If your Mac is older than the ones listed, read on for suggestions on what you can do to upgrade to a supported system. You can do a direct upgrade from Snow Leopard v If you still have an earlier version of OS X on your compatible Mac, you will need to download Yosemite on another compatible Mac with If your Mac isn't new enough to run Yosemite, then unfortunately it's not capable of running an Apple operating system that's still fully supported.
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However, if your Mac has a Core 2 Duo processor one of the models listed below , and as long as it has at least 2 GB of RAM and 7 GB of free hard drive space, it should still be able to run Lion which, although increasingly less safe to use now, is at least better than Snow Leopard or earlier because it had been getting security updates until recently:. If Lion is the newest version of OS X that will run on your Mac, but you never purchased it while it was available in the Mac App Store, you won't be able to find it for sale there anymore.
Those who are unsure which Mac model they own may find EveryMac and apple-history to be useful sites. RAM is cheap, and you can either install it yourself by following guides available online, or simply have an Apple-authorized repair technician do it for you. Remember, even Lion isn't supported anymore, and Snow Leopard hasn't gotten new security updates for quite a while, so it's best to avoid using both of these older operating systems. If you still use a Mac with a PowerPC processor, including G4 or G5 Macs, Apple hasn't released any security updates for your Mac's maximum operating system for over three years now.
Apple hasn't sold any PowerPC-based Macs since Unfortunately, Apple doesn't give users any kind of warning when their operating system or Mac is no longer supported.
Worse, when users run Apple's Software Update program, it misleadingly tells them "Your software is up to date. This means that Mac users often have no idea that they're using unpatched, insecure software that could expose them to drive-by malware installations and other security problems. Lest you think that nobody would bother releasing malware to attack such old systems, in recent years malware has been found in the wild that was designed to attack multiple platforms, and occasionally this malware has contained PowerPC native code. This didn't just happen once; it has happened again and again.
Universal binary malware can run on old Macs, too. Image credit: While Apple boasts about the extremely high percentage of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices that are rapidly upgraded to each major new version of iOS, such is not necessarily the case with Macs and OS X. That's not terrible given that it's been out for less than a month. This makes non-upgraded Macs a potentially significant target for criminals interested in infecting large numbers of computers.
Anyone still using Lion, Snow Leopard, or an earlier version of Mac OS X should strongly consider upgrading to Yosemite if their Mac supports it, or if not, they should buy new hardware if they can afford it. Let's face it, that's what Apple wants you to do anyway. But what can you do if Yosemite is not supported on your Mac and you can't afford to buy a new computer?
If you have an older Intel Mac, you have several options. While Apple may not support your Mac anymore, ironically Microsoft does; Windows 8. Oddly enough, even Windows 10 Technical Preview's system requirements hint that Windows 10 will probably run on your old Intel Mac. Microsoft's skipping the name "Windows 9," by the way. Alternatively, if you can't afford to buy a copy of Windows, or aren't interested in risking all your data to a pre-beta operating system, or just can't stand the thought of running Windows on your Mac—or if you prefer to support free and open-source software—there are guides online detailing how to install Ubuntu Linux on a Mac.
Mac OS X Lion
The latest versions of Ubuntu are even still being made available for PowerPC-based Macs , including those with a G3 processor. At the time of this writing, Another option is, of course, to buy a cheap PC, tablet, or Chromebook, assuming it will do all the things for which you personally need a computer. Be forewarned: The average Mac user probably won't be excited about any of those options. I suspect that most Mac users, geeks and non-geeks alike, would rather buy a newer Mac than switch to another platform altogether. If you can't afford to buy a brand new Mac but you do have a little bit of money to spend, you can shop around for used Macs, but make sure you buy one that's new enough to support Yosemite so it will hopefully be able to get security updates for a couple more years.
If you know a Mac user who's still running an older version of OS X , do them a favor and check to see whether their Mac is capable of running Yosemite. If so, help them upgrade. If not, let them know it's time to strongly consider getting a newer computer. The burden of informing users about software and hardware that will no longer receive security updates should really fall on Apple—not on security researchers, security blogs, or blog readers.
Let's hope Apple eventually figures this out and starts giving users clearer notifications when they need to upgrade lest they put their digital safety at risk. It's highly unlikely that Mac OS X v Thanks for the great, informative article Joshua. Quad-core 3. And just like other articles say as well. I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Your system is no longer supported. It is a Xeon based on the Core 2 Quad lineup. Your processor supports 64 Bit Operating systems but the firmware under it is 32bit. Google a guide and start reading.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is still available for purchase from Apple
Michael, you can install Yosemite on your machine but it will require some workarounds. Do a search for pikes yosemite installer and you will be fine as long as you can follow the instructions. Good luck! I am still using snow leopard Was wondering why there were plenty of spinning beach-balls on safari, and google messages of no longer supporting this browser.
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Starting to get concerned , but not realising the lack of support. That is pretty shocking, not to mention downright stupid , and thoughtless behaviour from Apple.. I use linux on a separate machine already.
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You can get newer versions of firefox and chrome for these old versions of OS X. Odd that they would quit supporting old hardware, though, really.
Oh well, sticking with I think the article is spot on in that they keep itunes updated because they have a financial incentive to do so. And your point further exemplifies that. I have a MBP mid , I recently installed Yosemite but it does not seem to work, it would show a progress bar that does not complete and the mbp does not boot to its desktop. What can I do? Leave it going, first boot it is doing some crazy disk check, yes it looks like the machine has crashed. Try leaving it overnight. My Lion is still useful for running my printer and scanner in my private network.
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I am having issues with it not wanting to update to Yosemite nor does it want to update my Publisher Plus application. Thanks for the post; it really helped me understand what is happening with support for my laptop, a mid Macbook. I guess its time to face the future and retire the trusty little black Macbook.
Ironically, right now it dual boots windows 8. If your seven-plus year old Mac is still useful, OK, keep using it. All docs, apps and settings come over seamlessly. You should not mislead people into thinking their older incompatible applications will move over to new OS platforms and hardware that is not necessarily compatible. Many 3rd party apps will have to be upgrades as will programs like Disk Warrior for the 64 bit environments. A brand-new OS may receive security updates, yes, but it also represents an unknown that will be subject to exploitation.
IMO, as long as there are antivirus programs that run in Snow Leopard, Adobe Flash upgrades and browser upgrades, Snow Leopard is about as secure as anything else. Has Apple published anything to suggest otherwise? Finally, if Apple no longer intends to release updates for Snow Leopard why are they still selling retail copies? My concern with this rush to speculation is that it will essentially push Apple to drop Snow Leopard and similarly-aged hardware that much sooner.
Apple needs to issue security updates at least as long as is customary in the Windows world. Apple products come at a premium, for one, and second more and more people are updating smaller format electronics like tablets and smartphones much faster than desktop systems or all-in-ones.
Given the trend to hang on to desktops and even laptops longer than was once the case, if anything Apple and associated developers should prepare for supporting these systems longer because consumers are less likely to upgrade desktop Macs and PCs every two years like they did back in the s and early s. Now that the pace of desktop system upgrades has slowed down, so too should the rush to ditch former operating systems and hardware. Apple ought to take typical usage and upgrade patterns into account when deciding what OS systems and hardware to relegate to legacy status.
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