MacBook Pro Best MacOS? (Pro 2012, Catalina, Big Sur)

One impressive aspect about Apple that users keep lauding is how keen the company is on making updates to its systems. The manufacturers work tirelessly to provide you with the best experience regardless of your iDevice. If you have a 2012 Pro and want to upgrade to the best macOS, you need all the tips you can get.

MacOS Catalina is the last system version you can upgrade on your 2012 MacBook pro since it now lacks Apple support. Therefore, it is the best OS you can install, unlike the versions that came before it, like Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra, Catalina boasts more enhanced security updates and better features. You can expect new and improved applications and generally impressive usability.

If you have heavily invested in the 2012 MacBook pro, you want only the best operating system that guarantees impressive features and tighter security. Considering all the MacOS compatible with the 2012 Pro, I have shortlisted a few and concluded the best version to download.

Compared to all the older macOS like Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave, the macOS Catalina is the best system you can run on your MacBook Pro. While High Sierra supports the mid-2010 MacBook Pro and later versions, the Mojave was compatible with the mid-2012 Mac Pro and later.

The most recent macOS Catalina came later in 2019, supporting the newer laptop models. Compared to its predecessors, it boasts more impressive Apple features and better security updates. Therefore, Catalina 10.15 is the best macOS you can install on your 2012 MacBook.

The last Apple update for the 2012 Pro is the 10.15 Catalina, the best version to run on your computer. Some users may have the 10.12 Sierra or 10.14 Mojave, but Catalina came later for the 2012 Pro and is the last version you can upgrade.

However, you cannot install the newest operating system, the Big Sur, which is only available for the most recent models, but still, Catalina also has some impressive features.  

Since 2014, Apple has been calling its MacOS the names of various locations in California, and Catalina is named after the Catalina Islands. Generally, if your iDevice runs Mojave, you can easily upgrade to Catalina.

The compatible computers include the MacBook from 2015, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac from 2012, 2013 Mac Pro, and 2017 iMac Pro. All the newer versions that came after these models can also run it, although only some can upgrade to Big Sur.

You can find Catalina for free through Mac’s App Store, and the download may require several GBs. Depending on several factors, it can also take a long time, but to be safe, you need a powerful and dependable internet connection.

You should also avoid using your laptop simultaneously to give it enough room to download and install the update. All the updates will be through the laptop’s system preference, which is quite straightforward.

The main reason why Catalina is the best macOS for the MacBook Pro 2012 is because of all the excellent features it brings to the table. You can expect new applications and upgraded features in the old ones.

You can also tell that the computer’s performance and general usability will improve. For instance, the Photos and Notes app will work better, and you will receive updates on Safari. Some applications like the Project Catalyst have also moved from the iPad to the MacBook.

You will also enjoy Voice Control, Screen Time, and an improved Reminders app. Apple Mail has three new capabilities: unsubscribe, block sender, and mute thread. Besides these enhanced features, there are other useful features like iCloud Drive file sharing, better ways to manage your account, QuickTime Player’s Movie Inspector, and more.

If you want to explore all the interesting things you can do on the Catalina, you can update your MacBook Pro 2012 to find out.

MacOS Catalina Good for MacBook Pro 2012

Upgrading your computer’s operating system is exciting because it brings along impressive features lacking in the previous versions. Catalina is one such OS that fans adore and is the last upgradable version of the MacBook Pro 2012. Some new users often ask whether it is worth updating, and here is what to know. 

The mid-2012 MacBook Pro comfortably supports macOS Catalina without you worrying about bugs or slow speeds. It also has more safety measures, fantastic apps, and improved features you can’t find in older OS. You can try it, but if you have reservations, it is wise to back up your files if anything happens.

To seamlessly run macOS, you may need to advance your hard disc from HDD to SSD for unbeatably smooth operation. It is also necessary to have a minimum of 4GB RAM and 500GB storage, among other specifications.

Hardware Requirements

The MacBook Pro 2012 has some of the best hardware that supports macOS Catalina. If the computer runs older macOS such as OX Mavericks 10.9, El Capitan 10.11, Sierra 10.12, or High Sierra 10.13, you can upgrade to Catalina.

You will need a memory of 4GB and above and about 13GB storage. You can use the MacBook Pro HDD drive or swap it with an SSD for higher speed, but it is optional, and you will be fine with altering the hard discs.

The 13-inch mid-2012 MacBook Pro has amazing specifications that guarantee that the software runs smoothly. It comes in 4 and 8GB RAM and a 500GB or 750GB storage space, which is extensive memory storage to avoid latency issues.

Generally, the software is synonymous with older Mac models, and users are quite comfortable with its performance. Like most previous macOS releases, Catalina also boasts numerous excellent features and fewer bugs, making using your Mac fun.


The MacBook supports macOS Catalina better than any other operating system. You will love how the software blends seamlessly with the Mac to offer you the needed capabilities. First, the program brings you a restructured iTunes, broken into TV, Music, and Podcast, and though it is split, the old features are still intact. The music app will allow you to create playlists, open a music library, and search for artists and songs.

