Install Macos High Sierra On External Hard Drive


Want to install macOS High Sierra, but your Mac is not on the supported list? In this detailed guide, we will learn how to install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac models. Installing macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac can be achieved with macOS High SierraPatcher file. We have a detailed guide ahead that will help you install macOS High Sierra on unsupported MAC.

You can also read: How to install macOS Big Sur on unsupported Mac? 5 Easy Steps with Patch file and How to Install macOS Catalina on Unsupported Mac: 9 Easy Steps

This article will help you install macOS High Sierra 10.13.x on your Mac with macOS High Sierra Patcher. The article will be useful to owners of outdated Mac models but quite workable today.

  1. Here is a definitive guide on how to install macOS High Sierra on a non-startup drive: 1. Go to Disk Utility. Choose the volume you wish to install the new macOS on and click Erase. Download the High Sierra macOS installer as described in the Download macOS section above. Launch the installer and press Continue.
  2. Install macOS on the external drive. Run macOS on the external drive by pressing Alt/Option at start up on an Intel-powered Mac, or pressing and holding the on switch on an M1 Mac.
  3. On my MacBook Pro with OSX 10.13I had a 240gb Solid state hard drive, but I needed bigger! So I got a new Kensington 480gb SSD. During formatting and installation, OSX 10.7.5 is automatically installed can’t do anything about it! I wanted to install High Sierra it wouldn’t allow me until I installed OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion!

Step 2: Installing macOS High Sierra on the External Drive. After you complete the download of the macOS installer, double click the same from the Applications folder to begin the installation procedure. Press 'Continue' in the following screen. Click 'Agree' to the accept license agreement. How to Install High Sierra on External Drive. I'll try to keep this as simple as possible but it's a little complicated. I am trying to install High Sierra on an external disk. The computer I'm using is running Mojave, however, so it won't run the High Sierra Installer. I created a bootable USB installer for High Sierra.

Also, Mac models’ owners officially supported by the macOS High Sierra operating system may face the fact that installing the system imposes a new APFS file system, which may be undesirable for the user for various reasons. For example, some owners of Mac Pro 5.1 or Mac Pro 4.1 models installing macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 (the last build) can install the operating system on the Mac OS Extended (logging) section and not apply Patch.


Which Mac models will support macOS High Sierra?

Install Macos High Sierra On External Hard Drive For Ps5

Early 2008 or newer Mac Pro, Xserve, iMac and MacBook Pro:

  • MacPro3,1
  • MacPro4,1
  • Xserve 2,1
  • Xserve 3,1
  • iMac8,1
  • iMac9,1
  • MacBookPro4,1
  • MacBookPro5,1
  • MacBookPro5,2
  • MacBookPro5,3
  • MacBookPro5,4
  • MacBookPro5,5

End of 2008 release or newer MacBook Air or Aluminum Unibody MacBook:

  • MacBookAir 2,1
  • MacBook 5,1

Early 2009 release or newer Mac Mini or White MacBook:

  • Macmini 3,1
  • MacBook 5,2

Which Mac models will not support macOS High Sierra?

Release 2006-2007 all models Mac Pro, iMacs, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini:

  • MacPro1,1
  • MacPro2,1
  • iMac4,1
  • iMac5,1
  • iMac5,2
  • iMac6,1
  • iMac7,1 *
  • MacBookPro1,1
  • MacBookPro2,1
  • MacBookPro3,1
  • Macmini1,1
  • Macmini2,1

The iMac 7.1 of 2007 is compatible if the CPU is upgraded to the T9300 Core 2 Duo (Penryn).

MacBook 2006-2008 models:

  • MacBook1,1
  • MacBook2,1
  • MacBook3,1
  • MacBook4,1

2008 MacBook Air:

Install macos high sierra on external hard drive doesn t show up
  • MacBookAir 1,1

More on High Sierra incompatibility

Built-in iSight cameras: iSight’s built-in cameras are currently not working properly on some machines. It’s likely to work but know before you install it, your iSight camera may not work.


Trackpad (MacBook 5.2 only). The trackpad in MacBook5.2 is not fully supported in High Sierra. Although it works and is fully usable, High Sierra detects it as a normal mouse, preventing you from changing some trackpad-oriented settings.

