How to Install macOS Ventura or Monterey on Unsupported Macs, for Security Improvements | Hotline Tech


Safety & Privateness

Posted on
October twenty seventh, 2022 by
Joshua Lengthy and Jay Vrijenhoek


From a safety standpoint, utilizing the most recent model of macOS—the Mac working system—is important, particularly if you wish to keep secure from actively exploited vulnerabilities.

Nevertheless, in case your Mac is a number of years outdated, there’s a very good likelihood that the present model of macOS received’t run in your Mac; Apple drops help for Mac fashions that it declares to be classic or out of date.

For those who want to use the most recent model of macOS however Apple not helps your Mac, the best choice (by way of pace, system stability, and the complete vary of Apple options) is to easily purchase a brand new Mac. After all, not everybody can essentially afford to take action.

However what if there have been a option to proceed working the latest and most secure model of macOS for for much longer than Apple is prepared to help your Mac mannequin?

On this article:

There’s hope for older Macs

There may be, the truth is, hope for customers of many elderly Mac fashions. With a little bit of effort, you need to use a source-available, third-party utility that makes it doable so that you can run the most recent macOS model on considerably older {hardware}, with (for essentially the most half) comparatively minimal caveats.

The latest Mac working system is macOS Ventura. Following is the entire checklist of Apple’s supported fashions for macOS Ventura (macOS 13.x):

MacBook (2017)
MacBook Air (2018 or newer)
MacBook Professional (2017 or newer)
iMac (2017 or newer)
iMac Professional (2017)
Mac mini (2018 or newer)
Mac Professional (2019 or newer)
Mac Studio (2022)

For now, the checklist of further Macs that may run macOS Ventura, unofficially (we’ll clarify what meaning later), consists of some a lot older fashions, as follows. In brief, you may unofficially run Ventura on all 2012-or-later Macs that Apple doesn’t formally help:

MacBook (Early 2015 and Early 2016)
MacBook Air (Mid 2012 by means of 2017)
MacBook Professional (Mid 2012 by means of 2016)
iMac (Late 2012 by means of Late 2015)
Mac mini (Late 2012 and Late 2014)
Mac Professional (Late 2013)

In case your Mac doesn’t formally or unofficially help macOS Ventura, your subsequent finest choice is macOS Monterey. (Word: Apple has traditionally not patched all recognized vulnerabilities for the earlier macOS model, but it’s higher than working an excellent older macOS model.) In brief, Monterey is presently one of the best unofficial macOS choice on all 2008-through-2011 fashions of those product traces:

MacBook (Early 2008 by means of Mid 2010)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 by means of Mid 2011)
MacBook Professional (Early 2008 by means of Late 2011)
iMac (Mid 2007, after upgrading the CPU)*
iMac (Early 2008 by means of Late 2011)
Mac mini (Early 2009 by means of Mid 2011)
Mac Professional (Early 2008 by means of Mid 2012)
Xserve (Early 2008 and Early 2009)

*With a processor improve (not for the faint of coronary heart), the checklist may even embrace the mid-2007 iMac—a pc that’s now over fifteen years outdated.

These unofficial lists look rather a lot higher than Apple’s official help checklist, proper? Maybe it appears too good to be true, and to be truthful, there are some recognized points with sure fashions (see the OpenCore Legacy Patcher supported fashions checklist for particulars).

You could be questioning how such a factor may presumably work. Partly, it makes use of the same methodology to so-called “hackintosh” computer systems, the place further Apple drivers from earlier variations of the working system are included to make the present model of macOS work with a wider vary of {hardware}.

Apple could not need to exert the hassle to maintain the most recent macOS working in your outdated Mac {hardware}. (This truly makes numerous sense, particularly when you think about that Apple makes cash by promoting new Macs and doesn’t instantly revenue from macOS upgrades.) However fortunately, a handful of hobbyists are prepared to pour numerous hours into making new macOS variations work on older Macs with none help from Apple.

