I am backing up my MacBook Air that runs OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 to an external Hard Drive using Time Machine. I have another older MacBook that runs Mac OS X 10.6.8. If I wipe the hard drive of the older macbook can I restore it using my the Time Machine that was created using OS X El Capitan? Any issues that I should be aware of?

  • To be clear - you have files backed up on 10.6.8 and you’ll let 10.11.6 read those files in to be converted / used? The order in which you go matters greatly.
    – bmike
    Feb 11, 2019 at 4:59
  • No, I have files backed up on 10.11.6 and I want to restore them to a machine running 10.6.8 Feb 12, 2019 at 13:35
  • @BrendanCullen before post an answer. What you want to do is to take the files from a 10.11.6 time machine and port them to a 10.6.8 machine correct ? Mar 13, 2019 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


Each mac can only run versions of macos that apple allows.

You need to look up your older machine in a database like http://mactracker.ca/ to find out if it supports el capitan.

There is a five release difference between the two macOS. The new OS will use much more ram and run slow on an old machine.

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