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How to Downgrade from macOS Catalina to Mojave



You can downgrade from macOS Catalina to Mojave if you run into problems or you simply don’t like the new version of macOS. This takes some prep, it takes a little time and you need to change up how you downgrade compared to older versions of macOS.

You’ll want a Time Machine Backup or a similar backup that has all of your files safely stored on it since this will delete everything on your Mac. If you have a 2018 or newer Mac with a T2 security chip, you need to make sure you change the options to allow booting from an external drive.

Back-Up Your Mac

Back up your Mac.

Back up your Mac.

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While you likely already have a backup from before installing macOS Catalina, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a current Time Machine Backup so that you have all of the files you’ve worked on in Catalina. Either back up through Time Machine, move key files to iCloud or DropBox, or manually back up your needed files to an external drive.

Read: How to Fix macOS Catalina Problems

Make a Bootable macOS Mojave Installer

Make a macOS Mojave installer.

Make a macOS Mojave installer.

Next, you need to download macOS Mojave and then make a USB drive with the installer on it. You cannot run the installer from inside macOS Catalina. Instead, you need to download macOS Mojave from the App Store and then quit the installer.

  1. Connect your USB drive to your Mac. You don’t need to format the drive specially for this task, the app will handle all of that for you. This will erase the USB drive.
  2. Download Disk Creator 2 and then Click on the App.
  3. Choose the USB drive from the drop-down.
  4. If not selected click on Choose Installer and pick the macOS Mojave installer.
  5. Click Create Installer.
  6. Click Erase disk.
  7. Wait for a confirmation that this is complete.

Now you are ready to get started on most Macs.

Allow External Media Booting

If you have a 2018 or newer Mac with a T2 chip, you need to take an additional step to allow booting from external media. This is very important, so make sure you follow the steps.

  1. Shut Down your Mac.
  2. Turn it on and hold Cmd + R until Recovery Mode Opens.
  3. Click on Utilities
  4. Click on Startup Security Utility
  5. Enter the Admin password.
  6. Check the box to Allow booting from external media.

Now, you are ready to erase your drive, install macOS Mojave and then restore a backup.

Erase Your Mac

From here it is time to boot into Recovery and erase your Mac. Make sure your Mac is backed up before you proceed.

  1. Turn your Mac off.
  2. Reboot your Mac while holding Cmd + R.
  3. Click on the Install macOS Catalina option.
  4. Now click on Disk Utility.

    Erase your drive and then install macOS Catalina.

    Erase your drive and then install macOS Catalina.

  5. Click on your mac hard drive and then on Erase.
    1. Use the default options here. But if you need to make a choice pick
    2. If on HFS+ use mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    3. If on APFS, choose APFS
    4. Pick GUID Partition Map if you see that option.
  6. Name your hard drive Macintosh HD then click erase.
  7. Wait for the drive to erase.

Once the erase is complete, close Disk Utility and you will be able to install macOS Mojave.

Install macOS Mojave

You have two options here to install macOS Mojave. If your Mac shipped with macOS Mojave, you can install it from the Internet Recovery option, which is handy, but if your Mac shipped with an older version, you will need to use the bootable drive we made earlier in this guide.

  1. Connect your Mac to the Internet.
  2. Plug the USB drive with macOS Mojave in.
  3. Restart your Mac.
  4. Hold Option when your Mac is restarting.
  5. Click on the macOS Mojave drive.
  6. Click Continue to install.

Now you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions like a standard upgrade or installation. You’ll need to agree to terms and conditions and then you will need to then finish the typical start-up information.

From here, you can start using macOS Mojave, or you can restore from a Time Machine backup.

Restore From a Time Machine Backup

Restore your Time Machine Backup and you're good to go.

Restore your Time Machine Backup and you’re good to go.

If you use Time Machine, you can now restore a backup you made so that your files and settings are back in place. Just like many of the steps, we’re going back into the Recovery options.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Hold Command+R once the reboot goes into the macOS Utilities
  3. Choose Restore from Time Machine Backup.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Agree to the on-screen information.
  6. Choose your Backup location.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Choose a recent Time Machine Backup.
  9. Click Continue.

Wait for the Mac to restore and then it will reboot. This process will take a while, so make sure your computer is connected to power.

7 Reasons Not to Install macOS Catalina & 14 Reasons to Install macOS 10.15.5 Today

Install for macOS 10.15.4 Fixes and Security Updates

Install for macOS 10.15.4 Fixes and Security Updates

If you are on macOS Mojave or an older version of macOS 10.15, you should install this update to get the latest security fixes and new features that come with macOS. These include security updates that help keep your data safe and updates that patch bugs and other macOS Catalina problems.

The macOS 10.15.5 update includes the following fixes;

Battery Health Management
- Battery health management to help maximize battery lifespan for Mac notebooks
- Energy Saver preference pane now displays battery condition and recommends if the battery needs to be serviced
- Option to disable battery health management
- For more information, please visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT211094

‌FaceTime‌ Prominence Preference
- Option to control automatic prominence on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

Calibration Fine-Tuning for Pro Display XDR
- Controls to fine-tune the built-in calibration of your Pro Display XDR by adjusting the white point and luminance for a precise match to your own display calibration target

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Reminders from sending notifications for recurring reminders
- Addresses an issue that may prevent password entry on the login screen
- Fixes an issue where System Preferences would continue to show a notification badge even after installing an update
- Resolves an issue where the built-in camera may not be detected when trying to use it after using a video conferencing app
- Addresses an issue for Mac computers with the Apple T2 Security Chip where internal speakers may not appear as a sound output device in Sound preferences
- Fixes a stability issue with uploading and downloading media files from iCloud Photo Library while your Mac is asleep
- Resolves a stability issue when transferring large amounts of data to RAID volumes
- Fixes an issue where the Reduce Motion Accessibility preference did not reduce the speed of animations in a ‌FaceTime‌ group call

We will also see a list of security updates in this, which are disclosed on this security page.

The macOS 10.15.5 supplemental update includes;

  • Impact: An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
  • Description: A memory consumption issue was addressed with improved memory handling.
  • CVE-2020-9859: unc0ver

If you've skipped any updates, you will also get the following fixes, which can help improve and solve many problems and bugs. The previous update included the following fixes;

  • High Dynamic Range output to HDR10-compatible third-party displays and TVs connected with DisplayPort or HDMI
  • OAuth authentication support with Outlook.com accounts for improved security
  • CalDav migration support when upgrading to iCloud reminders on a secondary device
  • Resolves an issue where text copied between apps may appear invisible when Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue with screen brightness for the LG UltraFine 5K display after waking from sleep
  • Fixes an issue where Mac computers running macOS Catalina 10.15.4 could not participate in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier
  • Resolves an issue where you may repeatedly receive a password prompt for an Office 365 account
  • Fixes an issue where MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020) may hang in Setup Assistant or when disconnecting and reconnecting a 4K or 5K external display
  • Resolves an issue where a USB-C port in your Mac may become unresponsive

If you are on the edge, you may want to wait for macOS 10.15.5 reviews.

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