I recently got this used iMac, and was hoping I could use it for development work. I had an old Mac OS X Snow Leopard install disk, which I used to upgrade as far as OS X El Capitan, and wasn't able to get farther than that.

At the time I thought this was fine; after all El Capitan isn't that old, right?

But apparently I was wrong. I've been working with Xcode recently, and everything was going fine until I started trying to install and use CocoaPods.

Most of the pods nowadays have been updated to work with Xcode 9, and (only by a few little details), are not backwards-compatible with Xcode 8.2.1 (the farthest I've been able to get).

So, currently I see two ways to solve the problem (other than buying a new Mac, which I don't have money to do).

  1. I could find a way to install macOS Sierra (preferred).

    I've looked into the MacOS Sierra patcher program, but this computer isn't supported. I'm absolutely willing to try a hardware upgrade. What do you guys think about this post on iFixit? It uses the same EMC as my Mac.

  2. I could find a way to upgrade to a newer version of Xcode (9 or later)

    This solves the current problem, but not others that I've encountered as well.

Here is the EveryMac page for my Mac. Any help with either of these would be great.

  • You may want to consider buying a secondhand Mac that is cheaper than a new one, but young enough to run Sierra or later. Later versions of MacOS just won't have the driver support for your hardware, and without the newer OS, Xcode 9+ won't have access to the newer APIs that the OS contains.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 2, 2019 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 is the last supported release of macOS for your model of iMac. The latest release of Xcode that can be installed on your machine is Xcode 8.2.1 with macOS 10.12.2 SDK and iOS 10.2 SDK.

It is not officially possible to install macOS Sierra or use Xcode 9 (or later) on your iMac.

  • That's what I was afraid of. Are there any hardware modifications I could make to be able to upgrade? I'm not afraid to rip it open to make things work. I already had to replace the hard drive just to get it working how it is now.
    – Caleb H.
    Jan 2, 2019 at 16:04
  • Take a look at my newest question update
    – Caleb H.
    Jan 2, 2019 at 16:25
  • Or just look at this iFixit post: ifixit.com/Answers/View/366505/…
    – Caleb H.
    Jan 2, 2019 at 16:27

So, for anyone else looking at this, the answer is yes, it is possible to run macOS Sierra on a 2007 iMac. After reading the iFixit post linked in the question, I was able to do a hardware upgrade. I had to replace the CPU and the Wireless Airport card. From there, I used the patcher tool (http://dosdude1.com/software.html) to install and boot macOS High Sierra (I’m sure Sierra would work as well, but I figured High Sierra was even better).

Mojave and above had some graphics issues that make the OS more or less unusable. I tried using a project from GitHub to fix it, but it almost bricked the computer so I don’t recommend it.

I also will say there are some issues with High Sierra randomly freezing up (and requiring a force reboot). I don’t know why this happens, and I actually think it was happening even back when I was on El Capitan.

You can read more about it here: https://calebcoderblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/the-imac/#more-58

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