From El Capitan back to Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hanser, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. hanser macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2013

    I was gifted an iMac from 2009 with El Capitan. Since it is running quite slow and does not need to have support for new apps (it is a secondary machine just to play around or to use as a typewriter) I would like to return it to Snow Leopard 10.6.8. Which would be the way to do that?

    If Snow Leopard should not be practical, how about to return to Mountain Lion; would that be easier? I just want to play around the old OS X look and have a faster machine.

    Thanks in advance for help
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    You would likely not gain much from going down to Mountain Lion. To install Snow Leopard, you need to find an disc with it on, and just boot from it, reformat, and install.

    But by far the best you could do, is to find a cheap SSD and put it in. It will completely change the speed of the machine. Having as new an OS an possible is really a nice thing, if you want to use it for web surfing.
  3. smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I second T'hain. You pop in an SSD into a 2009 iMac, I think you'll find you still have a pretty capable computer on your hands. I have a 2010 MBP running Sierra on an SSD. No issues whatsoever.
  4. bluecoast, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

    bluecoast macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2017
    I think that you can still buy Snow Leopard directly from Apple.

    I've just stopped using my iMac 2009 and as the poster above said, a SSD is going to be your best friend here (and moving to 8GB of RAM if you haven't already got that).

    I didn't notice any massive differences in speed from going to Snow Leopard up to Sierra all the time I used it - it's really going to be your RAM amount and disc speed that is going to make a big difference with basic productivity tasks and everyday use of the iMac.

    EDIT: Compared to the issues around how Apple builds modern Macs (i.e. you can't upgrade most of them), the iMac 2009 was a truly excellent computer. I had absolutely zero problems with it, it just kept going and going. And upgrading the RAM and disc is relatively easy.

    I only stopped using it as I wanted a laptop for space reasons (I live in an apartment).

    Apple's (Ive's) obsession with making everything thin has had a really bad outcome on the Mac imho.

Share This Page