How to Downgrade from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks

“Can I switch from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks?” It is a frequently asked question after updating to the new version of the software for your Mac.

We’ll show you two ways to switch to Mavericks on your Mac.

Note that the changes you make won’t be there when you download from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks, but you can keep most of your data if you do it right. If you’re looking at this before upgrading, make sure you create a good Time Machine Backup and figure out if you need to upgrade rather than try and go back.

Apple officially supports a way to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks, and we’ll show you another option that will work if you don’t have a time machine backup.

Learn how to download from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks.

If you decide you want to switch from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks, you will need to take your time, you will need a boost, and you will need to be patient. Upgrading to a new version is much easier than downgrading.

We’ll show you how to download from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks using a backup or manually downgrading and backing up your files elsewhere.

How to Downgrade from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks

This is the easy way to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to Mavericks. You will need a Time Machine Backup of your Mac in OS X Mavericks. If you don’t have it, skip ahead.

You also need to copy and save all your files from OS X Yosemite. You cannot restore a Yosemite Time Machine backup after reverting to Mavericks.

With the Time Machine drive installed or available on the network, you must follow these steps to switch to Mavericks.

Select and in Top Left

when the Mac restarts. You can press this as soon as the reboot starts, but you have to press them when the screen turns gray.

Select Restore from Time Machine Backup to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to Mavericks.  Select Restore from Time Machine Backup to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to Mavericks.

Select Restore from Time Machine Backup to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to Mavericks.

On the next screen and .

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and then . Make sure it’s one with Mavericks. You can identify this using the date you backed up and when you updated it.

After selecting backup, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation and restore from backup.

This is the easiest way to downgrade from OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks. If you don’t have a Time Machine backup, you can continue reading for more details.

Downgrading OS X Yosemite to Mavericks

You can downgrade without backup but you need a USB drive, you have to manually back up all your files and it will take much longer. You will essentially create a clean install of OS X Mavericks and then move your files back to your computer. Updates like this iPhoto etc. Be careful when using this option, as it may change the file structures and libraries used in applications.

Download OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store. This is a large file and may take some time to complete. You need this before you start. You should be able to download and then wait for the download to complete.

This will complete the download of OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks.

This will complete the download of OS X Yosemite to OS X Mavericks.

Once this is done, do not click install on any pop-ups you see. You need to make sure all your files and data are backed up. This next step will delete your data.

  1. Plug in your USB drive and turn it on Disk Utility.
  2. Select the USB drive in the sidebar and delete tab.
  3. choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) inside Format box and name untitled (This should already be named).
  4. click delete and wait for the format to finish.
  5. When done, close Disk Utility and terminal. Type the following command and press Enter:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app –non-interactive

Once this is complete you need to follow the second part of the instructions in our clean install OS X guide to wipe your hard drive and install OS X Mavericks. Once this is done you will see OS X Mavericks instead of Yosemite.