It's 2020, Could I Still Use Mavericks?

buttongerald

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 29, 2016
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St. John's, Newfoundland
Greetings all,

So, I have a late 2013 iMac and she came with Mavericks loaded on, I think if I do the factory restore option it will allow me to reinstall the OS that came loaded on the system as opposed to Catalina which it's running now. I am seriously considering rolling back to Mavericks because I loathe the current system.

It's sluggish, the iLife/iWork applications have become bloated and sluggish with age as well and in all honesty I miss the old iMovie, iPhoto, and overall UI of the way Aqua used to be.

I still have my install discs for Adobe CS6 which while it won't function here in Catalina, it will in Mavericks. I've been using the creative cloud from Adobe not long after it released but by Odin's beard does Photoshop ever chug along on my system now a days. There won't be many features I will miss going back to CS6 so the downgrade in design software isn't major as it's mainly used these days for personal use.

I don't play any games on my iMac, and I don't browse the web much outside of a few websites here and there, and I don't torrent anything. I use Spotify for music but I don't listen to much here on the computer itself.

So if I went back, would I be able to get by? Does YouTube and or Facebook function in the older version of Safari? Any advice from someone maybe still using Mavericks that'd be great, before I dive in so to speak.

Thanks.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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If you did stick with Mavericks, I would look into using a different browser like FireFox for security reasons. I am not sure if Fire Fox is still supported under Mavericks, but it would probably be safer than using Safari.

I would suggest for you to use High Sierra. I have a Late 2012 iMac, and HS runs great. I am pretty sure that it can still use Adobe CS6.

It is still getting security updates, but that may stop in the fall. When that happens, you can switch to Fire Fox for your web browsing, and that will probbaly be updated for at least the next 3-4 years.
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Also, don't think you are stuck with just one MacOS version. You can have multiple boot drives with different OS versions.

You could partition your internal drive and have multiple OS versions installed, that way you can still use your old software, but get the security of a more modern OS.
 

retta283

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Jun 8, 2018
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Firefox is still fully supported on Mavericks, unless they've discontinued it since December, which is unlikely. YouTube and everything works just fine in the newest version.

Is it the 21.5 or 27 model? If it's the 27 you should upgrade the RAM and you will see some web browsing and general speed boosts.
 

buttongerald

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 29, 2016
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St. John's, Newfoundland
Is it the 21.5 or 27 model?
It's the 21.5 and it has 8GB installed.

Generally, I only look at say CBC and YouTube, and if Facebook and Twitter don't work it's no big deal, for what little I use them I can use them on my phone.


Also, don't think you are stuck with just one MacOS version. You can have multiple boot drives with different OS versions.
I may just do this. But I still wouldn't mind being fully immersed again in what was my second favorite macOS release.. the first being Leopard.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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I may just do this. But I still wouldn't mind being fully immersed again in what was my second favorite macOS release.. the first being Leopard.
Snow Leopard was probably my favorite, as it was a rock solid, fast and stable OS.

El Capitan or Mountain Lion was probably second second most stable and fast MacOS version in recent history.

My experience with Mavericks was not a positive one, though. It had memory management issues for me.

High Sierra would be a good overall version for you to try. It still has security updates, runs a lot of older software, and is pretty stable.

I highly recommend you give it a try.
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Oh yeah, I still use Maverick quite a bit, but just for one thing, Disk Utility.

The Disk Utility app was much better on Mavericks and older OS versions, with El Capitan, it was dumb down and a lot of the useful features were removed.
 

retta283

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Jun 8, 2018
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Snow Leopard was probably my favorite, as it was a rock solid, fast and stable OS.

El Capitan or Mountain Lion was probably second second most stable and fast MacOS version in recent history.

My experience with Mavericks was not a positive one, though. It had memory management issues for me.

High Sierra would be a good overall version for you to try. It still has security updates, runs a lot of older software, and is pretty stable.

I highly recommend you give it a try.
- - Post merged: - -

Oh yeah, I still use Maverick quite a bit, but just for one thing, Disk Utility.

The Disk Utility app was much better on Mavericks and older OS versions, with El Capitan, it was dumb down and a lot of the useful features were removed.
IMO, the best releases were Tiger and Snow Leopard. Mountain Lion and 10.5 Leopard come close, I've also had good experiences with El Cap and Sierra.

It's sad what Disk Utility has become, I often have to reboot into an older OS to do what I want to easily.
 
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Muttznuttz

macrumors member
May 21, 2014
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I dual boot my late 2013 Macbook Pro into Mavericks. I use it for iDVD etc, Disk Utility and a few other bits. I have Toast on there too. I wouldn't consider it for daily use any more. It does run well on there, I have to say
 

Wowfunhappy

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2019
21
10
Yes, you absolutely can run Mavericks in 2020. 10.9.5 is beautiful, performant, and very, very stable.

For security reasons, get a copy of Firefox and stay way from Safari. I like Safari too, but you can't use both an outdated web browser and an outdated OS. Unless you're going to turn off Javascript, it's simply not safe.

Please let me know if you have trouble finding other software.

