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I uninstalled my iWork tools - Keynote, Numbers and Pages - from my MacBook Air.

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Unfortunately, I don't want to upgrade my MBA to Mojave/Catalina in order to install.

I looking for the working iWork version for 10.12 Sierra.

Is there some repository for old versions of iWork?

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  • What means MBA?
    – joseluisbz
    Dec 7, 2019 at 23:56
  • MBA == Mac Book Air - the platform you have been asking for. Mar 11 at 11:58

4 Answers 4

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You need to have an old version of Pages, Keynote and Numbers installed in your Applications folder to be able to update them. If you lack these (either because you deleted them or never had them installed first hand) and never registered the purchase with your Apple ID, you need to work your way up through the missing years of upgrading, including the registration with your Apple ID to be offered an installation on any system that's older than the currently shipped Mojave:

  1. Install an old iWork suite (from your original installation medium, or use the iWork ’09 trial suite that can still be downloaded from Apple.
  2. You now have an iWork 09 folder inside your Applications folder, containing trial versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
  3. Launch Pages, Numbers and Keynote, then quit each app. (This step was suggested by the instructions based on the 2014 article. It doesn't seem to be necessary any more - I had only launced one of the programs.)
  4. The trial suite can be upgraded to iWork 9.3 with a downloader available at Apple - Support - Downloads. I cannot verify if this step is necessary since I had installed that upgrade. I suspect it can be skipped.
  5. You still have an iWork 09 folder inside your Applications folder, containing trial versions of Pages (v4.3), Numbers (v2.3) and Keynote (v5.3).
  6. Launch the Mac App Store, go to the updates tab, and activate show incompatible updates. Selecting one of those apps will take you to the app's page. There, select update. The store asks for purchase confirmation and your password (if required by your settings). Then it will attempt to update the application, and fail, telling you that they require 10.14. Repeat for all three (five, if you installed iMovie and Garageband from your original DVDs) applications anyway, since from then on this application will appear in your Purchased tab. (Note: The Purchased tab disappeared with MacOS 10.14 - High Sierra might be the last OS to handle this step)
  7. Now your purchase is linked to your account, and you may reinstall those applications if they ever should get lost. So let's loose them: delete the iWork09 folder from Applications (or move it to the Thrash).
  8. Go to the purchased tab in App Store. The applications are listed at the top of the purchased list. Upon selecting install, you will be prompted if you want to install the last supported version for your OS release.

    AppStore

  9. You now have Pages (v8.1), Numbers (v6.1) and Keynote (v9.1) directly in your Applications folder. (Version numbers applying to High Sierra as of January 2020)

Alternative route If you have access to another Mac running a version of MacOS currently supported by the App Store (As of Jan 2020, that would be 10.14 (Mojave) or 10.15), you could associate your AppleID with an account on that Mac, download (and thus register) the Applications you want to install on your older Mac there, and then use the Purchased tab on the older Mac to reinstall older versions of those apps on the older Mac.

Sources:

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  • 1
    Checked those steps with iWork 9 and unfortunately it is not working - received information that those apps were downloaded from different AppleID or were refunded. Gotta try other Mac running Catalina.
    – Martin
    Jun 16, 2020 at 16:20
  • It does make a difference from which tab you are trying to update. From the overview page listing all incompatible updates, you will be refused the upgrade. But if - as written in the instructions above - you go to the download page for the individual software from the incompatible updates overview, you will get the upgrade (and yes, I recently tested with Mojave as well). There is a third route that doesn't work either: If you go to the individual software page from the generic overview (instead of the incompatible updates overview), the upgrade will be denied as well. Jan 31 at 20:41
  • Using Mojave, I do not see an incompatible updates overview in the Updates section
    – ghr
    Mar 18 at 4:57
  • I have only had to do the install on one Mojave host, an that has been in January. From what I recall, I have been searching/clicking around quite a bit since with my pre-existing experience from older Versions of the App Store, this option has been fairly well hidden. I don't have the system at hand right now, but please take a look at the left-hand sidebar that might be a new design element in Mojave Version of the App Store. More towards the bottom? As before, there have been several routes to requesting an update and only one of those offers the incompatible updates. Mar 27 at 11:43
  • On Sierra, I did go to the app page from the incompatible updates page, and still got the different AppleID/refunded message. Apr 24 at 13:45
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If you go to the Mac App Store and try to install the iWork apps, it should offer you the appropriate versions.

Are you looking for the older version of iWork before the Mac App Store? I think it was iWork '09? I’m not sure that is still available.

This article from December 2014 might help:

How To Get iWork Apps On OS X Yosemite For Free On Older Macs | Redmond Pie

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  • I don't think this is working, I just get a popup that says: Numbers can't be installed. because macOS version 10.15 or later is required.
    – Quang Van
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:28
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The root of this problem is that you need to have the app in your App Store storage (you must have "bought" it) in order to get a compatible version for your OSX. But you cannot buy it because your OSX version is to low.

If by any chance you are able to borrow or log into a newer MAC, with the appropriate OS you can "purchase" the application and download it there. Next time you open App Store on your old Mac, you will be given the option to download the last supported version of the app. Since it is registered on your account that you now own the program.

Also, having a friend with an Apple ID from which the suite has been downloaded can help. Let him log into App Store on your Mac with his ID. He can then install the program on your Mac. Afterwords you can login yourself. And the app is still yours.

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  • I get the option to download an older compatible version of Numbers since the current version requires 11.0. However, when I click the Download button the popup blinks and redisplays. Nothing else happens.
    – ghr
    Nov 4, 2021 at 0:34
  • Then you have some other issue. The "older compatible version" button is what you want. If that button does not work try restarting and checking HDD capacity etc. Mar 15 at 12:43
  • Have restarted plenty of times and HDD has plenty of space. I do have Numbers amongst the purchased apps. In Mojave there is no 'older compatible version' button. The button is Download as in Step 8 above.
    – ghr
    Mar 18 at 4:59
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I suggest you upgrade to High Sierra. I'm using Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote and have very recent versions that work fine. Much of the new software will not run on systems earlier that High Sierra. The apps I've mention should be loaded when you do this upgrade.

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