MacOS Big Sur offers tons of new features to enhance the user experience, like a new messages app, widgets in the notification bar, and many more. But, there are some Macs that aren’t on the supported list, making it almost impossible to install the new macOS on these models. Luckily, there is still a way for you to try this macOS Big Sur on your older Mac. Read on to know how to install macOS 11 Big Sur on unsupported Mac.
Which Devices Are Compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur
MacOS 11 Big Sur is available to download right now. However, you still need to check your Mac compatibility first. Here is the macOS Big Sur supported devices from Apple:
- MacBook 2015 and later
- MacBook Air and Pro Late 2013 and later
- Mac mini 2014 and later
- iMac 2014 and later
- iMac Pro 2017 and later (all models)
- Mac Pro 2013 and later
On the other hand, if your Mac isn’t on this list, then you need to do some tricks in order to run this macOS on your computer. The unsupported Mac includes:
- MacBook Air 2012
- MacBook Pro 2012 and Early 2013 MacBook Pro
- 2012 Mac Mini
- 2012 and 2013 iMac
How to Install macOS Big Sur on an Unsupported Mac
Before we get started, make sure that you have backed up your Mac in case something goes wrong during the process. Also, make sure that you have around 16GB of free disk space on your Mac. This will be used to create a bootable macOS Big Sur USB installer later in the guide.
Install macOS Big Sur on Unsupported Macs with Patched Sur
Recently there is a tool called Patched Sur, which allows users to download and install new macOS Big Sur updates on unsupported Macs. The patcher not only helps you download the original installation file for Big Sur but also a micropatcher for kernel extensions (KEXTs), and other resources to support the new macOS.
Follow the steps below to install macOS 11 Big Sur on unsupported Macs:
- On your Mac, download the latest version of Patched Sur.
2. Open the file by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General
3. Then, click on “Open Anyway” for the first time when you run the app. In the app, clicking “Start” and “Continue” until you see “Set Update Track“.
4. Select “Release” here and click “Continue”. Here you will need to choose between “Clean” or “Update”. Just like its name, the Update option allows you to update the new OS normally, while the Clean option will completely wipe your Mac and reinstall macOS Big Sur.
5. Next, wait a few minutes for the tool to download kext patches.
6. After that, click on “Download macOS”. In case you have already had a copy of macOS Big Sur on your Mac, click on “view other versions” to point the tool to it.
7. Once the download is completed, enter your Mac password and click Continue. This will allow the patcher to create a macOS Big Sur bootable installer USB.
8. Select the USB drive in the below screen. Click continue and let the process complete.
9. Now, restart your Mac and hold the Option key when it’s booting up. Then, you should see the Startup Manager. Select the EFI boot drive and click Return.
10. Select the “Install macOS Big Sur” option and follow its guide to complete the installation process.
11. Once macOS Big Sur is installed, open the Applications folder and run the Patched Sur app. When it’s done, reboot your Mac to finish.
Now, whenever there is a new update, you just need to open Patched Sur to download the latest version of macOS Big Sur.
Alternative Method to Install Big Sur on Unsupported Macs
If the above method didn’t work or you are using a Hackintosh, follow this alternative method to install Big Sur on your Mac.
1. Back up your Mac.
2. Next, download UUByte DMG Editor and follow the instructions to install it on your Mac or Windows PC.
3. Insert a USB flash drive into your PC and open “UUByte DMG Editor”.
Step 4: Now, click the “Burn” tab to get into the new window.
5. You will see 3 options here. Now, import macOS Big Sur DMG file into the program and choose the USB drive name. Also, you can set a new name for that USB drive here.
6. Once the setting process is completed, click on the “Burn” button at the bottom to start the process. This will take about 10 minutes.
7. Plug Big Sur bootable USB on your Mac.
8. Then, press Power + Option keys to open Startup Manager.
9. Here, you can select a booting device. Click on the USB drive and start the macOS Big Sur installation process.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, it is not that hard to install Big Sur on unsupported Mac. Although this is not an official way to install macOS, it is the best way to run Big Sur on unsupported Macs right now. We will keep updating the newest way to install macOS 11 Big Sur on unsupported Mac here. Now, enjoy the great features of macOS Big Sur on your Mac!
Related article: Errors with macOS Big Sur Downloading – How to Fix
Let us know if you have any problems while installing macOS 11 Big Sur on your device in the comments below!
Updated on November 28: This article has been re-edited to reflect new changes.