How to Downgrade from MacOS 13 to MacOS 12?

Find all the possible ways to downgrade your MacOS in this guide.

how to backup mac

Apple gave viewers a preview of the MacOS 13 Ventura at the WWDC, which looks like a great update. There are many features like unsending iMessage, Stage Manager, a new mail app, improved Spotlight search, and many more. These upgrades might have attracted most users to rush to update the system to the MacOS 13 Ventura beta as soon as Apple dropped it. However, while we understand its attraction, a beta comes with many risks like crashes and system freezing. In such a case, you might be wondering how to downgrade Mac to macOS 12 once more.

If this is the situation, you’re in the ideal place. However, it would help if you didn’t deal with the daily annoyance of installing the macOS 13 beta. Therefore, we’ll explain how you can downgrade the macOS beta in this comprehensive guide. Now that you know what we’ll be covering let’s get started.

Part 1. What Do you Need to Know Before Downgrading?

Before you downgrade macOS 13 to MacOS 12, there are some things you need to know. First, you need to know that a macOS backup is essential. Although it is a recommendation, we suggest you make it a requirement. A backup is necessary when downgrading MacOS to a different build. The best part is that backing up your data is relatively easy; you can do it using Time Machine on your Mac.

However, you cannot back up your files using MacOS 13 Ventura beta and then use the backup to downgrade. Note that backups with newer OS versions aren’t compatible when you move to an older version. Therefore, if you have an archived backup from the older OS, you can easily downgrade using this, and your data will remain intact. However, if this isn’t possible, downgrading could lead to your data loss. There are many ways to carry out a backup for your Mac, but the first step would be to exit the beta program.

Part 2. Downgrade with Recovery Mode

There are many risks when you downgrade MacOS to an older version. In addition, there are different methods you can explore. One of them is the recovery mode. You must first leave the beta program to use the recovery mode. Doing this doesn’t translate to downgrading your MacOS. However, it informs the beta program you’re not looking for more updates to your system.

You must go through your system settings to leave the beta program. One of the upgrades that come with macOS 13 Ventura is the upgrade of ‘system preferences’ to ‘system settings.’ Follow the steps below to unenroll from the beta program.

  • Step 1. Firstly, open the 'system settings' on your Mac.
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  • Step 2. Now, navigate to General; you can find it on the left sidebar.
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  • Step 3. Choose the option ‘Software Update’ from the options provided.
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  • Step 4. When this loads, the message ‘this Mac is enrolled in the Apple Developer Seed Programme’ will appear on the screen. Choose ‘details’ on the right corner to proceed.
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  • Step 5. A dialog box will appear, and all you have to do to stop receiving beta updates is click ‘Restore Defaults.’
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  • Step 6. You’ll have to enter your Mac user account password to enable this option. Then, Apple will unenroll you from the program after a few minutes.
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However, there are many risks involved that you need to know. First, it will wipe your hard disk; all you’ll have left is a MacBook with no data. Then, after that, it would be back to the factory settings.

That’s why you should always back up your files in an external storage device before you downgrade your mac. It would help if you also had a steady internet connection because your Mac will download and install the macOS 12 Monterey on your device after downgrading. Follow these steps to downgrade MacOS 13 Ventura using the recovery mode.

Now, you can downgrade MacOS 13 Ventura to MacOS 12 using the recovery mode.

  • Step 1. Firstly, you must enter the recovery mode; the process differs depending on your Mac. If you’re using an M1-based Mac, you must hold the power button until the ‘loading startup options’ screen appears. Choose options from the screen and then select ‘Continue’ to proceed to the recovery mode. If you’re using an Intel-based back, all you have to do is hold down the Options+Command+R keyboard buttons till the Apple logo appears.
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  • Step 2. This shortcut will allow you to downgrade to the recent stable MacOS. You can also utilize the keyboard shortcut Shift+Option+Command+R to downgrade to the MacOS it shipped with.
  • Step 3. On the screen that appears nest, you’ll see an option to ‘Reinstall/MacOs’ or to ‘Reinstall macOS Monterey.’ Choose the option that appears.
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  • Step 4. Next, follow the guide on your screen, and Recovery will install it on your system.
  • Step 5. Ensure you keep your system and internet connection until the installation is complete.
  • Step 6. The chances are that your system could restart many times while the new MacOS is installing.
  • Step 7. Once the process is complete, your system will restart on its own.
  • Part 3. Downgrade with Time Machine Backup

    Another option you have to downgrade MacOS 13 Ventura is Time Machine. The best part about this is that you can create a backup and then use that backup to downgrade your Mac OS. In such a case, it will easily downgrade the MacOS 13 to MacOS 12 Monterey and ensure that all your data is safe.

    • Step 1. To get started, attach the Time Machine hard drive to your MacBook.
    • Step 2. Next, click the Apple icon and select ‘Restart.’
    • Step 3. Now, navigate to the boot selection screen. If you’re using the Apple Silicon Mac, press down the power button till you see the startup screen, select ‘Options,’ and choose ‘Continue.’ However, if it’s an Intel-based Mac, hold down the Command+R button till the Apple logo appears or you hear the startup chime.
    • Step 4. Now, choose ‘Restore from Time Machine Backup’ and then hit ‘Continue’ to proceed.
    downgrade with time machine backup
    • Step 5. Read through the process if you want, and click ‘Continue.’
    • Step 6. Select the backup source, and click ‘Continue’ to proceed.
    • Step 7. Choose the recent MacOS Monterey backup and click ‘Continue.’
    • Step 8. It might take a while to downgrade MacOS 13 Ventura to MacOS 12 Monterey. Once the downgrading process is complete, users can start utilizing the PC.

