Getting a copy of macOS Sierra

Texas_Toast

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Hello everyone. Need some help remembering how Apple does things..

I would like to do the following...

1.) Download a copy of macOS Sierra from Apple.

2.) Store that copy locally on my MBP for future use.

3.) Create a bootable installer, so if my computer ever dies, I can easily re-install macOS Sierra


I have always found how Apple does their OS's to be very confusing, and I know over the years it have changed even more so. I miss the days when you had your OS on DVD and had that piece of mind that you always had a way to start over.

Can someone help me accomplsih the above?

Thanks.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,425
780
Hello everyone. Need some help remembering how Apple does things..

I would like to do the following...

1.) Download a copy of macOS Sierra from Apple.

2.) Store that copy locally on my MBP for future use.

3.) Create a bootable installer, so if my computer ever dies, I can easily re-install macOS Sierra
This should help: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202 (download link in step 4)
Save a copy on your internal drive and another on an external drive.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
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If I connect to the Mac Apple Store, and choose "Download", what exactly am I getting?

Am I just downloading an "installer" or am I getting a copy of the entire OS?
You can easily click the link to try it, but since it's 5GB, it's likely the entire OS, and not an installer that then downloads the OS.
 
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Texas_Toast

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You can easily click the link to try it, but since it's 5GB, it's likely the entire OS, and not an installer that then downloads the OS.
Once I download that 5 GB file (?) then I assume that I have a legitimate (and legal) copy of macOS Sierra forever, right?

And if I wanted to re-install Sierra onto my current MBP in 10 years, it should still work, correct?
 
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dwfaust

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Jul 3, 2011
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What MBP are you wanting to install it on? As a PSA, there is no way to install a version of macOS on a Mac computer that predates that Mac. For example, you cannot install Sierra on a 2018 Mac.
 
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Texas_Toast

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What MBP are you wanting to install it on? As a PSA, there is no way to install a version of macOS on a Mac computer that predates that Mac. For example, you cannot install Sierra on a 2018 Mac.
What is PSA?
 

Mr_Brightside_@

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Sep 23, 2005
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Public service announcement.
@dwfaust means that yes, you can keep the 5 GB installer file indefinitely and legally use it to reinstall macOS Sierra on a COMPATIBLE Mac.
Example: you cannot use it to install Sierra on a 2018 Mac mini, because it shipped with Mojave.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Public service announcement.
@dwfaust means that yes, you can keep the 5 GB installer file indefinitely and legally use it to reinstall macOS Sierra on a COMPATIBLE Mac.
Example: you cannot use it to install Sierra on a 2018 Mac mini, because it shipped with Mojave.
Hello @Mr_Brightside_@, long time no see! :)

I have a couple of Macs. My newer MBPs are from early 2015 and came instaleld with Sierra. And then this MBP I am typing on is from mod 2012 and came with Mountain Lion.

So if I download Sierra then it should obviously work on my early 2015 MBPs, right?

Can I install Sierra on my mid 2012 MBP?

And you are saying that if I went out and bought a new/used Mac that came *after* Sierra, then Sierra wouldn't work on it? If so, why is that?
 
Last edited:

retta283

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Hello @Mr_Brightside_@, long time no see! :)

I have a couple of Macs. My newer MBPs are from early 2015 and came instaleld with Sierra. And then this MBP I am typing on is from mod 2012 and came with Mountain Lion.

So if I download Sierra then it should obviously wor on my early 2015 MBPs, right?

Can I install Sierra on my mid 2012 MBP?

And you are saying that if I went out and bought a new/used Mac that came *after* Sierra, then Sierra wouldn't work on it? If so, why is that?
It wouldn't have the drivers for the hardware... Sierra will work with anything made past 2010 and some late 2009 machines.
 

Mr_Brightside_@

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Sep 23, 2005
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Hello @Mr_Brightside_@, long time no see! :)

I have a couple of Macs. My newer MBPs are from early 2015 and came instaleld with Sierra. And then this MBP I am typing on is from mod 2012 and came with Mountain Lion.

So if I download Sierra then it should obviously wor on my early 2015 MBPs, right?

Can I install Sierra on my mid 2012 MBP?

And you are saying that if I went out and bought a new/used Mac that came *after* Sierra, then Sierra wouldn't work on it? If so, why is that?
Yes, if they shipped with it.

Yes.

It depends but likely not.
 

Texas_Toast

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Once I download Sierra onto my MBP, then as I recall, I have 3 options...

