You have downloaded macOS Mojave and given it a try! For some reason or the other, you have decided to downgrade from macOS Mojave to macOS High Sierra or earlier macOS versions.
This short guide shows you how you can go about downgrading from macOS Mojave into earlier macOS versions.
For downgrading from macOS Mojave, we will walk through the 5 essentials steps. These are:
- Backing up your MacBook
- Creating a Bootable USB installer Disk
- Erasing your macOS Mojave Installation
- Installing new macOS version on your MacBook
- Verifying the Install
Backup your MacBook Before macOS Mojave Downgrade
Before attempting to downgrade from macOS Mojave, make sure to backup your Mac. If you are using iCloud Drive to store documents or folders, make sure that they are synced appropriately so that you don’t end up loosing any critical work in progress documents.
We use Timemachine to perform our backups and it is really easy. Here’s an alternative way to perform a quick backup of your MacBook.
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Create a USB Bootable Installer for macOS
- Insert the USB Drive into the USB Port. Make sure that the USB Drive is at least 12 GB Capacity. You should also be logged in as administrator to complete this process
- Write Down the Drive’s volume name when it shows up in the finder
- Check the contents of the drive, as it will be erased when you create a bootable drive.
- Click on Spotlight Search and type in Terminal
- Launch Terminal utility from Spotlight
- Next, Type in the following command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/USB_DRIVE_VOLUME_NAME –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High Sierra.app –nointeraction
- This command will erase the USB disk , format it properly and then start copying the installation files onto the disk
- This should take 10 – 15 minutes to complete depending upon your Mac’s specification.
- You should see the Copy complete message on the terminal. Remove the USB drive from your MacBook.
- As shown in the image, you can replace the old macOS version to the one of your liking.
- You can also use the Terminal Command to create a USB Bootable drive for macOS Mojave. This is very useful to have if you choose to work with macOS Mojave in the future
Erase macOS Mojave from MacBook
In order to erase your MacBook, start your MacBook in Recovery Mode.
- Click on > Restart from the Apple menu
- Press and hold Command + R keys immediately when you hold the startup sound
- Once your Macbook starts up in Recovery Mode, select ‘Disk Utility’ from the screen and hit continue
- Select Your Macbook’s startup disk from the left panel and click Erase.
- In the Format Pop-up menu, choose macOS Journaled. You can use APFS if your Mac has a solid state drive
- Once the Erase process has completed, exit out of Disk Utility
Install macOS High Sierra or other macOS Versions
In this step here, you will use the USB you created in the prior step to re-install an older macOS version on your Macbook.
- Restart Your MacBook and press the Option Key when it is restarting
- Plug in the USB Installer drive that you created into your MacBook
- When the Installer Disk shows up, Click Install ‘macOS High Sierra’ or the macOS version that you choose to download earlier. (Click Install disk icon)
- Select ‘Install macOS’ and click on continue to proceed
- Choose your Main MacBook Drive when prompted and proceed to install
- Once the install is complete, you can restart your MacBook
- After the install is complete, you can use the Timemachine backup that you created to restore your MacBook
Verify that the install Completed successfully by checking the Installer log. You can access the install log from the ‘Install macOS High Sierra’ menu bar when clicking on Window and choosing Installer Log or press Command and L keys to launch the installer log.
You can choose ‘Show All Logs’ or focus in on ‘ Show Errors and Progress’ to make sure things are kosher during the install. One tip that is useful is to save the log file so that you can use it to diagnose any errors.
If for some reason, you choose to upgrade to macOS Mojave later, you can create a USB Installer as described above or use macOS Recovery (Command +Option+ R for older Macs built before July 2011 to start internet recovery process) to re-install macOS Mojave on your MacBook
We hope that you found this quick tutorial helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.