I have a late 2009 iMac running Mountain Lion, I also have a Macbook Pro running Mavericks. I have been planning on installing Mavericks on the iMac, but now that Yosemite has been released, Mavericks is no longer available on the Mac App store.

How can I install Mavericks on the iMac? As you can guess, I'm not an early-adoptor, so not interested in installing Yosemite for now.

Even though I have a Macbook Pro with Mavericks, it came installed with Mavericks, so it is not in my Mac App store 'Purchases', but 'Mountain Lion' is.

  • You can try calling Apple support and see if they can assist with adding Mavericks to your Apple purchase history, since it was free. Otherwise, you will need to upgrade to Yosemite as Mavericks is no longer generally available.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:12
  • I've already spoken to Apple Support. All they said was "it's no longer available on the App Store", so they did not provide a solution at all.
    – Howard W
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:17
  • In that case, I don't believe we can be of any assistance then. Short of recommending piracy (which we emphatically do not recommend) there is no way to obtain a copy of Mavericks.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:18
  • 3
    It's crazy that Apple do not provide a legitimate way of downloading a previous OS. Not a problem in recent history.
    – Howard W
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:22
  • 1
    They don't provide a legitimate way to download it for someone in my position. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. I don't know why they don't just have it still available in the App Store. I guess it forces people to upgrade to Yosemite.
    – Howard W
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:27

4 Answers 4


Take it to the Genius Bar. They have installers for every OS.


So if I'm comprehending your question correctly you want to be able to downgrade back to Mavericks.

You will have to download or torrent it externally without Apple's permission but seeing as it was a free upgrade when it was available there should be no problem.

That being said here's a (broken) link to a download of a bootable DMG file. Link: http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/11054371/OS_X_Mavericks_10.9.5_(13F34)_bootable_USB_(DMG_File)#filelistContainer

Also you will need a USB Flash Drive of 8GB or higher. And if you want to you can use Time Machine to backup your Macs files and preferences to an external drive. Here's a link to a helpful video on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgYqcL7_0BI

Now onto the good stuff: Once the torrent is downloaded open Disk Utility. Select your flash drive from the list. Click the 'Erase' tab. Click the dropdown next to Format and select 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)'. Then in the name box you can put whatever name you want. Then click Erase and confirm it as well.


Once it's finished select the partition that has the name your entered and click the 'Restore' tab. Locate the file you downloaded earlier and drag it into the 'Source' box. and then drag the partition you made into the 'Destination' box. Click the 'Restore' button in the bottom right.

Then let the magic happen. :)

Once its finished shut down the Mac and turn it on again while holding the 'option' key until the grey screen WITH the drives to select pops up. Select the drive you made and it should boot into a recovery-like drive.

From there you should be able to format the drive with Disk Utility and reinstall Mavericks.

  • the pirate bay. Really ? We are talking about getting an OFFICIAL upgrade, dude.
    – 4wk_
    Dec 9, 2014 at 8:19

As far as I understand, if it's not in your purchased items list, you'll need to download the installer from an alternate source. Get it from the friend, or a trustworthy online source.

Apple might put it up for sale eventually (or for free) like they've done with Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard. You can still buy those from store.apple.com

  • Snow Leopard was the last version of OS X to be distributed on DVD. Apple no longer creates or distributes disc-based versions of their OSes, so they will not be offering Mavericks in the Apple Store. Additionally, downloading the OS from any source other than Apple, even though it is nominally free, may be against copyright law in the US or other countries, and is certainly against the license agreement for the software.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 21, 2014 at 5:10
  • Apple stilvllets you buy codes for Mountain Lion and Lion; they might do something similar for Mavericks.store.apple.com/us/product/D6377Z/A/os-x-mountain-lion
    – Chris A
    Oct 21, 2014 at 11:21
  • 1
    As noted in comments to the main question, the versions of OS X they still sell are in direct relation to system requirements changing between versions. On the page you linked, it says the current OS version is Mavericks. When you click on the link for that, it takes you to a page about how to upgrade to Yosemite. I could be wrong, but I am virtually certain they will not sell Mavericks in the future since the system requirements between Mavericks and Yosemite did not change, and all systems that can run Mavericks, can run Yosemite.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 21, 2014 at 16:42
  • That may very well be the case, I wouldn't be surprised.
    – Chris A
    Oct 21, 2014 at 17:29

It looks like you can still get Mountain Lion here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/D6377Z/A/os-x-mountain-lion

  • 2
    How does this help in installing Mavericks?
    – nohillside
    Nov 25, 2014 at 15:41

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