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. If you've just had your Mac logic board replaced during a repair, macOS Recovery may only offer the latest macOS compatible with your Mac. If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery may only offer the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.
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. Filesystem for linux and mac. Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.
Global Nav Open Menu Global Nav Close Menu; Apple; Shopping Bag +. If it's OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion that you need you can buy it for £19.99 here US or here UK As with Lion, Apple will send you a download code to use on the Mac App Store, so you will need to be. 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.
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
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:
Dec 16, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions
Does Recuva Work on Mac
Well, Recuva File Recovery is indeed a free software for PC to recover lost data. But there is no version of Recuva Mac Data Recovery.
What Is Recuva Software
Recuva is widely known as a must-have data recovery program for Windows PC. Whenever files are deleted, formatted, corrupted, or missing from your Windows computer or removable media, Recuva can be your lifesaver with its easy-to-use and totally-free features. However, Recuva is only for Windows PC currently, Mac users have no chance to use this powerful and free program to recover lost or deleted data.
The demand for Recuva for Mac is huge on the internet. While the truth is: there's no official Mac version of Recuva, and there's almost no free Mac data recovery program too. It's hard for you to find the most useful Recuva alternative for Mac from numerous utilities in the Market. This article can help you out. In this article, you can free download Recuva for Mac alternatives. We test and review the best 5 Mac file recovery software here for you.
Top 1 Recuva Mac Alternative: Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac
Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac is one of the most useful and powerful alternatives to Recuva for Mac that helps you to recover Mac data in an extremely safe and easy way. The program offers you an advanced data recovery engine, intuitive interface, and a one-stop recovery solution to help you recover Mac data effortlessly. It allows you to recover lost files from both Mac devices as well as external storage devices, while many Mac data recovery programs only recover data from removable media.
- Recover 1000+ types of lost or deleted files from all storage devices on Mac safely and completely.
- Support external hard drive data recovery in different situations like accidental deletion and more.
- Free scan, thumbnails, and a preview of files available before recovering files from all storage devices.
Why We Regard It the Best Recuva Alternative
- At least 96% of your lost data, including documents, photos, videos, audios, emails, ZIP files, etc, can be recovered through it.
- Files scanned and found by Recuva alternative will be listed in clear categories like documents, images, videos, music, emails, and archives, or file folders.
- You can pause the scanning process when you find the files you want, as well as save scanning results for next time use;
- Recoverit has the strongest file preview ability in the market: you can preview images, documents, emails, and archives.
- The Recuva alternative is fully compatible with APFS, HFS+, HFSX, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file systems on Windows or Mac platform.
- It comes with a free full version like Recuva software to help you recover files on Mac for free, although it comes with a limit of 100MB.
Video Tutorial on Mac Data Recovery
How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac
It is said that this software takes a lot of trial and error to develop a program that can help ever a novice recover lost data on Mac easily and quickly. And yes, it does. With Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac, you're able to retrieve deleted files on Mac with 3 simple steps (Select > Scan > Preview & Recover).
Free download the best alternative to Recuva Mac
Recoverit Mac Data Recovery can be compatible with all Mac systems, including macOS 10.14, 10.13, 10.12, OS X 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10.8. It can also work well with Windows PC (Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP). Windows users please download the PC version and follow the similar steps.
Select a location
Step 1 To restore lost or deleted files on Mac, you need to select a location where your data were lost among the list of hard drive disks. Click 'Start' to go on.
Scanning the hard drive
Step 2 You will next go to a scan process. Recoverit will search the selected hard drive all around for the lost or deleted files.
Preview and recover files on Mac
Step 3 After the scan, you can filter and preview the files you desire to recover. Select your lost files and click 'Recover' to retrieve them to your Mac or other storage media.
Top 2 Recuva Mac Alternative: MagicCute Data Recovery for Mac
MagicCute Data Recovery for Mac is an easy Mac data recovery program that helps you to recover data on a Mac computer. This program supports the recovery of more than 2000 file types and it's fully compatible with HFS/NTFS, FAT, and FAT32. Moreover, it supports creating a drive image for recovered data backups.
Currently, there're 3 editions of Remo Recover for Mac users to choose from. This is also the bad side of the tool. The Basic Edition, which is also the cheapest one, only allows users to recover deleted files from Mac hard drive or files emptied from Trash.
- This is a fast recovery program that requires no special skill or knowledge;
- MacgicCute is a portable application that allows you to install and run it on an external hard drive;
- The program supports thousands of file types;
- You can create disk image backup with this tool.
- While scanning is processing, you can't stop it. Otherwise, the whole scanning will be canceled.
- The scanning process is too long and time-consuming.
- It has no preview function before recovery.
- You're unable to try it for free.
Top 3 Recuva Mac Alternative: VirtualLab for MacOS X
VirtualLab for MacOS X is a simple program that offers you basic Mac data recovery. This tool is specialized in two recovery modes: lost file recovery and iPod recovery. It enables users to recover data from un-mounted volume, RAID drive, as well as firewire and USB.
- It offers you, special RAID constructor;
- Volume recovery helps you to recover data from damaged or un-mounted volume.
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- You can't search files with names nor save scanning results.
- The free version of the Recuva Mac alternative only supports the free recovery of only 1MB file.
Top 4 Recuva Mac Alternative: Boomerang Data Recovery Software for macOS X
Boomerang Data Recovery Software for macOS X is another Mac data recovery tool to handle a wide range of data loss scenarios from accidental deletion to formatting. It's able to recover deleted, formatted and damaged files, as well as unmountable and reformatted drive.
The alternative to Recuva Data Recovery is compatible with almost all Mac systems: Mac OS X 10.11.3, 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.7, 10.6, 10.5. 10.4.
- An extreme easy-to-use interface that saves you lots of time;
- RAID recovery and reconstructor recover RAID data with ease;
- iPod recovery enables you to recover iPod files sufficiently.
- The program only offers a normal scan. You can't get 'Deep Scan' on your drive;
- It doesn't support as many file types as other utilities in the list do.
Top 5 Recuva Mac Alternative: TestDisk
TestDisk is OpenSource software and it is a free data recovery software. It supports to recover lost partition and boot your disks bootable again while the system crashed. Its easy to recover partition table due to accidentally deleted.
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- It recover FAT32 and NTFS boot sector from its backup
- It supports to rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32, NTFS boot sector
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- It is difficult to use for beginners.
- It is not good to recover lost photos from digital cameras or harddisk.
Comparison & Conclusion
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Although there is no Recuva Data Recovery for Mac, you can still free download the top 5 Mac file recovery software to help you get data back without much effort. And through our tests, Recoverit Mac Data Recovery can be a nicer option for you. It supports you recovering 100MB files for free before purchasing the full version. Moreover, it can recover 1000+ types of data and allows you to scan and preview all lost data before the purchase and recovery.
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