Install Mountain Lion On As Many Macs As You Want Without Purchasing Additional Copies

Install Mountain Lion On As Many Macs As You Want Without Purchasing Additional Copies

Mac: You can re-download and install your Mountain Lion update on all the Macs you own, but that won’t work if you have different Apple IDs on those machines. However, with this workaround you can reinstall from the same copy as many times as you need to.

We’ve already detailed making an external installer and using that (which will save on bandwidth and time), but there’s also a simple workaround to download Mountain Lion and install it across different IDs. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences on the Mac you want to update, then go to the Users & Groups section.
  2. Press the + button to add a new user, and create an administrator account. (Don’t worry, you can delete it later.)
  3. Switch users and sign into this new account.
  4. Open the Mac App Store and sign in with the Apple ID you used to purchase Mountain Lion.
  5. Download Mountain Lion and install it.
  6. Delete the new user account.

That’s all there is to it. While you could technically use this technique to install Mountain Lion on the Macs of everyone you know, you shouldn’t go that far. We’re posting this tip to give you a way to install Mountain Lion on household Macs that may be in use by various people who don’t share the same Apple ID.

$20.99 is a negligible price to pay for a solid upgrade. That said, you are supposed to be able to install it on all your Macs. If you can’t because of varied Apple IDs, use this method to get around the problem.


  • Good solid tip, however when I did it for lion, i just signed into the appstore under my other ID, saved creating a new user etc., just sign out, sign in.

  • The reason to do this is because you can’t install Mountain Lion without entering an Apple ID… The trouble is that for our company, we don’t want to create Apple IDs for every employee. Even if we did, Apple won’t accept the same company credit card on multiple Apple IDs… So, in other words, Apple makes it impossible for any business to buy Mountain Lion for their employee computers 🙂 As a result, I am installing around 35-40 copies of Mountain Lion without paying for them — even though we were perfectly willing to pay for them — because technically that’s the only way it’s possible for us to do it.. Nice work, Apple!

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!