How to Downgrade from macOS Catalina to Mojave

If you have problems or don’t like the new version of macOS, you can switch from macOS Catalina to Mojave. This takes some preparation, takes some time, and you have to change your downgrade method compared to older macOS versions.

You’ll want a Time Machine Backup or similar backup where all your files are kept securely, as it will delete everything on your Mac. If you have a 2018 or newer Mac with a T2 security chip, you need to make sure to change the options to allow booting from an external drive.

Back Up Your Mac

Back up your Mac.

While you probably already have a backup before installing macOS Catalina, it’s a good idea to make sure you have an up-to-date Time Machine Backup to have all the files you’re working on in Catalina. Either back up with Time Machine, move important files to iCloud or DropBox, or manually back up your essential files to an external drive.

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 create a USB drive with the installer. You cannot run the installer from within macOS Catalina. Instead, you need to download macOS Mojave from the App Store and then exit the installer.

  1. Connect your USB drive to your Mac. You don’t need to format the drive specifically for this task, the app will take care of it all for you. This will delete the USB drive.
  2. download Disc Creator 2 and then click on Application.
  3. Select the USB drive from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Select Installer if it’s not already selected and select the macOS Mojave installer.
  5. Click Create Installer.
  6. Click Erase disk.
  7. Wait for a confirmation that this is complete.

You are now ready to get started on most Macs.

Allow External Media to Boot

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.

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  1. .
  2. Until Recovery Mode Opens.
  3. click
  4. click
  5. .
  6. .

Now you’re ready to wipe your drive, install macOS Mojave, and then restore a backup.

Erase Your Mac

From here, it’s time to boot into Recovery and wipe your Mac. Make sure your Mac is backed up before continuing.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Restart your Mac while holding it.
  3. Click Install macOS Catalina.
  4. Now click on Disk Utility.

    Erase your driver and then install macOS Catalina.

    Erase your driver and then install macOS Catalina.

  5. Click on your Mac hard drive, then click Erase.
    1. Use the default options here. But if you have to make a choice
    2. If using HFS+, use mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    3. If in APFS, choose APFS
    4. If you see this option, select GUID Partition Map.
  6. Name your hard drive Macintosh HD and then click delete.
  7. Wait for the driver to be erased.

After the wipe is complete, close Disk Utility and you’ll be able to install macOS Mojave.

Install macOS Mojave

Here you have two options for installing macOS Mojave. If your Mac shipped with macOS Mojave, you can install it from the Internet Recovery option, which comes in handy, but if your Mac came with an older version, you’ll need to use the bootable drive we created earlier in this guide.

  1. Connect your Mac to the Internet.
  2. Plug in the USB drive with macOS Mojave.
  3. Restart your Mac.
  4. Press and hold Option while your Mac restarts.
  5. Click on the macOS Mojave driver.
  6. Click Continue to install.

Now you just have to follow the on-screen instructions like a standard upgrade or installation. You will need to accept the terms and conditions and then complete the typical starting information.

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

Restore from Time Machine Backup

Restore your Time Machine Backup and you're ready.

Restore your Time Machine Backup and you’re ready.

If you use Time Machine, you can now restore a backup you made so that your files and settings are back to normal. Like most of the steps, we come back to the Recovery options.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. Hold Command+R when reboot enters macOS Utilities
  3. Select Restore from Time Machine Backup.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Accept the information on the screen.
  6. Choose your backup location.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Select a recent Time Machine Backup.
  9. Click Continue.

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

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