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How to fix 'This version of Safari is no longer supported' messages

Older versions of OS X don't get the newest fixes from Apple. That's just the way software works. If the old version of OS X you're running doesn't get important updates to Safari anymore, you're going to have to update to a newer version of OS X first. How far you choose to upgrade your Mac is entirely up to you. But it's definitely time to get things in order, because there are good reasons why you're getting the "This version of Safari is no longer supported", and they typically have to do with security or capabilities that you're missing.

I have a 2009 MacBook Pro. It works fine but I keep getting messages that says "This version of Safari is no longer supported. Please upgrade to a supported browser". I also can't download certain programs or open some YouTube videos. Should I upgrade my browser, and if so, should I use Yosemite? Also, if I upgrade to another browser, will there be significants changes in what my my screen looks like. (I'm one of those people who doesn't like any kind of change.) Thanks for any help you can offer. — KC

I see this problem in the store I work in quite frequently. A customer will come in with a Mac that works fine except they can't do much on the web anymore because they keep getting that error message.

That error message is legitimate: Some web sites will block you from their content if they judge you to be a security risk or if the browser you're working with is too old to support the technology they are dependent on. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do under those circumstances except get your Mac working with more modern software.

Some people reading this may be surprised to learn that you're not already running OS X Yosemite, after all, it should work just fine on a 2009-era Mac. But the fact is that many of us, like you, use our Macs with the software they came with, because that's what we're accustomed to and that's what we like to use. And as the old adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

You didn't tell me how your MacBook Pro was configured, but if it's a 13-inch model, and assuming you fall into the "if it ain't broke" camp, I'm guessing that your 2009-era MacBook Pro came with OS X 10.5 "Leopard," which is an elderly operating system by Apple standards.

The bad news is that you can't just arbitrarily jump to Yosemite. After all, you need the Mac App Store to do that, and you don't have the Mac App Store on your Mac, because that wasn't introduced until Snow Leopard came out later that year.

The good news is that Apple still offers Snow Leopard for sale — you can buy it on DVD directly from Apple (opens in new tab) for $19.99. It's also available from vendors on Amazon.com (opens in new tab), though it'll cost you a bit more.

Getting Snow Leopard on your Mac, with the requisite security and app updates offered, may get you to the point where you're not seeing unsupported browser messages anymore; you can also download Firefox or Google Chrome at that point; both of those web browsers continue to support Snow Leopard as well.

The good news is that Snow Leopard is similar enough in look and feel to Leopard to be a very unobtrusive update for you. You should be able to apply it without any really jarring complications that will take out of what you're used to.

Bumping your Mac up to Snow Leopard and applying any software updates will provide you with access to the Mac App Store, and you can further upgrade your Mac from there, if you choose.

Can your Mac run Yosemite? Yes, it can — though there's a few caveats. First of all, you'll need at least 2 GB RAM, and I'd really recommend having 4 GB or more installed. (If you're not sure how much RAM your Mac has, go to the  menu and click on "About this Mac," it should tell you there.) Secondly, Yosemite does introduce a lot of visual changes to the Mac operating system that you may not like. So Snow Leopard may be your best bet.

Regardless, Snow Leopard is your first stop before you go any further, because Leopard is definitely past its prime at this point.

5 Comments
  • Yeesh. If one is running 10.5, I'm surprised that's the only warning sign of the system software being too old. 10.6 is better, simply because so much App Store software lists 10.6.8 as the minimum. If things looking a little different is that big a deal, 10.9 is a much better option. It's still quite recent, and is the newest version before the visual refresh in 10.10. Even then, it's not like 10.10 changes anything. It's not like they turned it into Windows or write dialog box text in Klingon. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a decent adage. Problem is that software is more like food, it goes bad after a while. The problem of sticking on 10.5 means that one can't update to the current version without an intermediate step of installing 10.6. Just staying relatively up to date always means that one doesn't get blindsided by gotchas like that later. But, whatever version that KC goes with, I urge them to do a full backup and erase the hard disk before installing to make sure there aren't any filesystem errors lurking. Heck, it's a great time to consider some system upgrades too. Vendors like Other World Computing will upgrade the RAM, install a new disk, and I'd imagine would install the OS if asked. They may sell it or ask that the appropriate install media be shipped with the machine, but they'll send it back ready to go and feeling like a new Mac!
  • Even then, it's not like 10.10 changes anything. It's not like they turned it into Windows or write dialog box text in Klingon.
    Now I totally want to change my Mac to Klingon.
  • Qa'pla Apple!
  • I think your advice here is spot on and the only way around this issue. However just one thing I'd like to correct is when you said "That's the way software works" at the beginning. No. This is the way Apple works. A Windows pc which is only 6 years old is not considered old, and is still supported by Microsoft and all software vendors. And it still works just fine. I do wish Apple would stop not supporting anything more than 2 years old.....
  • FYI: This article is a bit dated. Chrome and Firefox are no longer offering updates. As a result, I don't know of any browsers that are current under Snow Leopard. Ironically, I have a G4/PPC iMac that still receives browser updates thanks to TenFourFox. Question: Are there any browsers out there that WILL continue to receive updates and therefore make Snow Leopard viable? I have too many plug-ins and other software that won't port over to the latest version of Mac OS X — even though my computer *can* receive an updated OS. I'm content with Snow Leoopard in part because I don't own any iOS devices and because I don't want to see any iOS-inspired GUI changes. Second, I'm not interested in Cloud software be it Adobe's Creative Cloud or even the iCloud. (Apple's iCloud version of iTunes has been a nightmare for me in terms of Apple "hijacking" my iTunes library to perform spontaneous and unwanted file/copy protection changes.) My concern going forward is that even Snow Leopard users, who DO have access through the OS to the App Store, will find themselves stuck with an inoperable version of the App Store. Once App Store updates are unavailable to this OS — or in the event the App Store stops offering the older portion of the post Snow Leopard OS updates as a Software Update — those of us who still want to run pre-iOS versions of OS X will REALLY be up a creek. In closing, I agree with the prior comment. Apple sells the most expensive hardware but provides the shortest OS support "life cycle". Ironically, this leaves Apple to face the same drawback that Windows users in the late 1990s often pointed out: Apple products are impractical for business use. After 20-some years of the same criticism, perhaps Apple ought to follow Microsoft's lead and continue to offer security updates for legacy systems.