Garage Band Software - El Capitan

So, I have an opportunity to get an older IMac for pretty cheap. It’s hardware supports up to El Capitan.
However, it does not come with Garage Band installed.
The App Store does not support Garage Band for El Capitan away more, so you can not get it thru Apple.

I have not been able to find any downloads or torrents for a working ILife 11 (I think) or just Garage Band that will install on El Capitan.

My question is,
Does Anybody
-have an answer for this?
-Know of a site to download a version I can install
-Have an ILife 11 or a version of GB that I could use?

I really want to get to recording, and I really do not like the option I have with just the Ipad.
The GB on the Mac is so much better and easier to use. I might be able to figure it out on the Ipad if I already know it, but It is not a good option for learning Garage Band, or at least I think it sucks.

I installed Catalina, the newer(est) OS for IMac on an unsupported system.
And while this works, it does seem to operate a bit slow, and I am sure it is due to the OS running on older hardware.
While it is not ideal, I can probably get away with it and, if its my only option , I may still buy the computer, but I am worried about overall longevity of the system, I mean I will have to turn off all auto updates…

Any answers? suggestions? Software you can upload to Dropbox and I can grab?

I don’t know how much this will help but here goes

El Capitan is version 10.11
Sierra (Fuji) is version 10.12

Garage Band doesn’t seem to run on anything lower than 10.12. Since this is your primary stated purpose, I highly suggest holding out for one than can do at least 10.12.

Edit: Corrected Catalina to El Capitan to remove confusion.


Garage band that you can currently download from Apple doesn’t run on anything lower, AKA you can not download it from the App story, it just gives an error.

But there are loads of older versions of GarageBand that are just as capable as the one in the App Store today.

I can either, find somebody with, or somewhere to get Ilife or GB that is a few years old, load it, and then it will update from the App Store (only if it is already on the computer, if it is not, it won’t allow download)
I can install Catalina on the older computer (i found a patch and have done this successfully on the exact same model computer I am looking at buying) and then I am able to download GB directly from Apple.

The only thing is that the OS itself is running a bit slow on this computer that we put catalina on. It is not loaded up with max ram however, so that might be the reason. GB runs just fine on said computer, it is just the OS itself, all programs tested, and browsers run just fine.

Today, my neighbor is going back to that store and getting the extra RAM for the computer and we are gonna load it up and see if it makes the difference.

The other option, that @howard pointed out was, that I can go with a different DAW, that supports the El Capitan OS, and use it instead of GB. The computer runs just fine with El Capitan, even with the ram it came with, so I may just go with Reaper.

REaper is $60, to purchase a computer that is capable of running the current Mac OS (Catalina) is about $400 more
Since I only really want a computer to so I can run a DAW and possibly Video editing software, and am not looking for max professional speed to get the job done as fast as possible, I don’t really want to spend an extra $400 on a computer at this time, and the real reason I don’t. Want to, is because if I talk myself into spending the extra $400, I am gonna talk myself into just dropping over a GRAND on a new mackbook, and I really don’t wanna, that’s half of a MM stingray


Dought! My bad. I mistyped Catalina up above and I meant El Capitan is 10.11.

Okay. I gotcha now. I don’t have any way to help with that. Good luck.

Edit: Fixed original post.


I found a torrent link. The sellers said she’s would load it prior to me buying. They have a store front. They sell large systems to cooperate businesses, then when they upgrade the system, they buy back the units, refurb and sell. They have a small 30 day trade back warranty, so if there is something wrong with it, they give you a different unit.


My neighbor who purchased a 2008 IMac for $175 to run Abeldon on (and Garage Band), found out (we found out) that GB would not install.
After trying to find torrents of older GB to install, I came across a way to put Catalina on the computer thru a patcher with video instructions on how to do it by the patcher creator on youtube.

I did this, and we got GB on the IMac, but it was running extremely slow. My neighbor talking to the guys that sold the computer was told he should max the ram, and for an additional $20 they sold him the RAM.
While at the store, I was asking if they had old software for which thy could install GB on the system running El Capitan. They said they did not, but they could find a torrent. They also told me that they may get in late 2009 IMac’s this Wed, which can run High Sierra natively, and they are the same $175.
In the store they also told me they could get Catalina on the system thru a patcher.
Whew, we thought we would have to kill the patched Catalina if my neighbor ended up returning the computer, which is now running Catalina EXTREMELY SLOW, but runs GB just fine.

So, those guys said they would hold me a late 2009 High Sierra computer.

However, after installing the $20 worth of Ram to max out the computer, it runs just fine.
The guys in the store confirmed that when they do it, the computers run just fine, no problems.
Today, my Sponsee, who had gone to school for recording engineer, and has a lifetime Abeldon license, installed it on this 2008. iMac, running patched Catalina, and it is running just fine, in fact, it is outperforming both GB and Reaper on this system,

So, either way, I am going to get one, and either have high sierra with GB, as well as Abeldon, or do a Catalina Patcher to have Catalina on it, and have both DAW’s installed.
After a little training, and playing around, I should be up and running next week so I can record sound samples at lease.