Apple finally lets users download Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion for free

Released in 2011 and 2012, Mac OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion were the last paid software updates for the Mac. Ten years ago, users needed to pay Apple $19.99 for the latest version of its OS X, and now you can finally download these two for free.

As reported by MacWorld, through support pages, it’s possible to download them for free.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is available for older systems that are not compatible with the latest version of macOS and requires the following: 

  • Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or later or OS X Lion 10.7 already installed
  • 2GB of memory
  • 7GB of available space
  • Some features require an Apple ID; terms apply.
  • Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion requires the following technologies:

  • OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8, Lion 10.7, or Mountain Lion 10.8 already installed
  • 2 GB of memory
  • 8 GB of available space
  • Some features require an Apple ID; terms apply.
  • Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply.

Apple notes that Macs shipped with Mac OS X Mountain Lion cannot install OS X Lion while Macs shipped with Mac OS Mavericks or later cannot install Mountain Lion.

Why would I install an older Mac OS X software?

As for now, a limited number of Macs can install these old operating systems. For example, only Macs launched before 2012 are eligible to install them and the user must factory reset their computer to be able to run these older OS X systems.

The new M1 Macs, for example, can only be restored to macOS 11 Big Sur. So if by any chance you have an old Mac and want to install an old version, you can choose one of the two paths:

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