MacBook Pro mid-2012, I can't update OS X 10.8.5

I’ve just bought a used mid2012 MacBook Pro with 16Gb RAM and 250Gb SSD. It came with Mountain Lion and I need to upgrade it to possibly Mojave or High Sierra in order to run Presonus’ Notion and probably Studio One. I also want to run Steinberg’s Dorico (my version is currently at 3.5 but I don’t know if these OS will run it yet). I also need to get hold of a copy of Final Cut Pro to run on whatever OS I decide on. I’ve also got a Presonus IoStation 24C audio interface that I’d like to run if it will.
The problem I have is that at the moment I can’t get the MacBook to talk to the App Store to download any new OS. I can’t create a new apple id and when I click on ‘Update software’, I get the ‘Unable to connect to the App Store’ message. I tried putting Google ‘Chrome’ on the Macbook as I noticed using Safari I would get messages about ‘the time and date is wrong’ message (which they weren’t) and hence unable to contact server. I managed to get on ‘AllMacWorld’ but their downloads didn’t seem to work.

Has anybody got any idea where I go from here?
Many thanks,

I’d suggest that there is some kind of problem that needs to be fixed first if you can’t create an AppleID or connect to the App Store. Macs rely on security certificates, which have date-stamps, and if they don’t add up, then things don’t work.

Does the battery work? If the battery is absent or faulty, that might cause problems with the system clock.
Usually, only Safari can deal with URLs that link to the Mac App Store.

When you first booted up the Mac, did you get “Welcome to Macintosh”, and a setup wizard? If not, you should do a clean install of the OS. Through accident or malice, you don’t know what state the previous owners have left it in.

I think you definitely need to install High Sierra ‘on the way’ to later OSes, as it contains firmware updates for things like newer disk filing systems.

Here are various articles about how to obtain older versions of MacOS.

Dorico 3.5 needs Sierra or later to run. Dorico 4 will probably need Mojave: that’s a good OS to stop at for that vintage of Mac. It can run Catalina, but there’s little point.

I used to have a 2012 MBP: they’re lovely machines. But obviously, they are nearly 10 years old, and while they will continue to work, they may struggle to keep up with the latest software.

I’ve heard somewhere and now checked at his source:

that you first have to update to El Capitan as an intermediate step. As @benwiggy suggested, I think it has to do with certificates.

Thanks for all those replies guys. The laptop is very nice and would be great to get it working. I’ll look into all those suggestions.

corrected my post after checking MacBook spec , please ignore!

The MacBook Pro 2012 unibody can indeed update to Catalina. That’s the machine I have. The problem surely has to do with Apple certificates.

It’s taken all day, but I’m there now. Thanks for all the help

I’ve tried to provide links to the videos that have helped me solve this to help others, but this forum says links can’t be included…WTF? Why not?

You’ll be able to do it as soon as you get Trust Level 1.

Just spend some time on the forum (not much) and it will unlock.

Ah! I see. This is a new forum then? I wondered why it looked different. I must say, over the last 30 years of using computers, this must be just about my biggest bug-bear. Maybe it’s the Luddite in me. I’ve managed to get this mid2012 MacBook up to Catelina. I’ve just ordered a 2Tb Crucial SSD and just been watching a great YouTube video on how to get Big Sur onto this laptop using some Open Source software. Any opinions anyone on whether this is worth doing?

Catalina (10.15.7) is the latest os supported by macbook pro mid-2012

There’s usually a reason why Apple restricts an OS to certain hardware. It tends to be because some hardware component is missing, like a Metal-compatible GPU; or simply because the performance ‘experience’ just isn’t good enough. Contrary to popular opinion, they do try to prolong the longevity of hardware and software as much as possible.

If it’s not supported, then I wouldn’t try to force it. I wouldn’t expect to get more than a couple of years out of a 10-year-old model. With the advent of M1 Macs, Intel Macs from 2018/2019 are likely to become cheaper on the secondhand market, so you may want to consider something more recent.

Indeed. My iMac is a decade old and runs fine and they push out updates to iPhones for YEARS longer than any android device (and the devices still run well after 3+years too)


So after a few hours (and the rest) I got this old MacBook running Big Sur (11.6.1) and a humongous 2Tb SSD… How stable it’s going to be is anybody’s guess, but credit to the superb programming of the Open Code Utility Patcher guys. It seems to be running Notion and Dorico ok. I had a problem when I installed Dorico this time under Catalina. The EFX (reverb) patches don’t seem to load. I forget the error, something like 'Cannot locate ‘name of reverb’.

How do I edit the title of this thread to SOLVED to help anyone in the future?

You can mark the post you consider that gave you the solution as such (you should see an option for that in each post). Then, I’ll appear with a ticked mark alongside its title.

To update a 2012 MBP to Big Sur or Monterey requires a hack but it can be done as you’ve learned. Catalina was the last supported MacOS in these.

Now if someone would sell an aftermarket battery that lasts longer than 80 minutes, I wouldn’t be considering selling mine. My daughter gets the same battery life out of hers. We have identical mid-2012 with 2TB SSDs and upgraded WiFi 802.11ac / BT4.2 cards — even spent the extra $ to get the expensive batteries from OWC. She likes the DVD player but I need decent battery life and that M1 is looking good.