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: