How to Roll Back from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan?

Although macOS Sierra upgrde won’t create a snag for most of the Mac users, there are some exceptions wherein a user may run into a series of problems after Sierra upgrade. These problems may persists even after reinstalling Sierra. For those users, the only feasible option would be to roll back from Sierra to a previous version, say OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

There won’t be any time limit as in the case of iOS, in which a user have to complete this roll back process. So, if you want to do this process, you’re free to do it whenever you want. But, before doing downgrade, you’ve to take backup of files you’ve added after Sierra upgrade.

Note: And do not proceed to roll back, unless you have a Time machine backup of El Capitan. Here’s how to backup your Mac before installing macOS Sierra.

How to Roll Back from Sierra to El Capitan?

  1. Erase macOS Sierra through Disk Utility.
  2. Reinstall OS X El Capitan.
  3. Restoring data from El Capitan Time Machine Backup.

Erasing your macOS Sierra

  1. Click on Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen and select Restart.
  2. Hold down Command + R when your Mac restarts.
  3. Select Disk Utility from OS X utilities.
  4. Select your Mac Sierra startup disk and click erase.

 Once you have erased your macOS Sierra, you can proceed to reinstalling OS X El Capitan.

How to Reinstall El Capitan on your Mac

  1. Restart your Mac again and use Command +R to open OS X utilities.
  2. Select Reinstall OS X.
  3. Click continue on OS X El Capitan Installer.
  4. Proceed with the installation.

Done! You have completed the roll back process. Now, you just need to restore your El Capitan data using the Time Machine backup you have.

Restoring data from Time Machine Backup

  1. Select Time Machine Backup from OS X utilities.
  2. Click “Restore” option.
  3. Click “Continue” when “Restore Your System” window appears.
  4. Choose your Time Machine Backup.
  5. If there are multiple backups, choose the most recent one.

 Be patient, it’ll take some time depending on your network bandwidth and the amount of transferring data.

How to Roll Back from macOS Sierra to OS X El Capitan? was last modified: February 12th, 2020 by John Harris

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