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macOS on unsupported Macs - legal or not? OpenCore

Hi guys,

I have question if is legal to have macOS on unsupported Macs. As I have Mac Pro 3.1 what have latest macOS (actually OS X) El Capitan. This machine is still powerful to run macOS Monterey (with OpenCore Legacy Patcher - upgrade to 32GB RAM with RX 560 and SSD). I even have it and running nice and smooth. Also can run apps what are no longer supported under El Capitan - specially Adobe Photoshop and Premiere.

But my question is - it is legal from Apple side ? Thanks a lot for any advice/ideas.

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Update (12/29/2022)

According to Apple Customer Support it is not illegal :) so I will say I am on the safe site :) (and if Apple will contact me about that I have proof that I asked :) )

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That surprised me that they were actually willing to talk about it

Sure is cool that they clarified it for you:-)


@hellomacos I was surprised as well :)


@roboscrap & @hellomacos - Don’t have your hope up here.

I’m suspecting the person who responded didn’t ask up the food chain and/or didn’t know what OpenCore is, or how it’s used.

I’m sure in Apples eyes it’s best not to ruffle feathers. But clearly using it by the license is not cricket!


@danj maybe you are right, but I did this to just cover my back - at this point if I will have any issues with Apple about using OpenCore - I asked ;) if the agent didn’t know anything about OpenCore he should told me :)


@roboscrap - As you are using it on a Mac I think they are more willing to let you skate by.

If you where running it on a Intel/AMD Windoze system system I think that would bother them (the mis-spelling is intentional😎)

As to why this can be an issue is Apple Pay’s for code created by others based on the number of licenses sold. So as an example the postscript fonts which Adobe owns. I believe some of the search engine within MacOS is licensed as well.

Then there is the reverse! As an example Google paid Apple a ton of money as the default web search engine within Safari.

I will neither confirm nor deny my use of OpenCore!


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So… driving on the wrong side of the street legal or illegal??

This is a bit of a grey space as driving on the wrong side maybe needed if the road is damaged or a vehicle is stopped blocking the path. Clearly it does carry risks!

So technically Apple doesn’t support older legacy hardware and the OS license you accept clearly states only supported on still actively supported hardware. So technically Apple could go after you and/or within an OS update kill your use.

I know that doesn’t answer the question with a firm yes or no as you are on the hook you take the risk and you can’t ask Apple for help.

So… what your workflow is and your dependency on your gear/data then becomes the focus.

As an example I have a 2013 MacPro which is now on the edge Vintage & Obsolete products listing so if I my systems fails I might not be able to get it fixed if I go to Apple. Likewise the OS version I currently use is no longer supported as I still have 16bit tools which I depend on.

This system is air gapped so it’s not at risk directly from viruses and malware. So in my case I’ll stick with a known stable space than risk running the newest macOS for now.

You need to decide the Pro’s and Con’s you are willing to work within.

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So if I understand correctly - by the Apple OS license it's illegal to use macOS on unsupported Mac.

I will contact Apple about that because this is one think what I don't like too much as I really don't need spend few thousands only because I need run Adobe Premiere (what my Mac Pro can run easily). But thank you for clarification.



I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping to a conclusion but I think apple will tell you that it’s not allowed as I have a feeling that they will see it as a device that has been tampered with as they have a history of refusing device support to devices that have been repaired or altered out side of them;-{


@hellomacos I am expecting same result - just want be sure - to be honest I really don't need Apple support on this :D just want to make sure that I am not doing anything wrong ;)


@roboscrap - Read the Apple license for macOS’s here Apple OS licenses the key here is you modified either the firmware/boot files or the OS it’s self to allow the OS to work on an unsupported system.

Frankly, if you desire/need the newer OS I would just be careful! And I wouldn’t bring the focus onto your self by talking to Apple unless you are anonymous!

Remember you are on thin ice. I would recommend you follow my lead air gapping this system and use a second only moving the data across.


@danj thanks a lot - will check later


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Rob zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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