If your Mac isn’t compatible with the latest macOS, you might be able to upgrade to an earlier macOS. 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. It’s recommended that you always use the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
The version of macOS that came with your Mac is the earliest version it can use. For example, if your Mac came with macOS Big Sur, it can’t use macOS Catalina or earlier. If a macOS isn’t compatible with your device, the App Store or installer will let you know. If you try to install a macOS that is older than the version currently installed, the installer will say that it is too old to be opened on this version of macOS.
- macOS Big Sur 11 hardware requirements
- macOS Catalina 10.15 hardware requirements
- macOS Mojave 10.14 hardware requirements
- macOS High Sierra 10.13 hardware requirements
- macOS Sierra 10.12 hardware requirements
- OS X El Capitan 10.11 hardware requirements
- OS X Yosemite 10.10 hardware requirements
How to download macOS on your Mac
You can use these links to find the old installers in the App Store. After you download the installer from the App Store, the installer opens automatically.
- macOS Big Sur can upgrade Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks.
- macOS Catalina can upgrade Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks.
- macOS Mojave can upgrade High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion.
- macOS High Sierra can upgrade Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion.
You can download 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.
- macOS Sierra can upgrade El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion.
- OS X El Capitan can upgrade Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard.
- OS X Yosemite can upgrade Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard.
Note: Before installing any upgrade, it’s a good idea to back up your Mac.
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