So it turns out I can not install Sierra because I have a Mid2009 Macbook Pro. I wanted to update to El Capitan, but it turns out its no longer available on the app store?

Any ideas, how to get El Capitan?

  • @Tetsujin are you kidding marking it as a duplicate of a 15 days old post by yourself?
    – Faheem
    Jan 3, 2018 at 9:19
  • Not at all - we're sweeping up all related posts in an attempt to canonise one answer & cover all situations. That will give anyone Googling a far greater chance of a) finding an answer to their question & b) seeing all the related posts... all links lead to the canonical & the canonical has all the links in the right hand column. See this meta post - apple.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2418/…
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 3, 2018 at 9:24
  • @Tetsujin maybe you should mark this one as dupe too apple.stackexchange.com/questions/300911/… Thanks
    – Shayan
    Oct 10, 2019 at 20:46
  • @Shayan If you could flag it yourself then it will go through the review queue. I’m on phone for 2 weeks & the mobile app is so hard to deal with dupes.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 10, 2019 at 21:28
  • @Tetsujin ok, will do :)
    – Shayan
    Oct 11, 2019 at 15:57

4 Answers 4


I am downloading it now from the App Store and it seems to be working fine. I did not go through the App Store, but used the following link:


After going to the link there is a section on how to get El Capitan from the App Store if you do not meet the system requirements for MacOS Sierra. Click on that link (pasted below) and it will open the App Store to the El Capitan App download section. Simply click on 'Get' and it will start downloading.


  • worked like a charm
    – Faheem
    Sep 23, 2016 at 22:26
  • 2
    Only works for Snow Leopard or OSs that can't support Sierra. Doesn't work for Yosemite OSs looking to upgrade to El Capitan and not Sierra :(
    – lobi
    Oct 7, 2016 at 15:35
  • @lobi Correct. Apple tries to ensure its users use the most-current version of macOS available for their hardware to stay up-to-date on security.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 27, 2016 at 20:36
  • This links works but if I can't download it even to install on another Mac because I'm already running El Capitan :)
    – Tien Do
    Nov 15, 2016 at 14:38
  • Fortunately I can still download Yosemite from purchased history :)
    – Tien Do
    Nov 15, 2016 at 14:39

Edit 2019: The game has changed a lot since this QA was posted. I'd advise seeing the duplicate flagged above.

You can obtain El Capitan only if you are on a Mac which cannot run Sierra or higher.
All macOS versions, El Cap & earlier have now gone from the app store if you are on Sierra or higher.

Edit 2016: This is true for any OS except El Capitan - Apple are leaving it available so devices ineligible for Sierra can still obtain it.

You need to already have it in your Purchase History, otherwise once it's gone from the App Store, that's it, it's gone.

Your only real alternative is find a friend who can get it
... or you'd have to trust some dodgy insecure torrent etc [not at all recommended].


Yes, that previous link for 10.11.1 requires that 10.11 is already installed. You can no longer find 10.11 by searching the App Store (why, who knows?), but this page has a link for upgrading to 10.11 El Capitan from the App Store if your Mac doesn't support macOS Sierra.


After installed, then you can update to 10.11.1 with the other link posted above.

  • This is essentially identical to the answer from September 22.
    – tubedogg
    Oct 27, 2016 at 20:33

Here is the answer I got this morning from Apple support:

Here is the direct download link for El Capitan. Once you download it, you will need to click on the El Capitan Installer in your Applications folder for it to complete the installation -https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1845?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

  • This link points to the 10.11.1 update and not the base 10.11. Have you been able to do a install of El Capitan from this link or are you just updating an existing El Cap install?
    – fsb
    Sep 22, 2016 at 14:52

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