Down­grade to an older ver­sion of OS X

In­stalling an older ver­sion of OS X isn’t as easy as you think it would be, writes Glenn Fleish­man

Macworld - - Contents -

Mac­world reader Roxsanne Roush wants to go back in time. She pur­chased a 2011 iMac that had El Cap­i­tan in­stalled, but needs to run a pre­vi­ous ver­sion of OS X as she re­lies on Adobe Cre­ative Suite 5.5. She wants to re­vert to Mav­er­icks.

It al­ways makes me ner­vous mov­ing back­wards with op­er­at­ing sys­tems, be­cause so much can go wrong. The eas­i­est way to re­vert is to in­stall an older, com­pat­i­ble ver­sion of OS X on an ex­ter­nal drive. The 2011 iMac mod­els have USB 2.0 but also FireWire 800. You can pur­chase a FireWire 800 drive that’s prob­a­bly faster than the in­ter­nal drive and of­fers more ca­pac­ity at a rea­son­able price. Down­load the Mav­er­icks in­staller – ob­tain­ing it can be a chal­lenge if you don’t have a copy al­ready – and choose the ex­ter­nal drive as a tar­get. Then you can use the Startup Disk pref­er­ence pane to switch drives if you want to swap be­tween us­ing Mav­er­icks and El Cap­i­tan.

Since you don’t have much on the iMac, you could copy the files you need, and per­form and erase and in­stall op­er­a­tion by cre­at­ing a bootable flash drive ver­sion of the Mav­er­icks in­staller.

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