    Part 4. Use a Bootable Drive to Downgrade MacOs

    If you don’t want to use Time Machine or the recovery mode, you can utilize the bootable drive to install the MacOS 12 Monterey. When using this method, you should create a backup of your important files so that you’ll always have access to it. The steps to it are simple, so you should take your time to follow them. However, if you follow the steps carefully, you’ll have MacOS Monterey installed on your MacBook in no time. Below are the steps you need to take to use a bootable drive to install MacOS 12 Monterey.

    • Step 1. Download the MacOS Monterey Installer on your Mac from the Mac App Store. Finding the older version could be difficult but once you locate it, click the ‘Get’ button to download it. Don’t open the file till you’re ready to use it.
    install mac with bootable drive
    • Step 2. Next, prepare an external drive that you would use to make a bootable drive. Ensure you format the external drive you plan to use. You can simply move on to the next step if the drive is already formatted. Note that at least 16GB of storage must be available on the external storage device.
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    • Step 3. To format the drive, connect the device and select it from the left taskbar on the ‘Finders’ dialog box. Next, choose ‘Erase’ from the toolbar available at the top.
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    • Step 4. A dialog box on your PC will pop up, allowing you to change the drive name.
    • Step 5. Now, click format and choose ‘MacOS Extended’ to proceed. Additionally, select ‘GUID Partition Map’ if it is an available option.
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    • Step 6. Finally, select ‘Erase’ to proceed, and it will do that.
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    • Step 7. Now, you can proceed to create the bootable installer drive needed to downgrade macOS 13 to macOS 12. It’s quite easy to open the terminal on your Mac and choose the utilities folder or Spotlight.
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    • Step 8. Now, paste the command below in the terminal; ensure you keep the syntax correct:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ --volume /Volumes/USB

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    • Step 9. Press the ‘enter key,’ and the terminal will request your user account password.
    • Step 10. After entering the password, the terminal will start erasing your device. You might need to enter the ‘Y’ command if it requests your permission to continue. Also, press OK if it requests your permission to access the drive.
    • Step 11. Automatically, it will begin copying the macOS Monterey installation file to the external drive. It all depends on the writing speed of your USB. Once the process is complete, Mac will ask you to install media available at (device name) on the terminal.

    Close the terminal, and you can proceed to the next step of using the booting disk to install MacOS Monterey.

    • Step 1. First, you have to erase the startup disk by restarting your Mac. While in Startup, boot your PC in the recovery mode following the steps we shared above.
    • Step 2. Next, choose ‘Disk Utility’ from the options that appear.
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    • Step 3. Choose your Startup disk with the MacOS Ventura installed and select ‘erase’ to continue.
    • Step 4. Now, choose ‘APFS’ from the available format options. Additionally, you can select ‘GUID Partition Map’ for the scheme.
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    • Step 5. Now, proceed by choosing ‘erase volume group’ and wait for the process to complete. Quit Disk Utility afterward.
    • Step 6. Restart your Mac again. If it is an Intel-based Mac, hold down the ‘option’ key at Startup. The process is similar for the M1-based Mac; press the power button until options appear.
    • Step 7. When the startup manager pops up, your bootable drive will be amongst the options, choose it and select ‘continue.
    • Step 8. Select the drive you would like to install the MacOS Monterey from and choose ‘next.’
    • Step 9. Mac will show you the option to ‘install MacOS Monterey,’ select it and click ‘continue.’
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    • Step 10. The installation process will begin, and once it is complete, your system will boot while running the MacOS Monterey.

    Part 5. How to Recover Data Lost During Downgrading?

    After that, show users how to recover the data on Mac with Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery step by step.

    When you’re trying to downgrade MacOS 13 to MacOS 12, one of the risks you’ll have to face is the loss of data. That can be quite annoying, especially if those files are important to you. Furthermore, recovering them can be difficult, especially now that you’re running a new operating system. Luckily, third-party software like Wondershare Recoverit makes it relatively easy to fix the problem. This third-party recovery software makes it easy for users to retrieve the data they lose on Mac. It supports the Recovery of different files, including music, videos, pictures, chats, documents, etc.

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    For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11

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    For macOS X 10.10 or later

    It is quite simple to recover your documents using Wondershare Recoverit. Below are the simple steps you need to take to recover your files; let’s begin.

    • Step 1. Firstly, download Wondershare Recoverit on your device. You can do this through the official site.
    • Step 2. Afterward, install the file and launch it to continue.
    • Step 3. On the welcome page, Recoverit will show you all the hard drives on your PC. Choose the drive you want to recover files from.
    recover data with recoverit
    • Step 4. Once you navigate the location, click the ‘start’ button to start scanning.
    • Step 5. You can keep up with the progress using the progress bar. If you’re only trying to recover some files, you can stop the scan when you spot them.
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    • Step 6. Wondershare allows you to preview the files before recovering them. However, the file must be less than 15MB before you can preview it.
    recover data with recoverit 2
    • Step 7. After previewing, click ‘recover.’ Wondershare Recoverit will ask you to pick a location to save your file. Choose a different location to prevent overwriting the file and select ‘recover.’
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    • Step 8. The recovery software will restore the file, and you can start re-accessing your file.


    While MacOS 13 Ventura allows you access to the many features it comes with, the bugs that follow the upgrade might not be worth the trouble. If you have already upgraded, you can downgrade MacOS Ventura using any of the above steps. Whatever your reason for downgrading your MacOS, these three methods will get you back to your previous OS in no time.