I have old printer and in Canon website, there are drivers, latest for OS Lion, not for El Capitan.

Would it be dangerous to try and install drivers meant for Lion? Or would the issue just be if it works or not? I'm just wondering if there is more to dividing drivers by OS than incompatibility or would it cause security risk?

  • Which specific printer/driver?
    – nohillside
    Dec 24, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Or would the issue just be if it works or not?

Most-likely this. Since 10.7 was released, there have been some big changes to the rules for macOS drivers (kernel extensions, or kexts).

The two biggest changes are:

  • Kernel extensions must be signed (unless you disable the signature check, which is enforced by System Integrity Protection)
  • 3rd-party extension now need to be in /Library/Extensions, rather than /System/Library/Extensions.

Most-likely System Integrity Protection will prevent you from installing the driver, and even if you put the Kext in the right place, it may not be signed properly or even compatible.

So it's probably not even possible.

  • So if I try, nothing bad happens? And if it would work somehow, it's safe to use them?
    – Enryn
    Dec 24, 2016 at 19:21
  • @Enryn I wouldn't bother trying, because it can't work. Worst case, the installer fails in a bad way. Dec 24, 2016 at 19:22
  • What would be the bad way? It actually damages Mac...?
    – Enryn
    Dec 24, 2016 at 19:22
  • @Enryn Tough to say, it might half-install, leaving something that needs cleaning up. If it truly hasn't been updated since 10.7, it definitely won't know how to install properly. Dec 24, 2016 at 19:24
  • I see... this brings me to this question: It contains software for printer AND scanner. I actually got old installation CD and scanner software from there works. Would it be best to remove this scanner software from Mac then? EDIT: If downloading older software from website can cause something that needs cleaning up, could this CD also have left something? And is there a way to check what? Disk Utility? Printer drivers did not work from CD, scanning software did.
    – Enryn
    Dec 24, 2016 at 20:22

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