Home > Mac OS X, macOS, VMware > Downloading older OS installers on incompatible hardware using VMs

Downloading older OS installers on incompatible hardware using VMs

A lot of Mac admins need to test software in their environment against both the shipping version of macOS and older versions of OS X. However, getting older OS installers from the Mac App Store (MAS) can be problematic if the Mac you’re using isn’t able to run the older OS as its own operating system. If the Mac you’re using isn’t itself able to run the older OS, a request to download the OS installer from the MAS will result in an error message like the one shown below.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 01 14 PM

If you’re in this situation, but also have VMware Fusion or a similar virtualization solution available, there is a way to download the desired older OS installer using a VM running the shipping version of macOS. For more details, see below the jump.

The method described below uses VMware Fusion, but should be replicable using any virtualization solution which supports running the shipping version of macOS as a guest OS.

1. If needed, create a new VM running the shipping version of macOS.

2. Log into the VM.

3. Launch the App Store application and sign in with the desired Apple ID.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 49 51 PM

 

4. Select the desired OS installer and click the Download button.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 18 15 PM

 

5. You’ll receive a message that a newer version of the OS is installed and are asked to confirm that you want to download the older OS installer. Click the Continue button.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 18 34 PM

 

6. The older OS installer should download.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 21 08 PM

 

7. Once the installer has completed downloading, copy it out of the VM to a convenient location.

Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 1 51 52 PM

Categories: Mac OS X, macOS, VMware
  1. Wil van Antwerpen
    February 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Nice description.

    Next step (VMware Fusion in this case) now that you have the installer in your host.

    Start VMware Fusion.

    In the menu, select File -> New -> Keep the default “Install from disc or image”, click the Continue button.

    You get a screen with the text “Choose an installation disc or image” and that’s where you can drag and drop the installer.

  2. bnr
    February 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

    what to do if you dont have appstore account with previous systems added to your purchased section?

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