10/7/2021

Mac Os 9 Operating System Free Download

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Mac OS 9 for OS X/macOS

Run classic Mac OS apps in OS X/macOS A similar system that runs System 7 How to use it Customization What it contains Acknowledgments Support and contributions

Operating

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An easy way to run 'classic' Mac OS applications under OS X/macOS

Under OS X or macOS, software written for the 'classic' Mac OS (i.e. versions 6 through 9) can only be run through software that emulates Macintosh hardware from the 1980s and 1990s. The most advanced of these emulator programs is SheepShaver. SheepShaver is no longer supported by its original author, Gwenolé Beauchesne, but updates are available from an active support forum at E-Maculation, and the program is actively maintained by a programmer who uses the name kanjitalk755.

This page provides a fully functional SheepShaver system that runs Mac OS 9.0.4 (US English version). Unlike other SheepShaver-based systems, it makes it relatively easy to exchange files between SheepShaver and OS X/macOS, and makes it easy to print from Mac OS applications to OS X/macOS printers, or to create PDF files on the OS X/macOS desktop. It requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later.

To install this system, download and expand Mac OS 9.zip. (The file is about 620MB in size; it contains a 1.5 GB hard disk image file.) You may copy the Mac OS 9 application to your Applications folder or run it from anywhere else.

If, when you start the application, you see a long error message that includes the string 'translocation', then you must move the application to some other folder (and, if you want, move it back) before you run it. This is the effect of a new macOS security feature. The easiest thing to do is copy the application to your Applications folder.

An older version, with a slightly different feature set suitable for single-user systems (or for installation in the home folder of different users, is available here.

For a similar system that runs Mac OS 9 under Windows, see another page.

A similar system that runs System 7.6.1 in BasiliskII

I have created a similar, experimental system that runs System 7.6.1 under the BasiliskII emulator. You may download it in System761.zip. The System761 application works in essentially the same way as the Mac OS 9 application described elsewhere on this page: you may copy files to System 7 desktop by dropping them on the System761 icon. See the How to use it section below for further information. Note the special instructions for temporarily mounting disk images for installing or copying software in System761.

The System 7.6.1 app was updated 23 January 2021 with QuickTime Player added to the system.

If you insist on going back to System 7.5.5, download the similar but not recently updated System755.zip.)

How to use it

I assume that you know something about Mac OS and don't need any advice from me. A few points are worth mentioning.

You can hold down the Option key while launching the application in order to access an options menu. See below for some details.

The Mac OS 9 system includes a startup script named ~MacOS9BackgroundScript. This script is used for transferring files from the host OS X/macOS system to the desktop of Mac OS 9.

As in all SheepShaver-based systems, you may use the Unix folder for transferring files to and from Mac OS 9. However, this system has other methods.

To run your own applications in Mac OS 9 (or System761), you absolutely must copy the application to the Mac OS 9 (or System761) emulated disk itself (or some other disk mounted in Mac OS 9 or System761). Do not try to run your application from the 'Unix' folder. Your application will not run, and will produce an error message instead! Do not drag an application directly from the 'Unix' folder to the destkop: that does not copy the application to the Mac OS 9 (or System761) system disk.

To transfer a file from OS X/macOS to Mac OS 9, drop the file on to Mac OS 9 app. After a few seconds, the file should be copied to the Mac OS 9 desktop. The original file remains on your OS X/macOS host system.

To transfer a file to OS X/macOS from Mac OS 9, use the standard SheepShaver method of dropping the file into the Mac OS 9 Unix folder; a copy of the file will appear in your OS X/macOS Documents folder.

To print from Mac OS 9 to your default OS X/macOS printer, simple use the File/Print menu in your Mac OS 9 application, and print with the default desktop printer, 'Print to OSX/macOS.' After a pause, the document should print to your default OS X/macOS printer.

To print from Mac OS 9 and select a Windows printer for the current print job, follow the instructions immediately above, but choose the desktop printer named 'Select OS X/macOS Printer.' After a pause, a popup list of OS X/macOS printers should appear; choose the one you want.

To create a PDF file in OS X/macOS when printing from Mac OS 9, follow the printing instructions above, but choose the desktop printer named 'PDF to OSX/macOS Desktop.' The resulting PDF file on the OS X/macOS desktop will have an arbitrary name based on the current date and time.

Screen and other options are as follows:

To toggle between windowed and full-screen mode, press Ctrl-Option-Enter. The custom build of SheepShaver used in this application uses this key-combination instead of the standard SheepShaver toggle key (Ctrl-Enter).

To use full-screen mode by default, hold down the Option key when launching Mac OS 9, and set the screen size option to full-screen. When SheepShaver starts up, use the Monitors control panel to set the screen resolution to the resolution that matches your OS X/macOS screen.

Multi-user systems:This application works in a multi-user system if installed in the Applications folder of the Mac's hard disk. If you want to enable the multiple-user features in OS 9, use the Extensions Manager control panel, and switch the extensions set to the one with 'multiple users' in its name and restart. You may then set up the OS 9 system for multiple users in the same way you did with a real Mac.

