Why Can’t You Download Inkscape on Your Mac?

Inkscape is currently the best open-source program for editing vector graphics. Still, some Mac users have found it difficult to get the program to download and install. If this sounds like you, you’re probably wondering why you can’t get it to download. 

Most of the time, Inkscape won’t download or install on your Mac because your OS requires you to first install the program XQuarts, as well as an older version of Inkscape. This applies to any macOS older than 10.11 (10.7 through 10.11).

If you’re having trouble getting Inkscape to download on your Mac, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide below we will discuss Inkscape’s compatibility with Mac as well as the major reasons why you may have difficulty getting it to download. Additionally, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide for downloading and installing the program so you can get started designing!  

Can Inkscape Be Downloaded on Mac?

When Inkscape just won’t seem to download, many people make the mistake of assuming it is wholly incompatible with Macs.

Inkscape can, in fact, be downloaded onto a Mac. It is not currently compatible with iOS, however, it is perfectly compatible with macOS. 

Why Won’t Inkscape Download on Your Mac?

There are several reasons why you might have trouble downloading and installing Inkscape on your Mac. Depending on what the issue is, a different solution may be in order. 

Below we’ve listed the three most common reasons people have  trouble downloading and installing Inkscape on their Mac: 

  • You’re downloading the wrong version: You have to make sure that you’re downloading the version of Inkscape for Mac. If you accidentally try to download the version for Windows, it won’t work properly. 
  • You need XQuarts for your OS: macOS 10.7 through 10.10 requires you to have the open-source program XQuarts installed before you can get Inkscape. We’ll cover how to do this in the following section on how to install Inkscape on a macOS older than 10.11. 
  • Your OS requires an older version of Inkscape: Along with requiring XQuarts, older versions of macOS also require that you use the version of Inkscape 0.92.2 instead of the latest.  

Now that we’ve surveyed the main issues that make it difficult to download or install Inkscape, let’s take a look at the solution. In the next section, we’ll break down how you can download and install Inkscape if your problem is that you’re using a macOS older than 10.11. 

How to Install Inkscape on macOS Older Than 10.11

If you’re using macOS 10.11 or newer, you simply have to visit Inkscapes download page and follow the usual prompts to install it. However, if you’re using an OS older than that (10.7 through 10.10) you will need to follow a more particular process to ensure it downloads and installs correctly. 

Follow the steps below to download and install Inkscape on macOS 10.7 through 10.10:

  1. Download and install XQuarts: First things first, you need to visit XQuarts website and download the program onto your computer. Simply follow the prompts and install the program the same way you would with any other. Once XQuarts has been downloaded and installed you’ll want to restart your Mac so that the changes can be applied. 
  2. Download Inkscape version 0.92.2 Installer for XQuarts: This is where it is very important that you download the correct version by visiting the page for 0.92.2 instead of 1.0. Near the bottom of the download page, you should see three boxes with different installer options. Pick the first one, labeled “Mac OS X Installer (XQuarts)”. 
  3. Pull up the installer in Finder and follow the prompts to install: Now you just need to install the program the way you would any other. Find the installer in the finder, double-click it, and follow the prompts. This time it should work. 

It’s as easy as that. Once the program is installed, you can restart your Mac and try it out. Because you got the right version you should no longer have any issues with it running. 

So Really, Why Can’t You Download Inkscape on Your Mac?

Most of the time the reason you can’t download or install Inkscape is that you’re using the wrong version for your OS. Additionally, your operating system may require that you have XQuarts installed first. 

For macOS 10.11 and newer, Inkscape 1.0 should download and install correctly. However, if you have macOS 10.7 through 10.10, you will need both XQuarts and version 0.92.2 in order for it to install correctly. Feel free to bookmark this page if you feel you may need to follow these steps again in the future!