My beloved Mac Mini and Big Sur

With all the excitement of Big Sur, I completely forgot to check whether my trusted mac mini is compatible.

Sadly, my 2012 mac mini (i7, 16gb with ram) will not get Big Sur. Make no mistake, this mac is still super-fast for me and has the firepower for many years to come. This is my favourite Mac by far because its stayed with me for so long. I love this guy.

My question to the community is if there is any way for my mac mini to get Big Sur when it releases this fall? The other question is if it is possible, is it worth going through with it? Are their consequences for installing an OS that is not supported for a Mac?

It’s not all sad news, I can live with Catelina but it’s good to have the latest operating system running.

I’ve not read the full post or guide or anything but other machines are capable by the look of it.

There is a reason why Apple doesn’t want a new operating system to be installed on older hardware. Its not to force you to buy a new Mac but to ensure a good user experience.

If you do hack your way around it please mention in future posts when having trouble with Big Sur that you are using non supported hardware in bold capital letters so we don’t have to panic about “known problems that will be the end of Apple” :yawning_face:


I believe I have the same Mac mini, and hadn’t realized it won’t make the next step either.

To answer your questions:

  1. Yes, there are usually people who are able to make your computer run n+1 version of macOS when the official support ends at n. I haven’t done it myself in years (I think, like, since Mavericks) but this generally involves some very low-level tinkering, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. If any of the steps are “Disable SIP” then you should stop reading and close the tab. But, to each their own.

  2. Whether or not it’s worth it really depends on how badly you want to use B.S., and how much you’re ready to deal with whatever limitations there are.

  3. Consequences are probably likely to include not being able to run the latest macOS updates and security patches until you are sure that they won’t break your system. That means finding a place where these issues are regularly discussed, and keeping up on the issues, You won’t find this info on Macworld or Daring Fireball, so you’re going to have to find a forum or something. So add time to the list of things you’re going to spend.

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It would be a very un-Apple, but also a very good thing of Apple to do for them to explain why they no longer support a given generation of device. It might dissuade some people from attempting to make it work and it could (hopefully) put to rest the notion that it’s simply to get people to buy new hardware.

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Very well said there.

It is not worth the time for me. Will continue using it on officially supported OS and will look out for others upgrade and post their experiences here.

Apple should make a point in explaining why though because for my Mac which is still plenty powerful, I do not see any reason why my Mac mini isn’t support but the MacBook 12 inch is.

My 2011 Mac Mini is already trapped forever in High Sierra. I primarily use it as a music server to run Roon and seems to hold its own still.

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