Apple releases a new version of macOS once a year, and these updates include major performance enhancement and new user interface. However, within each new version of macOS, Apple cut off some of the older mac to receive the OS updates.
In case of macOS Catalina 10.15, which is the latest version, Apple has clearly announced on it is webpage that, those macs will receive the update which are manufactured no earlier than 2012.
This mean, if you have any mac that is manufactured during 2011, 2010, 2009 or earlier, will not support macOS Catalina 10.15.
Now, what you can do if own an older mac?
Well, there is not much of choice for you, either you should adjust with whatever you have installed, or override your system and install macOS Catalina.
Yes, that is right! you can install macOS Catalina on an unsupported mac.
The real question is- how?
This question is answered in detail but with pretty simple steps in this article. Thus, follow all the steps you read here carefully.
Remember, since you are going to install macOS Catalina on an older mac, that don’t have the necessary components to meet macOS Catalina requirements, it is high recommended to backup your entire data on an external hard drive or clouds.
Therefore, if you have an NTFS external hard drive, and you cannot backup or write data from your mac on it. I have included some brilliant solutions with free tools in this blog to overcome this problem. Read here
List of Macs Supporting macOS Catalina:
To check whether your mac supports macOS Catalina or not, go to “About This Mac” and you will see it on Overview tab.
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
- iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
- iMac Pro (2017 and newer)
- Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
Required Tools and Software:
- USB Stick (at least 16GB)
- macOS Catalina Patcher Tool
- 15 GB Free Space
Steps to Install macOS Catalina on an Unsupported Mac:
- Plug your USB drive and format it as following.
- Name: macOS Catalina
- Format: MacOS Extended (Journaled)
- Scheme: GUID Partition Map
- Download macOS Catalina Patcer App
- Right click on macOS Catalina Patcher app, then select Open.
- Click continue
- Now, it asks you to either browse for macOS Catalina, or download a new copy of macOS Catalina
Essential for you: Download macOS Catalina [Direct Links]
- Plug the USB drive, if it is not.
- Select ‘Create a bootable installer’ from the options.
Learn here: How to Create Bootable MacOS Catalina USB Installer? [Quick]
- Choose your USB drive from the list, then click Start.
- Now, it warns about erasing the USB drive, select “Yes”
- For confirmation enter your admins password
- It may take a while to complete, keep calm.
- Reboot your system and hold “option key”. This will bring the boot option menu.
- Select your USB drive installer on boot option menu, then press return key
- If your mac is operating on macOS Sierra or older versions, you need to change the hard drive format into AFPS. Simply, go to Disk Utility, then choose the internal hard drive and erase it with AFPS format. Then quit Disk Utility.
- Now, click on reinstall macOS on macOS Utilities window.
- Once the installation is completed, reboot your mac into Recovery Mode, then select drive that contains the bootable installer.
- Next, select macOS Post Install, and this will install the essential patches required for macOS Catalina.
- Choose Force Cache Rebuild
- Finally, restart your system, and will you get a fully functional macOS Catalina on your old mac.
Disadvantage of Installing macOS Catalina on an Unsupported Mac:
The answer is pretty straight forward, since the older macs do not meet the hardware capabilities to run macOS Catalina, it may start lacking. I could say that, this problem could the least of the problems. There are cases that system crushed and all the essential data has been erased permanently.
Therefore, I do not recommend you to go straight forward and, run or install macOS Catalina on an unsupported mac. Instead you could use a virtual machine to explore macOS Catalina.
Of course, Virtual Machines may not be convenient for you, and it is not for me either.
Read more: How toInstall MacOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows PC? [Works Quickly]
However, if you are ready to take the precautions to install OS X Catalina on an unsupported mac, this article provides you the definitive method, which has worked for me and definitely work for you too.
How to Install macOS Mojave on an Unsupported Mac?
Short and sweet, all the procedures you read in this article (-install macOS Catalina on an unsupported mac) are applied for macOS Mojave and other older versions of macOS too.
The only difference with installing macOS Catalina on older macs is, that it requires its own macOS Mojave Patcher tool.
Therefore, if you want to install macOS Mojave on older mac, download the patcher tool and follow all the instruction as above.
How to Install macOS Catalina on Windows PC?
Installing macOS Catalina on a Windows PC is not done as on mac. It requires separate tools and boot loader software. However, if you are still interested to dual boot Windows 10 and macOS Catalina, you can read the fully detailed article here.
Learn more: Quickly Create macOS Catalina Bootable USB Installer on Windows PC [+Video]
Quick Steps: To install macOS Catalina 10,15 on an unsupported mac, you need to download macOS Catalina Patcher tool by DOSDude1. This tool allows you to create bootable USB installer, and also it will install all the required patches for macOS Catalina on an old mac.
I hope this piece of article has been convenient for you.
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