Macs that use the Broadcom BCM4321 (BCM94321) WiFi will not have functional WiFi when high Sierra is launched, and support for these modules has been discontinued since macOS Sierra. This usually applies to MacPro3.1, MacBook5,2, MacBookPro4,1, iMac8.1, Macmini3.1, and MacBookAir2.1 computers. Please note that not all of these machines will have an unsupported map. It is just a list of machines that are known to come with this card in some configurations.

You can find out that you have an unsupported card by opening System Profiler (click on Apple’s Mac’s System Report) and click on Wi-Fi in the Network section. Note the value for the map type field.

Below are ID Wi-Fi modules that don’t work in High Sierra:

  • (0x14E4, 0x8C)
  • (0x14E4, 0x9D)
  • (0x14E4, 0x87)
  • (0x14E4, 0x88)
  • (0x14E4, 0x8B)
  • (0x14E4, 0x89)
  • (0x14E4, 0x90)

FOR EXAMPLE, any ID not listed above (0x14E4, 0x8D) is a supported card and will work great in High Sierra.

Install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac: What you’ll need?

1. Mac OS High Sierra installer file.
You can download it from the Mac App Store with a high Sierra-enabled computer or a built-in download feature directly from the macOS High Sierra Patcher. Start macOS High Sierra Patcher and select “Tools and Download macOS High Sierra…” As shown in the picture below:

2. USB drive at least 16GB

3. macOS High Sierra PatcherFile
Download the latest version: Link

See the list of changes (in English) and download previous versions of the utility from below:

How to install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac? 5 Easy Steps with Patch file

1. Insert your USB drive (remember at least 16GB), open the disk utility, and format it as OS X Extended (Journaled). For reference, follow the snapshot below:

2. Open the previously downloaded “macOS High Sierra Patcher” utility and find your copy of the macOS High Sierra Installer program, usually a macOS installer that is usually used to download into the Applications folder. For reference, follow the snapshot below:

There should be a window that the utility successfully checked the application macOS High Sierra Installer. Click OK. For reference, follow the snapshot below:

3. Then select the USB drive in the drop-down list on the right and press the “Start Operation” wide button. For reference, follow the snapshot below:

4. When the installation flash drive is ready, it is necessary to load it from it. To do this, turn off the Mac and turn it on again, holding the Option (Alt) button and select the macOS High Sierra. For reference, follow the snapshot below:

Note: Follow steps 5 and 6 if you want to do a clean installation. If you already have experience installing macOS, you can skip these steps and install the High Sierra operating system on that previous version of OS X, after which an on-site update will be performed.

5. Once the installation program is loaded, open the Disk Utility from the utility menu or double-click it in the utility window in the bottom left corner of the screen.
For reference, follow the snapshot below:

6. Select the drive or section you want to install macOS High Sierra on and click Erase, then select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS. When you format the entire disk, make sure you select the GUID markup.

  • Use APFS for 2009 models and later, will work, as on macOS High Sierra.
  • It’s a good idea to use APFS only if you’re installing High Sierra on an SSD drive.

If you have a Mac that didn’t initially support High Sierra (and therefore can’t download from the APFS volume initially), please note:

  • If you use APFS, you won’t have a Recovery HD.
  • If you decide to use APFS, the loader will be installed by the utility later, as the built-in software of these unsupported machines does not support the loading from the APFS volumes. This is not exactly a native (native) download method, but it won’t cause any working High Sierra. The demo process of such a download can be seen below.

7. Next, install the MacOS High Sierra as usual on the desired volume.

It should be noted that if you install the operating system on an officially supported Mac model for any reason, then at this stage, the installation is complete, and you don’t need to do 8-11 steps. Just reboot your Mac.

8. Once the installation is complete, restart again by holding the Option (Alt) key and select the macOS High Sierra again. Once downloaded, open the “mac OS Post Install” app. For reference, follow the snapshot below:

9. You’ll open a window from the top in the “Choose your Mac Model” section of the drop-down list to choose your Mac model. Once you’ve selected the Mac model, the optimal checkboxes (ticks) will be marked automatically for your model. You can also tick other ticks of your choice you don’t need them.

10. At the bottom of the Select Volume section in the drop-down list, select the volume you just installed on Mac OS High Sierra and click “Patch.” When the utility installs all the patches, you select click “Reboot.” The Mac can rearrange the cache within minutes before restarting.

If the system doesn’t work properly after the restart for some reason, download back to the installation drive, re-start “mac OS Post Install” and select “Force Cache Rebuild” before restarting. In most cases, this is not necessary.

