List of Mac OS versions, How to download old Mac OS versions

This article is all about a List of Mac OS versions and How to download old Mac OS versions explained in the most possible simple ways.

Why do you need old versions of Mac?

For anyone of us, running the latest software is not always the best and good decision. There are plenty of reasons that you might want to downgrade or run an older version of macOS on your computer sometimes based on your specific requirement.

Many of the users might complain many times like, may find that after the latest update your computer runs slower, your apps don’t function, or that the programs or applications you need to run are not yet compatible with the upgrade. Maybe as a developer, you want to create a local or test environment to ensure your software runs properly in all available versions of OS X. Or you may simply like the look of the old version better (no judgment) and not want to upgrade until absolutely necessary.

List of Mac OS Versions:

Wondering what the name of the latest macOS version is? For sure it is very much curious about the versions of Mac OS X that came before? Here you will be filled with the names of the different versions of the Mac operating system: from the newest macOS to the first version of Mac OS X and the codenames that Apple used for them. You will also surprised to know that it was shown for you how you can check which version of macOS you are running and find out what the latest version of macOS is.

Catalina (Jazz) | OS X 10.15 | October 7, 2019

You must find it amusing that in 2019 Apple’s Californian names circled back to a cat-theme with Catalina (which is named after a Californian island). This is another big area to say for Mac OS Catalina and they developed major improvements and had great enhancements to Voice Control.
Now you will be able to navigate and control your Mac from anywhere using just your voice to select items, click on them, and drag them. It will recognize our voice and control the operations.

Catalina is supported on the following Mac models:

  • MacBook models from early 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air models from mid-2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro models from mid-2012 or later
  • Mac mini models from late 2012 or later
  • iMac models from late 2012 or later
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro models from late 2013

Mojave | macOS 10.14 | September 24, 2018

Visual refinements introduced via Dark Mode and Dynamic Desktop take central stage in Mojave.
The new apps migrating from iOS include Stocks, News, Home, and Voice Memos.

High Sierra | OS X 10.13 | September 25, 2017

Major improvements go unnoticed for a user, but the overall performance skyrockets, due to embracing Apple File System and a new video standard, HEVC.

Sierra | macOS 10.12 | September 20, 2016

With Sierra, OS X dies and macOS is born.
The renamed system introduces even more iOS perks like Siri and unlocking Mac with Apple Watch.

El Capitan | OS X 10.11 | September 30, 2015

El Capitan features Split Views – dual-window functionality for arranging and managing app windows.
Plus, OS X 10.11 comes with improved Safari, Mail, and Spotlight.

Yosemite | OS X 10.10 | October 16, 2014

A completely new sleek design is what Yosemite is remembered for.
Continuity and Handoff integrated into the new OS strengthen bonds between iOS and OS X devices.

Mavericks | OS X 10.9 | October 22, 2013

Maps, iBooks, and Tags debut in the first inanimate OS X – Mavericks.
To enable secure password encryption and storage, iCloud Keychain in introduced.

Mountain Lion | OS X 10.8 | July 25, 2012

Mountain Lion adds new integrations and further iOS perks like Reminders, Notes, and Messages.
It gets easier to track app updates via the Notification Center.

Lion | OS X 10.7 | July 20, 2011

iCloud arrives. Apart from that, lots of iOS advancements find reflection in OS X Lion, covering Launchpad, multi-touch gestures, and more.

Snow Leopard | OS X 10.6 | August 28, 2009

While Leopard did a great job, Snow Leopard arrives to refine it even more.
Mainly, it comes with apps rewritten in 64 bit and OpenCL.
The 2009 OS X release is also known for Mac App Store launch.

Leopard | OS X 10.5 | October 26, 2007

Long-awaited and Mac-changing. Leopard gives a spectacular leap, introducing Time Machine, Boot Camp, QuickLook, and full support for 64-bit software.

Tiger | OS X 10.4 | April 29, 2005

A rich harvest for Mac, Tiger marks the launch of 200+ new features. Spotlight search and Dashboard are the top stars, with Apple TV, Automator, and VoiceOver joining the crowd.

Panther | OS X 10.3 | October 24, 2003

Panther release introduces Exposé, a feature for seamless management of open applications. Safari officially becomes the default web browser.

Jaguar | OS X 10.2 | August 23, 2002

A large grey Apple logo appears for the first time, replacing Happy Mac at startup. Optimized search functionality of Finder and the first release of Accessibility API – Universal Access. App arrivals: iChat and Address Book.

Puma | OS X 10.1 | September 25, 2001

No big functionality updates, the focus is shifted to performance instead. From improved file management to CD and DVD burning, Puma just makes it work better.

Cheetah | OS X 10.0 | March 24, 2001

The brand new UI born with the release of Cheetah. Preview, Mail, QuickTime, and TextEdit make debut at this point.

How to download old Mac OS versions?

Below are the steps briefly explained how to download Mac OS old versions.

