Although the Classic Mac OS remains useful, there’s little point to updating this page regularly. We plan to update it a few times a year.
According to Apple, the Classic Mac OS is dead (see video from 2002.04.02), but that’s not really true. It’s still alive and well and being used – just no longer with any support from Apple. In fact, we continued to use Mac OS 9.2.2 daily at Low End Mac well into 2013, albeit via Classic Mode in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
We’ve scoured the Web in search of online stores with the Classic Mac OS available, and we’ve found everything from System 6.0.8 on floppies through Mac OS 9.2.2 CDs. Note that some install CDs are specific to certain computers; we note that when possible.
We’ve also added links for some software titles for the Classic Mac OS: AppleWorks, Adobe Photoshop, FileMaker, iMovie, Microsoft Office, and more.
If you have a Mirrored Drive Doors Power Mac G4 or a PowerBook G4 with DVI output, be sure to look for the 2002 version of the Mac OS 9.2.2 install CD. The 2001 version predates these models and will not create a bootable system for them, although it will create a system that can be used in Classic Mode.
Note that you can download System 6.0.8 and 7.5.3 (plus the 7.5.5 update) from Apple. See our Classic Mac OS Downloads and Updates for links and more information.
- Using System 6? Join our System 6 Forum or System 6 List.
- Using System 7? Join our System 7 Forum.
- Using Mac OS 8 or 9? Join our Mac OS 8 & 9 Forum.
- Using Mac OS 9? Join our Mac OS 9 List.
Low End Mac does not sell software. Please use the links below to order from the vendor of your choice.
For prices on Mac OS X versions that support Classic Mode, see:
Intel-based Macs and Mac OS X 10.5 and higher do not support Classic Mode unless your are running Mac emulation software.
Best Classic Mac OS Prices
- System 6.0.8, $9.77 on HD floppies, $12.77 on 800K floppies, Operator Headgap
- System 7.1, 800K floppies, $29.77, Operator Headgap
- System 7.5, HD floppies, $19.77, Operator Headgap
- System 7.5.3, HD floppies, $39.97 (free online upgrade to 7.5.5), Operator Headgap
- Mac OS 7.6.1 CD, $60, Hard Core Mac
- Mac OS 8.0 CD, $50 shipped, Operator Headgap
- Mac OS 8.1 CD, $60, Hard Core Mac
- Mac OS 8.5.1 CD, $30, FastMac
- Mac OS 8.6 CD, $30, FastMac
- Mac OS 9.0.4 CD, iMac only, includes AppleWorks 6.0.3, $19.77, Operator Headgap
- HOT Mac OS 9.2.2 CD (early 2002), $9.95, Your Mac Store
Be sure to factor in shipping costs and possible sales tax. Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details.
Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Manuals and packaging may be missing. Not responsible for typos.
Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac. Buying at these prices benefits you.
Classic Mac OS Upgrade Guide
In many instances, Apple offers free downloadable updates to those with earlier versions of the Mac OS. Sometimes this has to be done in multiple steps. The final revision is usually more stable and/or feature complete. Note that you must have a Mac with an Apple floppy drive to create 800K floppies. USB floppy drives only support high density (1.4M) Mac floppies, not 800K diskettes.
- Systems 6.0.8 and 7.0.1 can be downloaded for free from Apple and copied to floppy disks.
- System 7.5.3 can also be downloaded for free, but the files are not disk images. Any version of System 7.5.x can be updated to 7.5.5, although a few Macs do not support 7.5.5.
- Mac OS 7.6 can be updated to 7.6.1.
- Mac OS 8.0 can be updated to 8.1.
- Mac OS 8.5 and 8.5.1 can be updated to 8.6.
- Mac OS 9.0.x can be updated to 9.1, the last version supported on some PowerPC Macs.
- Mac OS 9.0.x and 9.1.x can be updated to 9.2.2.
