ThinkPad x220 macOS 10.13 Beta Installation Guide

Follow these steps to perform a clean installation of macOS 10.13 High Sierra Public Beta on your ThinkPad X220 or X220 Tablet with an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 CPU.

Most macOS 10.13 Public Beta features are fully functional on the ThinkPad X220. See the Not Functioning section of the Notes and Suggestions at the bottom of this page for the latest status.



  1. Update the BIOS with the official Lenovo BIOS version 1.43 available here: Windows 1.43 Update Utility or Bootable 1.43 CD Image
  2. Install the modified BIOS version 1.43 to remove the whitelist check and permit the installation of a Wi-Fi card compatible with macOS. This modified BIOS will also enable advanced settings and improve battery life under macOS.
    MD5: 38ae7f20e1dfa6d3b5aa034653e0eec7
    Please note the warning on the Advanced menu in the BIOS: Setting items on this screen to incorrect values may cause the system to malfunction! The default values will work fine but the wrong settings can prevent your X220 from booting.

    Wi-Fi card recommendations:

    – Stock Wi-Fi cards in the X220 are not compatible with macOS
    – Wi-Fi cards that require no configuration whatsoever and will work automatically in macOS:
    Dell DW1510 (can be rebranded, if desired, as Apple AirPort Extreme by following the steps here)
    Dell DW1515
    – For 802.11ac + Bluetooth as well as Continuity/Handoff support, it may be possible to make the AzureWave AW-CE123H (aka Dell DW1550) card work by following the steps in the guide here. Another guide that might be helpful is available here. Note that it will not be possible to boot from our standard USB installer with this card installed; only install this card after the macOS installation is complete and the necessary modifications have been made.
    – Various other Mini PCIe and USB Wi-Fi adapters compatible with macOS are listed here
  3. Press F1 at starup to adjust the BIOS settings as follows:
    – Restart > Load Setup Defaults
    – Config > Power > Power On with AC Attach > Disabled
    – Config > Serial ATA (SATA) > AHCI

    – Security > Memory protection > Execution Prevention > Enabled
    – Startup > UEFI/Legacy Boot > Both
  4. Download the Install macOS High Sierra Beta app from Apple here.
  5. Insert an 8GB or larger USB disk
  6. Open Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
    – Select the USB disk in the left pane (select the physical disk, not a volume on the disk)
    – Click the Erase button
    – Under Name: type USB
    – Under Format: select Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    – Under Scheme select GUID Partition Map
    – Click Erase
  7. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal and enter the following command:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\ --volume /Volumes/USB --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra\ --no interaction
  8. Enter your password when prompted
  9. After approximately 25-35 minutes the process will finish and the USB will be renamed Install macOS High Sierra Beta (wait for the “copy complete” message in the Terminal before continuing)
  10. Download the ThinkPad X220 macOS 10.13 Utility and Kext Pack and place a copy on your installation USB
  11. Launch Clover Configurator from the Utility and Kext Pack and click Mount EFI
  12. Click the Mount Partition button to the right of the EFI partition of your USB. It will appear as EFI on EFI, Install macOS High Sierra Beta (disk*s1)
  13. Quit Clover Configurator and copy the entire EFI folder from the Utility and Kext Pack to the EFI partition of your USB, replacing the existing folder if present.
    The EFI partition on your USB should now contain a single folder named EFI that contains two folders: BOOT and CLOVER. It should look like this:
  14. Eject your USB
  15. Disconnect any external monitors or other devices and place the USB installer in a USB 2.0 port of your ThinkPad X220. Press F12 at startup to select the USB as your boot drive
  16. Use the arrow keys to select Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra Beta at the Clover bootloader menu and press Enter
  17. From the macOS Utilities screen, launch Disk Utility then select your target disk (select the physical disk, not a volume on the disk) and click Erase
  18. Name the target disk Macintosh HD, select Macintosh OS Extended (Journaled) format and GUID Partition Map scheme (if the scheme option is shown), then click Erase
    Note: Do not select APFS format as this will prevent the installation from completing. The file system will be automatically converted to APFS during the installation process if you are installing on a solid-state drive (SSD).
  19. After the erase process finishes, quit Disk Utility, select Install macOS and follow the prompts to do a standard macOS installation on Macintosh HD
  20. The first stage of the install process should take about 5 to 10 minutes (if the screen dims you can press a key to wake it)
  21. The computer will restart at least once during the next stage. When it does, the Clover menu will appear with Boot macOS Install from Macintosh HD. Select this entry and press Enter to continue. The installation process will then continue very slowly and the screen may become distorted. The computer will eventually restart.
  22. When Boot macOS from Macintosh HD appears on the Clover menu, select this entry and complete the guided macOS setup
  23. Copy the Utility and Kext Pack to your Desktop and eject the USB installer
  24. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal and enter the following command to allow apps downloaded from unidentified developers:
    sudo spctl --master-disable
  25. Launch Clover Configurator from the Utility and Kext Pack and click Mount EFI
  26. Click the Mount Partition button to the right of the EFI partition of your hard drive. It will appear as EFI on EFI (disk*s1)
  27. The EFI partition for Macintosh HD should now be mounted and show in the sidebar under Devices when you open a Finder window
  28. Quit Clover Configurator and copy the entire EFI folder from the Utility and Kext Pack to the EFI partition of Macintosh HD, replacing the existing folder if present (just as you did in step 13 for the installation USB).
  29. Open Utility and Kext Pack > EFI > CLOVER > kexts and launch the script entitled _kext-install.command
  30. Enter your password when prompted and wait for the process completed message after the script has installed the kexts
  31. Confirm the installation USB has been removed and restart the computer
  32. Install any system updates available through the App Store and take a moment to read through the Notes and Suggestions section below
  33. Recommended additional steps to improve battery life with optimized CPU power management:
    1. Confirm that you have an active connection to the Internet
    2. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal then copy and paste the following command in the Terminal window and hit Enter:
      curl -o ~/
    3. Next, paste this command in the Terminal window and hit Enter:
      chmod +x ~/
    4. Finally, paste this command in the Terminal window and hit Enter:
    5. Answer ‘N’ to the questions about copying and opening the ssdt files
    6. A customized SSDT.aml for your specific machine will now be in the directory /Users/yourusername/Library/ssdtPRGen
    7. Copy SSDT.aml to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/patched/
      (you may need to run Clover Configurator to mount the EFI partition)
    8. Restart the computer


