OpenCore Legacy Patcher delivers unofficial Ventura support for older Macs

Ventura drops support for the last MacBook Air before Retina. OpenCore Legacy Patcher can add it back if you want.
Enlarge / Ventura drops support for the last MacBook Air before Retina. OpenCore Legacy Patcher can add it back if you want.

Andrew Cunningham

The macOS Ventura update ended support for a wide range of Intel Macs, including models introduced in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, which received more updates. Version 0.5.0 of the OpenCore Legacy Patcher project has added Ventura support for Mac models since 2012, giving people who don’t mind a little bug the ability to keep their Mac up-to-date with new features.

OpenCore Legacy Patcher (OCLP) is an offshoot of the OpenCore bootloader that focuses on adding back support for older Mac hardware rather than running macOS on generic x86 “hackintosh” PCs. With Apple dropping support for so many Ventura Macs, supporting this operating system on these older machines required a lot more effort than in years past, which we’ve already covered.

Mac models supported by the OpenCore Legacy Patcher project.
Enlarge / Mac models supported by the OpenCore Legacy Patcher project.

The official support list shown above is similar to that for Mojave and Catalina, the first macOS versions to require a Metal-compatible GPU. The only model of this vintage not currently supported is the “trashcan” 2013 Mac Pro, which has some GPU-related launch issues that still need to be addressed. Older Macs with pre-metal GPUs aren’t supported at all, and graphics acceleration (among many other things) doesn’t work on these Macs. The team is working to add support for these older models, but they’re unlikely to ever work as well as the Metal-compatible models.

There are risks associated with running Ventura with OCLP. The OCLP team also compiled a short list of graphics glitches affecting older Macs, mostly focusing on video encoding and decoding, DRM, and occasional app crashes. And you may have to wait for the OCLP project to update before installing future Ventura updates, as sometimes those updates change things in ways that break the OpenCore bootloader or the many patches that old Macs need to run new software walk.

These older Macs may also miss some of the security updates offered for newer models. Official macOS updates sometimes include new system firmware and other low-level fixes that may fix bugs or close security vulnerabilities; Unsupported Macs running Ventura through the OCLP project will not receive these types of fixes.

If you are interested in trying out the OpenCore Legacy Patcher on your own systems, you can find the latest documentation here.