Mac Os Catalina On Macbook Pro 2009

2012 MacBook pro ( non retina ) was sold all they up until 2016. That's why it is supported on Catalina. Unfortunately specs and smooth user experience aren't the top priority's at Apple. Edit: Idk if anyone tried the 2012 MBP with Catalina. I'm legit wondering how it's running. All I know is that 10.14 was dog shit on that model. Which versions of macOS does my MacBook Pro support? MacBook Pro Models. MacOS High Sierra. OS X El Capitan.

20 November 2020

Catalina on (3) Late 2009 Mac mini’s, buttery smoothly. Catalina on (1) Late 2009 iMac, buttery smoothly. Catalina on (1) 2011 MacBook Air 13″, buttery smoothly. Only 4GB’s but works buttery smoothly. This 2009 MacBook Pro should be able to boot anything from Leopard, Snow Leopard, Yosemite to Sierra. That translate into version numbers as anything from 10.5.7 (9J3050) to 10.11 (and with caveats: also 10.12) can be installed. To install any version of OS X/macOS it is strictly speaking not necessary to provide or even have an AppleID. If you have a machine with one of these GPUs installed, I'd advise upgrading it if possible (can be done in 2010/2011 iMacs, iMac11,x-12,x), disabling the dedicated GPU if using a 2011 15' or 17' MacBook Pro (MacBookPro8,2/8,3, instructions to do so can be found here), or not installing Catalina. Running Catalina without full graphics.

Every update to the macOS comes with new features designed to make your work more efficient and effective. The latest release – Big Sur, to be released november 12 – is no exception.

Nor was the previous release, Cataline. Among the most exciting additions made in this version of OS was Sidecar, a tool that allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your laptop or desktop.

In addition, Catalina also includes support for Apple's Screen Time tracker, an upgraded Photos app, and revamped tools for managing your files, including support for using Google drive on your Mac.

Unfortunately, these features aren’t available for everyone since Apple doesn't allow you to install Catalina on older machines. This is because the new OS has higher computing and power requirements than the software that these machines originally shipped with, and Apple feels that it will not work well on them.

If you disagree and want to install Catalina anyway, you'll need a workaround. In this guide, we'll show you one.

Is Your Mac Too Old for Catalina?

First of all, it's worth checking if you can get Cataline on your device the official way. Apple will allow you to download and install Catalina from the app store if you have one of these devices:

  • MacBook: early 2015 or later

  • MacBook Air: mid-2012 or later

  • MacBook Pro: mid-2012 or later

  • Mac mini: late 2012 or later

  • iMac: late 2012 or later

  • iMac Pro: all models

  • Mac Pro: late 2013 or later

If your device isn't on this list, or was released before 2012, you won't be able to get Catalina the officially supported way. However, there is a technical workaround that allows you to bypass the systems that Apple has put in place to limit your access to the new OS.

Important Considerations

Before we show you how to get Catalina on an older Mac, just a few quick things to keep in mind.

First, security.


You might think that downloading software that aims to workaround Apple’s safeguards is a security risk considering the current high rate of breach attempts. Under normal circumstances, you'd be right, but the patch used to install Catalina is a small, tested, and trusted app that has been used safely by thousands of people.

Nonetheless, you might want to check our guide on how to set up and use a VPN on a Mac if you want extra security.

Secondly, and as with any major operation on your machine, make sure that you backup all of your files before you get started.

Mac os catalina on macbook pro 2009 laptop

The process below is safe enough, but accidents and mistakes still happen from time to time. You should also check your storage space to make sure that you have enough free space to install Catalina.

Mac Os Catalina On Macbook Pro 2009

How to Install Catalina on an Old Mac

With that out of the way, we can get started. The problem we face when putting Catalina on older Macs is that, hidden deep within the operating system itself, there is a script that checks what machine you are trying to install it on. If this script detects that your chosen machine is too old, the Catalina installer will quit automatically.

We will therefore need to disable this functionality by patching the OS itself. Thankfully, a third-party developer named DOSDude1 has written just such a patch, and it works on a wide variety of Macs going way back to early 2008. Head to, and find the device that you want to install Catalina on.

On the same site, there is also a video tutorial that will take you through the process of installing Catalina, but I'll describe this as well.

  1. First, download the macOS Catalina Patcher from
  2. Open the Catalina Patcher app.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Click Download a Copy. The macOS Catalina download should then begin. This might take a while, because Catalina is quite large – around 8GB.
  5. Plug in a USB memory stick.
  6. Click Create a Bootable Installer and wait for the installer to be transferred to your USB drive.

You’ve now created a bootable macOS Catalina installer on your USB stick - next, you need to install it on your older Mac.

  1. Plug the USB stick into your older Mac.
  2. Restart your Mac while holding Option/Alt (depending on when it was made) to access Startup Manager.
  3. Select the bootable installer and click Enter. Your Mac should then open in Recovery mode.
  4. Click Reinstall macOS and wait for macOS Catalina to be installed on your machine.
  5. After the installation, restart the Mac in recovery mode and select the bootable drive once again.
  6. This time, select macOS Post Install. This will install all the third-party patches on your Mac that’ll make Catalina work.
  7. Once the patches have been installed, select Force Cache Rebuild.
  8. Restart your Mac.

And that should be it – your old Mac should boot straight into Catalina, and this should be a persistent install. If something went wrong, though, it's worth trying a different version of the patching tool from; some of these apps are quite old, and maintenance appears to be pretty patchy.

Going Further

If this operation has given you an appetite for playing around with your Mac a little more, it's worth checking out our other guides on how to get the best out of your Mac. Our guide to Mac terminal commands and tricks is a great place to start with that, because it will give you a new level of insight into how your Mac operates under the hood.

Or, alternatively, just sit back and enjoy the slightly strange experience of running a state-of-the-art, brand new OS like Catalina on your ancient hardware!

Written by Bernard Brode

Bernard Brode is a product researcher at Microscopic Machines and remains eternally curious about where the intersection of AI, cybersecurity, and nanotechnology will eventually take us.

Twitter: @BernieBrode

By installing El Capitan you will most not likely gain anything in performance, probably the opposite as it El C is a bit more resource hungry.

You may want to use this, Etrecheck


Post the results back here, and we can see if there are any areas we can see where we might be able to help speed up your mac.

If you want to upgrade you need to make sure any third party apps are compatible or have updates for El C, you can check here, Roaring Apps

Mac Os Catalina On Macbook Pro 2009 Chargers

Also check with the manufacturers of any hardware you use, printers, scanners etc that they have drivers, software that they will run under El C.

Jan 16, 2017 6:19 PM