Install Lion Final Release Over Lion GM

Jul 20, 2011 - 51 Comments

Install OS X Lion Final over Lion GM in the App Store

First a quick note: if you’re a developer who is running the Lion GM build 11A511 there is technically no need to install the Lion Final, both builds are 11A511 and identical. That said…

If you are running the Mac OS X Lion GM build and you want to buy and install the Final release of Lion through the Mac App Store, you’ve probably noticed that you’ll get an error message in the App Store. The solution? Simple, you just need to hold Option and click on the Install button to be able to install the final release over GM. You can also do this through the “Purchases” tab in the Mac App Store, just hold down Option to enable the “Install” button.

This is also a way for those who inappropriately downloaded Lion GM to ‘come clean’ and pay Apple for the final release. It’s only $29.99, and if you haven’t bought it yet, you really should.

Again, there isn’t much reason for developers to do this, but it’s a good tip anyway from The Loop.

Update: Some users are reporting sporadic issues with this, here is a clarification from our comments:

To clarify for everyone:

Hold option/alt when clicking the App Store icon.

Keep option/alt held down, and navigate to OS X Lion in the App Store.

Keeping alt/option held, you will see OS X Lion is now available for purchase, instead of being marked as ‘installed’.

Click it!

Basically, hold option during App Store launch and during each click through to “Purchases” and then to “Install”


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Roger says:

    What the hell means GM? General Motors???

  2. Great job works like a charm with lion already installed :)

  3. Spicoli says:

    You have to place your original installer in the trash before doing the Option click on the App store. Go to Spotlight, type “Lion”, click “Open in Finder”, select “install Mac OS Lion”, CMD delete. Now you can Option Click on the App Store, then Option Click on Purchases and you can pay for, download Lion.

  4. […] is the same trick you use to install Lion final over the GM build (they are the same build number unless you have a 2011 MacBook Air or Mini), and really the primary […]

  5. André says:

    Thanks a lot mate…i was even thinking on downgrading my MacBook Pro to Leopard, installing aging Snow Leopard and then downloading Lion….
    Saved my life!
    Already downloading it!

  6. imran says:

    Thanks a lot it worked for me,
    guys plz hold alt before clicking the appstore on ur dock then click install to download….

  7. Frei says:

    Mac App Store page show “Installed” on the button under the Lion image but my system says it is still 10.6.8. What’s the deal?

  8. Quimoune says:

    Thanks a lot !! It was realy helpful..!!

  9. Turiion says:

    Great .. thx guys works fine for me and my friend. Pressing Option (alt) key during starting app and purchasing Lion.

  10. Grot says:

    I went around in circles looking for how to download Lion again after it said “Installed” and no option/alt click was working for me…. but then I checked the Application folder again… there it was hiding under “I” for “Install MAC OS X Lion” .
    Clicked that and away I go… obvious really , but not obvious enough!

  11. jimpace says:

    For those that just purchased a new Mac Mini it comes installed with Lion 11A2061. No matter what you do you an not install Lion from the App store. Holding the option key does not matter. I have a copy of the GM Developer Lion that I downloaded July 1st and was using on my old Mac Mini and I can not install that on the new Mac Mini. Either thru a DVD or a USB drive.
    Basically the new Macs that were just released have to use the pre installed build of Lion

  12. burtey says:

    Yeah, but if we pay for it do we really have to download it twice again?

    The retail version is currently the same as the GM version, same build number, checksum, everything. And updates with SoftwareUpdate to be exactly the same.

    I want to pay for it. But not to incurr a massive 3.5 Gb download twice. That takes forever.

  13. Karan Varindani says:

    This worked for me, thanks.

    I urge others who, like myself, downloaded the GM version ‘inappropriately’ (not for any other reason but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this release), and can now come clean for just $29.99.


  14. blackrider says:

    the beta version is intended to be “test” version. it is advised the beta to be installed on a second partition and not as MAIN OS. as such you should not upgrade the install. you should swipe and install from 0. it was never intended to be a upgrade.
    basically most of the beta running around are pirates since you guys if you would have been developers would have read on the forum of apple what they advise…. clean install … unfortunately you will have to downgrade and upgrade again… not to say transfer data … tremendous process … as said has to be done to be 100% ok .


  15. ShodyLoko says:

    BTW if your considering not to upgrade to the retail because they are both technically the same build 11A511 do it I was skeptical at first but the speed difference and the polish of the OS is worth the actual $29.99 best of luck to all and feel free to follow on twitter @ShodyLoko

  16. ShodyLoko says:

    @niclas no they will not know hah and thanks everything works perfect

  17. niclas says:

    If i have installed the GM version (that i downloaded from pirate bay), can apple now in the future that i didn’t pay for it?

  18. MM Owner says:

    I just did a command+ spacebar then typed lion, clicked on the install lion app and it worked.

  19. Ted says:

    Does anyone succeeded to get the final release installed on a Intel Core Duo, via some sort of bypass method.

    Some early Lion beta releases worked, but i have not seen a topic for the final release.


    Maybe someone can make a pre-installed clone/copy of a fresh installed Lion and share it. Because i do not have a second Mac machine to do it myself.

  20. DYZZY says:

    It works like a charm! Thank you!

  21. greg says:

    Pressing Option works OK.. Will Apple charged me another $29.99 ..??

  22. Madhan says:

    Is there any way to find out if the version u have is GM or Retail? Or they both show up as 10.7?

  23. Danny says:

    I couldn’t get mine to not say “Installed” for the life of me, no matter what order of option-click I did.
    I had a Lion Install file on a storage hard drive connected to my Mac, as soon as I deleted that install file from the storage hard drive I was able to purchase and install Lion from the Mac App Store as normal.

  24. folette says:

    Thanks surfgon.

    To clarify for everyone:

    Hold option/alt when clicking the App Store icon.

    Keep option/alt held down, and navigate to OS X Lion in the App Store.

    Keeping alt/option held, you will see OS X Lion is now available for purchase, instead of being marked as ‘installed’.

    Click it!

    • Theo says:

      Sorry, but that does not work for me. Lion keeps on staying marked as “installed”. It’s very frustrating…

    • Anders Jensen says:

      It work for me

      now I have upgrade my GM to retail lion, ty

    • blah says:

      Clarification: While holding option, you need to click on Top Charts and then click on Lion to enable the purchase. If click on Lion from the Featured page, holding option does nothing and it still will not work. Bizarre.

  25. folette says:

    Just another one saying this doesn’t work. Would be nice to go legit, now I’m kinda regretting having jumped the gun by installing the GM :(

    Anyone worked out how to do this yet?

  26. Albert says:


  27. Santiago says:

    Maybe you should be logged in before even trying to hit option+install…

  28. Albert says:

    It says that a newer version is already installed on my computer and if i want to install the final release i have to move the existing version to the trash.

    • Chloe says:

      Mine does the same.. If I do this can somebody give a step by step on how to install the new Lion App or is it as simple as “double-click and install”

      P.S. I have already purchased the new App using the Hold Option stated above. Thanx.

  29. Richard says:

    How to make a bootable pendrive with the LION from macstore ?

    I can`t find wheres is the download folder, some1 can help ?

  30. Scott says:

    Hold Option then launch App Store.

  31. Chekz says:

    Is there anymore Wallpapers in Lion?! :D can you upload the whole pack?

  32. ido says:

    dosent work for me either.

  33. mateush says:

    yeah, same here in my mac app store. doesn’t work.

  34. macman says:

    doing this doesn’t do anything.

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