you still won’t get much for something that old.

    Mick Cartwright
    11/9/18 @ 2:03 am

    Hi Gary, my wife has a macbook running Mavericks, I would like to update it to Yosemite. I have watched your video but can’t seem to find Yosemite. Does it go back that far? If so could you send a link? Many thanks.

    11/9/18 @ 7:21 am

    Mick: No, Yosemite isn’t available for download anymore. Is the Mac too old for El Capitan?

    Mick Cartwright
    11/10/18 @ 4:01 am

    Gary, thanks for your reply, the Macbook is late 2008 so maybe not suitable for El Capitan? Unless you know different! Thanks Mick.

    11/10/18 @ 8:02 am

    Mick: Just check the link above. It says it is.

    mishiko
    11/13/18 @ 5:30 am

    i have mac pro 2008 macos el capitan version 10.11.6.
    i cant update to macos sierra
    why?

    11/13/18 @ 7:20 am

    mishiko: Look at the links above. You’ll see that a 2008 can’t upgrade to Sierra.

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