This question already has an answer here:

I want to do a fresh install (and SSD upgrade) of Mojave on a mac-mini that currently runs Mojave, but whose performance is so horrendous that it is barely usable1. Easy .. just download Mojave and create a bootable installer and I'm off to the races.

However, the system that I want to use to create the bootable installer is not capable of running Mojave (see my previous question), and when I go to download the installer from the App store, Apple stops me with a message saying:

We could not complete your purchase.

This version of macOS 10.14.3 cannot be installed on this computer.

Is there any way to get around this limitation? I am not attempting to install Mojave, just download it to a working system.


Note that I the suggested dupe is not a dupe of my problem. The nominal answer suggests using the direct links on the App store to download the installers. But as I mentioned above, that is what I have already tried to do (and have failed with the above noted message).

I am also trying to do the opposite of that question. I am trying to download a newer version of macOS onto to a older computer.

  1. And I've gone through all the standard checks and can't see anything that would cause the situation. But there seems to be lots of people suffering unexplainable slowdowns. This fresh install and new SSD is meant as a hail Mary. And at $70 for a 500GB Mushkin SSD it is a no-brainer anyway.

marked as duplicate by Peter M, nohillside Mar 22 at 6:16

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @Tetsujin The answer accepted answer there suggests the direct links from the App store. That is what I am already trying and failing to do with Mojave. But I am also trying to do the opposite task. I am trying to get a newer version of macOS on an older computer – Peter M Mar 15 at 20:19
  • Have a look at: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/337450/… – user3439894 Mar 15 at 21:05
  • You didn't read far enough down the answer. Use Recovery on the Mac you want the new OS, rather than trying to make a USB installer on one that can't do it. – Tetsujin Mar 16 at 7:31
  • @Tetsujin I did read all of that question, but yesterday my understanding of internet recovery was that it restored the OS version that came with the computer - which is not what I want. I now see that you can choose to update to the original or latest version of macOS. While the linked question doesn't answer my explicit question, it does answer my XY question of how to get Mojave onto the mini. So this question should be marked as a dupe. – Peter M Mar 16 at 13:09

Tetsujin is correct in that using your recovery partition to do a clean install on your Mojave-supported Mac Mini is ideal. You can then download Mojave from the App Store as usual.

If that is not a viable solution for you:

After reading through the extent of the information given to you in your previous question, would recommend you use dosdude1's Mojave Beta installer tool. Create your USB installer, install on the Mac Mini's new SSD, and then immediately upgrade to the full version of Mojave

Alternatively, if you're feeling brave, you can follow the instructions here to obtain a copy of the Mojave or High Sierra installers via the download links.

It will take a little bit of work, but you can get it done!


Borrow a friend's computer which can download Mojave. Download it, but don't install. Then you can move the installer file to a thumb drive or other media, and thence to your machine.

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