I'm a developer supporting Safari 8 and 9 and would like to be able to run both on the same machine. I assume Safari 9 won't run on Yosemite. Is there a way to install Safari 8 on El Capitan?

  • It might be possible theoretically like with the Yosemite version of Disk Utility running on El Cap, but I don't believe it will work by default. – JMY1000 May 6 '16 at 17:29
  • In addition, I wouldn't be surprised if having Safari 8 work would require additional frameworks to be replaced–ones that Safari 9 pulls from as well. As interesting as it is, I'd go for a dual boot. – JMY1000 May 6 '16 at 20:52
  • Couldn't get the first suggestion to work properly. Dual boot or VM would be the best option, but I'm on a corporate Mac without ability to install a VM or modify partitions. That'll be the best option for most folks though. Thanks. – Jared Feb 16 '17 at 17:58
  • Strange that there is not a simpler way to test older versions of Safari in a current OS install? – ScottyG Oct 4 '18 at 16:12

I'm a web developer as well with a need to test on older versions of Safari. Here's your best bet (caveat: this assumes you own VMware Fusion or a similar virtual machine emulator that can handle Mac OS).

Assuming you've upgraded your Mac through previous versions of Mac OS (Yosemite, El Capitan, etc), you can still access those in the AppStore under "Purchased." Find the OS you want and click the "Download" button.

Once it's done, check your /Applications folder for "Install El Capitan" (I forget the exact filename, but it begins with "Install"). With VMware Fusion, it's insanely easy to install this as a virtual machine. Open up Fusion and add a new machine, and choose "Install from disc or image" and simply drag/drop the Mac OS installer app onto the VMware import window.

Follow the usual steps to install a virtual machine, make sure you allocate enough RAM, and you're good to go! By doing this, I was able to install El Capitan as a virtual OS on my Sierra machine, and test on Safari 9.

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    I'm on a corporate Mac without the ability to install a VM due to security restrictions, but while this doesn't work for my exact situation, I think this is probably going to be the best option for most people. Thanks! – Jared Feb 16 '17 at 17:41

While you can't install previous versions of Safari, you can emulate previous versions. From the Develop menu, select User Agent, and then Other....

From there, you can enter in a custom User Agent. For example, from the link in Tetsujin's above answer, you can replace the Safari agent thus:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_4) AppleWebKit/600.7.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0.7 Safari/600.7.12

You should be able to emulate any prior version of Safari in this manner.

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    That doesn't actually emulate an older version of Safari, it simply makes it appear to the server as a different version. For the purpose of testing compatibility with a given browser, this doesn't really work. – JMY1000 May 6 '16 at 20:50
  • Yup, this is far from Simulation as it gets. – Irae Carvalho Jun 22 '16 at 18:55

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