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How to Downgrade macOS 10.15 Catalina

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2020-12-28 17:33:46 • Filed to: macOS 10.15 • Proven solutions

Whenever a new product hits the market, it is rarely perfect. That is the case with Apples operating systems, Windows operating systems, Android operating systems, and more. The difference is, Apple gives you an option to easily downgrade macOS 10.15 to an earlier version.

You can expect some bugs in a beta version of a new operating system, and even in the new operating system. If you have multiple Macs, and you use one for testing of a new OS, you are in luck. But if your main Mac is the one you upgrade, and then you cannot handle the buggy version, you need to downgrade macOS from 10.15 to an older version.

Do you Really need to downgrade macOS 10.15

The answer to this question depends on your patience. Some people are patient enough, and can handle a few bugs here and there until the official and bugs-free version. Others, however, cannot handle the crashing of third party software, problems with drivers, issues with plug-ins, and so on. Or, you might rely on application that is incompatible with the new operating system. For example, Catalina does not support 32-bit apps, and if your favorite app does not have 64-bit alternative, you might need to wait for a compatible version.

If you notice problems when you update your Mac from Mojave to Catalina, you might want to consider downgrading. First, check whether the issues are related to compatibility problems. If your Mac is not compatible for the newest version, you can expect some issues. If that is the case, you should immediately downgrade from macoS 10.15 to macOS 10.14.

You do not want the worst to happen to you. It might seem impossible, but your hard drive might fail, you might lose some important photos, or even the worst, accidentally delete an invaluable file. Well, all of that can be prevented with a backup. Before you download and install macOS 10.15, back up your current version.


What you need to know before downgrading macOS 10.15

The first thing you need to do before downgrading is create a backup of your Mac. Hopefully, you have made one before upgrading to Catalina in the first place.

If not, we strongly advise you to make a backup now, but not using Time Machine. It is much better to try another software for a backup.

Do not just assume that once you downgrade to an older version, your files will be saved. No, you will lose all of the files you've added to your Mac since upgrading to the macOS 10.15.

Another option for considering is running two versions of macOS on your Mac. You can do that by creating a partition, and one Catalina on one partition, and Mojave on the second partition.


How to Downgrade macOS 10.15

There are a couple of ways you can downgrade macOS 10.15, and we will explain all of them.

Method 1 Using Recovery

You can use this method as long as you didn't buy a new Mac with the latest version of the macOS. Assuming you have an older Mac, on which you already had a macOS 10.14 or older installed, you can use the macOS Recovery tool. All you need is fast internet connection. Remember, you need a backup before starting the process, as it will erase your startup disk.

  1. Shut down Mac, and then power on your computer. Immediately start holding Shift + Option + Command + R. The startup will take longer, because macOS recovery is loading.
  2. The macOS Utilities screen will load, and you need to select "Reinstall macOS", and then click "Continue".
  3. Choose a startup disk, and click "Install". Follow the guidelines from the on-screen instructions, and you can compete the installation process.
  4. Once the installation process is complete, restore the files you need from a backup.

Method 2 Using Time Machine

Most people use Time Machine to restore their old macOS. Same as the first method, this one assumes you have a backup on your Time Machine.

  1. Plug the Time Machine disk into the Mac, and then restart. Hold Cmd + R during startup to enter the macOS recovery mode.
  2. Wait for the macOS utilities screen to load, and then select "Restore from Time Machine Backup". Click Continue. Another screen will appear, and you need to click Continue Again.
  3. Select the Restore Source, which is the backup drive you plugged in.
  4. Select a backup you want to use. You will see different versions of backups in your Time Machine, and you need to select the one you want.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Method 3 macOS Installer

We have to stress that this method is a bit tricky, since it is not supported after Mojave was released. Before Mojave, it was possible to download older version of macOS through the App Store. However, it is not possible since Mojave.

The good news is that if you or a friend has a Mac with an older version than Mojave, you can still download a macOS installer.

From there, you need to create a bootable USB drive out of the installer file. You can use the USB drive whenever you like, and you do not even need to have an internet connection.


Best PDF Editor for macOS 10.15 in 2019

No matter which version of macOS you are running, you need a good PDF tool. Apple makes sure you get a basic PDF tool in Preview, but for many users, that is not enough. Preview lets you view and print digital images as PDF files, but that is about it. For anything more, and you need a more comprehensive tool.

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Elise Williams

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