I have rather belatedly (March 2021) updated my macBook to Mojave. Because I depend on Aperture and other 32-bit apps I can't update to Catalina.

brew doctor tells me:

Warning: Your Xcode (10.1) is too outdated.
Please update to Xcode 11.3.1 (or delete it).
Xcode can be updated from the App Store.

But unfortunately trying to update Xcode or other out-of-date apps, including iMovie, using the App store:

  • The Updates tab (⌘7) says "No Updates. All your apps are up to date".
  • When I go to page for Xcode and click "update", it tells me "We could not complete your update. Xcode can’t be installed on “Macintosh HD” because macOS version 10.15.4 or later is required." I get similar messages for iMovie.
  • The profile tab (⌘0) shows both Xcode and iMovie in the list of purchases, but the buttons next to each just say "Open".
    • Sometimes, if I wait a while, the button next to Xcode (but not iMovie) will change to say "update", and when I click on it I get a dialog that says "Download an older version of Xcode? The current version requires OS X 10.15.4 or later, but you can download the last compatible version"—but when I click "Download" the same dialog reappears again immediately.

      Download an older version of Xcode?  The current version requires OS X 10.15.4 or later, but you can download the last compatible version.

How can I install the latest compatible version of apps originally installed through the App Store on older versions of macOS?

  • Have you considered uninstalling Xcode, per the message? The alternative is to install the command line tools themselves - which may have more flexibility with older OS’s. I assume it will prompt you to use “xcode-select —install” once you try to use brew again. Also note that brew doctor is for debugging, if everything works for you then you can ignore it.
    – JBallin
    Mar 11, 2021 at 21:14
  • 1
    I finally upgraded to 10.14.6 from 10.12.6 in January 2021. I also stumbled getting the right Xcode. We need to go back to Xcode 10.3 for the correct platform and SDK. This page helped enormously: xcodereleases.com
    – aMike
    Mar 12, 2021 at 14:14
  • @JBallin: that is indeed what I have done for Xcode. But there is no equivalent outside-App-store route for iMovie that I know of.
    – cpcallen
    Mar 12, 2021 at 22:23
  • Another issue here is that Homebrew only supports the last 3 versions of macOS and so does not support Mojave.
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 5, 2022 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


Xcode can be updated by downloading the appropriate release from the Additional Downloads section of https://developer.apple.com/ - for Mojave, the latest compatible version is 10.3.1, or consult this Xcode compatibility table for other macOS versions (as suggested by aMike—thanks!)

It can be installed simply by uncompressing the downloaded .xip file and then dragging Xcode.app to /Applications/.

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