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Every year the DosDude1 brings us the opportunity to install the latest Apple operating system on unsupported Macs. You can try it again this year; with the macOS Catalina Patcher. I have you covered which Mac, iMac and MacBook models are compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina out of the box summarized at this point. Your Apple computer is not on the list? Then you can try your luck with the patcher - but of course at your own risk;)
Maybe prefer macOS 10.14: Install Mojave on old Macs
Under the pseudonym “DosDude1”, the developer Collin offers so-called “patchers” on his website (see below) with which new Mac operating systems can be installed on computers that are actually not supported by them. The current versions of the workaround software are available for Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave and Catalina. According to the description on the website, the latest version is an “easy-to-use tool that allows everyone to use macOS Catalina on non-supported Macs to install":
macOS Catalina Patcher, the successor to macOS Mojave Patcher, is an all-new, easy-to-use tool that allows anyone to install macOS Catalina on unsupported Macs.
If you want to get involved in the experiment and install the new Apple operating system on a non-supported Mac, you can find the macOS Catalina Patcher Download with this link. As always, the note: If it is not available in the App Store, download software directly from the developer and not from download portals such as CHIP, Softonic, etc.
On the linked download page you will find the possibility to download the patcher free of charge as well as information about the tool and its use (in English). There is also a manual as a Tutorial video, which describes the exact procedure for the installation:
Not all old Apple computers and laptops are supported by the macOS Catalina Patcher. With regard to the Mac Pro, iMac, and MacBook Pro, it's the early 2008 models that you can try. MacBook Air supports models from late 2008 onwards. With regard to Mac mini and MacBook, it is the models from early 2009 onwards. Even with the patcher, you CANNOT install macOS Catalina on these old Macs: 2006-2007 models of Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini as well as 2006-2008 MacBooks and 2008 MacBook Air (as well as older ones). The entire list with all individual models can be found on the macOS Catalina download page.
You should always make a backup before upgrading to a new operating system. When experimenting with loading a new system onto a machine that is not recommended for it, this is of course doubly true! So to prevent data loss due to problems installing or using Catalina on older Macs, back up the contents of your hard drive beforehand. You can find tips on backup software here: My recommendations for regular (bootable) backups.
In addition to eventualities, there are also two known problems with some Mac models or chip sets in the computers. You can find these on the linked developer website under "Known Issues". Full graphics performance is not achieved with the AMD / ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx series. The 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 AMD GPU support must also be considered, as newer AMD video cards (Radeon HD 7xxx series and newer) are not supported.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.