Two weeks ago, Apple released iMovie 10.1.7, which suddenly requires macOS 10.12.2 (previously it only required 10.11.2).

Unfortunately, my Mac, while perfectly capable of doing everything else I want, is stuck on 10.11, and now I want to use iMovie.

Is there any way to get an official copy of iMovie 10.1.6?

  • What happens when you try to download it from the Mac App Store?
    – Tuesday
    Oct 11, 2017 at 0:53
  • timothymh: Only 10.1.7 is listed, and it says my Mac can't run that. Oct 13, 2017 at 16:35

4 Answers 4


Get iMovie 10 via iMovie 9

It turns out that if you have iMovie 9, the App Store will allow you to upgrade to iMovie 10 without the normal checks.

I'm running macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 and the App Store just let me upgrade iMovie a moment ago.

Get iMovie 9

# 1. Download the iMovie 9.0.9 update package
curl 'https://updates.cdn-apple.com/2019/cert/041-98154-20191017-1fbef983-8d87-49af-83b1-edecc007ce2e/iMovie9.0.9Update.dmg' -o ~/Downloads/iMovie9.0.9Update.dmg

# 2. Mount the dmg
open ~/Downloads/iMovie9.0.9Update.dmg

# 3. Expand (unarchive) the pkg
pkgutil --expand /Volumes/iMovie\ 9.0.9/iMovie9.0.9Update.pkg ~/Downloads/iMovie/

# 4. Rename `Payload` to `Payload.zip`
mv ~/Downloads/iMovie/iMovie9.0.9Update.pkg/Payload ~/Downloads/iMovie/iMovie9.0.9Update.pkg/Payload.zip

# 5. Unpack `Payload.zip` (it will get named `Payload 2`)
open ~/Downloads/iMovie/iMovie9.0.9Update.pkg/Payload.zip

# 6. Move `iMovie.app` to the `Applications` folder
mv ~/Downloads/iMovie/iMovie9.0.9Update.pkg/Payload\ 2/Applications/iMovie.app /Applications/iMovie\ 9.0.9.app

# Enjoy!
open /Applications/iMovie\ 9.0.9.app

Get iMovie 10

Go into the App Store, see that the option now says "Upgrade".

In case when you can not upgrade iMovie because of information: "your system can not meet minimum system requirements" :

# 1. Check whether your App Store contains iMovie in tab "Purchased"
(You should see iMovie with button upgrade, If you don't see you should
turn on iMovie)

# 2. turn off iMove 9 and App store.

# 3. move to trash iMovie 9 

# 4. Open App Store, go to "Purchases" tab and click "Install"


I don't know if this is perfectly reproducible, but I know that I just did it and it worked on my machine.

Some things that may or may not be important (i.e. I may have triggered a glitch mode):

  • I had opened App Store to iMovie 10 before installing iMovie 9
  • I installed iMovie 9 twice as a matter of verifying the script above
  • When I went back to App Store it gave the option of Upgrade instead of Get
  • I clicked upgrade and it downloaded, but requires a restart that I haven't done yet
  • I have a number of other downloaded but not installed upgrades in my queue

I hope that helps and it's not just me.

  • On maOS Mojave (10.14) I was able to install iMovie 9, but I cannot upgrade to iMovie 10 anyways. Also iMovie 9 on Mojave opens, but all menus are grayed so it seems it is not working... Mar 26, 2021 at 13:40

I managed to install the latest version that my OS was able to run (Sierra), through the App Store. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Download iMovie9.0.9Update.dmg.
  2. Mount the .dmg. Inside it you'll find a "iMovie 9.0.9Update.pkg" file.
  3. Go to Terminal and execute the following:

    pkgutil --expand [pathname of .pkg] [pathname of new folder in your mac] 

    For example:

    pkgutil --expand /Volumes/iMovie\ 9.0.9Update.pkg /Users/name/Desktop/iMovie  
  4. In the new folder created, there is a new 9.0.9Update.pkg file. Right click and then click on "Show Package Contents".

  5. You'll see a file called "Payload". Change its name to "Payload.zip", adding the new extension. Then double-click it, and it should be expanded in a folder called "Payload2".
  6. Open the folder, and you'll find iMovie.app within a folder called "Applications".
  7. Add the iMovie.app to the mac's Applications folder (by copy/paste). Open the app and close it.
  8. Open the App Store, the app should appear on "Updates". Click on "Update", and while it will not let you do it, it will list the app on "Purchases".
  9. Close App Store, uninstall the app (by drag-and-drop to the Trash), and then open again the App Store, go to "Purchases", and click on "Install".

I found steps 1 through 7 from this YouTube video.

  • 2
    It’s better to summarize the steps in the video here. Often, links go stale making the answer useless.
    – Allan
    Feb 8, 2020 at 21:30
  • Edited the answer to summarize here the steps in the video.
    – Fer
    Feb 9, 2020 at 23:09
  • 1
    Thats a great improvement @Fer! Feb 9, 2020 at 23:12
  • 1
    Excellent @Fer. I made some minor tweaks to polish an otherwise well put together answer. +1. Oh...and Welcome to Ask Different!
    – Allan
    Feb 9, 2020 at 23:18
  • That last step #9 was key. Thanks!
    – U0001
    May 4, 2021 at 23:51

To get to that prompt you need to access the AppStore and then go to Purchases, there on the list select Install iMovie and you'll get this prompt. The latest compatible version will download and install.


When I attempt to install iMovie on my 10.11.6 Mac, I get this message:

Download an older version of iMovie?

After clicking the Download button, iMovie 10.1.6 downloaded and installed for me.

I would recommend attempting to install iMovie from the Mac App Store again.

  • That would be perfect, but it's not doing that for me. How do I get that prompt? It just shows me a sheet that says it can't be installed because 10.12.2 is required. Oct 17, 2017 at 23:47
  • BTW, your link is to the iOS store. Oct 17, 2017 at 23:47
  • 1
    It looks like this is only available if you'd previously downloaded an older version of the app: forums.macrumors.com/threads/… Oct 17, 2017 at 23:53

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