Prepare your Mac first:

  • Make sure you are ready to downgrade your operating system by checking in with what version of OS X you already have and ensuring you have enough hard drive room to download the older version.
  • Clicking the apple in the top left corner of your desktop and selecting “About This Mac” will allow you to see what OS X version you are currently running, memory, and all other details, etc.
  • Tabbing over to Storage will let you know how much disk space you have available. You’ll need around eight gigabytes free depending on which macOS you downgrade to.

Even if you have enough space to downgrade and install the version, it’s a good idea to clean your Mac computer before installing the desired operating system. You can, of course, do so manually by deleting unused files and uninstalling old software to free up disk space. Depending on how tidy you are, this might take quite a bit of time based on space, unused files storage system, etc.

Note: We suggest you to use Cleanmymac to clean your Mac. It is the best Mac cleaner software.


The final preparation step in this process is to make sure you back up all your important files to cloud storage or an external drive. A proper backup app like Get Backup Pro can save you a lot of headaches here.

To create a new backup with Get Backup Pro:

  • Connect your external hard drive.
  • Click the plus icon in the bottom left corner menu.
  • Type in the name for your backup as you wish.
  • Choose your external drive as a destination.
  • Adjust all the settings according to your preference and click on the OK button.
  • Tap the play button once you ready to perform the backup.

Grab an old macOS with Setapp

Downgrading to previous operating systems on Mac gets easier. To put it shortly, Setapp has your back here. Try free

Download the OS X you want:

  • Once you have enough space on your computer, figure out what version of OS X you would like to install.
  • You can see all previous versions of OS X your Mac has installed by opening up the App Store and clicking on the icon in Applications.
  • Tab to the Purchase page of the menu and scroll down to find the line for previous operating systems.
  • Clicking the install button of the macOS you want will begin downloading the file.

What if I can’t find the version I want in the app store?

Suppose if your goal is to download a version of macOS that you have not already used, or, that was not available as an update from the App Store after you bought your Mac, then for sure you may need to purchase it.
The earliest versions, OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion are available on the Apple Store’s website and arrive to you via email for download. OS X Snow Leopard ships as a boxed version and requires a disk drive to install.

Below are some of the Mac OS versions listed.

  • OS X High Sierra 10.13
  • OS X Sierra 10.12
  • OS X ElCapitan 10.11
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10
  • OS X Mavericks 10.9
  • OS X Mountain Lion 10.8
  • OS X Lion 10.7, released in 2011

Downloads for previous versions of OS X are linked below and include:

Alternative sources for downloading macOS:

Think like if you can’t find the version you want from Apple, you can ask a friend and get it who is running the macOS you’re looking for to make a copy of the installer file for you. Downloading a .dmg file from a torrent site may seem a quick solution, but it means risking your security and compromising your security. Alternatively, you could hit up your nearest Apple Store. They will likely have image files of all the different versions of the software and help you install it right there as well.

Cannot download an Old version:

  • For sure, you have to accept this ‘A downgrade is different than an upgrade’.
  • When you try to downgrade macOS, the installer sometimes may not launch right away depending on which versions of macOS you are moving between.
  • If your installer does not launch properly, or you get an error message that says: “This copy of the ‘Install OS X’ application is too old to be opened on this version of OS X,” you will need to use a bootable USB or external drive to work around this problem to make it possible.

Get a bootable drive with OS X:

  • Creating a bootable USB or a bootable drive is not a complicated process.
  • You will need an external drive with enough space to hold your desired OS X on it and a basic familiarity with Terminal, Apple’s command-line interface.
  • Suppose if you are uncomfortable using Terminal to execute basic commands on it, then use an app like Disk Drill to help create a boot drive. Whether you use Terminal or Disk Drill, our guide on creating a bootable installer will walk you through all the necessary steps and make you get it.

Remove the old OS X:

  • Once your drive is prepared with your bootable version of OS X, then erase the unwanted version from it.
  • After you restart your computer, press and hold the key combination of ‘Command + R’.
  • When you enter the macOS Utilities screen, then navigate to Disk Utility, click on the ‘continue’ button, and find your Startup Disk.
  • Tab to the Erase page and name the file you want to erase (e.g. macOS High Sierra something like Mac OS version).
  • Then select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the dropdown menu.
  • Hit Erase and quit out of Disk Utility. This will return you to the OS X Utilities selector again.

Install the bootable version of OS X:

  • If you used Disk Drill for creating your bootable drive, a new window will prompt your actions for using the install disk you made.
  • But if you created your own using Terminal, use OS X Utilities Selector and find Reinstall OS X.
  • Find and select your install disk with your bootable version of your preferred macOS, and then click on the ‘continue’ through to the license agreement.
  • Once you agree, you should be prompted by the installer.
  • Once the installation is completed, your computer should restart.
  • If it does not restart itself, make sure you restart it normally.
  • The downgrade should be complete!

As you can see, downgrading your OS X is not as dreadful as you might think, especially if you use helper apps like CleanMyMac, Get Backup Pro, and Disk Drill — all of which are available for a free trial on Setapp. So downgrade away!

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