How to install Apple’s macOS Mojave on unsupported Macs

“This year’s macOS Mojave beta, and subsequent update, won’t run and can’t be installed on any Mac older than about 2012 —or so Apple thinks,” William Gallagher writes for AppleInsider. “However, if you’re the sort to believe that every year Apple tries to force everyone to buy new Macs, and you also forget that 2012 was six years ago, you’re in luck.”

“But, there is now a way to ignore Apple and install macOS Mojave on any Mac you like,” Gallagher writes. “Or at least any Mac you like back to around 2008.”

“There are exceptions. The new and most utterly not Apple supported macOS Mojave Patcher Tool will even go back to 2007 if you have a very specific iMac that you’ve already upgraded in a very specific way,” Gallagher writes. “That said, Apple’s official list also has exceptions: if you have the right Mac Pro you can install Mojave on even a mid-2010 machine.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just remember that your mileage may vary.

Apple’s official list of macOS Mojave supported Macs:

• MacBook Pro (mid 2012 and newer)
• MacBook Air (mid 2012 and newer)
• MacBook (early 2015 and later)
• iMac (late 2012 or newer)
• iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
• Mac Pro (late 2013 or newer or mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with a Metal capable GPU)
• Mac Mini (late 2012 or newer)

18 Comments

  1. Yea this really irks me! If you can make the OS run then there is no reason Apple can’t support it! I am running 10.13 on a 2009 Mac Pro with 2010 firmware and it runs fine. Yea, I am running an SSD, but that is the purpose of the pro! It runs perfectly fine and no reason Apple can’t support it still!

    1. Cashxx,

      Just because you can make it run doesn’t mean that it is a tolerable user experience. The user interface for Mojave is heavy on Metal graphics that older GPUs (and integrated graphics) cannot handle.

      Apple had three possible choices: (1) freeze the OS feature set so that 2011 hardware could use it, but the investment in 2012 and later hardware was wasted; (2) allow 2011 hardware to install, and tolerate thousands of posts on MDN and elsewhere blaming “Pipeline” for the intolerable experience on older hardware; or (3) limit installation to Macs capable of using the full feature set.

      I speak as someone who relies on two perfectly good Macs that won’t run Mojave.

      1. The 2009 Mac Pro will support better video than any current Mac has. NVidia 1080ti, Titan X, Radeons, you name it. Darned straight the machine can handle Metal, and if you upgrade the CPU it’ll give a better user experience than at least half the officially-supported boxes.

        I think the ONLY reason 2009 Mac Pro’s aren’t in the supported list is because Apple doesn’t officially talk about upgrading them to the 2010 firmware, and without that you can’t run the newer GPU’s.

          1. I’m aware of this. They announced the 2010-2012 Mac Pro’s are compatible with the right video card. They specifically did NOT list the 2009 Mac Pro, which is a 2010 when you upgrade the firmware except for one minor difference in the thermal control circuit. I stand by my comment.

  2. This touches upon one of my pet hates. What’s the point of making hardware which will keep working for in excess of ten years when the operating system is only useable for six? It flies in the face of Apple’s stance on environmental issues.

    Obviously older operating systems keep working, but they’re not properly useable because many new devices and technologies require features which are only supported in newer versions of the operating system.

    1. “This touches upon one of my pet hates. What’s the point of making hardware which will keep working for in excess of ten years when the operating system is only useable for six?”

      Havee you seeeen thee neew keeyboards? Theey’ree working on “fixing” that teen yeear thing. 🙂 If it runs, why not let people install it? They don’t HAVE to “support” it. Whatever that means. If you install it, and your favorite picture editor doesn’t run anymore, well tuff for you. They could even charge a little for the “unchained” version. I’d pay for that, except I’m trying to figure out if I can go back to Snow Leopard on one of my Mac mini’s.

  3. The same people that complain that the new OS slowed down their machine now complain that the new OS does not run on their machine.

    First of all, after 6 years you might actually want to upgrade. Second, the machine will keep working just fine AS-IS if you don’t upgrade.

    So what is all the fuss? Running an unsupported configuration feels dirty for me, then I could just as well run Windows.

    1. My 11 year old 2007 Mac Pro still runs great and I had to use an EFI hack just to get it to run El Capitan which is does really well. (But EC is the end of the OS X road for this machine.) The machine is incredibly useful as a secondary machine. And still amazingly fast for what it is with enough memory and an SSD drive.

      Mojave is the first OS X I’ve gotten mildly excited about in a long time mainly because of Dark Mode. High Sierra was too problematic and there were fitful problems with the new AFS to bother with it until the kinks have been all worked out. The highest OS I have on any machine is Sierra.

      Perfectly capable machines don’t have to be replaced after 6 years if they are still running and serve a need. That’s fruity corporate wishful thinking. Most people aren’t made out of money.

    2. After 6 years you might want to upgrade? How about 12? My 92-year old mother is clearly not a typical user, but she has a 2006 MacBook (MacBook1,1) which would still be fine for her except for software support. It can’t be upgraded past 10.6.8, so modern browsers no longer work (stuck with older Firefox), and so the website compatibility is fading fast. She likes it for longer emails, printing bank statements, viewing old photos, and would love to use it with FaceBook to read what’s new with her many children/grand/great-grand, but that doesn’t really work anymore. She is on her second iPad and has an iPhone, and she’s up to date there, but she does not want to spend the money to get a newer laptop.
      She doesn’t need fast, she needs it to work, so it’s too bad Apple could not have found a way to install a reduced feature set newer OS on old equipment. If Apple were truly concerned with “user experience,” they’d consider the user experience of their hardware outliving their software. Make it a test for software engineers who want to move up: create a reduced feature set version of OS X 10.9 which will run on any Intel-based Mac ever made. That would be a way for Devs to prove their “mettle” (last minute pun intended).

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