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Hackintosh: Everything You Need to Know [Updated in 2022]

Updated on Friday, July 22, 2022

iBoysoft author Rivers Wong

Written by

Rivers Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

Hackintosh: Run macOS on non-Apple Computers

Summary: Feel strange about the term "Hackintosh"? This article will walk you through everything you need to know about it, including what is Hackintosh, how it works, what are the pros and cons of it, etc.

everything you need to know about Hackintosh

Perhaps you are familiar with the fact that non-Apple computers can run various Apple operating systems. If that's true, then you're not far from the main character we are going to introduce today - Hackintosh.

But if not, that's fine. Read on for more details about Hackintosh!

what you need to know about Hackintosh

Table of Contents:

Hackintosh: What is it?

The term Hackintosh is a combination of "hack" and "Macintosh computer". Once we split it into two words, you might be thinking of something. Well, that's true. The term comes from the fact that you need to "hack" the software for it to run on the hardware. So what is Hackintosh?

A Hackintosh refers to a non-Apple computer, made with PC parts, and therefore not designed to run macOS, that someone modifies to run the Apple macOS operating system and the applications associated with it. In other words, it allows anyone with the right non-Apple computers to use macOS without paying Apple anything.

Hackintosh: How does it work?

Essentially, Hackintosh works based on the same CPU code as any Intel-based Mac. Back in 2006, Apple transitioned its computer from IBM's PowerPC architecture to Intel's processors. Since “Wintel” computer utilizes the same processors, it makes Hackintosh possible.

By the way, this is why we can run Microsoft Windows on Macs using solutions like Boot Camp Assistant.

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Hackintosh: What are the pros and cons?

hackintosh vs mac

Pros

Due to various reasons, more and more people tend to construct a Hackintosh PC running macOS on their own, instead of paying for a brand new Mac. There must be some hard-to-refuse pros behind it, let's check them out!

  • DIY: Since Mac computers are locked down, we can not improve the hardware elements of it. But for those people who love macOS and also have diverse needs, Hackintosh makes everything easy. We can either run macOS on our PCs, or feel free to add extra RAM and upgrade a hard drive for it.
  • Low price: The main benefit of a Hackintosh compared to a Macintosh computer is that it is way cheaper. Generally speaking, creating a Hackintosh only costs a third of the price of buying a MacBook Pro.
  • High efficiency: This is a potential pro of Hackintosh. If you equip your PC with a high-end GPU not sold by Mac, or other high-end hardware, it is sensible that the Hackintosh is more effective than a Mac.

Cons

Nothing's perfect, and Hackintosh has its drawbacks.

  • Specific hardware components: Not every PC can be built as a Hackintosh, because it needs specific hardware components to make it work. So, you will have to buy it yourself. Although some people from the Hackintosh community may help you with that, it is not as convenient as purchasing a Mac directly.
  • Absence of official help: If something goes wrong on your Hackintosh, and you can't tackle that problem yourself, then the thing's becoming a bit tricky. Since technically, you are not using the Apple device, Apple will not assist you in any case.
  • Difficult on software updates: If you create a Hackintosh, it would be difficult for you to upgrade software, because you may run into various issues, and some of them may corrupt the existing Hackintosh machines.

How to make a Hackintosh?

Before we introduce you to how to make a Hackintosh, it is worth mentioning that Hackintosh will not be suitable for everybody. So if you don't need it, just take it as an opportunity to increase your knowledge.

how to make a hackintosh

Here's a brief introduction to how to make a Hackintosh:

  1. Download macOS on a USB flash drive to create an install disk.
  2. Install the macOS to the right non-Apple PC.
  3. Install Kext files on macOS on the Hackintosh computer.
  4. Check whether the newly created Hackintosh works.

The above content is just a brief introduction to how to create a Hackintosh. The real process of building a Hackintosh requires way more complicated procedures.

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Final words

Hackintosh is an ideal alternative if you like macOS but don't want to pay for a new Mac. And this article tells you what is Hackintosh, how it works, its pros and cons, and also, how to make a Hackintosh. Hope you've enjoyed the journey so far.