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How to Downgrade Your Mac From Mavericks Back to OS X Mountain Lion

How to Downgrade Your Mac From Mavericks Back to OS X Mountain Lion

Apple has introduced a number of very positive changes in OS X Mavericks – and we generally advice that the majority of users would be best served updating to the latest version of OS X. This is particularly true considering that Mavericks has the same list of supported systems as OS X Mountain Lion, and is a free upgrade.

However, not all users are thrilled with Mavericks, for whatever reason. As such, at least a certain segment of users have found that they want to downgrade from Mavericks back to Mountain Lion as a result. Fortunately, this is very possible – although it takes some work. OS X Daily explains how it is done – we’ve summarized and generalized their advice below!

Mavericks Mountain Lion Downgrade Thumb

Note: Before you get started, we strongly emphasize making a thorough backup through Time Machine of a good OS X Mountain Lion install immediately before your proceed. Not only is this Time Machine backup necessary to complete the downgrade, it will prevent or minimize your data loss.

Once you have your backup, you’ll need to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode by holding down Command + R while your system boots. Then, once the Recovery Volume boots, select the Restore from Time Machine Backup option. Make sure you have your OS X Mountain Lion Time Machine backup volume connected to your Mac.

Next, make sure you read and understand the “Restore Your System” screen, select your Mountain Lion Time Machine backup, and click continue. Now, just select a volume you’d like to restore the backup to, and choose Restore. OS X will now completely restore your Mac to Mountain Lion, based on the latest backup you have for that operating system.


Once the restore is complete, you’re good to go! Your Mac will then boot into OS X Mountain Lion, and will be ready for you to use. We hope you found this useful and that it works for you if you find yourself with the desire to downgrade! Enjoy!

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

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