How to Downgrade from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan

If you don’t like the performance of the update, or if you encounter too many macOS Sierra issues, you can switch from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan. Here’s how to download macOS Sierra on OS X El Capitan.

Unlike iOS, there’s no time limit on how long you need to downgrade to OS X El Capitan, so you can choose to revert to your old OS X version whenever it suits you best.

With the macOS Sierra update, Apple renames OS X to macOS and adds a host of new features like Siri and the ability to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch.

If you’ve upgraded and then encountered issues or apps that don’t yet work on macOS Sierra, it’s possible to revert. The sooner you make this decision, the better, as restoring a Time Machine backup is the easiest way to downgrade macOS Sierra to OS X.

There are several ways to migrate from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan, with varying degrees of difficulty.

How to Downgrade to OS X El Capitan

How to downgrade from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan.

The easiest way to downgrade to OS X El Capitan is to restore to a Time Machine Backup made before upgrading to macOS Sierra. Whichever way you plan to downgrade, it’s a good idea to back up as there’s always the possibility that something is causing problems with your data when you change the operating system.

If you’re using Time Machine, you should already have the backup you need to start downgrading macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan. Before you begin, it’s a good idea to make an up-to-date backup to be safe. It’s also a good idea to make sure your photos are in the cloud or on a USB drive to be absolutely safe.

Restart your Mac and while it reboots at the same time. This opens Recovery Mode on your Mac. Another option you may be familiar with is when booting and .

Boot into recovery to downgrade to OS X El Capitan by restoring a Time Machine backup.

Boot into recovery to downgrade to OS X El Capitan by restoring a Time Machine backup.

You will see a menu with several options. . If you are not yet connected, your Time Machine hard drive must be installed.

Choose a Time Machine backup to restore.

Choose a Time Machine backup to restore.

After a short wait you will see an option. which is on your backup. on this screen.

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To restore, choose a backup with OS X El Capitan on it.

To restore, choose a backup with OS X El Capitan on it.

You should now see a screen where you can choose to backup. This will allow you to select the backup you want to restore. You must select . You will see a macOS Sierra version listed on the right side of this screen so you know which one to choose. and .

Now you need to select your destination to restore. , or whatever it’s called, and then . This will initiate the downgrade to OS X El Capitan.

Select your Macintosh HD to complete the downgrade from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan.

Select your Macintosh HD to complete the downgrade from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan.

It will take some time to restore your Time Machine backup to downgrade from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan. Make sure your Mac is connected to power and don’t force it to restart during this time.

Once the restore is complete, you’ll be back in OS X El Capitan where your computer was when it was last updated.

If you don’t have a Time Machine backup, you can still downgrade, but you’ll have to start from scratch. This means you need to back up your photos, files and apps on your own and then perform a clean install of OS X El Capitan.

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