You can also navigate to find the iTunes Music Store under the preferences tab. The TV program plays all the shows and movies you buy from iTunes Store and acts as the Apple TV.

Therefore, you can use the app to enjoy streaming both iTunes and Apple TV through a single application. With the old iTunes, you could also listen to podcasts, but now it is an independent app, though it performs all its previous functions.

You can sync the program with all your Apple devices and listen to either. The system software also comes with a new photo arrangement technique where all your images are organized in terms of the day, month, and year you took them, besides arranging your best photos together for easy access. macOS Catalina lets you try the newer 64-bit applications since it doesn’t support the old programs running the 32-bit apps.

Unlike other macOS, Catalina allows you to use your iPad as an external display using the Sidecar. The operating system has many features that make your old MacBook Pro feel brand new.

Besides, you get advanced safety measures and minimum bugs to worry about. If you find the Catalina capabilities hard to resist, it may be a great system to try. Moreover, it is free for all Apple users and straightforward to download and install.

MacBook Pro Apple Support

Since Apple no longer supports the MacBook Pro since mid-2012, it may be challenging to set it up, unlike with the newer MacBook versions. You can plug a USB memory with a bootable macOS Catalina installer you have downloaded using another computer. However, you may need to back up all your vital data and connect the iDevice to a reliable Wi-Fi, keeping it plugged in the whole time.

Next, restart the Mac and hold the Alt button to initiate a Startup window, then click the installer and press Enter to allow the computer to start in a Recovery Mode. Afterward, tap Reinstall to launch the software, restart the system in recovery mode, open the boot disk, pick macOS to install, and restart the laptop once again after forcing cache data to rebuild.

Big Sur on MacBook Pro

Different Macs run particular macOS, and you can only upgrade to a newer version if your gadget supports it. Older and discontinued computers find it hard to run more recent software due to incompatibility issues with the hardware. If you are a big fan of Apple’s newest macOS Big Sur, it would be amazing if your 2012 MacBook Pro could support it.

Unfortunately, Big Sur cannot run on your MacBook Pro 2012 since Pro versions before late 2013 now lack support. However, there are available workarounds to help you install the software on your computer, but Apple does not recommend them since they may put your device at risk.

There are chances of system crashes, and you can lose all your crucial data. If you still have doubts and want to confirm whether you have an outdated Mac, you can do a compatibility check.

You can use alternative MacOS like Catalina that your computer’s hardware can handle. Given that Big Sur is Apple’s latest update, it is expected that older macs like 2012 Pro are incompatible.

The Pros that can comfortably run the software include Late 2013, 2014, and 2015 MacBook Pro Retina, all the versions from 2016- 2020, and the advanced M1 chip Mac released in late 2020.

From late 2013 to the latest models, all the above Macs can effortlessly run Big Sur and offer the best user experience. Apple dropped the software support for the older computers for a valid reason.

The manufacturer releases a new OS almost yearly, and the demand for newer devices would drop if certain macOS will never upgrade. Furthermore, due to technological advancements, current operating systems boast better features that classic hardware cannot support.

Therefore, a modern OS requires upgraded hardware for flawless operation and interaction with the laptop’s programs. Thus, Big Sur would rather work with the upgraded MacBook models. Running it on older, unsupported computers also presents risks unless you are willing to take them. Installing it on a 2012 MacBook would slow the applications and the computer’s speed.

Besides, you may encounter excessive latency, bugs, system crashes, and risk security breaches. You will also miss out on some of the greatest features introduced to the software by the manufacturer. If you desperately need to install Big Sur software, despite all the potential risks, there is a procedure you can try to hack the Mac and install the OS on your laptop.

First, download a Big Sur patcher from sites like GitHub, and ensure that it’s compatible with your iDevice. The Patch’s job is to trick the macOS that the laptop supports it. Next, download a zipped Patcher onto your USB memory, then go straight to Apple App Store for the installation. Open the patcher and download a copy with the USB memory still on your computer.

Choose and create a bootable installer as your installation method, and your flash drive will appear above the option; click it and press Start. Once done with the installer, you can restart the Mac and hold down the Options key. On the next window, pick the flash from the boot list, and press continue.

A screen will appear, and you can click Reinstall macOS as you follow simple prompts to complete the action. However, note that the process may take hours and end up unsuccessful. Always remember to back up all the data you need in case things go south, and if you are skeptical, you can seek professional services since the tack can be complex and risky.  

Wrap Up

If you have used Apple gadgets for a long time, you will realize that the best MacOS is usually the latest available version. Apple includes all the missing features in the former systems and incorporates new technology for users to enjoy. It ensures that it makes regular upgrades to keep up with the customer’s demands and guarantee the best user experience.

If you have a 2012 MacBook Pro, you also need to upgrade to an unbeatable OS, and there is no better version than Catalina. It is the last you can upgrade to, but unlike its predecessors, it carries along exciting new features to make your old laptop feel brand new again. You don’t have to feel left out that you cannot use Big Sur because Catalina is also an excellent software.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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