I have an iMac8,1 at 10.5.8 how can I update to 10.11

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

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2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    First, your iMac will run El Capitan (10.11), provided that you have at least 2 GB of RAM installed and 8.8GB of spare disk space. If you want it to work well, you need 4GB.

    The upgrade process is easy enough - purchase 10.6 Snow Leopard, upgrade all the way to 10.6.8, open the Mac "App Store", click on upgrades, and then choose the free upgrade to 10.11.

  • Step 1: Install Snow Leopard* (OS 10.6) and do software update (under the Apple Menu) to bring up to OS 10.6.8. (* If you do not already have a Snow Leopard install disk, go to the online Apple Store and purchase Snow Leopard. The price includes mailing to your address.)

    Step 2: With OS 10.6.8 a new app is on your Mac called the App Store app. Through the App Store app one can download and install the free OS 10.11 (El Capitan).


    A. Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1 GB of memory, El Capitan requires a minimum of 2 GB of memory.

    B. If you rely a lot on third-party software, you may wish to make a clone** of your OS 10.5.8 partition first, and then install OS 10.6 on one of the OS 10.5.8 partitions. Then make a clone of the OS 10.6 partition and choose one of the OS 10.6 partitions to install OS 10.11. Reason: If a third-party software does not work with a newer OS, you can always start up from the older OS partition to use the third-party software until you have something that works with the newer OS.

    C. You can also install OS 10.6 or OS 10.11 to a blank new partition (formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)) if you want a clean install without existing third-party software and data. While doing a clean install, the installer will also ask if you want to import your OS settings, applications and data from one of your other partitions. Your choice: a clean install, or an install with your existing apps and data and OS settings.)

    (** How to make a clone: Use disk utility to create a new partition and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then use disk utility again to RESTORE the old partition to the new partition. You will have two identical partitions, and should be able to start up from either one.)