Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!
  • Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

!!!

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
481
510
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepIn2U

venom600

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2003
1,077
812
Los Angeles, CA
There's a good chance that if you buy one off the shelf that it'll come with Mojave preinstalled. If you have to use a 32 bit app, you should be good with every machine currently out. Anything released from today forward will likely be Catalina only.
 
Comment

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,658
2,656
Victoria, British Columbia
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?
If you bought on this day exactly, it'll probably have Mojave on it still, unless it's a build to order.

If it does come with Catalina, I'm almost certain it can be downgraded. You'll have to make a bootable USB with the Mojave installer, wipe the hard drive and install from the USB. All of the 2018 Mini hardware is supported under Mojave, so it should work perfectly.
 
Comment

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,159
1,431
If you bought on this day exactly, it'll probably have Mojave on it still, unless it's a build to order.

If it does come with Catalina, I'm almost certain it can be downgraded. You'll have to make a bootable USB with the Mojave installer, wipe the hard drive and install from the USB. All of the 2018 Mini hardware is supported under Mojave, so it should work perfectly.

I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
 
Comment

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,658
2,656
Victoria, British Columbia
I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
Do you remember what kind of error it gave you? Did you do a wipe of it before install or did you try to use the installer app? If the newer OS was already in place it wouldn't work.

It's also possible that Apple has changed something in this process, but at least in the days when it was called Mac OS X, it worked. My 2008 iMac can run earlier versions than it shipped with, and 2011 Minis can run Leopard, AFAIK.
 
Comment

Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2016
810
686
I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
There was a thread that said you have to download High Sierra and other versions all over again because the certificates have expired and so it won’t install and you will get an error message. I forgot the cutoff date but were you installing HS from a copy you had a month or so ago?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DeepIn2U
Comment

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,159
1,431
Do you remember what kind of error it gave you? Did you do a wipe of it before install or did you try to use the installer app? If the newer OS was already in place it wouldn't work.

It's also possible that Apple has changed something in this process, but at least in the days when it was called Mac OS X, it worked. My 2008 iMac can run earlier versions than it shipped with, and 2011 Minis can run Leopard, AFAIK.
There was a thread that said you have to download High Sierra and other versions all over again because the certificates have expired and so it won’t install and you will get an error message. I forgot the cutoff date but were you installing HS from a copy you had a month or so ago?

My particular mac already shipped with Mojave, but officially supported a custom build of HS - i got the build from the terminal command that gives you direct links to all installers that work on your mac (i could successfully install 10.14.0), but HS just didn't budge.
It always rebooted into recovery and wanted to install Mojave if i recall correctly.
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,681
7,894
"Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?"

I see no reason why you couldn't do this.

You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.

You'd probably also need a good copy of the Mojave installer, from which you could create a bootable USB flashdrive using either DiskMaker X or Install Disk Creator.
(It might be a good idea to download a copy from Apple NOW, and store it somewhere safe)

But having said all that...
Are the new Minis being shipped yet with Catalina, or are they still coming with Mojave?
Anyone receive a new Mini in the last few weeks? With what OS...?

I'll reckon that any Apple-refurbished Minis are shipping with Mojave.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Synchro3
Comment

!!!

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
481
510
You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.
So does this mean I can't just go into target disk mode and wipe it, then install Mojave (or something of that sort, haven't figured out my plan exactly with regards to restoring from time machine etc).
Also, how do you disable this?


Is there any consensus to whether or not I can install Mojave? I'll of course have the right installer that supports the hardware, I just don't know if Apple is able to restrict the OS to the one the Mac was bought with.
 
Comment

!!!

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
481
510
If all else fails you should be able to run Mojave in a Parallels virtual machine.
That defeats the purpose of buying a new Mac and restoring from a TM backup. Like I said, I need to use iTunes still and I need to use 32-bit apps preferably without the headache of having to use a slow VM.
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,681
7,894
OP:

Some thoughts...

If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.
Instead, create a BOOTABLE CLONED backup using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. It will make the process easier.

When you get the new Mini (assuming it has Catalina on it), you will need to do a few things:
- First, create a basic account. You DO NOT need to "migrate" anything to this account. But you CANNOT disable startup security until you do so. (because you must enter an administrative password to open startup security and you can't do this without an account)
- Boot to the recovery partition
- Next, go to startup security and DISABLE all "features". You want to choose "no security" and "allow booting from external media".
- Finally, open terminal and disable SIP with this command:
sudo spctl --master-disable

Now you can boot from an external source, ERASE the internal drive, and put a copy of Mojave onto it.
 
Comment

weaztek

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2009
312
144
Madison
If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.

I went back to Mojave from a TM backup and everything is working well. The only hitch I found a Mac HD - Data that I erased with Disk Utility.
 
Comment

!!!

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
481
510
OP:

Some thoughts...

If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.
Instead, create a BOOTABLE CLONED backup using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. It will make the process easier.