11. After the restart, your Mac should be loaded into a fully operational operating system macOS High Sierra.

For more information:

High Sierra installs the “Patch Updater” program in the Application/Utility folder when you install The Mac OS Post Install tool. This program will alert you when new patch updates are available for your machine and ask you to install them. If you don’t have Patch Updater installed, but you want to install it, you can download and install this program, click on the link and unpack the archive after downloading it.

Reinstalling patches:

During the macOS High Sierra update, some of our fixes may be overwritten. You can reinstall these fixes with a click to update the patches. To do this, open the Patch Updater app and select “View Installed Updates” or use the “View and Show Installed Updates” menu in the menu line.

To re-install one of the patches, click the right button on it in the list and select “Re-install…”. You can also click “Re-install All” to reinstall all installed fixes at once.


System updates, such as 10.13.1, should be installed as normal if “Software Update Patch” has been tagged in the mac OS Post Install tool or you installed it later using InstallPatchUpdater. If for some reason, updates don’t show up or are installed incorrectly, you need to reinstall the software update fix with the Patch Updater app.

If the system doesn’t start properly after the update is installed, you’ll need to download the corrected install volume and re-start the fix after installing it on the High Sierra volume. Make sure you choose “Force Cache Rebuild” before the reboot.

How to install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac: FAQs


Check out your copy of the Installation mac OS High Sierra installation. Download the latest version of the installation of the operating system Install mac OS High Sierra. Check out the macOS High Sierra Patcher version. It should be version 1.1 or higher.


Make sure the USB drive is available for recording. Try reformatting it, or try another USB drive.


Make sure the macOS High Sierra is installed correctly. The size should be about 5GB. If you’ve used the “Skip App Verification” option, you’ve probably chosen a macOS High Sierra that doesn’t have the original installer and it doesn’t contain the files you need.


Make sure FileVault is off. You can manually disable it with the terminal, use the instructions by clicking on the link.


Make sure that after installation, you’ve been doing the Mac OS Post Install tool and patching the volume on which the macOS High Sierra is installed, as described above in 8-10 steps.


Check out the list of supported and unsupported Macs at the top of this page. Make sure your device is on the support list.


This is usually the result of an inappropriate set of directory URLs. To fix it, give the command in the “sudo softwareupdate-clear-catalog” terminal and then run Patch Updater.


Download and run the Onyxapp, select the Maintenence tab, then click “Run.”


This is due to the incorrect setting of the date and time in the system. To fix this, you need:

1. Open the terminal after downloading from your USB installer to set a date.
2. In the terminal, please command: date 0318125014 and click Enter
Now you can continue installation, and this message will not be displayed.

You can also follow our other guides:

How To Install MacOS High Sierra On VirtualBox On Windows (Using VMDK): 8 Step Ultimate Guide
Download macOS High Sierra ISO For VMware & Virtualbox (Working checked on 2nd Jan, 2020)
Download macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 DMG File
How To Install macOS High Sierra on VirtualBox on Windows PC (Using ISO): 5 Easy Steps
How to share folders on VirtualBox & Vmware? (Windows-MAC) Step by Step Guide

Conclusion: How to install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac

I hope this guide on How to install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac was useful for you. You can install macOS High Sierra on unsupported Mac by using the macOS High Sierra Patch file. I have shared all the download links above. If you are still facing any issues, you can comment down your query.

High Sierra is an update of MacOS which focuses mostly on back-end developments and a higher level of user security. As such, this operating system lays a foundation for future upgrades.

The trick is how to install MacOS on the SSD to begin with. My solution was to get an external USB to SATA adapter, then boot from the existing disk into recovery mode and perform a new OS installation on the external disk. You may first need to format the external SSD using Disk Utility which you can do when you boot in Recovery mode.

  1. If you want to clone Mac SSD in macOS 10.13 High Sierra, just download the SSD cloning software – AweClone for Mac. Click here to download SSD cloning software for Mac AweClone for Macis fully compatible with macOS 10.13 High Sierra and also can be installed on other Mac systems.
  2. Step One: Create a macOS High Sierra ISO File. To start, we’ll need to create an ISO file of macOS.

Stay safe

In essence, High Sierra took what was good with Sierra and developed it into a more comprehensive software.

