Mac OS 8 8.1

Apple Mac OS 8 was another major overhaul of the OS from the earlier Mac OS 7. It added a new Platinum visual theme, a multi threaded Finder, better virtual memory, and many customization options. 8.5 and later require a PPC CPU. It was followed up by Mac OS 9.

Running MacOS 8 requires a supported Motorola 68K or Power PC based Macintosh (see the compatibility matrix), or one of the following emulators:

Basilisk II - Runs MacOS 7.x-8.1, emulates later color Motorola 68k based Macs.

SheepShaver - Runs MacOS 7.5.2-9.0.4, emulates a Power PC based Macintosh.

Other Mac OS Versions:
| 1.x-6.x | 7.x | 8.x | 9.x | MacOS X | All |


Release notes

Last version to run on 68k CPUs. Introduced HFS+. Bundles Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac because Microsoft threatened to discontinue MS-Office for Mac if they didn't.

Installation instructions

Emulation notes: To run MacOS 8.1 we recommend Basillisk II, which emulates a Motorola 68K based Macintosh. To run PowerPC software, you can also use SheepShaver.

8.1 is the highest version that will run under Basillisk II.

Note: The foreign language versions that were here were corrupt and have been removed. If you have a foreign language version you would like to contribute, please see our contributions page.

Product type
Release date
Minimum CPU
68040 or PPC
Minimum RAM
Minimum free disk space
User interface
Download count
65 (12 for release)


Download name Version Language Architecture File size Downloads
Apple Mac OS 8.1 (ISO) 8.1 English 202.81MB 10
Apple Mac OS 8.1 [German] [iMac] (ISO) 8.1 [iMac] German 256.64MB 1
Apple Mac OS 8.1 [Japanese] (ISO) 8.1 Japanese 200.19MB 1


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