Classic Mac OS
- Mac OS 8.5, from $41.99 + $3.99 shipping.
- Mac OS 8.5.1, $29.99
- Mac OS 8.6, $29.99
- Mac OS 9.0.4, $29.99
- Mac OS 9.1, $29.99
- Mac OS 9.2, $29.99
- Mac OS 9.2.2, $29.99
- Mac OS 7.5.3 on floppies, $41.99
- Mac OS 7.6.1 CD, $59.99
- Mac OS 8.0 CD, $59.99
- Mac OS 8.1 CD, $59.99
- Mac OS 8.5 CD + 8.6 update, $119.99
- Mac OS 8.5.1, $119.99
- Mac OS 8.6, $159.99
- Mac OS 9.0 CD, $149.99
- Mac OS 9.0.4 CD, $149.99
- Mac OS 9.1 CD, $159.99
- Mac OS 9.2.1 CD, $159.99
- Mac OS 9.2.1 CD with 9.2.2 update. Not for Macs that require 9.2.2. $159.99
Shipping charges included. When ordering from Operator Headgap, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!
- System 6.0.8, HD floppies, $9.77 shipped
- System 6.0.8, 800K floppies, $12.77 shipped
- System 7.1 on 800K floppies, $29.77 shipped
- System 7.5 HD floppies, $19.77 shipped
- System 7.5.3 HD floppies, $39.77 shipped
- Mac OS 8.0 CD, $49.77 shipped
- Mac OS 8.5 CD, $79.77 shipped
- Mac OS 8.6 CD, $89.77 shipped
- Mac OS 9.0.4 CD, iMac only, includes AppleWorks 6.0.3 (which can be installed on any Mac), $19.77 shipped
- Mac OS 9.2.1 CD, will not boot Mirrored Drive Doors Power Macs, $49.77 shipped
- Adobe PageMill 3.0 (Mac OS 8.0 or later), $14.77 shipped
- AppleWorks 6.0.3, Palm Desktop, Bugdom, Nanosaur, and more, iMac Restore CD, $19.77 shipped
- Kid Pix Deluxe (Mac OS 8.1 or later), $19.77 shipped
- iMovie 2 (Mac OS 9.0.4 or later), $14.77 shipped
- Microsoft Office 4.2 (Word 6, Excel 5, PowerPoint), $59.77 shipped
- Mac OS 9.2.2 CD, will not boot Mirrored Drive Doors Power Macs. $9.95 or 10 for $49.95
- System 7.0 CD, $99.95
- System 7.1 floppies, $99.95
- System 7.1.2 CD, Power Computing version, $79.95
- System 7.5 CD, $99.95
- System 7.5.3 CD, Power Computing version, $79.95
- Mac OS 7.6 CD, Power Computing version, $79.95
- Mac OS 7.6.1 CD, $79.95
- Mac OS 8.1 CD, Apple version. $79.99
- Mac OS 8.5 CD, $169.95
- Mac OS 8.5.1 CD plus extras, iMac only, $69.49
- Mac OS 9.0 CD plus extras, iMac only, $79.99
- Mac OS 9.0.4 CD, G3/G4 Mac only, $79.99
- Mac OS 9.1 CD, $159.95
- Mac OS 9.2.1 update CD (required 9.1), $1.95
- Mac OS 9.2.1 CD, $159.95
- Mac OS 9.2.2 CD, $99.95
- Adobe PageMill 3 (Mac OS 8.6 or later), $29.95
- Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (System 7.0 or later), $49.95
- Adobe Photoshop 4.0 (System 7.1 or later), $69.95
- Adobe Photoshop 5.5 (Mac OS 7.6, PowerPC Mac), $79.95
- AppleWorks 6.2.4 (Mac OS 8.1 through OS X 10.6.8), $14.95
- iMovie 1.0.2 (Mac OS 8.6 or later), $19.95
- iMovie 2.0.3 (Mac OS 9.1 or later), $39.95