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Install macOS Monterey on older Macs: Here's how to do it

Install macOS Monterey on older Macs: Here’s how to do it


While many older Macs are powerful enough for Apple’s latest Mac operating system, they are no longer supported. With these instructions, it is still possible to install macOS Monterey on these Macs.

After many years with various versions of macOS 11, Apple finally introduced macOS Monterey, the first operating system with the version number “12”. Fortunately, even many older Macs are compatible with the new version. If you bought your Mac in the past few years, you can also upgrade to Monterey without any trickery. The following Macs are officially supported:

  • Macbook Pro (Early 2015 and later)

  • Macbook Air (Early 2015 and later)

  • Macbook (early 2016 and newer)

  • iMac Pro (2017)

  • iMac (Late 2015 and later)

  • Mac Mini (Late 2014 and later)

  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 and later)

If your Mac is even older, it’s still possible to install macOS Monterey. However, for this you need a special patch and you have to perform some extra steps. For this method, your Mac must meet the following requirements:

  • Macs from 2008 to 2014

  • An SSD and at least 8 GB of RAM are recommended for user experience

  • You also need a USB stick with at least 16 GB of memory (see on Amazon)

Step 1: Create the macOS Monterey installer

The first thing you need to do is create a USB stick that will act as the installer for macOS Monterey. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • The first thing you need to do is download the legacy OpenCore installer which will guide you through the whole process. you can find the download

    here on GitHub
    . Download the GUI variant of the latest version.

  • Open the program and click the “Create macOS Installer” menu item.

First click on the point "Create macOS installer".

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First click “Create macOS Installer”.

You can download a macOS installer or use one you've already prepared.

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You can download a macOS installer or use one you’ve already prepared.

You can choose between different versions of macOS.

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You can choose between different versions of macOS.

  • Once you have selected the desired version, the program downloads the macOS installer.

  • After the download is complete, you will be prompted to enter your password for the installer to install on your Mac in the first place.

  • After the installation is complete, you can use the patch to install the installer to a USB stick. Make sure your USB device has enough storage capacity and all data on the device is removed during the process.

The patch helps you install the installer on a USB stick.

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The patch helps you install the installer on a USB stick.

Also possible: Install macOS Big Sur on older Macs

Step 2: Install OpenCore

This step is about installing the OpenCore setup on the USB stick. Fortunately, the patcher does most of the work for you.

  • Relaunch OpenCore Legacy Patcher.

  • Click the menu item “Build and install OpenCore”.

  • In the new window, click “Create OpenCore”.

  • Once the process is complete, the text on the same button will change to “Install OpenCore”. Click on it.

Fortunately, the patcher does most of the work for you.

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Fortunately, the patcher does most of the work for you.

Select the prepared USB stick from the list.

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Select the prepared USB stick from the list.

Step 3: Launch OpenCore and install macOS

It’s finally getting down to business. In this step, we will install macOS Monterey on your Mac.

  • Restart your Mac and hold down the Option key during the boot process. The created USB stick must be connected.

  • In the boot window, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select “EFI Boot” and confirm with “Enter”.

Hold down the Option key during boot to bring up this menu.

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Hold down the Option key during boot to bring up this menu.

  • Then select “Install macOS Monterey”.

  • The patcher will now do a series of configurations that will appear to you as many lines of code. You do not have to do anything else.

  • Finally, the macOS Monterey installation window will open. You can proceed from here as you would any macOS installation, just follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 4 – Boot without a USB stick

In order to finally be able to boot your new operating system without the USB stick, we still have a few steps to take. An Internet connection is required for the next two steps. If your WLAN module still doesn’t work on the new macOS installation (we’ll take care of that in step 5), connect your Mac to the Internet with a LAN cable.

  • On your new macOS installation, download the

    Legacy OpenCore Patcher
    go down again.

  • Change the settings according to your preferences and then click “Create and install OpenCore” again

  • Now click “Create OpenCore” again, then “Install OpenCore”. It is important that this time you select the internal hard drive as the destination, not your USB stick.

  • If you are also prompted for the partition, select the EFI partition.

  • Restart your Mac and hold down the Option key during the boot process. From the boot menu, select the internal EFI partition. Now you can start your new macOS without the USB stick.

Step 5: Run patches

With some Macs it may happen that the graphics unit or WiFi module is not recognized in your new operating system. OpenCore Legacy Patcher offers an automatic installation for this, which recognizes which patches are needed and installs them. If no patches are needed, the installation does not proceed. So it doesn’t hurt to let the program run once.

  • Start OpenCore Legacy Patcher.

  • Click Post Install Root Patch.

  • Click “Start Root Check”.

  • The patch will now do everything itself. Once the process is complete, restart your Mac.

After installation, the installer can still install the necessary patches for you.

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After installation, the installer can still install the necessary patches for you.

Your new macOS is now installed and ready to go.

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