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January 22, 2012

How to spoof your version of Mac OS X

Every now and then, you'll probably encounter a piece of software or a driver that requires a higher version of Mac OS X than the one you're running. Updating a Hackintosh isn't always the easiest process, so if you think that the software version requirement is purely cosmetic, you can always just spoof (fake) your system version. Spoofing your version Mac OS X is very simple; all you need to do is edit a system settings file, and from there, all applications will read your version as whatever you set it to. Read on to learn how.

NOTE: Do this at your own risk, and don't try to skip big updates. For example, you're not going to be able to get any Lion-compatible software to install on Snow Leopard with this method. I recommend only faking your system version in small increments, e.g. 10.6.7 to 10.6.8.

Go to System->Library->CoreServices inside your OS X hard drive and open the file "SystemVersion.plist" with TextEdit. Change the system version listed under "ProductVersion" to whatever you desire. You should also change "ProductUserVisibleVersion", just so that you can confirm that the edit worked later by going to the About This Mac page. (You can access "About This Mac" by clicking the Apple icon on the upper-left of your screen.)

If you're running Mac OS X Snow Leopard, you might not be able to write to the file because it's system-protected (in Lion, TextEdit will let you unlock system files). To work around this problem, "Save As" this file to the desktop, or some other random place where you can find it. While saving it, make sure you uncheck the option to convert it into a .txt file.

Once you've saved it, copy this file into the "CoreServices" folder, replacing the original "SystemVersion.plist".

Your system version will now be updated (technically)!