Making ready to patch

If you wish to run macOS Ventura or Monterey however can’t on account of your Mac not being formally supported, right here is how you can go about it:

  1. First, go to your Apple menu and choose “About This Mac.” Write down what it says subsequent to “Mannequin” (if it’s listed). Then click on on “System Report…” (or “Extra Data…”). Within the {hardware} overview window that pops up, a “Mannequin Identifier” might be listed; write this down as nicely.
  2. Now that you just’ve confirmed your Mac mannequin, subsequent you’ll have to confirm that OpenCore Legacy Patcher works along with your Mac by reviewing the supported models list.
  3. Back up all your data. Use Apple’s Time Machine and/or Intego Personal Backup, follow a “3-2-1” backup strategy, and ensure that your backups are really working.
  4. Grab a USB flash drive (or any USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt external hard drive) that can be erased and is 16 GB or larger in size. (Ideally, choose a fast external drive. This will save time when copying the macOS installer to the drive and booting your Mac from it during installation.)
  5. Download the latest version of OpenCore Legacy Patcher from this site. Be sure to choose the “GUI-Offline” version.
  6. If you normally use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and/or mouse, it’s ideal to instead use a wired USB keyboard and mouse for this process. (If you’re upgrading a MacBook, the built-in keyboard and trackpad are fine, in most cases.)

As an aside, you can find many of the steps from this guide (and a few additional details) on the OpenCore Legacy Patcher site. But I’ll take the journey with you using my iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007, with an upgraded CPU) and add some helpful tips based on my experience. Mine is the oldest supported (er, unsupported) model, and it’s eight years older than the minimum iMac model that Apple still supports. (Note that I’m upgrading from a patched version of Catalina, but the steps below are the same regardless. The screenshot below is actually from another Mac running OS X El Capitan 10.11.6, which happens to be the final macOS version that Apple supported on my iMac, too.)

Although hardware upgrades are not usually required, you may wish to upgrade your Mac to the maximum amount of RAM and replace your hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD), assuming your Mac model is user-serviceable and you’re comfortable doing such upgrades. This will make your machine run much smoother.

Of course, it probably goes without saying, but Intego cannot provide technical support if something goes wrong. Proceed at your own risk.

Now that you’ve got everything ready to go, let’s begin!

How to install macOS Ventura or Monterey on an unsupported Mac

Note: This step-by-step guide was written for macOS Monterey, but it should still apply to macOS Ventura as well. See the section Is macOS Ventura supported? for additional details about Ventura.

Having completed all your prep work from the previous section, now you can follow this step-by-step guide to installing macOS Monterey on your unsupported Mac.