High Sierra emphasizes the already-existing benefits of MacOS previous system, Sierra. There are few bells and whistles, but the changes are noticeable and positive. The Apple file system is the most significant feature it brought. It enables the storage and encryption of a large number of files. Thus, it boosts performance and helps manage device memory issues.

Apple also introduced new formats for video and photos in this version. These formats compress data - that’s a benefit as files can get huge with ever-rising resolutions. They added support for virtual reality headsets as well.

Besides that, when it comes to Safari, Mac search engine, there are some notable improvements with the update. The users can now control annoying auto-play videos, prevent tracking, and more. There are also notification controls, and you will experience a boost in performance, too.

The most noticeable changes took place in Apple’s Photo App, though. It went through a total revamp both visually in its interface and terms of tools and functions available. Many other discreet changes happened all over the system.

Where can you run this program?

If you’re running Sierra on your Mac, you will be able to run this one as well.

Can I Install High Sierra On An External Hard Drive

Is there a better alternative?

Yes. Mojave, the newest version of MacOS, brought even more improved features to the table. However, if you can’t run it on your device, this is the second best.

Our take

External Ssd For Macbook

High Sierra is not the shiniest upgrade Apple brought, but it’s one that sets the stage for new upgrades to come. Even out of that context, it’s a great operating system.

Should you download it?

Yes, if your device can support it. The new options and better security settings are worth getting.


Have you ever thought of carrying your Mac OS on an external device and gain access to it at any time? If the reaction is yes, then you have arrived at the right post. We will be providing you with the information through which you can install macOS High Sierra on an external drive.

Part 1. How to Install macOS High Sierra on the External Drive

External Ssd Mac Mini

Before beginning the process, there are a few requisites that you must meet. You will need an external drive with a minimum capacity of 16 GB, and second, you will need the copy of the macOS High Sierra installer. You can obtain the installer from the App Store by searching for 'macOS' and download it to your Mac hard drive.

Best Mac External Ssd

Step 1: Formatting the External Drive

To allow the external drive to function as the startup disk, you need to format it to Mac OS Extended and employ GUID partition map. Start the utility disk. You can find it under the Applications category or search it using Spotlight.

As utility disk runs in the background, you can check for the format of the external drive. In the following example, the drive is in Master Boot Record format. First, unmount the drive. After unmounting, you can select the same drive from the left of the window as shown in the figure below. Now, from the tabs that appear in right window, choose 'Erase' option.

In the next window, you can now format the external drive as 'Mac OS Extended' and opt for GUID Partition Map. If you choose to, you can also give it a name. Press 'Erase' to proceed. After completion, you will see the following screen. Press 'Done' to proceed.

Step 2: Installing macOS High Sierra on the External Drive

After you complete the download of the macOS installer, double click the same from the Applications folder to begin the installation procedure. Press 'Continue' in the following screen.

Click 'Agree' to the accept license agreement. In the next window, press the 'Show all disks' option. The window will display the local drive and the connected external drive. Choose the external drive in this case. You will have to key in your system user name and password.

macOS High Sierra will begin installing on the selected external hard disk. It requires some time to complete the task. You can wait until the process is complete. Before it completes the installation, the Mac will restart. Therefore, it is preferable to save any other work that is in progress.

Windows 10 External Ssd Mac

After restarting, the Mac will take a minimum of 15 minutes to complete the installation process. It will then reboot from the new device. You then have to proceed with the general process of activating Siri, time zone, and adding the user account. Once you complete these actions, you will possess the new version of macOS High Sierra on your external drive. Do not remove the external drive, as Mac OS will access the files on the drive periodically. You can now use the same every time you wish to use High Sierra.

Part 2. How to Use macOS High Sierra with the Bootable Hard Drive

As you now have macOS High Sierra in the form of bootable hard drive, you can use it with another compatible Mac or when the situation demands. However, remember that using the external device as a bootable drive will slow down the functioning of the system. More importantly, it is useful only when you are facing trouble with your existing internal drive of the Mac.

The following information will be helpful in case if you choose to use macOS High Sierra with the bootable hard drive:

Install Macos High Sierra On External Hard Drives

Step 1: If there is a trouble with the current hard disk, and you wish to solve it or use the new version of the OS, then plug the bootable external drive to the Mac.

Step 2: Power on the machine and hold the option button until you notice the recovery screen appear. From the screen, you can choose the bootable external device that you have created.

Can I Install High Sierra On External Drive

Step 3: You will boot into the macOS High Sierra version for that particular session.


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