My 2016 Macbook Pro needs service and I'm planning to use my old 2011 Macbook Pro until I have it back. Will I be able to restore a Time Machine backup of my 2016 Macbook Pro onto my 2011 Macbook Pro without any issues? The 2016 is still running High Sierra, which should be compatible with the 2011.

I can't simply give this a try because I would first have to buy a larger disk for the old machine.

  • Which version of macOS is running on the two MBPs? And if they are different, can the 2011 MPB even run the macOS version the 2016 model is currently using?
    – nohillside
    Nov 14, 2020 at 14:49
  • Good point, the 2016 is running High Sierra. I updated my question. Nov 14, 2020 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


You could install the macOS you want on the old machine first to be sure it runs. Get all the work done before you upgrade the component. Even if the specs are OK, I like to know everything is in working order. The OS only needs 15 GB or so to install.

As long as you can run the same or newer OS than was backed up, you’ll be able to restore apps and data.

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