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Complete Instructions on How to Install macOS 13 on an Unsupported Mac

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Written by

Vain Rowe
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Summary: This article from iBoysoft offers you comprehensive instructions to install brand-new macOS Ventura on your unsupported Mac. In addition, iBoysoft DiskGeeker is highly recommended to clone your internal disk with a stable and fast transfer speed when you make backups.

install macOS Ventura on an unsupported Mac

After long-awaited expectations, macOS 13 Venture, replacing macOS 12 Monterey, is now available as a free software upgrade on Macs with Apple Silicon chips and Intel-based Macs.

Too often, Mac users are able to upgrade to macOS Ventura manually by clicking the Apple menu > About This Mac > Software Update > Upgrade now. Or, you can tick Automatically keep my Mac up to date option for making your Mac update itself.

However, some too old-schooled Macs cannot receive this notification for Apple offers no official macOS Ventura upgrade for them. Don't be upset yet, you can get how to install macOS Ventura on your unsupported Mac with step-by-step instructions in this article.

Unsupported Macs that are able to run macOS Ventura

Unsupported Macs refer to devices shipped many years ago with outdated hardware, an old operating system, and antique computer parts. These old-fashioned Macs are incompatible with the newly-coming macOS Ventura.

Before installing macOS 13 on your Mac, you can check your Mac model first with simple operations. Here are how to do:

  1. Click the Apple menu on your Mac desktop.
  2. Select the About This Mac option from the dropdown menu.
  3. Switch to the Overview tab and your Mac model will be listed there.
    check Mac model

Official Mac can clean install macOS Ventura easily, you can have a quick look to tell if your Mac is officially supported by Apple here:

  • iMac 2017 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017
  • MacBook Air 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro 2019 and Later
  • Mac Studio 2022
  • Mac Mini 2018 and later
  • MacBook 2017 and later

Unsupported Macs that can run macOS Ventura:

Here are the Macs that are compatible with macOS Ventura but not supported officially, you can get a rough understanding here:

  • iMac 13.1 -- iMac 17.1
  • MacPro 3.1 -- MacPro 5.1
  • MacMini 4.1 -- MacMini 7.1
  • MacBook Air 2.1 - MacBook Air 7, X
  • MacBook 4.1 -- MacBook 9.1
  • MacBook Pro 4.1 -- MacBook Pro 13.3

If your Mac is one of the following Mac models, you're such a lucky dog that can experience macOS Ventura without purchasing a new one.

Share this article to help more people to know how to install macOS 13 on their old-fashioned Mac!


Things you should know about OpenCore Legacy Patcher

After you determine that your Mac can run macOS Ventura, this article walks you through basic information to the OpenCore Legacy Patcher.

What is OpenCoren Legacy Patcher?

Some Macs can run macOS Ventura totally, but Apple dropped the official support for them to force Mac users to purchase Macs shipping in recent years. However, by using OpenCore Legacy Patcher, you're able to get a near-native experience of new macOS on an unsupported Mac.

OpenCore Legacy Patcher can help install macOS Ventura on an old unsupported Mac, ignoring the hardware incompetence, and seaming the OS incompatibility.

Mac models that can run OpenCore Legacy Patcher

You can tell if your Mac is capable of working with OpenCore Legacy Patcher here:

  • iMac16,1 (21.5-inch, Late 2015) -- iMac17,1 (27-inch 5K, Late 2015)
  • MacBook9,1 (12-inch, Early 2016) -- MacBookAir7,2 (13-inch, Early 2015
  • MacBookPro11,4 (15-inch, Mid 2015, iGPU) -- MacBookPro13,3 (15-inch, Late 2016)
  • Macmini7,1 (Late 2014)
  • MacPro6,1 (Late 2013)

Let more people know about this excellent OpenCore Legacy Patcher!


How to install macOS Ventura on an unsupported Mac?

With a rough understanding of the OpenCore Legacy Patcher, you can set to install macOS Ventura on your previously-developed Mac now.

Prepare to install macOS Ventura 

Step 1: OpenCore Legacy Patcher download and installation

  1. Download the OpenCore Legacy Patcher Zip file on its official site.
  2. Launch the Downloads folder in Finder and locate the Zip files that you download, then unzip the file on Mac.
  3. Drag the OpenCore-Patcher.app to the Applications folder to install it. You can also copy OpenCore-Patcher.app and paste it into your Downloads folder to locate it.

Step 2: Download macOS Ventura

  • If you have an Apple Developer account, you can sign up for your account and download the macOS Ventura installer there directly.
  • If you have no Apple Developer account, head to Mr. Macintosh to have the macOS Ventura. pkg instead. Once you complete your download work, drag the pkg file to Applications to install this application.

Step 3: Prepare an empty storage device

Prepare an empty storage device larger than 16GB, which better be an SSD. A USB flash drive or SD card works well also.

Create a macOS Ventura bootable installer on your Mac

Since you have downloaded the macOS Ventura Installer app on your Mac, now you need to create a bootable installer for macOS Ventura for further operations.

Step 1: Erase your storage device 

  1. Connect the storage device to your computer.
  2. Launch Disk Utility and select your storage device from the left sidebar.
  3. Click Erase on the top menu bar of Disk Utility.
  4. Rename your disk, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in Forma, and GUID Partition Mac in Scheme.
  5. Click the Erase button to confirm your actions.

