After restarting my computer, running OS X 10.8.5, the old GitHub client suddenly stopped working with the following error message:

You can’t use this version of the application “GitHub Desktop” with this version of OS X.

You have OS X 10.8.5. The application requires OS X 10.9 or later.

However, the very same application had been working previously with no issues. Is any way I can restore it?

I have downloaded the same application again from this direct download link, but now it is still blocked from starting with the same message, by what looks like only a system lock outside the application.

Is there any way to bypass that blocking setting and start the application?

Here is a screenshot of the message:


  • Do you have a back-up you could fetch the application from? Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 8:51
  • @GrahamMiln No, but I have downloaded it again and it does not work, so the problem must be outside the application I presume. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 9:52
  • Can you provide an image of the error box? Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


According to Updating GitHub Desktop the client updates itself automatically:

GitHub Desktop automatically downloads updates and installs them when you restart. You can also manually check for updates.

It appears that Github has updated their build toolchain server to a newer version of Xcode not supporting Lion.

You need to stay on the old version.

You may want to contact Github to get the newest build you can still use.

  • And it appears that Github Desktop is closed source software, otherwise you could just try to build the old version yourself. Oh the irony. I can strongly recommend learning the command line client. Most things can just as easily be done from there. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 11:31
  • Hm... normally the OS should prevent from downloading updates that are not compatible with it. That version hadn't been supported for long time and I had used it for many years and had frequent restarts. Also they refer to restarting the App, where in my case it was OS restart. I'm pretty sure it will work, just need to break that lock somehow. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 13:10
  • @DmitriZaitsev The update mechanism is built into the client itself, not done by macOS (unless you got it in the App store). The restart of macos also restarted your app allowing the update to finish. If they have updated the build chain the app will not work anymore. Talk to the team. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 13:31

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