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Starting with the version posted 10 August 2017, this application includes an additional feature that allows each user in an OS X/macOS multi-user system to create a second disk image that will be accessible in Mac OS 9 only to that user. Hold down the Option key when launching the application to access this and other options.

Customization

This system uses a special build of SheepShaver that does not use the Preferences pane. Instead, hold down the Option key when starting the app, and use the menus. Most of the menu items are self-explanatory.

To change the window size, hold down the Option key when starting the app, and choose the option to change the screen size. When SheepShaver opens, you will probably need to use the Monitors control panel to select the size that you want (especially if you select the full-screen option).

To add or replace a disk image with the Mac OS 9 system, shut down the Mac OS 9 app and drop a disk image file on its icon. After dropping a disk image file you will be prompted to perform the next steps.

Note: This method should work smoothly with disk image files that have the file extension .dmg, .dsk, .iso, or .toast. If your file has the extension .cdr or .hfv or .img, the app will ask whether you want to mount the disk in the system (as you probably do) or copy it to the Mac OS 9 desktop. If your disk image has some other extension, change it to .dsk and use the Finder's Get Info (Cmd-I) window to make sure that the old extension is not still being used.

For disk images used for games or software installation: If you want to mount a CD-ROM image that will let you install a game or other software, shut down the Mac OS 9 app, then drop the image on the Mac OS 9 app. Then follow the prompts to add the image as an additional disk, and choose the option to leave the image in its present location and link it to the application. Then, launch the Mac OS 9 app and install your game or software. Then shut down the Mac OS 9 app and either delete, move, or rename the disk image that you added and no longer want to use in Mac OS 9. The next time you start up the Mac OS 9 app, the disk image will no longer be on the desktop.

Again, the disk image must have the extension .dmg, .dsk, .iso, or .toast. If you drop an image with any other extension, then Mac OS 9 will try to copy the disk image file to its hard disk, which is not what you are trying to do. What you are trying to do is mount the image as a disk for use in the system.

To add or replace a disk image with the System761 system: Two methods are possible. Either hold down the Option key when starting the application and follow the prompts; or, if you only want to mount a disk image temporarily, create a folder on your home folder named 'System761 Disks' (without the quotation marks). Drag into that folder the disk images that you want to mount in System761, and launch the System761 app. When you no longer want to mount those disks, move them out of the folder or delete or move the whole folder.

Other customization options will be described if you ask for them.

What it contains

The Mac OS 9 application contains a standard US-English Mac OS 9 installation, without features that can't be used in this system, such as filesharing. It also includes a large number of standard Mac OS applications, plus some Control Panels, Extensions, and Scripting Additions. It adds two desktop images that are used by the supplied AppleScripts.

When the Mac OS 9 app starts up, it creates (if it has not already done so) a SendToMacOS9 folder in your OS X/macOS Documents folder; this folder is thus visible in the Unix folder in the Mac OS 9 system.

The file-transfer system uses the ~MacOS9BackgroundScript script described above. The Files from Host folder in the System Folder uses a CopyFiletoMacOS9 folder action script found in the Scripts:Folder Action Scripts folder.

Acknowledgments

This system is built on software provided by many people who are more expert than I am. The AppleScripts used in this application could not have been written without the help of many experts at Macscripter.net.

Support and contributions

64-bit

Please do not ask me to help you customize the 'classic' Mac OS or advise you about any applications. Please ask for support in the E-Maculation support forum for SheepShaver. If you want to get in touch with me about the AppleScript used in this system, then please visit this page.

If you find this system useful, please feel free to make a contribution via PayPal from the link on this page.

Edward Mendelson (em thirty-six [at] columbia [dot] edu, but with two initials and two numerals before the [at] sign, not spelled out as shown here).

So, you’ve decided to download an older version of Mac OS X. There are many reasons that could point you to this radical decision. To begin with, some of your apps may not be working properly (or simply crash) on newer operating systems. Also, you may have noticed your Mac’s performance went down right after the last update. Finally, if you want to run a parallel copy of Mac OS X on a virtual machine, you too will need a working installation file of an older Mac OS X. Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.

A list of all Mac OS X versions

We’ll be repeatedly referring to these Apple OS versions below, so it’s good to know the basic macOS timeline.

Cheetah 10.0Puma 10.1Jaguar 10.2
Panther 10.3Tiger 10.4Leopard 10.5
Snow Leopard 10.6Lion 10.7Mountain Lion 10.8
Mavericks 10.9Yosemite 10.10El Capitan 10.11
Sierra 10.12High Sierra 10.13Mojave 10.14
Catalina 10.15

STEP 1. Prepare your Mac for installation

Given your Mac isn’t new and is filled with data, you will probably need enough free space on your Mac. This includes not just space for the OS itself but also space for other applications and your user data. One more argument is that the free space on your disk translates into virtual memory so your apps have “fuel” to operate on. The chart below tells you how much free space is needed.

Note, that it is recommended that you install OS on a clean drive. Next, you will need enough disk space available, for example, to create Recovery Partition. Here are some ideas to free up space on your drive:

  • Uninstall large unused apps
  • Empty Trash Bin and Downloads
  • Locate the biggest files on your computer:

Go to Finder > All My Files > Arrange by size
Then you can move your space hoggers onto an external drive or a cloud storage.
If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning the Mac manually, there are some nice automatic “room cleaners”. Our favorite is CleanMyMac as it’s most simple to use of all. It deletes system junk, old broken apps, and the rest of hidden junk on your drive.

