Apple may not want you to install macOS on a PC, but it can be done. Here’s our guide to building a Hackintosh.
Just because Apple doesn’t want you to install macOS on a PC, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are numerous tools available to help you create an installer that will allow to install any version of macOS from Snow Leopard onwards on a non-Apple PC. Doing so will result in what’s fondly known as a Hackintosh.
Before we start, we should tell you that Apple’s licence for macOS expressly forbids it being installed on anything other than a Mac, so if you choose to do it, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
And if you’re interested in getting Microsoft’s software on Apple’s hardware, check out our guide to running Windows on a Mac.
For information about Apple’s terms and conditions for using Sierra read: Should you agree to Apple’s terms and conditions
What you’ll need to run macOS on a PC
Before you start, there are a few things you’ll need. Firstly, you’ll need a compatible PC.
The general rule is you’ll need a machine with a 64-bit Intel processor. You’ll also need a separate hard drive on which to install macOS, one which has never had Windows installed on it. If you want to run more than just the basic OS, you should have at least 50GB of free space on the drive.
In order to create the macOS installer, you’ll need a Mac on which to download it from the App Store. Any Mac capable of running Sierra, the latest version of macOS, will do. And if you’re not sure if your Mac is capable or not, check our guides to identifying your Mac or checking its specs.
Finally, you’ll need a tool to create the installer, and a USB stick on which to put it. Make sure its 8GB or bigger.
One of the most popular installer creation tools is Unibeast. It’s a free Mac app that creates an installer for macOS on a USB stick which is capable of being installed on an Intel PC. You’ll need to register on tonymacx86.com to download it, but once you’ve done that you’re ready to go.
How to create the macOS installer and install on a PC
1. On your Mac, go to the App Store, search for Sierra, and download it. When it’s finished, it will automatically launch the installer. When it does this, press Command-q to quit. Check that the installer is in your Applications folder.
2. Go to tonymacx86.com, register and download Unibeast. When it’s downloaded, install it as you would any other app.
3. Plug in the USB drive on which you want to install macOS and launch Disk Utility. Click on the Partition tab and leave the partition setting at one partition occupying the fully capacity of the drive.
The Partition should be Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Give the partition a name. Click on options and make sure the partition scheme is set to ‘GUID Partition Table.’ When you’re ready, click Apply to start formatting the drive.
4. Launch Unibeast and, in the first window, select the USB drive you just formatted as the destination for the installer. Click Continue and step through the pages of the app until you come to the one that asks you to choose the OS you want to install. Click on Sierra.
5. On the next page, you’ll be asked to choose between two boot modes, UEFI and Legacy. In most cases, you should choose UEFI. The exceptions are PCs that have an older motherboard that uses BIOS and not UEFI. If yours does, choose Legacy.