How to Install the Latest MacOS on an Unsupported Mac
Giving up on perfect technique is one of my biggest troubles, but sometimes it seems inevitable. We all know we don’t have to update to the latest iPhone every year, but when Apple stops supporting updates on your MacBook or iMac, can’t you upgrade to a new one? No, I say. Your Mac might actually have the latest version of macOS installed, even if Apple won’t help you install it.
If you have the means, it might be tempting to fix your problems by buying a new computer. After all, Apple’s Mac M1s are amazing ; they’re super fast and incredibly efficient, and your aging, sluggish, unsupported Mac might not look good by comparison. In addition, the new Mac currently supports macOS Big Sur, will upgrade smoothly to macOS Monterey, and will maintain updates for years to come.
The point is, you don’t have to ditch your old Mac to run the latest Apple software. While the company may reject your computer for the newest iteration of macOS, there are those that are designed to keep older Macs running for as long as possible and have figured out how to install software like Big Sur on Macs nearly 15 years old.
Why is Apple stopping servicing older Macs?
First, it’s not just Apple; all tech companies end up dropping software support for their devices. They do this for a variety of reasons; one of the biggest problems is that, as a rule, outdated technologies do not keep up with new software. Even if you ditch some of the demanding features for older hardware, companies will end up deciding that their latest software update just isn’t worth dealing with the headaches of installing on older technology.
Combined with this, it becomes difficult and costly to adapt software updates to older devices. Every time Apple releases a new iMac or MacBook, another device is added to the shared library, which means macOS developers must keep that in mind when working on software. It takes resources to ensure that a new software update doesn’t run like junk on a particular device, so at some point it becomes easier to simply drop support for that computer.
Of course, the cynical (but realistic) view is that dropping software support for older devices is behind the business strategy. If Apple stops supporting macOS for your Mac, you’re much more likely to consider buying a new one than if you could enjoy the latest features and changes. This is definitely starting to change as more and more people realize that their old technologies are still good enough to be used, but that won’t help you if your Mac is no longer supported.
How to install the latest macOS on an old Mac
When a company like Apple decides that your Mac can no longer run macOS, it leaves the little guy to figure it out for himself. Log in to OpenCore Legacy Patcher. This utility makes macOS think you are using a newer Mac than it actually is. Thus, it allows you to run the latest macOS on any Mac supported by OpenCore.
Generally, OpenCore Legacy Patcher supports Macs from 2008 onwards, with one model from 2007. Macs from 2006 and earlier are generally not supported here. You can find a complete list of OpenCore-enabled Macs here . In addition to a compatible Mac, you will need a 16GB USB drive to install OpenCore. Once you’ve done all the setup, you can install the patcher on the computer itself, so you don’t need a USB stick every time you boot your preferred version of macOS.
OpenCore Legacy Patcher has a detailed step- by -step guide that you can use to download the version of macOS you want to run and explains how to install it on any device of your choice. If you are a little tech savvy, you will likely follow the instructions and be on your way to a “new” Mac. However, if you look at the instructions and find them a little intimidating, you can look elsewhere for support.
You may find it helpful to visually follow these instructions.Mr. Macintosh has an excellent YouTubevideo walkthrough that you can use if OpenCore’s instructions are too convoluted to follow. It even connects directly to Big Sur installers, so you don’t have to go through Terminal to download them like the OpenCore instructions suggest.
How to install macOS Monterey on your old Mac
With macOS Monterey, Apple is ending support for the 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac models, and the 2015 MacBook. If you have one of these recently unsupported models, or have an even older Mac, you’re probably wondering how to install macOS Monterey on it using Open Core Legacy Patcher.
As of this posting, macOS Monterey is not yet available. However, OpenCore does support installing the Monterey beta on your old Mac. You will follow the same instructions as above, except this time you will be using the macOS Monterey Beta installer. You can find the latest valid download links for the Monterey Beta installer on Mr. Mac’s website here . It even has astep-by-step tutorial on macOS Monterey beta , if you’re interested.