When you get the new Mini (assuming it has Catalina on it), you will need to do a few things:
- First, create a basic account. You DO NOT need to "migrate" anything to this account. But you CANNOT disable startup security until you do so. (because you must enter an administrative password to open startup security and you can't do this without an account)
- Boot to the recovery partition
- Next, go to startup security and DISABLE all "features". You want to choose "no security" and "allow booting from external media".
- Finally, open terminal and disable SIP with this command:
sudo spctl --master-disable

Now you can boot from an external source, ERASE the internal drive, and put a copy of Mojave onto it.
I was just going to mount the new mini under target disk mode and copy everything over that way. Would I still need to disable SIP to get into target disk mode?
 
Comment

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,762
2,641
East of Eden
As a pure guess, I would guess that Minis move slowly enough that any you buy would be likely to have Mojave installed. I'd put higher odds on Mojave for a new machine than a refurb, which probably has been sitting around for less time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: retta283
Comment

MarkC426

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2008
1,666
546
UK
Depending on the spec you want, any on Amazon for sale should have mojave (it should indicate it).
In the UK, there is an Apple reseller I quite often use, and likewise their models specify the OS, usually what was originally installed if it’s been sitting in their warehouse, unless built to order.
 
Comment

DeepIn2U

macrumors G3
May 30, 2002
8,674
3,264
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?"

I see no reason why you couldn't do this.

You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.

You'd probably also need a good copy of the Mojave installer, from which you could create a bootable USB flashdrive using either DiskMaker X or Install Disk Creator.
(It might be a good idea to download a copy from Apple NOW, and store it somewhere safe)

But having said all that...
Are the new Minis being shipped yet with Catalina, or are they still coming with Mojave?
Anyone receive a new Mini in the last few weeks? With what OS...?

I'll reckon that any Apple-refurbished Minis are shipping with Mojave.

Best to just follow this guide.

App Store for Mac allows downloading of macOS Mojave (I've done it 3x this past month - October). You can use Terminal after download to Create a bootable USB>

Guide: https://9to5mac.com/2018/06/18/how-to-create-a-bootable-macos-mojave-10-14-usb-install-drive-video/

no point doing this the difficult way. Still guide tip about TP2 as I'll be looking to upgrade to 2018 Mac Mini as I'm having issues properly formatting encrypted Windows 2.5mm SSDs GRRRRRRR!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ploki
Comment

mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,789
1,965
DFW, TX
I wouldn't place bets on shoulds or probablys.
When are you planning on making the purchase? I have every OS from tiger to catalina. I can see if I have the time this coming week to just do a complete wipe and install from as far back as I can go.

For science!!
 
Comment

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,658
2,656
Victoria, British Columbia
I wouldn't place bets on shoulds or probablys.
When are you planning on making the purchase? I have every OS from tiger to catalina. I can see if I have the time this coming week to just do a complete wipe and install from as far back as I can go.

For science!!
Are you talking about installing these Oses on a 2018 Mini? You'll only be able to use Mojave-Catalina on it. Anything before that will not have drivers. Maybe the latest version of High Sierra, but even that is unlikely.
 
Comment

mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,789
1,965
DFW, TX
Are you talking about installing these Oses on a 2018 Mini? You'll only be able to use Mojave-Catalina on it. Anything before that will not have drivers. Maybe the latest version of High Sierra, but even that is unlikely.
Yes a 2018 Mini, it's ok, I will find out after I put the USB in 100% what will or won't install.
I have a ton of time recently.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EightyTwenty
Comment

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
315
84
Spain
Well... it seems that reverting to Mojave is possible... but not everything about it is well explained, yet.
I plan to stay in Mojave, and my iMac hasn't a T2 chip... so I'm not totally sure or even really interested...
BUT upgrading to Catalina overwrites firmware of the machine also. I think I've read the thread carefully, and would like to know of a complete downgrading experience on a T2 machine, like MacMini.
Tech savvies are saying this: :confused:
Reverting T2 to older Firmware and this: Still confusing
 
Comment

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,762
2,641
East of Eden
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?

Here's another thought. If the one you get from Apple or a reseller like Best Buy comes out of the box with Catalina, you can return it. (CHECK RETURN POLICIES FIRST!)
 
  • Like
Reactions: djc6
Comment

G4DPII

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
363
512
It used to be the case that the earliest OS you can technically install on a Mac is the one that was out at the time the particular Mac Model was launched.

Whether things have changed in the past couple of years since they have started to introduce the T2 security chips I do not know.
 
Comment

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
315
84
Spain
It used to be the case that the earliest OS you can technically install on a Mac is the one that was out at the time the particular Mac Model was launched.

Whether things have changed in the past couple of years since they have started to introduce the T2 security chips I do not know.
It used to be the case, and still is (Apple says) that in Recovery Mode, "shift+opt.+cmd+R" installed the OS that came with your mac (or nearest available).
Apple says

...Maybe Apple keeps serving every model with the OS it shipped at launch... And perhaps it changes in every minor renewal... I'm starting to think Apple must have a fixed procedure... ? (Every MacMini could be delivered with Mojave, til next model -?-)
 
Last edited:
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.