Can a newly-purchased Mac be downgraded to Snow Leopard  10.6?

Posted on 2012-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-09-08
A client is stuck with software that will not run under Mac OS 10.7, but that operates under 10.6 Snow Leopard.

They have to buy a new MacBook Pro, which has 10.7 installed (and possibly Mountain Lion)

Is there a chance that the computer can be erased, and a version of 10.6 installed instead?

I figured that I could go to the Apple Store with an external USB drive with Snow Leopard installed, and try and boot from the USB, to see if it will work.  I'm hoping for a definitive answer here.


Question by:computerlarry
    LVL 53

    Assisted Solution

    Typically Macs won't boot from system software older than they were shipped with. I doubt you will get a definitive answer here and your best bet is the one you suggested of trying to boot from an external.

    Alternatively check with the software company to see if an update for Mountain Lion is planned.
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    Strung is right, however at this point the chance of finding a current model that will run snow is pretty close to zero. You have a good idea in booting from the external as a test.

    There are still Macs for sale that can run under Snow. Apple and MacMall sell refurbished machines that can be last years models. With a little research, you may find one that will run Snow. These machines come with same warranty as new and are indistinguishable from new in my experience. Saves a couple bucks when purchased from MacMall. These machines are eligible for AppleCare and Mac Mall will often discount that by $50. In some cases, Apple retail stores have some refurb stock. Perhaps they could test one of those in the store.
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Simple answer is No. The computer would have come with a minimum OS requirement i.e: 10.7 or 10.7.1  and it will not run anything lesser than that.

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