macOS Sierra and Later Not Listed in Mac App Store Purchased Tab, Updates Not Tied to Apple ID

JamesPDX

Suspended
Aug 26, 2014
1,056
492
USA
There was a thread on MR about expired certificates of system installers downloaded in the past that I can't find ATM. Basically, you got an error and couldn't install anymore macOS even from a flash drive installer.

AFAIK you had two options:
1. download again from MAS with an updated certificate (that option seems to vanish)
2. reset your Mac to some date before certificate expiration (e.g. 'sudo date 0101010116')

If the possibility to download old installers won't be given anymore for certain installers, there comes the time when you need some trick like option 2 to make use of your copy of Sierra. Other possibilities could be to disable certificate validation or exchange the expired cert with a new one. I don't know how to do that.

To check the expiration date of a certain package you double-click a package and press the lock icon in the right corner of the installer window. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202369

Checking a pkg file in my recently downloaded macOS Sierra installer came up with expiration on 24th October 2019.

If the installer package isn't able to start up the installer window, you can try checking the signature's validity by:
Code:
pkgutil --check-signature path/to/installer.pkg
There are various other certificates in the (key)chain that macOS will consider, too.

By the way, I'm not an early adopter anymore and will probably wait for the last release of High Sierra before installing it. That should be next year around the same time. Then I'll also have one or two bootable backups of Sierra ready...

IMO, it would be kindly, if Apple would continue to serve old operating systems with updated signatures, though.
I guess what we need is a utility or terminal command that will enable us to edit the certificate expiration dates.
 

just.jon

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2017
37
81
___________
** 'placation language' like these dross examples from AppleCare staff over the last 48h...

"My name is Angela, I’m a Senior Advisor with the iTunes Store. Your case came across my desk, and I wanted to make sure we did everything we could to help."
– let me throw up already!

"I know that you would like this resolved so you can update your computer, and I will be happy to guide you to a resolution."
– just give the answer, not ^this filler wank!

"Thanks for contacting us. I understand that you’re having issues downloading your MacOS. I know how important it is to have this addressed. Let me look into this for you and provide you relevant information."
– re-explain my question to me: why? And no, don't have a 'look into this' now, you should have done that already, then come to me with the one sentence answer to my query.

"To set your expectations right, your request for help has reached the iTunes Store Customer Support Team. I'm able to address billing, account, download, and content questions related to the iTunes Store."
– erm, I know your name and department already, because, like all letters/emails; you've put them at the bottom of the email already! And obviously "to set your expectations right" = euphemism for you have nothing to tell me; but keep using such pointless language, I'm sure it works on some customers who don't think it sounds silly and stupid!

...and plenty more.
Those sound like appropriate and professional greetings to me. I understand that you have an axe to grind, but criticizing a support representative for the way that they greet you is petty and irrelevant to the issue.

This thread is about why Apple have completely removed it from download, without any previous notice or comment as to why, post-High Sierra's release. Rather than how clever you are in having a copy already.

Thanks!
That is correct. This is a thread about a decision that was made by Apple without any notice or explanation. It would be ideal that posts are related to that topic.
 
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Bob-K

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2014
54
39
Oakland, CA
Here is what I managed to do:

Had an USB stick with El Capitan Installed. The app store under El Cap, Sierra is listed in the purchased list and can be downloaded as usual.

View attachment 721769

Booted from the USB stick, downloaded the installer. No need to mess around with package files, etc. Also since you can download El Capitan (get El Capitan from the App Store) and you need Sierra, it's worth installing on a separate partition and download the Sierra installer.
The problem, arpi, is that for most people, Sierra does not appear in the “Purchased” list. Your situation is uncommon. As mentioned earlier in the thread, this is a feature, not a bug, starting with Sierra (per an Apple support web page). No one knows why it’s appearing in the Purchased list for some.
 
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JamesPDX

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Aug 26, 2014
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You've described the experience of dealing with AppleCare so well, but I had to quote this line for truth. I've never received an answer of any substance from "engineering", ever. Once it's escalated to engineering, it's basically in the void.
I had that experience when my nMP 8-core was going Tango-Uniform. What I thought would be steps to a replacement unit ended being just another "Your Call is Important to Us" scenario. -And so I returned the nMP.
 

Mainyehc

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2004
590
121
Lisbon, Portugal
To be fair, deprecating Sierra downloads isn't the end of the world, really. I seriously doubt that an updated version of High Sierra won't run most apps properly, on all the same macs that run the former (per Apple's system requirements, the list of supported machines hasn't changed this time around). If they had dropped SL or Lion from the list, well, I *wold* blow a gasket, as those ones are the last OSes supported in some older machines. Also, for those who are oh-so-worried about APFS, it's not like Apple forces you to update to it, specially on older machines owned by upgrade-averse people.

