How To Download Old macOS Version Installer Using Terminal On Mac

With macOS Catalina now here and older versions of the software more difficult to come by, some people will want to make sure that they have macOS Mojave or older available.

Just in case, and with macOS Catalina that probably isn’t a bad idea. But with the updates not always available via the App Store you might have to venture to the Terminal app to get your files.

Terminal isn’t an app that most people need to go near these days, so that might leave some with a little trepidation at this point. But fret not, it’s all actually pretty easy. And of course, we’re going to tell you what you need to do.

Step 1: First, open Terminal from the Applications > Utilities folder.

Step 2: Now, depending on which version of macOS you want to download you’re going to use one of two commands.

  • To download the latest macOS update, type the following command:
    softwareupdate —fetch-full-installer
  • To download older builds, type the following:
    softwareupdate —fetch-full-installer [build number].So, as an example: softwareupdate —fetch-full-installer 10.14.3

Step 3: Press the Return key to execute the command.

The installer will then be downloaded to your Applications folder.

While this will work for many versions of macOS, not all of them will be available. If all you want is the last release or two though, this will absolutely do the trick. And once you have the files it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to save it somewhere. Just in case.

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