So, you’ve decided to download an older version of Mac OS X. There are many reasons that could point you to this radical decision. To begin with, some of your apps may not be working properly (or simply crash) on newer operating systems. Also, you may have noticed your Mac’s performance went down right after the last update. Finally, if you want to run a parallel copy of Mac OS X on a virtual machine, you too will need a working installation file of an older Mac OS X. Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.
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 10.12 can upgrade El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion. OS X Mavericks is available as a free, one-step update for all Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard and above, and is a free download on the Mac App Store. Direct Link 622 comments. However, we can still download Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.DMG right in this topic without an Apple store using direct download link. Oct 23, 2013 With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings iBooks and Maps to the Mac, includes a new version of Safari, enhances multi-display support, introduces Finder Tabs.
A list of all Mac OS X versions
We’ll be repeatedly referring to these Apple OS versions below, so it’s good to know the basic macOS timeline.
|Cheetah 10.0||Puma 10.1||Jaguar 10.2|
|Panther 10.3||Tiger 10.4||Leopard 10.5|
|Snow Leopard 10.6||Lion 10.7||Mountain Lion 10.8|
|Mavericks 10.9||Yosemite 10.10||El Capitan 10.11|
|Sierra 10.12||High Sierra 10.13||Mojave 10.14|
STEP 1. Prepare your Mac for installation
Given your Mac isn’t new and is filled with data, you will probably need enough free space on your Mac. This includes not just space for the OS itself but also space for other applications and your user data. One more argument is that the free space on your disk translates into virtual memory so your apps have “fuel” to operate on. The chart below tells you how much free space is needed.
Note, that it is recommended that you install OS on a clean drive. Next, you will need enough disk space available, for example, to create Recovery Partition. Here are some ideas to free up space on your drive:
- Uninstall large unused apps
- Empty Trash Bin and Downloads
- Locate the biggest files on your computer:
Go to Finder > All My Files > Arrange by size
Then you can move your space hoggers onto an external drive or a cloud storage.
If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning the Mac manually, there are some nice automatic “room cleaners”. Our favorite is CleanMyMac as it’s most simple to use of all. It deletes system junk, old broken apps, and the rest of hidden junk on your drive.
Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.4 - 10.8 (free version)
Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.9 (free version)
Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.10 - 10.14 (free version)
STEP 2. Get a copy of Mac OS X download
Normally, it is assumed that updating OS is a one-way road. That’s why going back to a past Apple OS version is problematic. The main challenge is to download the OS installation file itself, because your Mac may already be running a newer version. If you succeed in downloading the OS installation, your next step is to create a bootable USB or DVD and then reinstall the OS on your computer.
How to download older Mac OS X versions via the App Store
If you once had purchased an old version of Mac OS X from the App Store, open it and go to the Purchased tab. There you’ll find all the installers you can download. However, it doesn’t always work that way. The purchased section lists only those operating systems that you had downloaded in the past. But here is the path to check it:
- Click the App Store icon.
- Click Purchases in the top menu.
- Scroll down to find the preferred OS X version.
- Click Download.
This method allows you to download Mavericks and Yosemite by logging with your Apple ID — only if you previously downloaded them from the Mac App Store.
Without App Store: Download Mac OS version as Apple Developer
If you are signed with an Apple Developer account, you can get access to products that are no longer listed on the App Store. If you desperately need a lower OS X version build, consider creating a new Developer account among other options. The membership cost is $99/year and provides a bunch of perks unavailable to ordinary users.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you visit developer.apple.com/downloads, you can only find 10.3-10.6 OS X operating systems there. Newer versions are not available because starting Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.7, the App Store has become the only source of updating Apple OS versions.
Purchase an older version of Mac operating system
You can purchase a boxed or email version of past Mac OS X directly from Apple. Both will cost you around $20. For the reason of being rather antiquated, Snow Leopard and earlier Apple versions can only be installed from DVD.
Buy a boxed edition of Snow Leopard 10.6
Get an email copy of Lion 10.7
Get an email copy of Mountain Lion 10.8
The email edition comes with a special download code you can use for the Mac App Store. Note, that to install the Lion or Mountain Lion, your Mac needs to be running Snow Leopard so you can install the newer OS on top of it.
How to get macOS El Capitan download
Mac Os Mavericks App Store Link For High Sierra
If you are wondering if you can run El Capitan on an older Mac, rejoice as it’s possible too. But before your Mac can run El Capitan it has to be updated to OS X 10.6.8. So, here are main steps you should take:
1. Install Snow Leopard from install DVD.
2. Update to 10.6.8 using Software Update.
3. Download El Capitan here.
“I can’t download an old version of Mac OS X”
If you have a newer Mac, there is no physical option to install Mac OS versions older than your current Mac model. For instance, if your MacBook was released in 2014, don’t expect it to run any OS released prior of that time, because older Apple OS versions simply do not include hardware drivers for your Mac.
