I'm pretty new to the Mac environment. Recently my Mac Mini was updated to OS X El Capitan from OS X Lion, due to some of my software being incompatible.

Hence, I'd like to downgrade to OS X Lion (10.7), but when trying to download OS X Lion from the Apple website I'm asked to pay for it. Do I really need to pay for it as I had the same OS running previously?

  • Possible duplicate of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/54255/… – nekomatic Jun 13 '16 at 10:39
  • 2
    I wouldn't advise using Lion (10.7) as your everyday OS if your Mac is capable of running something more recent. Even if you don't care about the general improvements in capability and (in my opinion) usability with the latest OS, Lion is no longer supported by security updates and you will find many more recent apps won't work on it (and some websites may also fail to work well on Lion's version of Safari). Consider partitioning your hard disk or using an external disk so you can keep 10.11 but boot into 10.7 when you really need to; or, use virtualisation software such as VMware Fusion. – nekomatic Jun 13 '16 at 10:49
  • If you had it previously you should be able to download from the App Store by signing in to the account you used to obtain it in the first place. If it came with your computer, you may have an OS restore disk (do they still include those with new Macs?). Or, perhaps, it's simpler to upgrade the software you are not currently able to use? – dr.nixon Jun 13 '16 at 18:54
  • dr.nixon, recovery media is no longer included with new Macs. – Steve Chambers Aug 26 '18 at 14:11

The Internet Recovery (Option-Command-R at boot) installer will let you install the earliest supported Mac OS X version for your hardware (only as far back as Lion if your device supports an earlier version).

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