I received an older MacBook Pro 5,1 (MacBook Pro 15” Unibody, Late 2008 / Early 2009), but it came without a hard drive. I installed Mountain Lion from DVD, then updated to El Capitan, which is the latest version of macOS supported by this laptop.

I am now unable to install Keynote—or any iWork app—because they all require macOS Sierra. What can I do?

  • 2
    Keynote requires Mavericks or later so it's not a compatibility issue. As for Sierra, your MacBook Pro is too old. However, what errors do you encounter when you try to install Keynote?
    – Allan
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 1:55
  • Can you clarify your question in terms of installing Keynote et al? Why can't you install them? What have you tried? Or, is it just that you have to pay for them and weren't expecting to? Something else? And @Allan is 100% correct, Sierra is not officially supported on that MBP.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 3:12
  • 1
    1) I wasn't trying to install Sierra, App Store already told it couldn't. 2) go to App Store, try to purchase Keynote, error message pops up: " We could not complete your purchase. Keynote can't be installed on "MyMac" because OS X version 10.12 or later is required" (10.12 is Sierra, right?) 3) "Sierra is not officially supported" is an interesting comment.... :-)
    – Bill Moore
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 4:44

3 Answers 3



Download the old version of iWork Trial from the download page of Apple's Website: http://appldnld.apple.com/iWork/Trial/2Z693-6764.01022009.awq23/iWork09Trial.dmg

Then open each app and quit. Finally, go to the updates tab of the App Store and update to the compatible latest version.

This should allow you to get Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.

  • This does not work as of Mac OS x.14 in October 2020. Nice thought.
    – MM.
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 4:37

Here’s the deal:

  • iWork requires macOS Sierra (or whatever the latest OS version is at the time) to “purchase.”
  • You can install the latest compatible version onto your computer, but only if you already have that iWork app associated with your Apple ID.

So the solution is to:

  1. Get access to a Mac with macOS 10.12 Sierra installed.
  2. Create a guest account with your Apple ID and use it to login to the Mac App Store.
  3. “Purchase” Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
  4. Now if you go back to your older Mac, these products will be associated with your Apple ID, and the Mac App Store will offer to install the latest compatible version.

Are you trying to install an old version of Keynote that came from a disc? I have had Keynote since 2009 and always updated it with each release (for free, if I remember right). It's possible that the old version you're trying to install doesn't work with El Capitan.

Sierra may not be supported on your MBP (officially... but there are definitely ways around this that may or may not violate EULAs).

Lastly, if all else fails, I recommend LibreOffice.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response! Alas, I don't have an older version of Keynote on disc, but that does give me an idea. Some of my friends might! I may try one of the unofficial Sierra installation routes. Lastly LibreOffice, I'll install that while I'm working on Keynote. Who knows, that may be the answer to my needs! :-)
    – Bill Moore
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 15:11

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