Option 1: Choose to install it right then and there, however, macOS will delete the copy of Sierra that I downloaded.

Option 2: I can save a copy of the "Install macOS Sierra.app" file somewhere save so I always have a backup copy of it.

Option 3: I can create a "bootable USB installer" which is sorta like Option 2 in that I would have a backup copy of Sierra, but this will also allow me to install Sierra multiple times on any compatible machines.

Does that all sound correct?
 

retta283

macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2018
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Once I download Sierra onto my MBP, then as I recall, I have 3 options...

Option 1: Choose to install it right then and there, however, macOS will delete the copy of Sierra that I downloaded.

Option 2: I can save a copy of the "Install macOS Sierra.app" file somewhere save so I always have a backup copy of it.

Option 3: I can create a "bootable USB installer" which is sorta like Option 2 in that I would have a backup copy of Sierra, but this will also allow me to install Sierra multiple times on any compatible machines.

Does that all sound correct?
Pretty much, except for if you are on High Sierra or Mojave option 1 will not work.
 

Mr_Brightside_@

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Sep 23, 2005
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Once I download Sierra onto my MBP, then as I recall, I have 3 options...

Option 1: Choose to install it right then and there, however, macOS will delete the copy of Sierra that I downloaded.

Option 2: I can save a copy of the "Install macOS Sierra.app" file somewhere save so I always have a backup copy of it.

Option 3: I can create a "bootable USB installer" which is sorta like Option 2 in that I would have a backup copy of Sierra, but this will also allow me to install Sierra multiple times on any compatible machines.

Does that all sound correct?
Correct, and @retta283 adds a good note.

Option 2: It will be safe in Applications, but I manually archive the installer applications elsewhere just in case.

Option 3: Yes, and doing this will not do anything to the installer app, meaning if you create the USB installer based on the installer app, the installer remains in Applications (or wherever you have placed it) after making the USB version.
 

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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Correct, and @retta283 adds a good note.

Option 2: It will be safe in Applications, but I manually archive the installer applications elsewhere just in case.

Option 3: Yes, and doing this will not do anything to the installer app, meaning if you create the USB installer based on the installer app, the installer remains in Applications (or wherever you have placed it) after making the USB version.
So after I download Sierra, I should immediately do Option 2 or Option 3 to make sure that I truly have a safe backup of Sierra, right?

The reason I am doing all of this, is because I don't want to be caught without a copy of whichever version of macOS I want to have. I have gotten burned in the past on that, since I didn't know that Apple yanks versions after so long.)
 

retta283

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Jun 8, 2018
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So after I download Sierra, I should immediately do Option 2 or Option 3 to make sure that I truly have a safe backup of Sierra, right?

The reason I am doing all of this, is because I don't want to be caught without a copy of whichever version of macOS I want to have. I have gotten burned in the past on that, since I didn't know that Apple yanks versions after so long.)
It shouldn't delete itself if you don't install it from the application. I'd say just get a cheap USB stick and make it a Sierra installer for use in the future
 
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Texas_Toast

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By the way, @Mr_Brightside_@, not sure if you ever saw this in my other thread from last year, but all of those Mac problems I was having where half of MacRumors was convinced that I was an idiot and bringing everything upon myself?!

Not the case...

My *brand new* Retina MBP had two defective logic boards in it. (When I originally bought it back in Summer of 2016, and then when I broke down and paid Apple something like $500 to replace it a second time in Summer 2018.)

And my *near new* Retina MBP also had a defect logic board in it. Again, had to send it off to Apple to have them replace the logic board.

That means that the first 3 of 4 Retina MBPs I bought were defective right out of the box!!

So all of those bizarre OS issues I was having - even after reinstalling macOS Sierra - were NOT caused by me!!

Too bad @Fishrrman never owned up to those facts...



Have been away from MacRumors for the last several months actually *using* my new Retina instead of spending morning/noon/night trying to get them working.

But now I am back trying to remember how to do some things y'all taught me in the past, and trying to learn some new things as well.

Thanks for the help!! :apple:
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,425
780
Once I download that 5 GB file (?) then I assume that I have a legitimate (and legal) copy of macOS Sierra forever, right?

And if I wanted to re-install Sierra onto my current MBP in 10 years, it should still work, correct?
Yes.
 

011

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2017
90
30
When you go to this link, which redirects you to the Mac App Store, and click on Get, macOS Mojave brings System Preferences and Software Update. After that, you cant't get the dmg file to download.
 
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