So, you’ve decided to download an older version of Mac OS X.There are many reasons that could point you to this radical decision.Note, that to install the Lion or Mountain Lion, your Mac needs to be running Snow Leopard so you can install the newer OS on top of it. For instance, if your Mac Book was released in 2014, don’t expect it to run any OS released prior of that time, because older Apple OS versions simply do not include hardware drivers for your Mac. There is still a chance to download the installation file if you have an access to a Mac (or virtual machine) running that operating system.
If you desperately need a lower OS X version build, consider creating a new Developer account among other options.
The membership cost is /year and provides a bunch of perks unavailable to ordinary users.
But before your Mac can run El Capitan it has to be updated to OS X 10.6.8. Then you will need to prepare an external drive to download the installation file using OS X Utilities.
After you’ve completed the download, the installer should launch automatically, but you can click Cancel and copy the file you need. Now the OS should start downloading automatically onto the external drive.
If you succeed in downloading the OS installation, your next step is to create a bootable USB or DVD and then reinstall the OS on your computer.
If you once had purchased an old version of Mac OS X from the App Store, open it and go to the Purchased tab.
Finally, if you want to run a parallel copy of Mac OS X on a virtual machine, you too will need a working installation file of an older Mac OS X.
Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.
You can purchase a boxed or email version of past Mac OS X directly from Apple. For the reason of being rather antiquated, Snow Leopard and earlier Apple versions can only be installed from DVD.
Buy a boxed edition of Snow Leopard 10.6Get an email copy of Lion 10.7Get an email copy of Mountain Lion 10.8 The email edition comes with a special download code you can use for the Mac App Store. If you have a newer Mac, there is no physical option to install Mac OS versions older than your current Mac model.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you visit developer.apple.com/downloads, you can only find 10.3-10.6 OS X operating systems there.