How To Install MacOS Catalina 10.15 On 2011 IMac

Posted: Oct 10 2019, 11:29pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 14 2019, 3:23am CDT , in How To


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How to Install MacOS Catalina 10.15 on 2011 iMac

Apple does not support the new 2019 MacOS Catalina on 2011 Macs. Updated.

I got lazy. I did not research before upgrading my iPhone XS Max to iOS 13. The new iOS looks great on the iPhone, but I destroyed my workflow with the update. The Reminders app on my mid-2011 iMac, running El Capitan, stopped working. You need Catalina to keep Reminders working when upgrading to iOS 13. This was before Catalina came out. I was in good hopes that, once Apple releases Catalina all will be good. Then I found out that Catalina is not supported in 2011 iMacs. Thank you, Apple!

Update 10/14/19: Proceed at your own risk. The upgrade works, but my iMac runs on high cpu on various services. I arleady disabled photoanalysisd, but now vtencoderxpcservice takes up a lot of CPU. If anywone found a solution, please post it in the comments below.

But, there is a way to install Catalina on unsupported Apple computers. Meet Collin, aka dosdude1. His macOS Catalina Patcher enabled me to upgrade my good old iMac to run macOS Catalina 10.15. It was a very easy process. To avoid wasting time as I did, you have to first disable SIP. Apple introduced SIP (System Integrity Protection) in El Capitan. This is an important security feature but prevents the macOS Catalina Patcher from doing its thing. To disable SIP boot in recovery mode (Command+R) and open Terminal. Run the command: csrutil disable and reboot. Now you are set to install Catalina. Once you have upgraded, you should enable SIP again with the command: csrutil enable.

To install Catalina with the macOS Catalina Patcher, you need to first download the macOS Catalina 10.15 as you would normally do. Then download the Patcher here. Run the app and follow the simple instructions and you are all set with Catalina on your unsupported Mac.

The only issue I encountered so far is that browsing through Launchpad is slow. Not sure yet what the issue is with that. I upgraded the iMac with a used AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB after getting sick of baking the original graphics card.

Update: So there is one more big issue. The GPU/CPU fan goes crazy. Apparently there are issues withe the GPU in Catalina on the 2011 iMac and the system runs hot. The CPU fan is permanently running on maximum. It got a bit better following these instructions from dosdude1 here, but its not perfect. The app doesn't work on the iMac, but the nvram command (nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00) did improve the situation.

The CPU/GPU fan runs now at 2,230 instead of 2,599. It's still to loud, so I will continue to hunt for a solution. If you have found a solution, please post it in the comments below.

To manage fan speed I experiment now with TGPro to find the balance between temperature and fan noise.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]




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