Finally, I didn't want to blame the victims too much here, but any self-respecting power-user and Mac maintenance pro has backups of all of Apple's installers, ever since the last scare they foisted upon us. https://www.macrumors.com/2015/09/28/apple-pulls-older-purchased-mac-software/
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
650
173
I guess what we need is a utility or terminal command that will enable us to edit the certificate expiration dates.
That direction would have its own problems. I read about someone who replaced the '_CodeSignature' folder of one installer with another one, but haven't tried that. Nevertheless, IMO fiddling around with certificate editing is a bit of security mess as one won't get the original key or cert to resign the expired certificate easily.

Getting an installer from Apple that one can trust and is up-to-date looks to me like the only reliable real solution to maintain an older Mac in the long run. Of course I'm always interested in any kind of working strategy and even accept security breaching if there is no better approach.
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2011
1,439
672
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
To be fair, deprecating Sierra downloads isn't the end of the world, really. I seriously doubt that an updated version of High Sierra won't run most apps properly, on all the same macs that run the former (per Apple's system requirements, the list of supported machines hasn't changed this time around). If they had dropped SL or Lion from the list, well, I *wold* blow a gasket, as those ones are the last OSes supported in some older machines. Also, for those who are oh-so-worried about APFS, it's not like Apple forces you to update to it, specially on older machines owned by upgrade-averse people.

Finally, I didn't want to blame the victims too much here, but any self-respecting power-user and Mac maintenance pro has backups of all of Apple's installers, ever since the last scare they foisted upon us. https://www.macrumors.com/2015/09/28/apple-pulls-older-purchased-mac-software/
Oh not this again. Look many users still need various versions of past macOS. Not you clearly, but others; yes.

Plus there's this other issue users here mention, of apparent expired certificates, which may/may not make any previously downloaded Sierra installer worthless anyway. Hence people likely needing access to fresh Sierra installer download from Apple.
__________
Another negative thing to note is you cannot re-download the older versions, if your machine came with a younger OS.

For example, in my MAS "Purchased" history I have access to three previously downloaded pre-Sierra OS's (Mavericks/Yosemite/El Capitan). However, on my Sierra 2016 MBP, trying to re-download any of them is not possible, as it gives a warning message. Obviously they're not allowing newer machines on to older OS's, but also they are stopping you downloading them too.

I just resorted to using another Mac still on Mavericks, to grab them!

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 14.08.31.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 14.07.26.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 14.04.02.jpg

.
 
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mlac007

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2007
17
0
Oh not this again. Look many users still need various versions of past macOS. Not you clearly, but others; yes.
__________
Another negative thing to note is you cannot re-download the older versions, if your machine came with a younger OS.

For example, in my MAS "Purchased" history I have access to three previously downloaded pre-Sierra OS's (Mavericks/Yosemite/El Capitan). However, on my Sierra 2016 MBP, trying to re-download any of them is not possible, as it gives a warning message. Obviously they're not allowing newer machines on to older OS's, but also they are stopping you downloading them too.

I just resorted to using another Mac still on Mavericks, to grab them!

View attachment 721868 View attachment 721869 View attachment 721871
.
Just saw this posted on Apple's website Sept 26, 2017 - (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904)

While it is not a solution to get the OS download, it does seem like Apple possibly still will let your mac download the non-latest version.

Start up from macOS Recovery
macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS depending on the key combination you press while starting up. Hold down one of the following combinations immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac. Release when you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Command (⌘)-R
Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version.1

Option-Command-R
Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.2

Shift-Option-Command-R
Requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available. This combination requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.

1. If you're selling or giving away a Mac that's using OS X El Capitan or earlier, use Command-R to make sure that the installation isn't associated with your Apple ID.
2. If you haven't already updated to macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2011
1,439
672
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
Just saw this posted on Apple's website Sept 26, 2017 - (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904)

While it is not a solution to get the OS download, it does seem like Apple possibly still will let your mac download the non-latest version.

Start up from macOS Recovery
macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS depending on the key combination you press while starting up. Hold down one of the following combinations immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac. Release when you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Command (⌘)-R
Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version.1

Option-Command-R
Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.2

Shift-Option-Command-R
Requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available. This combination requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.

1. If you're selling or giving away a Mac that's using OS X El Capitan or earlier, use Command-R to make sure that the installation isn't associated with your Apple ID.
2. If you haven't already updated to macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.
And how does one then quit the installer after it's downloaded, and then use it on another machine/VM?
 
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Lioness~

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2017
1,187
1,108
I have all installers from Lion and forward on a HD were I save old ****, you never know when that could be needed. Have had its pros :D
 

novosirj

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2017
1
0
Another negative thing to note is you cannot re-download the older versions, if your machine came with a younger OS.