    1. Plug in your USB flash drive or external hard drive. (You’ll need this for later steps.)
    2. Open the “OpenCore-Patcher” app (the GUI-Offline version that you downloaded in step 5 of your preparation). Click “Open” if prompted.
    3. In the app’s main window, click on the “Create macOS Installer” button.
    4. A new window will appear listing many macOS versions. Click on the most recent non-beta version, which should appear near the bottom of the list.
    5. The macOS version you selected will begin to download. When the download finishes, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password “to add InstallAssistant” for the next step (this copies the “Install macOS Ventura” [or Monterey] app to your Applications folder).
    6. Next, click on the “Flash Installer” button. You’ll then be prompted to choose the “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) app that you downloaded in the previous step. (If you have multiple options, choose the most recent version version of Ventura or Monterey in the list.)
    7. You’ll then be prompted to choose your USB flash drive or external hard drive. (If you have multiple options to choose from, select carefully; the next step will completely erase the drive.) You may wish to write down the disk details; you’ll need to choose the same disk again later.
    8. Again, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OCLP-Helper wants to make changes” (OCLP is short for OpenCore Legacy Patcher; this step allows for your external drive to be formatted).
      As explained on the “Creating Installer” screen, the process of copying data to your external drive can potentially take a very long time; this step took almost 90 minutes on my 2007 iMac.
    9. Once that process is complete, you’ll get a “Success” dialog box, and then you can click on the “Return to Main Menu” button.
    10. At the “main menu” window, click on the “Build and Install OpenCore” button.
      A new window will appear; click on the “Build OpenCore” button to continue.
    11. Once the text stops scrolling, the “Build OpenCore” button will change to say “Install OpenCore” instead; click on Install OpenCore.
    12. In the “Install OpenCore” window, click on the button for the same disk that you chose in step 7 above (i.e. your external drive).
    13. Next you’ll need to choose the partition. There should only be one button in this list (it will probably say “EFI” in the middle). Click on that button to continue.
    14. Again, you may be prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to mount your EFI.” This is necessary to prepare the external drive for the next steps.
    15. Moments later, you’ll see a bit of text, ending in “OpenCore transfer complete.” Your Mac is now ready to install macOS Ventura or Monterey.
    16. Now it’s time to install the new OS on your Mac! Read this entire step carefully before you proceed; you’ll need to be ready to press buttons on the keyboard quickly. Click on the Apple menu, then select “Restart…” and click Restart again when ready. Immediately begin holding down the Option key on your keyboard (or “Alt” if you’re using a third-party USB keyboard). Immediately as soon as you see multiple drive options, stop holding the Option/Alt key, and use the arrow keys to choose the “EFI Boot” option with the blue-and-white OpenCore logo. Press the Return or Enter key to select this option.
      Next, use the arrow keys and Return/Enter to select the “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) option.
      Your Mac will start booting up from the installation disk. Depending on the age and speed of your Mac and your  external drive, this may take a few minutes.
    17. Once your Mac finishes booting, you should see the following options: Restore from Time Machine, Install macOS Ventura (or Monterey), Safari, and Disk Utility.
      Choose “Install macOS Ventura” (or Monterey) and let the installer run as normal. In the pane where you’re prompted to select a disk, be sure to choose your Mac’s internal drive (e.g. “Macintosh HD”).
    18. After a while, your Mac will probably restart on its own. If it brings you back to the screen shown in step 17, just click on the Apple menu and select Restart, and immediately begin holding Option again. Select “EFI Boot” again, but this time you’ll need to choose the “macOS Installer” option with the internal hard drive icon superimposed (pictured below). This will allow the operating system installation to complete.
    19. When macOS Ventura or Monterey has finished installing, there are just a few more steps remaining. First, you’ll want to set up your internal drive properly to ensure you no longer need the external drive attached. To do this, open the OpenCore-Patcher app (the one you used in step 2). From the main menu (as depicted in step 3), repeat steps 10 and 11 again to build and begin installing OpenCore.
    20. Although in step 12 you chose your external drive, this time you’ll instead select your internal drive (which is most likely disk0, but may vary depending on your Mac).
    21. Like step 13, there should only be one option that says “EFI” near the middle; click this button.
    22. Like step 14, you’ll prompted to enter an administrator’s username and password because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to mount your EFI.” This is necessary to prepare the internal drive to boot without the external drive attached.
    23. Once you see a window similar to step 15, again you’ll see a bit of text ending in “OpenCore transfer complete.” Click on “Return to Main Menu” to prepare for the next step.
    24. From the main menu, click on the “Post Install Root Patch” button. (This will help you install any additional fixes that may be necessary to make Ventura or Monterey work with your Mac’s legacy hardware.) Then click on the “Start Root Patching” button.
    25. When you receive the “Relaunch as root?” prompt, click Yes. Again you’ll be prompted for an administrator’s username and password, because “OpenCore Legacy Patcher needs administrator privileges to relaunch as admin.” The app will relaunch at the main menu, at which point you should repeat step 24. Then proceed to step 26.
    26. Once it says, “Patching complete,” you’ll also see the message, “Please reboot the machine for patches to take effect.” Before you reboot, drag your external (e.g. USB) drive’s icon from the desktop to the Trash to eject it, and then physically unplug the external drive from your Mac. Then click on the Apple menu, click “Restart…” and then click Restart. Hold Option/Alt one more time, and select the internal drive’s EFI Boot option.

You’re all set! Your Apple-unsupported Mac is now running macOS Ventura or Monterey!