Notes and Suggestions

  • User Reviews of this Guide
  • General Suggestions
    • If you encrypt your boot drive with FileVault it will be necessary to connect a USB keyboard when booting to input your password. An EFI driver for the built-in X220 keyboard is not yet available.
    • Keep your installation USB on hand. After installing macOS system updates it is sometimes necessary to boot the system with the USB and re-install kexts to get everything working properly again.
    • Use Clover Configurator if you need to mount the EFI partition or make modifications to the provided config.plist
    • If a kernel panic occurs, boot from the installation USB, select the installation drive, hit the space bar and select Boot Mac OS X in safe mode to successfully boot and make necessary changes.
    • USB adapters for wireless mice or keyboards may trigger a restart when attempting to shut down. The only known solution is to remove the USB adapter before shutting down.
    • Default sleep settings may cause a 20-25 second delay in sleeping and waking. To reduce this delay the hibernatemode setting can be changed to mode 0 by entering the following command in Applications > Utilities > Terminal:
      sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
    • If you are encountering a black screen when waking from sleep, use Clover Configurator to edit the Clover config.plist and add the boot argument darkwake=8
  • Touchpad, TrackPoint and Tablet Input
    • Touchpad and TrackPoint use a version of RehabMan’s VoodooPS2Controller.kext modified by tluck for the ThinkPad T420 in the guide here.
    • Turn off the touchpad with the <PrtSc> key if you will only be using the TrackPoint – this will prevent an issue with unintentional double-clicks with the TrackPoint buttons.
    • Touchpad supports three-finger swipe right and left (forward and back) in Finder, Safari and other browsers as well as three-finger swipe up for Mission Control and three-finger swipe down for App Exposé.
    • For X220 Tablet models, pen input should already work, however pressure sensitivity does not register correctly. For touch input, install ControllerMate and use one of the following ControllerMate scripts:
      • TouchSierra written by jakibaki. Jakibaki’s script also adds some gestures including swipe from top to get Mission Control, swipe from bottom for Launchpad and swipe from left/right to switch workspaces.
      • NewTouchSierra written by Jpeezzy. Jpeezzy’s script enables additional touch input and supports click and drag functionality.
  • Special Keys
    • The <PrtSc> key toggles the touchpad on and off
    • The <ScrLk> and <Pause> keys adjust screen brightness as do the standard <Fn>+<Home> and <Fn>+<End> keys
    • The <Insert> key will eject the CD/DVD drive (attached by USB or docking station)
    • The <Windows> key functions as the macOS <Option> key
    • The <Alt> key functions as the macOS <Command> key
    • The <Fn> key is used as follows:
      <Fn>+<F4> puts the computer to sleep
      <Fn>+<ScrLk> toggles NmLk (to use the right side of the keyboard as a number pad)
      <Fn>+<Home> brightness up
      <Fn>+<End> brightness down
      <Fn>+<PgUp> toggles ThinkLight
  • Video / Displays
    • If screen brightness controls are not working, remove AppleBacklightInjector.kext from /Library/Extensions, run Kext Utility and then restart the computer.
      If you continue to encounter problems with brightness control, try creating a version of AppleBacklightInjector.kext customized for your hardware configuration using the script available from RehabMan here.
    • If you are encountering a black screen when waking from sleep, use Clover Configurator to edit the Clover config.plist and add the boot argument darkwake=8
    • To enable scaled resolutions of 1536 x 864 and 1920 x 1080 on the stock LCD panel, follow the steps here
    • Video output through VGA, DisplayPort and docking stations works normally for single external monitor configurations (internal LCD + one external monitor)
    • If an external monitor is not automatically detected, open System Preferences > Displays and press the Option key (the <Windows> key on the X220 keyboard). This will show a Detect Displays button which should make the external monitor show up immediately.
    • External monitors connected to the VGA port should be connected and powered on before booting the computer.
    • If an external monitor is attached to the VGA port and the internal display remains dark, try increasing brightness with the <Fn>+<Home> keys.
    • If you have installed a FHD (1920×1080) panel it may be necessary to install a custom EDID in /System/Library/Displays
    • To enable Night Shift, open the Terminal and enter the following command (not yet functioning under Public Beta 5):