But as it often happens, workarounds are possible. There is still a chance to download the installation file if you have an access to a Mac (or virtual machine) running that operating system. For example, to get an installer for Lion, you may ask a friend who has Lion-operated Mac or, once again, set up a virtual machine running Lion. Then you will need to prepare an external drive to download the installation file using OS X Utilities.
After you’ve completed the download, the installer should launch automatically, but you can click Cancel and copy the file you need. Below is the detailed instruction how to do it.
STEP 3. Install older OS X onto an external drive
The following method allows you to download Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks.
- Start your Mac holding down Command + R.
- Prepare a clean external drive (at least 10 GB of storage).
- Within OS X Utilities, choose Reinstall OS X.
- Select external drive as a source.
- Enter your Apple ID.
Now the OS should start downloading automatically onto the external drive. After the download is complete, your Mac will prompt you to do a restart, but at this point, you should completely shut it down. Now that the installation file is “captured” onto your external drive, you can reinstall the OS, this time running the file on your Mac.
- Boot your Mac from your standard drive.
- Connect the external drive.
- Go to external drive > OS X Install Data.
Locate InstallESD.dmg disk image file — this is the file you need to reinstall Lion OS X. The same steps are valid for Mountain Lion and Mavericks.
How to downgrade a Mac running later macOS versions
If your Mac runs macOS Sierra 10.12 or macOS High Sierra 10.13, it is possible to revert it to the previous system if you are not satisfied with the experience. You can do it either with Time Machine or by creating a bootable USB or external drive.
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Sierra
Instruction to downgrade from macOS High Sierra
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Mojave
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Catalina
Before you do it, the best advice is to back your Mac up so your most important files stay intact. In addition to that, it makes sense to clean up your Mac from old system junk files and application leftovers. The easiest way to do it is to run CleanMyMac X on your machine (download it for free here).
Visit your local Apple Store to download older OS X version
Mac Os Mavericks App Store Links
If none of the options to get older OS X worked, pay a visit to nearest local Apple Store. They should have image installations going back to OS Leopard and earlier. You can also ask their assistance to create a bootable USB drive with the installation file. So here you are. We hope this article has helped you to download an old version of Mac OS X. Below are a few more links you may find interesting.
Apple has released OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and somewhat surprisingly it is a free upgrade for all existing OS X users. If you’re using a Mac laptop or desktop from the last five years or so, you should be able to download OS X Mavericks for free just by visiting the Mac App Store. Some exclusions and caveats do apply, though, so read on for more information.
Downloading and installing OS X 10.9 Mavericks for free
Before you upgrade to OS X 10.9 for free, the most important question is whether your Mac hardware is compatible. In general, if you’re already running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, you should be able to install Mavericks. Here’s a complete list of Mac laptops and desktops compatible with OS X 10.9 Mavericks:
- MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 and newer)
- MacBook Air (late 2008 and newer)
- iMac (mid 2007 and newer)
- MacBook (late 2008 aluminium, or early 2009 and newer)
- Mac Mini (early 2009 and newer)
- Mac Pro (early 2008 and newer)
- Xserve (early 2009)
Before you begin the upgrade process, you should save and close any open programs. If you’re upgrading some older Mac hardware, you might also find it useful to clear up your hard drive first, by uninstalling unused apps, transferring large files to external storage, and using a clean-up tool such as CCleaner.
If you have Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion installed (10.6, 10.7, 10.8), upgrading to 10.9 Mavericks is as simple as heading to the Mac App Store, clicking the huge OS X Mavericks banner, and clicking “Install.” It will download the update (which is around 5GB), and then ask whether you want to begin the installation process. Once you begin the installation, that’s it: It’s a one-step installer without any “next” buttons.
For me, on a fairly bogged-down 2011 MacBook Pro, the free upgrade to OS X Mavericks took around 90 minutes. On a newer and fresher systems, it should be a lot faster.
After installing OS X Mavericks…
Once the installation process is complete, a notification will pop up offering to teach you about Mavericks’ new features. You should probably click it, especially if you’re coming from Snow Leopard or Lion as quite a lot has changed. The most exciting new features in Mavericks are probably the iCloud Keychain, Notifications tweaks, and some cool low-level tech that should improve battery life and performance (Timer Coalescing, App Nap, and Memory Compression). If you’ve always wished for iBooks, Maps, and Calendar to make the leap from iOS to your Mac, you’re in luck, too.
If you have any problems upgrading, or you want to draw our attention to an interesting new feature (or bug), leave a comment.
Now read: Is the core of Apple’s OS X rotting from within?