I'm currently in the process of building a Mavericks-compatible Hackintosh. My hope—and intention—is for it to last me the next decade.

---

I see a lot of people above mentioning Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard is great, but unless you plan to use Rosetta, overall app compatibility is much, much worse. For example, your only real option for browsing the web in Snow Leopard is ArcticFox, which doesn't work with a lot of websites.

IMO, using Snow Leopard as a daily driver in 2020 would be very difficult, unless you have a very limited set of needs. Mavericks is much more practical, and I consider it the last great version of OS X.

Not to mention, Snow Leopard won't work on the OP's iMac.
 
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revmacian

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Oct 20, 2018
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I would be concerned about Spectre/Meltdown, and other vulnerabilities, with regard to older operating systems. Have the fixes for these been included into older systems yet?
 

Wowfunhappy

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2019
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No and they never will be.

The practical risk of Spectre and Meltdown is really, really low for a home user. It can be exploited via Javascript but the attacker would have to be extraordinarily lucky.
 
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buttongerald

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 29, 2016
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St. John's, Newfoundland
Just as an update, I was able to fully install 10.9.5 and all the software I used with it when it was live, and was happy to do so. But after further frustrations with current macOS software and hardware, I have opted to use Windows 10 for the foreseeable future.

And to add, while I was using Mavericks, I wasn't using Safari. I knew of the risks, and was using Firefox, but if anyone else should read this thread, it is good information to share.
 

bushbaby

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Aug 12, 2007
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SoCal
I was happily using Mavericks on a 2012 MBA when it started to act up last week. Became very very slow. I bought an external hard drive and, with Apple advisors on the phone, did a Time Machine to save my data. Wasn't sure if it worked and was concerned because the HD said it required OS 10.12 or later. Advisor said to upgrade to El Capitan and walked me through it but it never completed. It is now in a loop where it only tries to complete that and never does. I bought a new MBA and all I want is to get the 2012 MBA back to working with my reliable-for-me Mavericks. Been told the slowness is due to the need for a new battery.
 

avz

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Oct 7, 2018
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I was happily using Mavericks on a 2012 MBA when it started to act up last week. Became very very slow. I bought an external hard drive and, with Apple advisors on the phone, did a Time Machine to save my data. Wasn't sure if it worked and was concerned because the HD said it required OS 10.12 or later. Advisor said to upgrade to El Capitan and walked me through it but it never completed. It is now in a loop where it only tries to complete that and never does. I bought a new MBA and all I want is to get the 2012 MBA back to working with my reliable-for-me Mavericks. Been told the slowness is due to the need for a new battery.
True. Your CPU gets down clocked if your battery is bad and as far as I know MBA usually don't have much CPU speed to begin with.
 
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Wowfunhappy

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2019
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Hard drives don't require OS versions, outside of exceptional circumstances. The manufacturer likely just didn't test with older releases and/or wanted to lower their support burden.
 
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bushbaby

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Aug 12, 2007
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Thank you, Avz and Wowfunhappy. Wowf -- that makes sense about the hard drive OS listings. I did find many reports of a link between El Capitan and battery issues last night in a search, so that may be why my MBA did not finish the upgrade and why it's stuck. In any event, I don't need it, just want Mavericks back. I think it needs an erase first, which I found how to do. ADDED: I didn't realize I could also restore Mavericks from my Time Machine backup until now (this is my first TM backup)!
 
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Wowfunhappy

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2019
21
10
Assuming you don't have a Time Machine backup, yes, you need to do a clean install. The easiest way is to make a bootable USB installer.

First, open the App Store, go to your purchased history, and download the Mavericks installer from there. Then follow http://web.archive.org/web/20170630050632/https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

Boot from the USB key, format the internal drive in disk utility, and install to the drive.

(I have a DMG backed up that can be restored to a USB key via Disk Utility. If Mavericks isn't in your purchase history for some reason, I'd be happy to share the image if you PM me. But getting it from Apple would be a much better practice.)
 

brdeveloper

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Apr 21, 2010
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Dual booting for legacy software/drivers can be interesting. I woudln't use it on a daily basis. Perhaps a 2013 iMac is already good for upgrading experiments (and risks involved). Put a 2TB SSD inside and boot everything you want.
 

4sallypat

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Sep 16, 2016
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Once you re-install CS6, you can upgrade to High Sierra and it will still work...
That's what I use on my 2012 MBP.
 

bushbaby

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2007
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SoCal
Assuming you don't have a Time Machine backup, yes, you need to do a clean install. The easiest way is to make a bootable USB installer.

First, open the App Store, go to your purchased history, and download the Mavericks installer from there. Then follow http://web.archive.org/web/20170630050632/https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

Boot from the USB key, format the internal drive in disk utility, and install to the drive.

(I have a DMG backed up that can be restored to a USB key via Disk Utility. If Mavericks isn't in your purchase history for some reason, I'd be happy to share the image if you PM me. But getting it from Apple would be a much better practice.)
I do have a Time Machine backup (my first and only one). I did it before the Apple advisor told me to upgrade to El Capitan. So this should work, right? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203981#macos