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How to Download macOS High Sierra

Written by John

Apple announced macOS High Sierra on June 5, 2017, at the WWDC in San Jose, California. The 14th major release of the desktop operating system from Apple, macOS High Sierra, had technical updates and improved performance over its predecessor. While the user experience remained mostly the same, notable changes were made to apps such as Photos and Safari. Users and critics had high praises for macOS High Sierra, praising it for being powerful and easy to use. The effortless upgrade from macOS Sierra and visible improvements were big positives for the operating system.

Even after more than four years since the official release, macOS High Sierra is regularly updated to deliver stable performance and security for its users. Apple improved the experience it delivered on macOS Sierra with the upgrade that focused on performance and technicalities. Many who bought their Mac computers pre-installed with macOS High Sierra and want to go back to the same old experience, can download macOS High Sierra and install the operating system on their machine.

The problem with downloading macOS High Sierra is that if you’re running a newer version, you won’t be able to download it from the Mac App Store. You need an alternate solution for macOS High Sierra download. In this tutorial, we will show how to download macOS High Sierra and run it on your Mac.

Download macOS High Sierra If You’re Using a Newer Version

Your High Sierra download from the Mac App Store will not happen if you’re running a newer version of the macOS such as Big Sur or Monterey. When you open the macOS High Sierra Mac App Store link, you will get a notice “Update not found” or “The requested version of macOS is not available”.

The way to download macOS High Sierra is to run a version older than High Sierra. Hence, you should be running Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite for macOS High Sierra download.

macOS High Sierra Hardware Requirements

Before you download macOS High Sierra, you have to check if your Mac is compatible to run the operating system. Here’s a list of Mac models that support macOS High Sierra:

  • MacBook Late 2009 and later
  • MacBook Air Late 2010 and later
  • MacBook Pro Mid 2010 and later
  • iMac Late 2009 and later
  • Mac mini Mid 2010 and later
  • Mac Pro Mid 2010 and later

How to Download macOS High Sierra

There are two ways to download macOS High Sierra. We will take a look at both of them in this tutorial so that you can decide which one will work the best for you.

The first option is to use a virtual machine to download an older version of macOS. We will download macOS Sierra and then use macOS Sierra to download macOS High Sierra. The second option is create USB Bootable Installer to install macOS Sierra and then download macOS High Sierra.

You can use a virtual machine to run an older macOS. VirtualBox, VMware, and Parallel Desktop allow you to run an older macOS on your Mac. If you want to use a free virtual machine, you can go ahead with VirtualBox. Once you’ve installed an older macOS on your virtual machine, you can go for a macOS High Sierra download.

We will install and run macOS Sierra on our virtual machine and then download to macOS High Sierra. Follow the steps below to run macOS Sierra on a virtual machine:

Step 1: You need to download macOS Sierra from the Apple support site then convert InstallOS.pkg file to Install macOS Sierra.app.
Follow this tutorial to convert pkg file: Download Install macOS Sierra App

Step 2: Download and Install VMware Fusion.


Create a new virtual machine with VMware Fusion

Step 3: Drag and drop the Install macOS Sierra.app to VMware Fusion. Click on Install macOS Sierra 10.12 and click on Continue.

Select macOS Sierra

Step 4: Make any customizations to the virtual machine as needed and click Finish.

Click Finish to create macOS Sierra Virtual Machine

VMware Fusion will begin to create the installation medium. Your virtual machine will restart and the installation of macOS Sierra will continue.

Step 5: Select Install macOS Sierra and click Continue.

Select Install macOS

Step 6: Select Macintosh HD as the installation disk.

Choose Macintosh HD Partition

Now, macOS Sierra will begin to install on your virtual machine.

Step 7: Once the installation is complete, go through the initial setup of your new operating system. Select your country, keyboard layout, and time zone. Type in your account name, and password to create a new account.

Step 8: Now, you can go ahead and download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store. Click on the High Sierra download link to download the upgraded operating system.

Download macOS High Sierra

If you download the full-size Install High Sierra.App but ended up with 22MB, you can follow this tutorial to convert Installer to full size.
How to Convert macOS Installer to Full Size

Mini and Full Size macOS Installer

You will not face any problems running macOS High Sierra if your Mac meets the system requirements to run the operating system. Whether you choose the virtual machine method or the external disk method, by following this tutorial, you can download macOS High Sierra on your Mac.

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