Installing macOS updates (minor and major)

The next time there’s a minor macOS update, i.e. a new version of Ventura, here’s what to do to ensure everything goes smoothly:

  1. Back up important files from your computer. (Refer to step 3 in the “Preparing to patch” section of this article for tips.) You should do this anyway, regardless of whether you’re using a Mac that’s supported or not.
  2. Run the OpenCore-Patcher app to check for updates. If it informs you that an update is available, download the GUI-Offline version.
  3. Most of the time, you’ll be able to install macOS Ventura updates like normal.
  4. After installing a Ventura or Monterey update, your Mac will reboot automatically. After you log in, you’ll need to reinstall the Post Install Root Patch (steps 24 and 25 above), and then restart your Mac again.

Before you consider upgrading to a major new macOS version (like macOS 14, which will likely be released around October 2023), you’ll need to wait to ensure OCLP is compatible first. An update to OCLP may be required before you can safely upgrade to the next major macOS version.

If the installation was successful and you’re thrilled to be able to run the latest operating system on your old Mac hardware, consider offering to donate hardware to the OpenCore Legacy Patcher developers to help them test updates more quickly on a wider variety of older Macs.

Additional tips

Now that you’re using macOS Ventura or Monterey on an unsupported Mac model, here are a few more things you might like to know:

Welcome to the legacy patching community!

Congratulations! Your older Mac will now be able to keep up with the latest security updates. Although firmware updates are not included (those are model-specific, and Apple only releases them for supported Macs), your macOS will nevertheless be much more secure than it was with the old version of Mac OS X you were running before.

Every time a new macOS is released, I look forward to the next macOS patcher, as it keeps our beloved—and still more than capable—old Macs around for just a while longer.

Is macOS Ventura supported?

In short, yes! At least for Mac models that Apple released in 2012 or later. Notably, macOS Ventura drops support for a significant amount of Mac hardware—which has posed a challenge for the developers of OpenCore Legacy Patcher. Because of this, the 2007–2011 models that OCLP enabled to work with Monterey are currently not supported for Ventura.

Help for further Mac fashions could be added later if varied software program might be re-engineered to make macOS Ventura work higher on older {hardware}. In the meanwhile, chances are you’ll want to improve your older Mac to Monterey to a minimum of get some safety updates from Apple. (For those who’re very adventurous and have numerous time in your arms, you possibly can alternatively attempt to run macOS Ventura on even older {hardware} than listed above, however you’ll possible expertise some {hardware} points. For instance, Wi-Fi and USB could not work, and graphics rendering might be a lot slower than regular.)

Keep watch over this text, or this OCLP Ventura points GitHub web page and OCLP’s Discord, for future developments.

You possibly can obtain a Ventura-compatible model of OCLP from their GitHub releases web page.

How can I be taught extra?

Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, Intego’s Mac security experts discuss the latest Apple news, security and privacy stories, and offer practical advice on getting the most out of your Apple devices. Be sure to follow the podcast to make sure you don’t miss any episodes.

You can also subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep an eye here on The Mac Security Blog for the latest Apple security and privacy news. And don’t forget to follow Intego on your favorite social media channels: Follow Intego on Twitter Follow Intego on Facebook Follow Intego on YouTube Follow Intego on Pinterest Follow Intego on LinkedIn Follow Intego on Instagram Follow the Intego Mac Podcast on Apple Podcasts

About Joshua Lengthy

Joshua Lengthy (@theJoshMeister), Intego’s Chief Safety Analyst, is a famend safety researcher, author, and public speaker. Josh has a grasp’s diploma in IT concentrating in Web Safety and has taken doctorate-level coursework in Info Safety. Apple has publicly acknowledged Josh for locating an Apple ID authentication vulnerability. Josh has carried out cybersecurity analysis for greater than 20 years, which has usually been featured by main information retailers worldwide. Search for extra of Josh’s articles at safety.thejoshmeister.com and observe him on Twitter.
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How to Install macOS Ventura or Monterey on Unsupported Macs, for Security Improvements

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