Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Want to install macOS Sierra on an older, unsupported Mac? Try this hack

Apple’s latest desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, is now here, but the macOS Sierra system requirements stipulate that it’s only supported by certain Apple hardware. Fear not, there’s a way to install the new software on older devices – here it is.

Despite Apple’s guidance that it’s only late-2009 devices and onwards that will be able to run the OS, theoretically you should be able to run Sierra on computers with a CPU utilising the Penryn microarchitecture.

Related: How to download macOS Sierra right now

That would mean support for devices from early-2008, namely:

  • Early-2008 (or newer) Mac Pro, iMac, or MacBook Pro
  • Late-2009 (or newer) MacBook Air or unibody MacBook
  • Early-2009 (or newer) Mac Mini or white MacBook

Of course, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s straightforward, which is why developer Colin Mistr (aka dosdude1) created the macOS Sierra Patch Tool.

That utility, along with a USB drive with a capacity of at least 8GB and a copy of Sierra, should let you install macOS on that handful of older devices.

All the usual caveats apply: installing macOS Sierra on an unsupported computer could bork it (and your data), as well as likely voiding your warranty.

On certain devices, too, the workaround will kill your Wi-Fi functionality. These are the late-2008 and mid-2009 MacBook Air, early-2008 and mid-2008 MacBook Pro, early-2008 iMac and early-2008 Mac Pro.

In other words, you should have bit of technical know-how if you’re going to try this, and backup all your data first. While we know this worked on Sierra dev previews, we’re also unsure if Apple has managed to patch the borderline ‘hack’, so let us know your mileage in the comments below.

If you do want to give it a go, though, you can find step-by-step instructions and download the macOS Sierra Patch tool here.

Related: macOS Sierra tips and tricks

WATCH: Tablets vs laptops

Going to give it a whirl? Tell us all about your experience in the comments.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words