      cd /tmp; curl -s -o; unzip -o -qq; cd NightPatch-master; chmod +x; ./
  • Miscellaneous
    • To enable USB 3.0 on Core i7 X220 systems, download GenericUSBXHCI.kext here and place in /Library/Extensions and on your EFI partition in EFI/CLOVER/kexts/Other
    • To enable docking station headphone and microphone ports, use the alternate AppleHDA_20672.kext available here. Simply place this alternate version in Utility and Kext Pack > EFI > CLOVER > kexts > Other and repeat steps 29-31 above. Note that the combo audio jack on the right side of the computer will not function correctly with this alternate AppleHDA_20672.kext – we are working on a solution to this.
    • DW1510 wireless cards can be rebranded to identify as native Apple AirPort Extreme cards by following the steps here
    • Time Machine can be used to back up and restore your X220. Complete the restore process by booting from the installation USB and repeating steps 25 – 28 (and optionally step 33) to restore the contents of the EFI partition. SuperDuper is another good backup solution.
    • HWSensors provides a convenient way to monitor the status of your system from the menu bar
    • Smart Scroll can be installed to enable middle-button TrackPoint scrolling even when the touchpad is disabled
    • Ukelele or Karabiner-Elements can be installed to create customized keyboard layouts
    • If the Bluetooth radio is turned off in Windows or Linux it may no longer show up when booting into macOS. Boot back into Windows or Linux to turn the Bluetooth radio back on.
    • If Messages (iMessage) does not work correctly, see the guide here 
    • To enable Ericsson HSPA + (F5521gw) WWAN card see the discussion here
    • Custom “OS X220” desktop wallpaper by Will is available here
  • Sources / Credits
    • Original source of modified BIOS 1.43 is here
    • Included dsdt.aml, config.plist and kext installation script are from tluck’s ThinkPad T420 guide found here
    • Guide to editing dsdt.aml with MaciASL can be found here
    • Custom ssdt.aml script source is here
  • Not functioning
    • Scrolling with TrackPoint middle button opens multiple tabs in browsers
    • SD Card reader
    • Fingerprint reader
    • Microphone mute button on top of keyboard
    • For X220 Tablet models, pen pressure sensitivity does not register correctly (see the Touchpad, TrackPoint and Tablet Input section above for additional information)

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  • macOS High Sierra Public Beta 5 (build 17A344b) – installs with minor issues.
    • This update may appear in the App Store misnamed macOS High Sierra Public Beta 4 rather than macOS High Sierra Public Beta 5
    • When the computer restarts during installation of the update, select Boot macOS Install from Macintosh HD at the Clover menu to complete the installation
    • If audio does not work correctly after updating, repeat steps 29-31 to reinstall kexts
  • macOS High Sierra Public Beta 4 (build 17A330h) – installs with minor issues.
    • If the update does not complete successfully when running from App Store > Updates, download and run the full 5GB Public Beta 4 installer application here
    • This update will automatically convert a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system to APFS if installed on a solid-state drive (SSD)
    • If Clover does not load properly, confirm that your macOS install drive is the first entry in the BIOS under Startup > Boot > Boot Priority Order
    • A new Clover menu entry entitled Boot FileVault Prebooter from Preboot may appear. You can boot from this entry or the standard Boot macOS from Macintosh HD entry
    • This update resolves the issue with using <Fn>+<End> to decrease screen brightness
  • macOS High Sierra Public Beta 3 (build 17A315i) – installs with minor issues.
    • If audio does not work correctly after updating, repeat steps 29-31 to reinstall kexts
    • If duplicate entries show in the Clover menu, follow the steps here to revert the logical volume back to a physical volume



  • 08/10/2017: Updated Utility and Kext Pack with new apfs.efi driver with Public Beta 4 support
  • 08/09/2017: Updated Utility and Kext Pack with EFI USB keyboard driver for FileVault as well as newer version of VoodooPS2Controller.kext
  • 07/28/2017: Updated Utility and Kext Pack with more compatible version of VoodooPS2Controller.kext
  • 07/19/2017: Updated Utility and Kext Pack to include apfs.efi to support Apple File System (APFS)
  • 06/17/2017: Initial draft version of guide posted


OS X220 Wallpaper

Custom wallpaper by Will. Click image to download full resolution.

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