Installing MacOS Monterey on Unsupported Macs

Nov 30, 2021 - 6 Comments

install macOS Monterey on unsupported Mac

Some advanced Mac users may be interested in running macOS Monterey on an unsupported Mac. Much as it sounds, this means that you’d install and run macOS on a Mac that is older than what is officially supported by macOS Monterey, and not on the compatible Macs list.

Can I install macOS Monterey on an unsupported Mac?

Yes, in many cases you can install macOS Monterey onto an otherwise unsupported Mac.

While it is possible to install and run macOS Monterey on many different unsupported Macs, it is not a simple process, and is quite technical. The days of simply patching a macOS installer are over, and the task is significantly more complex now.

But if you’re an advanced user who likes to tinker, is comfortable with the command line, and has an external USB drive ready to commit to building an installer, you can find yourself a fun evening or weekend project as you tinker with OpenCore Legacy Patcher to install macOS Monterey onto an unsupported Mac.

Keep in mind that not all Mac models are supported by OpenCore, and some may have issues with particular features or components that make it impractical to run.

Prerequisites for running macOS Monterey on an unsupported Mac

As always, you’ll want to be sure you have a full backup of your Mac with Time Machine ready to go before proceeding with anything like this.

You’ll also need a USB flash drive that is 16GB of larger, the full MacOS Monterey installer (you can download it here), the OpenCore Legacy Patcher itself, and of course you’ll need a Mac that doesn’t officially support MacOS Monterey, but that is supported by the OpenCore patcher. Some Macs will not run that well or with certain issues, whereas others, like the 2012 MacBook Pro, runs fine.

How to Install macOS Monterey on Unsupported Mac

The OpenCore Legacy Patcher has created a detailed walkthrough, including a list of supported models, and which features do and do not work per older Mac. If you’re interested in giving this a try and getting macOS Monterey on your older Mac, this is the way to go:

For optimal performance you’ll only want to attempt this on a Mac with an SSD drive, and at least 8GB RAM.

Should I run macOS Monterey on an Unsupported Mac?

Now, just because you can run macOS Monterey on unsupported Macs in many cases does not necessarily mean you should. The older the Mac, the less stellar the performance will be, whereas later model unsupported Macs can run Monterey just fine (for example, the 2014 MacBook Pro line).

Also, many older Macs will not include features that are new to Monterey, which may be the only reason you’d want Monterey to begin with, like Live Text for example.

It’s also possible that some of the problems with macOS Monterey would be worse on an unsupported Mac, and you certainly won’t be getting official Apple support for any issues encountered on unsupported hardware.

If following text tutorials isn’t your thing, Mr Macintosh has a 23 minute walkthrough video for installing Monterey on an unsupported Mac, though this method uses an external SSD drive and is slightly different from how OpenCore Legacy Patcher does their own text based tutorial. Nonetheless that video is embedded below as you may find it to be helpful as a resource:

What do you think of running macOS Monterey on an unsupported Mac? Is this something you have done or would consider doing?


Related articles:

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


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  1. Marc says:


    has anyone tried installing Monterey on an unsupported Mac (e.g. iMac 14,2) with an existing fusion drive?

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Dan says:

      I installed Monterey on a late 2014 iMac with a fusion drive and the install was easy and works flawlessly

      • Marc says:

        Thanks very much for that.

        However, how have you done that?

        1. Have you used the OpenCore Legacy Patcher?

        2. If yes, how did you install the bootloader on the fusion drive. On my machine are two EFI partitions, one on each drive of the fusion drive?

        3. Did you just select the one on the SSD when you install the boot loader using the OCL Patcher?

        See my partition as follows:

        /dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
        0: GUID_partition_scheme *3.0 TB disk0
        1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
        2: Apple_APFS Container disk2 3.0 TB disk0s2

        /dev/disk1 (internal, physical):
        0: GUID_partition_scheme *121.3 GB disk1
        1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1
        2: Apple_APFS Container disk2 121.1 GB disk1s2

        /dev/disk2 (synthesized):
        0: APFS Container Scheme – +3.1 TB disk2
        Physical Stores disk1s2, disk0s2
        1: APFS Volume Macintosh HD – Daten 1.6 TB disk2s1
        2: APFS Volume Preboot 11.2 MB disk2s2
        3: APFS Volume Recovery 528.9 MB disk2s3
        4: APFS Volume VM 1.1 GB disk2s4
        5: APFS Volume Macintosh HD 11.2 GB disk2s5

        Thanks very much for further sharing…!

        • Francesco says:

          Hi Marc and Dan, I have and iMac with Fusion drive too.
          Did you finally install on SSD EFI partition or on HD EFI partition?

  2. expobill says:

    this Monterey upgrade is not as easy as Mojave and Catalina, where some terminal usage is needed and several website and GitHub visits and proper patches.
    i gave up after trying to find the proper version or link on GitHub.

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