Step 2: Run command lines to make your storage device a bootable installer

  1. Launch Terminal via the Spotlight Search shortcut.
  2. Type the following command lines in the Terminal window:sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Ventura.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/voluems name 
  3. Enter your admin account password when you're asked and hit the Y key to ensure your operations.
  4. Once the process ends, your disk partition will be renamed as Install macOS Ventura.

Change the OpenCore Legacy Patcher settings for further installation work

  1. Launch OpenCore Legacy Patcher on your Mac.
  2. Click settings in the OpenCore Legacy Patcher main interface.
  3. Tick Verbose to present specific information to debug during the installation process.
    Change the OpenCore Legacy Patcher settings

Note that if some Mac models go wrong when you tick this Verbose option, just ignore and untick it.

Start to perform installation work

Step 1: Build and Install OpenCore

  1. Click Build and Install OpenCore on the OpenCore Legacy Patcher main interface.
    Build and Install OpenCore
  2. Click the Build OpenCore button in the new popup.
  3. Once the build succeeds, click Install OpenCore, and then tap Install to Disk simply.
    Build and Install OpenCore
  4. Choose the disk that you want to place in the OpenCore. Too often, disk 0 is the Macintosh HD, and disk 2 is the storage device that you connect to your Mac with the default partition. If you have more disks inserted into your device, Mac also lists them one by one.
    Build and Install OpenCore
  5. Click EFI to confirm your actions.
    Build and Install OpenCore

Step 2: Run OpenCore and macOS Installer

  1. Restart your Mac and hold the Option key, until you see a boot screen with different options.
  2. Control your mouse with the keyboard to select the OpenCore icon with the EFI Boot characters option.
    Run OpenCore and macOS Installer
  3. You have uploaded OpenCore here successfully, and you can see the OpenCore Picker on your screen.
  4. Select Install macOS Ventura, then the wizard brings you to the regular boot screen.
    Run OpenCore and macOS Installer

Step 3: Install macOS Ventura on your Mac

This installation wipes everything on your Mac. Hence, you'd better take advantage of iBoysoft DiskGeeker to clone your disk with the powerful disk clone function to an external hard drive for backups.

  1. Select Disk Utility on the installation screen.
  2. Choose your internal hard drive (always Macintosh HD) and click Erase.
  3. Shut down Disk Utility, and then tap macOS Ventura. 
  4. Follow the onscreen wizard to complete the installation work.

Step 4: Boot up macOS Ventura

Now, you can use OpenCore Picker to boot into macOS Ventura.

If the bootup process goes wrong, re-hold the Option key until you see the EFI Boot option with the OpenCore icon, and then select the grey hard disk with Macintosh HD by default.

Post-installation work

Step 1: Download and install OpenCore Legacy Patcher again

Now you run macOS Ventura on your Mac, you need to download and install OpenCore Legacy Patcher again as you do in the preparation stage.

Step 2: Install OpenCore Legacy Patcher into your internal hard disk

You have installed the OpenCore Legacy Patcher in your external storage device in its EFI partition. Once you disconnect the external drive from your Mac, you have no channel to boot into macOS Ventura anymore. You, therefore, need to install OpenCore Legacy Patcher into your Macintosh HD instead.

  1. Run OpenCore Legacy Patcher on your Mac.
  2. Select Settings in the main interface to untick Verbose and Boot Picker.Install OpenCore Legacy Patcher into your internal hard disk
  3. Choose Build and Install OpenCore, and then click Install OpenCore.
  4. Choose disk 0 (Macintosh HD) to install the OpenCore.
    Install OpenCore Legacy Patcher into your internal hard disk
  5. Click the disk 0 with EFI characters.
    Install OpenCore Legacy Patcher into your internal hard disk
  6. Restart your Mac, and hold the Option key until you see the EFI Boot option on the screen.
  7. Select the EFI Boot option with the OpenCore icon to return the regular boot procedure.
  8. Follow the onscreen wizard to complete the whole bootup process.

If you want the OpenCore Boot Picker to show up, you just need to hold the EFI Boot and ESC key simultaneously until you see the cursor.

After you install OpenCore Legacy Patcher on your Macintosh HD, you can boot up macOS Ventura on your Mac seamlessly now.

Install macOS Ventura successfully? Share your happiness and enjoyment with your families and friends!


Bonus tips on running macOS Ventura on your Mac

Generally speaking, the new operating system brings you new problems, not to mention the new operating system on the unsupported Mac. When facing any trouble when you run the new-approaching macOS on your Mac, don't be anxious. The following related articles may help you out of your trouble:

Final thoughts

As a major macOS update, macOS really greets with lots of new improvements and enhanced features. For example, you can have a better user experience in Visual Look UpSticky Notes for MacApple NotesStage Manager on Mac, Continuity Camera, and the Photos app that enables you to delete duplicate photos on Mac easily.

If your Mac is not supported by Apple officially, you can try this article to install macOS Ventura on your Mac to experience these wonderful improvements right now!

Share this article to make more people enjoy this new macOS on their unsupported Mac!