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.4 - 10.8 (free version)

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.9 (free version)

Mac Os 9 Operating System Free Download

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.10 - 10.14 (free version)

STEP 2. Get a copy of Mac OS X download

Normally, it is assumed that updating OS is a one-way road. That’s why going back to a past Apple OS version is problematic. The main challenge is to download the OS installation file itself, because your Mac may already be running a newer version. If you succeed in downloading the OS installation, your next step is to create a bootable USB or DVD and then reinstall the OS on your computer.

How to download older Mac OS X versions via the App Store


If you once had purchased an old version of Mac OS X from the App Store, open it and go to the Purchased tab. There you’ll find all the installers you can download. However, it doesn’t always work that way. The purchased section lists only those operating systems that you had downloaded in the past. But here is the path to check it:

  1. Click the App Store icon.
  2. Click Purchases in the top menu.
  3. Scroll down to find the preferred OS X version.
  4. Click Download.

This method allows you to download Mavericks and Yosemite by logging with your Apple ID — only if you previously downloaded them from the Mac App Store.

Without App Store: Download Mac OS version as Apple Developer

If you are signed with an Apple Developer account, you can get access to products that are no longer listed on the App Store. If you desperately need a lower OS X version build, consider creating a new Developer account among other options. The membership cost is $99/year and provides a bunch of perks unavailable to ordinary users.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you visit developer.apple.com/downloads, you can only find 10.3-10.6 OS X operating systems there. Newer versions are not available because starting Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.7, the App Store has become the only source of updating Apple OS versions.

Purchase an older version of Mac operating system

You can purchase a boxed or email version of past Mac OS X directly from Apple. Both will cost you around $20. For the reason of being rather antiquated, Snow Leopard and earlier Apple versions can only be installed from DVD.

Buy a boxed edition of Snow Leopard 10.6
Get an email copy of Lion 10.7
Get an email copy of Mountain Lion 10.8

The email edition comes with a special download code you can use for the Mac App Store. Note, that to install the Lion or Mountain Lion, your Mac needs to be running Snow Leopard so you can install the newer OS on top of it.

How to get macOS El Capitan download

If you are wondering if you can run El Capitan on an older Mac, rejoice as it’s possible too. But before your Mac can run El Capitan it has to be updated to OS X 10.6.8. So, here are main steps you should take:

1. Install Snow Leopard from install DVD.
2. Update to 10.6.8 using Software Update.
3. Download El Capitan here.

“I can’t download an old version of Mac OS X”

If you have a newer Mac, there is no physical option to install Mac OS versions older than your current Mac model. For instance, if your MacBook was released in 2014, don’t expect it to run any OS released prior of that time, because older Apple OS versions simply do not include hardware drivers for your Mac.

Free

But as it often happens, workarounds are possible. There is still a chance to download the installation file if you have an access to a Mac (or virtual machine) running that operating system. For example, to get an installer for Lion, you may ask a friend who has Lion-operated Mac or, once again, set up a virtual machine running Lion. Then you will need to prepare an external drive to download the installation file using OS X Utilities.

After you’ve completed the download, the installer should launch automatically, but you can click Cancel and copy the file you need. Below is the detailed instruction how to do it.

STEP 3. Install older OS X onto an external drive

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The following method allows you to download Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks.

  1. Start your Mac holding down Command + R.
  2. Prepare a clean external drive (at least 10 GB of storage).
  3. Within OS X Utilities, choose Reinstall OS X.
  4. Select external drive as a source.
  5. Enter your Apple ID.

Now the OS should start downloading automatically onto the external drive. After the download is complete, your Mac will prompt you to do a restart, but at this point, you should completely shut it down. Now that the installation file is “captured” onto your external drive, you can reinstall the OS, this time running the file on your Mac.

  1. Boot your Mac from your standard drive.
  2. Connect the external drive.
  3. Go to external drive > OS X Install Data.

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Locate InstallESD.dmg disk image file — this is the file you need to reinstall Lion OS X. The same steps are valid for Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

How to downgrade a Mac running later macOS versions

If your Mac runs macOS Sierra 10.12 or macOS High Sierra 10.13, it is possible to revert it to the previous system if you are not satisfied with the experience. You can do it either with Time Machine or by creating a bootable USB or external drive.
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS High Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Mojave

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Catalina

Before you do it, the best advice is to back your Mac up so your most important files stay intact. In addition to that, it makes sense to clean up your Mac from old system junk files and application leftovers. The easiest way to do it is to run CleanMyMac X on your machine (download it for free here).

Visit your local Apple Store to download older OS X version

If none of the options to get older OS X worked, pay a visit to nearest local Apple Store. They should have image installations going back to OS Leopard and earlier. You can also ask their assistance to create a bootable USB drive with the installation file. So here you are. We hope this article has helped you to download an old version of Mac OS X. Below are a few more links you may find interesting.

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