December 2, 2021

Novoda Software

Software Guides and Reviews

How to Install macOS Catalina on an Unsupported Mac

Catalina

Each year that Apple releases a major new version of macOS, a few older Mac models that ran the previous version usually fail to make the new list of officially supported Macs. In the case of Catalina, the latest macOS version, the operating system doesn’t work on models released before mid-2012 (and Mac Pros before late 2013).

Catalina
Apple’s official list of Macs supporting macOS Catalina:

To check if your Mac is compatible, open the Apple () menu in the upper left corner of your Mac’s screen and select About This Mac. Look just below the OS X version number in the Overview tab – if the Mac model name is the same or a later model year than the one shown in the compatibility list above, your Mac is compatible with ‌macOS Catalina‌.

What You Can Do if You Have an Unsupported Mac

If your Mac is too old to make it onto the above list, Apple has decided that it lacks the hardware required to meet the demands of Catalinhttps://www.novodasoftware.com/a. But that doesn’t mean there’s no way that you can get it running.


DosDude Catalina Patcher is a popular third-party tool that allows users to patch the MacOS Catalina installer on otherwise unsupported Macs. Of course, just because you can do this, doesn’t mean you should, as there’s a good chance that performance will be sub-optimal, while Catalina features may depend on modern Mac hardware (Sidecar, for example) and likely won’t work at all.

Despite these risks, if for whatever reason you’re still interested in installing macOS 10.15 Catalina on older unsupported hardware, these steps should get you up and running. You can find a compatible list of unsupported Macs for Catalina Patcher on the DosDude website.

How to Use Catalina Patcher on Older Macs

Before you proceed with these steps, ensure that you have an up-to-date backup of your Mac. Attempting to install Catalina on an unsupported Mac is in no way supported by Apple, and you are doing so at your own risk. MacRumors cannot be held liable for any data loss or damage as a result.

  1. Download the latest version of the Catalina Patcher by DOSDude1.

Apple could always release a future update to macOS 10.15 that prevents the unofficial Catalina Patcher from working, so bear in mind that this could turn out to be a time-limited hack.

For more help on installing ‌macOS Catalina‌ on an unsupported machine, or for general ‌macOS Catalina‌ help, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina forum where MacRumors readers are discussing the latest Mac software.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina