Help me clandestinely update my work imac
September 25, 2017 5:34 PM   Subscribe

So I work for a company where I’m asked to use a really old MacBook Pro that is on its last legs. I spend too much time looking at the Rainbow Wheel of Death. After much complaining, my boss finagled a desktop iMac from a department that recently downsized. He said I could quietly use it as long as I didn’t let IT know...

Their office is in a different part of the country. We have an administrator password. (SHHHHHHH!).

My username and password that gets me onto my laptop gets me onto the iMac.

The desktop obviously runs much faster, but much of the work we do is in a browser. The browsers on this iMac are way out of date, and I can’t update them. That’s where you come in. Why can’t I?

I can’t update the OSX. Trying the apple icon in the top left and clicking software update prompts me for the admin password. Then it says no new updates.

I can’t update the browsers. Firefox tells me it's out of date, but going to help>Check for update says no updates found. Trying to update it via browser says “your system doesn’t meet the requirements to run firefox.” The app store does not offer up the browsers.

Specs: iMac 12, 1
OS X V. 10.6.8

Safari – 5.1.10
Firefox – 3.6.9

posted by Brodiggitty to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you just download and install Chrome?
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:48 PM on September 25, 2017

Best answer: The limiting factor you have here is the version of OS X operating system (10.6.8). That's many large versions behind, and is the reason you're not being offered newer browsers (and likely cannot install the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox).

Your iMace 12,1 looks to be the iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011). It looks like you should be able to upgrade to OS X El Capitan (10.11.x). That link should take you to the Mac App Store and let you install it. If you can indeed install and run OS X 10.11, you should be able to upgrade to the newest versions of Chrome and Firefox.

If your iMac still has 4GB of RAM, you can probably get a significantly better experience if you upgrade to 8GB (or more).
posted by reeddavid at 5:49 PM on September 25, 2017 [8 favorites]

Reeddavid has it all. OS first, then you can update the rest.
posted by advicepig at 5:51 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

what you should do first is go to system preferences --> users and accounts (or whatever it was called) and make sure your machine isn't bound to a domain by your IT department for single sign on. considering you're still on 10.6, i'd doubt this is the case, but it can cause problems if it is and you kill it and reinstall it.
posted by koroshiya at 6:01 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

An iMac 12,1 is mid-2011. You should be compatible with all releases of OSX and macOS to date.

10.7 was released mid-2011, so it sounds like it's never updated OSX - it would have come with 10.6 preinstalled. Updates before 10.9 (Mavericks) were paid-for, so I'm not sure it would have actually prompted the user to upgrade automatically. Have you searched for High Sierra on the app store? It should be available for free - you'll need the admin password to install it, but that shouldn't be a problem.

If you want to try upgrading to an intermediate version, that could be tricky, but there's some advice here. I've never tried that myself.

For the record, I'm currently typing this on a mid-2012 Macbook Pro which has happily run everything up to Sierra with no issues. I don't anticipate you having trouble updating to High Sierra all in one go, but it's always worth backing stuff up first, and be aware that some legacy apps may stop working.
posted by spielzebub at 6:03 PM on September 25, 2017

You may need the Update Combo first, but yes, once you get to the App Store you can update the OS and move on from there
posted by O9scar at 6:05 PM on September 25, 2017

On preview - reeddavid is correct and you'll need to upgrade to El Capitan before you can upgrade the OS further. But you should still be able to update all the way up to High Sierra after that!
posted by spielzebub at 6:06 PM on September 25, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks. reeddavid's link is working. I gave it my own Apple ID when it asked. (Don't really care that much if IT figures out it's me.)

koroshiya - Went where directed. I don't see anything indicating single sign on.

spielzebub - when I tried going to the latest OS, it said the computer didn't have the requirements (I think). It wouldn't let me do it. But El Capitan is at least downloading in the app store.

(On preview, I see your latest comment. Thanks Everyone!)
posted by Brodiggitty at 6:07 PM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

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