macOS Sierra Patcher Tool for Unsupported Macs
*This utility is provided to
anyone free of charge, however if you'd like to donate, you can do so
or comments? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
take a look at the FAQ located at the bottom of this page as well.
-Early-2008 or newer Mac Pro, iMac, or MacBook Pro
(MacPro 3,1 and 4,1, iMac 8,1 and 9,1, MacBook Pro 4,1, 5,1 5,2, 5,3,
5,4, and 5,5)
-Late-2008 or newer MacBook Air or Aluminum Unibody MacBook (MacBookAir 2,1, MacBook 5,1)
-Early-2009 or newer Mac Mini or white MacBook (Macmini 3,1, MacBook 5,2)
-Early-2008 or newer Xserve (Xserve 2,1)
Machines that ARE NOT supported:
- 2006-2007 Mac Pros, iMacs, MacBook
Pros, and Mac Minis (MacPro 1,1 and 2,1, iMac 4,1, 5,1, 5,2, 6,1 and
7,1, MacBook Pro 1,1, 2,1, and 3,1, Macmini 1,1 and 2,1)
-- The 2007 iMac 7,1 is compatible if the CPU is upgraded to a Penryn-based Core 2 Duo, such as a T9300.
- 2006-2008 MacBooks (MacBook 1,1, 2,1 3,1 and 4,1)
- 2008 MacBook Air (MacBookAir 1,1)
-- Note: Make sure SIP is disabled on the system you intend to install
Sierra on. If it's not or you're unsure, just boot into your Recovery
partition of your currently installed copy of OS X, open Terminal, and
run "csrutil disable". Please also note that SIP MUST remain disabled
for as long as you run Sierra. You will be warned and prompted
to re-disable it if it does somehow become enabled.
Things you'll need:
- A copy of the macOS Sierra Installer
App. This can be obtained from the Mac App Store using a machine
supports Sierra, or can be found online.
- A USB drive that's at least 8 GB in size
- A copy of the tool - Download here (Current version: 4.2.7)
-- View changelog and download older versions here
- Unsupported WiFi modules in some
systems. Macs that use the Broadcom BCM4321 WiFi module will not have
functional WiFi when running Sierra. A fix for this is to open up your
machine and install a compatible WiFi card. Machines affected include
some MacPro3,1, MacBook5,2, MacBookPro4,1, iMac8,1, Macmini3,1, and
MacBookAir2,1 systems. Please note that not all these machines will
have an unsupported card, this is just a list of machines known to have
shipped with that card in some configurations.
-- You can find out whether or not you have an unsupported card by
opening System Profiler (About this Mac>System Report...), and
clicking on WiFi under the Network section. If your card type reads
(0x14E4, 0x8C), (0x14E4, 0x9D), (0x14E4, 0x87), (0x14E4, 0x88), (0x14E4, 0x8B), or (0x14E4, 0x90),
then you do NOT have a compatible card. Any other
combination, such as (0x14E4, 0x8D), is a supported card.
- Trackpad (MacBook5,2 affected only). The trackpad in the MacBook5,2
isn't fully supported in Sierra. While it works and is fully usable,
Sierra detects it as just a standard mouse, preventing you from
changing some trackpad-oriented settings.
How to use:
1. Insert your desired USB drive, open
Disk Utility, and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
2. Open the "macOS Sierra Patcher" tool, and browse for your copy of
the macOS Sierra Installer App.
*Ensure that the tool successfully verifies the app.
3. Next, select your USB drive in the Target Volume list, and click
4. When the operation completes, boot your target unsupported Mac off
the USB drive you just created.
Note: Only perform steps 5 and 6 if you intend to do a clean install.
Otherwise, you can simply skip these steps and install to your volume
containg a previous version of OS X, and it'll do an in-place upgrade.
5. When the installer boots, open Disk Utility.
6. Select the disk or partition you want to install on, and erase it,
ensuring to use Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the filesystem type. If
formatting an entire drive, ensure GUID is selected.
7. Install macOS normally onto the desired volume.
8. When the install completes, reboot back onto the installer drive.
This time, open the "macOS Post Install" application.
9. In the application, select the Mac model you are using. The optimal
patches will be selected for you based on the model you select. You can
also select other patches of your choosing.
10. Select the volume you have just installed macOS Sierra on, and
click "Patch." When it finishes patching, click "Reboot". It may sit
there for a few moments rebuilding caches before rebooting.
-- If for some
reason the system fails to work correctly after rebooting, boot back
into your installer drive, run the post install patch again, and select
"Force Cache Rebuild" before rebooting. This isn't necessary under most
11. When it reboots, it should now boot into a fully working copy of
Updates are now patched using a new
method installed with the post-install tool. However, if you do not
have this patch applied, you can follow the method below to install it manually.
To allow future system updates, such as 10.12.4, to be installed on
your system, you will need to download and run the script found here.
To enable Night Shift on your unsupported machine, simply download and run the tool found here. All credit goes to Piker Alpha for discovering the patch, and Foxlet for creating the GUI application to apply it.
Q: The tool created the USB drive successfully, but when booting, the progress bar hangs a bit more than half way.
A: Check your copy of the Install macOS Sierra App. If you're using the
latest version of the tool, you must be using the latest version of the
Install macOS Sierra App (currently version 12.4.06). Version 4.2.5 of
the patch tool and older support older versions of the installer app.
Q: The patch tool gives me errors, such as "Error copying files...".
A: Check to make sure your USB drive is writeable. Try re-formatting it, or just try a different USB drive.
Q: The patch tool gives me a "Mounting Failed" error
A: Check to make sure your Install macOS Sierra App is the correct one.
It should be around 5GB in size. If you used the "Skip App
Verification" option, you have most likely selected an invalid app that
doesn't contain the necessary files.
Q: I cannot open my copy of Install macOS Sierra with the patch tool.
A: If you downloaded the copy linked above, it is distributed inside a
DMG file. You must open this file (mount it) to access the Install
macOS Sierra App you need to select.
Q: I don't see my hard drive partition in the installer screen or in the post-install tool.
A: Make sure FileVault is disabled, or use the instructions found here to unlock it manually using Terminal.
Q: I get a "NO" symbol when starting up after successfully installing Sierra.
A: Make sure you have run the post-install patch on the correct volume, as detailed above in steps 8-10.
Q: I get a "NO" symbol when starting up from the patched USB drive
A: Check the supported/not supported list at the top of this page. Ensure your machine is in the supported list.
Q: My iSight camera doesn't work after installing Sierra
A: Make sure you properly remove (using the program's uninstaller, not by simply dragging the application to the Trash) all virtual machine software installed on your machine, such as VirtualBox, VMWare, etc.
Q: I get "NSURL" errors when trying to update my machine
A: If you've used the older "AUSEnabler" method to enable updating, you'll need to run "sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog" in Terminal, and then run the software update patch script located above.