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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.
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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
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
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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
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.
These might also interest you:
There are two different types of OS one is Mac OS X Lion 10.7 ISO, DMG and the other one is OS X mountain lion. So please don’t get confused in both OS.
Mac OS X Lion 10.7 is the eighth major release of Mac OS X is a completely different version from the for windows because it is a version that is totally based on the productivity suite for mac os x. This for mac is one of the best and successors of 2011 and it is followed by the for mac of 2007.
Mac os x lion was released in the month of June on the date of 22nd and in the year of 2011 in the Apple worldwide developers conference. It was announced to release officially in the month of July but due to there technicals problems and due to there technical errors they have to release it earlier.
Download: Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 DMG & ISO Image
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Tutorials: How to Clean Install Mac OS using a USB drive on Mac
On June 6, 2011, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, it was reported that the official discharge for Lion would be in July 2011. The particular discharge date of July 20 was not affirmed until the day preceding, July 19, by Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, as a major aspect of Apple’s 2011 second from last quarter income announcement.
Apple did not at first report any physical media circulation for Lion, for example, a lot of CD-ROMs or a DVD-ROM as utilized for past discharges. Rather, the working framework was said to be accessible only as a download from the Mac App Store for US$29.99. The main earlier form of OS X that underpins the Mac App Store in Snow Leopard, which suggested that any machines that help Lion at present running Tiger or Leopard would initially be moved up to Snow Leopard, instead of enabling an immediate move up to Lion.
- x86-64 CPU (64 bit Macs, with an intel core 2 duo, Intel core i5, intel core i7, or processor.)
- At least 2 GB of memory.
- Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later (Mac OS X 10.6.8 is recommended) .
- 7 GB of available space.
- Airdrop is supported on the following Mac models:MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer), MacBook (late 2008 or newer), iMac (early 2009 or newer), Mac Mini (mid-2010 or newer), Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card and mid-2010 or newer).
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Wiki Server 3 – Making it easier to collaborate, share, and exchange information. Users can quickly switch between a server’s home page, My Page, Updates, Wikis, People, and Podcasts. File sharing is simpler, and a new Page Editor is added for easy customization.
Web DAV File Sharing – Lion Server delivers wireless file sharing for clients that support WebDAV. Enabling WebDAV in Lion Server gives iOS users the ability to access, copy, and share documents on the server from applications such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.
Profile Manager – Profile Manager delivers simple, profile-based setup and management for Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It also integrates with existing directory services and delivers automatic over-the-air profile updates using the Apple Push Notification service.
Features of Macintosh OS X Lion
The principal variant of Mac OS X was Mac OS X Lion. Macintosh OS X lion – 1.2v3 depended on Rhapsody, a half and half of OPENSTEP from NeXT Computer and Mac OS 8.5.1. The GUI resembled a blend of Mac OS 8’s Platinum appearance with OPENSTEP’s NeXT-based interface. It incorporated a runtime layer called Blue Box for running inheritance Mac OS-based applications inside a different window. There was the talk of executing a ‘straightforward blue box’ which would intermix Mac OS applications with those composed for Rhapsody’s Yellow Box condition, yet this would not occur until Mac OS X’s Classic condition. Apple File Services, Macintosh Manager, QuickTime Streaming Server, WebObjects, and NetBoot were incorporated with Mac OS X lion 1.0 – 1.2v3. We couldn’t utilize FireWire gadgets in Macintosh OS X lion 10.7 iso/dmg.
Macintosh OS X lion 10.7 incorporated the new Aqua UI, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Tomcat, WebDAV bolster Macintosh Manager and NetBoot.
macOS x lion 10.7 is the most recent rendition of Mac with new highlights. Nonetheless, this refresh will keep running on Mac 2012 or later forms. On the off chance that you are running macOS X lion 10.7 or prior, you ought to probably move up to the most recent rendition of mac os x lion 10.7 from the App Store.
Downloading Mac OSX Lion 10.7 ISO/DMG
The main reason for which people preferred downloading apps from the App Store is that it would just download the stub installer (web installer) which is little in size. The real Operating System will begin introducing after running the stub installer.
In this article, you will most likely download MacOS X Lion 10.7 full installer. You can make a bootable USB from the given record and complete a new introduce just as update the present establishment of your Mac OS.
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About Apple Security Updates
For their clients’ insurance, Apple doesn’t uncover, examine, or affirm security issues until an examination has happened and fixes or discharges are accessible. Ongoing discharges are recorded on the Apple security refreshes page. For more data about security, see the Apple Product Security page. You can encode interchanges with Apple utilizing the Apple Product Security PGP Key.
If the download fails
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If so, the only thing you ought to do is to pause and retry later. Or on the other hand, change from a remote to a satellite web association. If it is the case that this doesn’t help, go to App Store > View My Account and restart the download from the Unfinished Downloads segment.
Alternatively, you can also download Mac OS X Lion 10.7 ISO/DMG from our website for free. The installation process will be similar to the installation process of the images downloaded from the app store.
Mac OS X Lion 10.7 ISO / DMG file Direct Download - ISORIVER
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There are two different types of OS one is Mac OS X Lion 10.7 ISO, DMG and the other one is OS X mountain lion. So please don't get confused in both OS.
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Operating System: Mac OS X Lion 10.7
Application Category: OS