How to Downgrade Your Mac OS Mojave to High Sierra

You may be unhappy with your Mac’s performance after the Mojave upgrade. Or you may find that some of your apps are not working or may find your system sluggish. In that case, if you’re considering going back to High Sierra, it is possible and we’ll teach you how.

If your Mac was shipped with High Sierra or you created a backup of your Mac before upgrading to Mojave, then it is simple to downgrade. If not you will need a bootable version of High Sierra. Steps involved in downgrading to High Sierra in all of these cases are covered in this blog post.

Downgrade Mac OS Mojave

Things to do before downgrading from Mojave to High Sierra

Step 1: Backup your Mac

Downgrading your Mac from Mojave to High Sierra will completely erase the hard drive. All your programs, files, and folders will be erased. Hence, as a first step, it is important that you backup your drive. You can use either an external hard drive or a cloud-based backup like iCloud or DropBox based on your convenience.

Step 2: Erase Mojave

  1. After you’ve backed up you’re Mac, turn it OFF
  2. Turn it back ON by clicking Command + Option + R keys
  3. Click Disk Utility and choose the disk with Mojave installed
  4. Click Erase
  5. Choose a name for the disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS as the format and confirm the Erase

After you have backed up your Mac and erased your startup disk, follow the steps below (according to your situation) to get back to High Sierra.

3 ways to downgrade from Mojave to High Sierra

Case 1: If you’re Mac was shipped with High Sierra

If your Mac was shipped with High Sierra, then it is fairly simple to downgrade from Mojave, thanks to Apple’s recovery mode feature. Please follow the steps below to downgrade to High Sierra.

  1. Power OFF your Mac and turn it back ON by clicking Alt + Command + R keys together
  2. Now you will see the recovery options menu; from here select Reinstall MacOS
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, choose your startup disk and click Install
  4. After the reinstallation process completes, your Mac will restart into High Sierra

Case 2: If you have High Sierra on Time Machine

If you have created a backup of your Mac with High Sierra on Time Machine before upgrading to Mojave, then you can use that to downgrade.

  1. Connect the Time Machine drive to your Mac
  2. Go to the Utilities window and select Restore from Time Machine Backup
  3. Choose the external Time Machine drive from the list and choose the date you want to go back to

Case 3: If you’re Mac wasn’t shipped with High Sierra and you don’t have High Sierra on your Time Machine

If your Mac wasn’t shipped with High Sierra or you don’t have High Sierra on your Time Machine backup, then you will need to create a bootable copy of High Sierra to downgrade from Mojave. Please follow the instructions below to create a bootable copy of High Sierra.

  1. Go to the Mac AppStore and look for High Sierra on your Purchase History. It should be available there, if not, a simple search should help you find it. Then click on the Download button
  2. Get yourself a USB stick with at least 12GB to be able to accommodate the installer
  3. Connect the USB stick to your Mac and open Disk Utility by going to Finder > Utilities > Disk Utility
  4. Select the USB stick from the left menu and click Erase
  5. Assign a name to the USB and choose ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS’ as the format
  6. Click Erase and close Disk Utility
  7. Once again go to Utilities folder and select Terminal
  8. In the Terminal, type ‘sudo /Applications/Install\mac OS\ High\Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume/volumes/MyVolume –applicationPath /applications/install\macOS\High\Sierra.app’
  9. Then click the Return key and enter the admin password
  10. Wait for the process to complete

Reinstall High Sierra

  1. Click on the Apple menu > click Restart while pressing the Option key
  2. When you get an option to choose the boot disk, choose the USB installer you just created
  3. High Sierra will now be installed on your Mac

Conclusion

Like discussed before, you must always back up your Mac before downgrading from Mojave to High Sierra. However, if files are not backed up and they are lost during the downgrade process, then it is still possible to recover data after OSX downgrade using a tool called Remo Recover. All your files, documents, and folders will be recovered in the same form as it was prior to the downgrade.

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