For example, in my MAS "Purchased" history I have access to three previously downloaded pre-Sierra OS's (Mavericks/Yosemite/El Capitan). However, on my Sierra 2016 MBP, trying to re-download any of them is not possible, as it gives a warning message. Obviously they're not allowing newer machines on to older OS's, but also they are stopping you downloading them too.
This does not appear to be true in my case. I don't know what of MacOS my Mid-2011 iMac came with, but it let me download El Capitan yesterday from my "Purchased" section. Unless I'm misunderstanding you.

How inconsistent this is surprises me.
 

Mac2013orlater

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2014
98
2
Myself only shares and confirms opinions expressed here by jimthing and
BasicGreatGuy . For that reason iMac 2013 piece here is first and last computer of Apple brand in households of our family. High level arrogance shown by local reseller and AppleCare staff, poor competence expierenced from first day on of my contacts with Apple world, same software quality one gets elsewhere for half of price here. Initial migration to OS X platform with massive problems, same on upgrade to newer major version some years later. Satisfying level of productivity not possible due to crazy limitations in functionality and tones of bugs, strange design of interactions (e.g. shortkeys show level of ergonomics).
 
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_windrider

macrumors newbie
Interesting thread. I installed sierra on my wife's computer - even saved a copy of the installer - upgraded it to 10.12.6 [with an upgrade no installer downloads] then upgraded my computer to sierra but couldn't upgrade to 10.12.6. In the time it took me to finish my wife's computer, the upgrade disappeared from the app store. So I'm stuck at 10.12.0. Apple support says the upgrade is no longer available - that I will have to upgrade to High Sierra.

Anyone know where or how I can get my hand on a 10.12.6 upgrade?

Thanks.
Go here: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1931?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US and get the 10.12.6 Combo Updater disk image.
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
650
173
And how does one then quit the installer after it's downloaded, and then use it on another machine/VM?
Don't know if it still works. Last time I did that was with Lion and a system that originally had installed Lion.

1. Prepare an external (flash) drive (HFS+ Journaled)
2. Install to your external drive via Recovery Mode
3. As soon as the download completed and the Mac want to start rebooting, unplug the drive (not quite gentle).
4. Boot to your internal drive and find something like InstallESD.dmg on the external one
5. Make a bootable flash drive from whatever file you get.

Good Luck!
 
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jasminetroll

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2017
6
15
Indianapolis
Mission accomplished: after installing this command-line tool, the command
mas install 1127487414
purchased*, downloaded, and installed version 10.12.6 of

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 4.28.36.png

which then verified

[jtm@socrates ~]$ codesign -dv /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app
Executable=/Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app/Contents/MacOS/InstallAssistant_springboard
Identifier=com.apple.InstallAssistant.Sierra
Format=app bundle with Mach-O thin (x86_64)
CodeDirectory v=20200 size=321 flags=0x2200(kill,library-validation) hashes=4+3 location=embedded
Signature size=4605
Info.plist entries=30
TeamIdentifier=K36BKF7T3D
Sealed Resources version=2 rules=7 files=137
Internal requirements count=1 size=124

and worked

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 4.54.06.png

correctly.

* By which I mean, the program not only downloaded Sierra, it did so using the Apple-supplied App Store frameworks in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks, resulting in an application bundle containing a properly-signed MAS receipt linked to my Apple ID.
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2012
277
142
Download request failed.

Mission accomplished: after installing this command-line tool, the command
mas install 1127487414
purchased*, downloaded, and installed version 10.12.6 of


which then verified

[jtm@socrates ~]$ codesign -dv /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app
Executable=/Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app/Contents/MacOS/InstallAssistant_springboard
Identifier=com.apple.InstallAssistant.Sierra
Format=app bundle with Mach-O thin (x86_64)
CodeDirectory v=20200 size=321 flags=0x2200(kill,library-validation) hashes=4+3 location=embedded
Signature size=4605
Info.plist entries=30
TeamIdentifier=K36BKF7T3D
Sealed Resources version=2 rules=7 files=137
Internal requirements count=1 size=124

and worked


correctly.

* By which I mean, the program not only downloaded Sierra, it did so using the Apple-supplied App Store frameworks in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks, resulting in an application bundle containing a properly-signed MAS receipt linked to my Apple ID.
 

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mikeboss

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2009
1,285
462
switzerland
"mas install 1127487414" worked like a charm for me... hm. I downloaded macOS Sierra some time ago through Mac App Store using my Apple ID. did you?
 

CrashX

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2012
277
142
No - I just stuck with Cap. When I discovered I'd never be allowed to step up to Sierra, I was hoping this workaround would allow everyone to bypass Apple's marketing department.

But hey - in a couple of years, hopefully they can lock us all down with a facial scan. It's all about enhancing our lives and removing un-necessary choices - they're just so stressful, don't we think?
 

Dukesy2020

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2017
4
0
Just wondering as I am refuse to upgrade to High Sierra, my MacBook Air has El Capitan, how would I use the .pkg file to upgrade it to Sierra? Sorry for the stupid question, just out of the game when it comes to Apple stuff.