El Capitan on Macbook Air 2016 and 2017

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Isamilis, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    I knew the spec for 2016 and 2017 is only speed bump of the processor, with remaining same set of hardware component with 2015 version.

    Since I plan to pick any of those, may I know will El Capitan work on these model? The 2016 and 2017 version come with Sierra anyway.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. brotherjoe macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    the MacBook Air 2015 was shipped with El Capitan. 2016 and 2017 just had a speed bump for CPU. In theory El Capitan should be able to run on 2016 and 2017 MBA
  3. MSastre macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2014
    My wife has a 2017 MBA with Sierra that works great. Why step backwards with El Cap?
  4. Isamilis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Thank you brotherjoe.
    MSastre, I have my time machine backup in el capitan, also don't have much time to upgrade or reinstall for now.
  5. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    You can restore a backup from El Capitan onto a Sierra machine with no problem. If the machine you get comes with Sierra, the restore process from TM will work fine... no need to force an older version of macOS (OS X) onto a new machine - frankly, it's extra effort to do so, and is totally unnecessary.
  6. comics addict macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2013
  7. Isamilis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Thanks for the input. That could be right. Unfortunately I don't have luxury time to deal with apps reinstall and compatibility issues right now.
  8. madrich, Aug 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017

    madrich macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2012
    World Class City of Chicago
    FYI: In June i bought a used MBA 13" 8 gb ram 250 gb storage. It was loaded with El Capitan. I previously had MB Pro 15" early 2008 with El Capitan. For now I am staying on El Capitan because I really do not need SIRI on my laptop. I may upgrade to High Sierra, but TBD later.
  9. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    In theory this may be possible, I have Snow Leopard on my Late 2011 MBP that shipped with Lion. It would take a bit of work because you would most likely need an actual Apple approved Mac capable of 10.11 to make a USB drive. Basically Apple has code in the 10.11 that won't let it install on the newer MBA and we need to get around this by installing on an approved system, then swapping the drive into the MBA.

    1)Clone the freshly installed EL CAP drive from your apple approve 10.11 mac with all the latest software updates applied.
    2)Boot your 2017 Macbook Air off a 10.12 USB Drive, put your cloned 10.11 USB stick in too.
    3)Open Disk Utility after booting off the 10.12 USB drive, clone the 10.11 USB stick on to the built in SSD.
    4)Reboot with both USB drives unplugged. It will either boot up El Cap okay, or it won't work. I don't have a 2017 MBA to test...

    Step 1 will be pretty much impossible without an older mac capable of running 10.11 from the factory. It could be as old as a 2009 Macbook Pro.
  10. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Sierra is even running smoothly on my 2010 MacBook Air

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