Upgrading, but I'd rather stick with Sierra until MacPorts is ready for High Sierra.

In the App Store purchased tab, I see OS X Mavericks and the rest of the set, but I never installed Sierra. If I search for one version in particular, either it doesn't come up or I'm sent directly to High Sierra.

How do I search for the entry for Sierra (and exclude High Sierra) on the App Store? Do releases have any sort of "permalink"?


  • Modify "Release date" in the featured tab. There is no such thing.
  • Downloading a release older than the current is no longer allowed (?).
  • Another hint that this may not be possible. That would be very frustrating. High Sierra is useless for me until MacPorts for High Sierra comes out. (How long that will take is a separate question.)

2 Answers 2


Yes - Contrary to past OS releases, Apple has an article with links to the store and detailed requirements for getting and installing macOS Sierra (even after High Sierra is out).

I would use the help article HT20802 to check for an updated link if the Mac App Store one fails you, but the one above is live now on the store.



As pointed out by @bmike Apple has pusblished a support page 'How to download macOS Sierra' on Oct 17, 2017 with download links for macOS Sierra.

Use the provided link to download macOS Sierra from the Mac App Store.

Original answer

You cannot download an earlier version of Apple’s operating systems unless you have downloaded them before.

As you have correctly observed, you can download earlier versions of OS X/macOS if you have purchased/downloaded them at some point in time with your Apple ID.

In order to install macOS Sierra you have to have access to an Apple ID that was used to download macOS Sierra when it was available.

  • So one option is to download El Capitan. That's fine. The trouble is that I'm not sure a direct subsequent upgrade from El Capitan to High Sierra without passing by Sierra is desirable. For one thing, the Apple engineers working on these things may not have debugged that path as carefully as the one-up path.
    – Calaf
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 20:59
  • ATM both versions of macOS .12 and .13 are not accessible from the Purchased tab! itunes.apple.com/us/app/macos-sierra/id1127487414?mt=12 or appstore.com/mac/macossierra gives "Item not available". Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 22:49

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