How to downgrade my mac

There might be so many reasons why someone wants to downgrade their MacOS from Catalina to Mojave or Mojave to older versions like Sierra. It could be their existing software not being compatible or Broken software and other inconsistencies.

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How to downgrade my mac from Catalina to Mojave

 

You must have come across this article as you have updated to Catalina and would want to consider switching back to the older version, Which is also known as downgrading to Mojave  or High sierra like older macOS Versions

 

If you follow the below Three methods, You can go back to older versions of macOS like the Mojave and High sierra from your current Catalina installation. This article would also work if you are switching from Mojave or High sierra or to the older versions.

 

  • Method No 1: You could switch to older versions of macOS with the help of Time Machine backups

 

  • Method No 2: You could downgrade to macOS Mojave or High sierra with the help of Bootable installer

 

  • Method No 3: You can downgrade APFS to HFS+

Method No 1: How to downgrade macOS using Time Machine backup

You can go back to the previous OS update by restoring from the Time machine backup which you made earlier. Like if you made a Time machine backup before upgrading to Catalina or Mojave, You can switch to your previous OS backup that is made using the Time machine. There are also other alternatives like Carbon copy cloner,  ChronoSync and SuperDuper like backup utilities for macOS that will allow you to go back with older versions of macOS like Mojave, and  High sierra.

 

The only thing that needs to be very important is that it should be a full backup of your system before you upgraded to Catalina, Whether the backup exists in the External hard disk or In the USB Flash drive or Firewire devices or Time machine network drives.

 

Remember that when you restore from the backup, The startup disk will be wiped completely. So you must ensure backing up the whole Catalina OS drive in an external disk or If you use Apple’s iCloud make sure everything is backed up inside.

 

So by following the steps below, You will be able to recover your older versions of Mac OS just by using the Time Machine backups that you have made

 

  1. Connect your Time Machine backup into your Mac
  2. Now Restart your Mac and press the combination of keys continuously

Command + R until you could able to see the Apple logo on your screen.

  1. Now select the option ‘Restore from Time Machine Backup’ and Press continue
  2. Now select the Time Machine backup disk which you wanted to restore your older versions of macOS from
  3. The following screen will contain all the older versions of macOS which you took as a backup using the Time machine backup and you need to pick the macOS version which you wanted to switch

 

Now you have restored the older version of macOS, You can also recover your Catalina files using the other external hard disk which you made as the backup.

 

The above process is ideal if you made Time machine backups for all your previous macOS versions

Method No 2: How to downgrade from macOS Catalina without Time Machine?

 

If you are running the macOS Catalina or Higher, And If you would want to go back with macOS Mojave or older versions like High sierra which originally came along with your Mac, Then follow the below steps to downgrade your Mac

 

You do not need to have a backup like a Time machine to switch to older versions like macOS Mojave or High sierra.  You can continue to install Mojave or older versions provided you should be formatting the disk and so remember to back up the current version of macOS in an iCloud or a Time machine backup of all your existing data.

 

You must first get the macOS installer for the Mojave or the older version which you require from the Apple App store for the macOS.

 

  1. Go to Apple’s App Store on your macOS and search for Mojave
  2. Now click get
  3. After you click to get, It will open the dialogue box of the inbuilt software update window and Asking you whether to download the Mojave on your existing macOS
  4. Now confirm downloading the Mojave update
  5. You will be warned that your current macOS is downloading an older version to Mojave and click continue
  6. Wait for the macOS to download the older version to Mojave
  7. After the Mojave download, Do make sure not to open and install as you will not be able to install an older version of macOS on the new update

Follow the steps below to install Mojave on macOS Catalina

  1. Create a Bootable installer for the macOS Mojave
  2. Followed by connecting the bootable installer on your mac
  3. Go to system preferences
  4. Click the startup disk
  5. Now choose the external drive with the bootable installer as the startup disk and click restart
  6. You will see that your macOS will restart in recovery mode
  7. Do make sure that your macOS is connected to the Wi-Fi in the recovery mode
  8. Now select reinstall macOS in Utilities
  9. Followed by clicking continue to install the older version of macOS Mojave

Method No 3: How to downgrade from APFS to HFS+

 

Apple switched to a new file system called APFS in High Sierra. Even the Fusion drives and Hard drives got the APFS file system change in macOS Mojave.

If you have installed Mojave on a fusion drive or hard drive and want to downgrade to high sierra or previous versions, You can follow the below instructions

  1. Create a macOS Bootable disk installer
  2. Click Option continuously when you start Mac
  3. Select the Installer for the startup disk
  4. Go to Disk Utility and click show all devices
  5. Select the drive and Erase it
  6. Now choose macOS Extended ( Journaled ) as the format option
  7. Rename your drive as you want
  8. Now quit the disk utility
  9. Select reinstall macOS and choose the drive which you just renamed it

In the macOS setup select for migration of your data from  the time machine backups