Mac Data Recovery

3 Ways to Downgrade from macOS Mojave to High Sierra

Table of Content

    Summary: If you are unhappy with the latest macOS Mojave 10.14 and wish to downgrade to macOS High Sierra 10.13, then follow this blog religiously. Please note that you need to perform a few essential tasks in the downgrade process. You may even require a USB drive of at least 16 GB.

    Before downgrading macOS Mojave, you must back up all the data; every single piece of your important files/folders to an external storage drive. The backup ensures you do not lose critical data due to complete drive erasure and subsequent installation of macOS High Sierra.

    1st Way—Use macOS High Sierra That Was Shipped with Your Mac

    1. Back up all the data from Mojave to an external SSD or HDD.
    2. Restart macOS Mojave 10.14 and instantly press and hold Command + R keys. Release the keys when apple logo appears. Your Mac will boot into Recovery Mode.
    3. On the “macOS Utilities” window, click “Reinstall macOS”. Carry out the on-screen instructions to initiate the reinstallation process.
    4. Allow the Mac to perform a complete factory reset. Once the reinstallation process is over, your Mac will boot into macOS High Sierra.

    2nd Way—Use macOS High Sierra That You Backed Up with Time Machine

    1. Boot your macOS into Recovery Mode.
    2. On the “macOS Utilities” window, choose “Restore from Time Machine Backup”.
    3. Select Time Machine backup drive or Time Capsule then select “Connect to Remote Disk”.
    4. Select the date and time from where you want to restore. Click Continue.
    5. Follow the instructions to complete the restoration process of macOS High Sierra.

    Read More: Recover Mac Data without Time Machine Backup

    3rd Way—Create macOS High Sierra Bootable Installer then Reinstall macOS

    1. Open App Store, then download macOS High Sierra installer (which is around 5 GB).
    2. Quit the installer once it opens. Go to Application folder to find the Install macOS High Sierra app. Right click on it and select Show Package Contents. Go to Contents > Resources > createinstallmedia.
    3. Plug in a USB drive (at least 16 GB) to your Mac. Ensure it does not contain any valuable data; copy the data if necessary to an external storage medium to avoid data loss.
    4. Go to Applications > Utilities. Double-click Terminal to open the app.
    5. Type sudo <drag and drop the “create install media” icon to add its path> – –volume <drag and drop the USB drive from Desktop to add its path>
    6. Hit Return. Enter Admin Password. When prompted to erase the drive, type Y then hit Return. Wait till the Terminal displays Done, then quit Terminal.

    Reinstall macOS High Sierra by Using the Bootable Installer

    1. Connect the USB drive with bootable macOS High Sierra installer.
    2. Restart the Mac and hold the Option Key.
    3. From the Select boot disk window, choose the macOS High Sierra installer. The process of installing High Sierra will begin. Mac will restart once the installation is over.


    Hope, this blog helped you downgrade macOS Mojave to macOS high Sierra easily. Backup is the key to downgrade since it ensures no data is lost while the downgrade is done.

    In case you have undergone data loss after macOS High Sierra downgrade, leverage the free trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.

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    About The Author

    Vishal linkdin

    Vishal is a data recovery expert @Stellar. He addresses data loss scenarios on a Mac. He intends to help people solve their macOS problems. Besides, Vishal prefers to read about astronomy and autobiography, and his favorite is Steve Jobs - The man who thought different written by Karen Bluementhal.


    1. Hi, I am considering up degrading to Mojave – but want to be sure I can downgrade to High Sierra, it things don’t work out. I found you Instruction using Time machine backup – you have the step erase Mojave – on other websites there is no step like this – the procedure goes right to back up from time machine – why did you choose the erase-Mojave? Thank you for answering

      1. Hello Carolina,
        It is the standard process that we have to downgrade the OS. Further, you can contact our support team through email support[at] or call-+1-877-778-6087.

    2. Hey, So I am attempting to downgrade my Mac with method 3 and every time I try to usesudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ it says “You must specify a volume path.” I followed the directions and it still does this. What can I do?

      1. Hello Snowflo,
        In this case, I cannot assist you in downgrading the OS for Mac. If you have any recovery issue, then we can help for sure. Thanks.

    3. This is not an accurate article. It seems that ‘if’ the MacBook Pro Mid 2018 initially had Mojave (beta) installed, then it is IMPOSSIBLE to go back to High Sierra. I spoke to many Apple senior technical consultants and all of them tried to make it happen but again, it is IMPOSSIBLE. So don’t buy any MacBook Pro’s 2018 with Mojave initially installed if you want to go back to High Sierra. It is a waste of your time

      1. Hello Alex,

        Thanks for sharing your expertise with our blog audiences. Your thoughts are really appreciated. Although, the blog was written for a generic scenario and not for a specific machine.

    4. Hi,

      I use an external drive and Time Machine to back up my MacBook Pro. I want to uninstall Mojave and reinstall whatever OS I was using before. I don’t remember which OS I had. Can you tell me how I can find out?

      Is there a way to look in my Time Machine and see? I just don’t know where to look for that information. Thank you.

      1. Hello,

        For this query, I recommend contacting the official support team of Apple. They are the best person to provide an accurate answer.

    5. I’m in continuous need of downgrading from macOS Mojave to macOS high Sierra due to System issues. The mentioned 3 steps helps me to take a successful action.

    6. I installed Mojave on my MacBook Pro last week. All went well, but few apps are not working and constantly quit. So, I decided to downgrade to previous OS i.e., High Sierra. The issue is I didn’t use Time Machine backup before doing so and lost couple of important documents. Is there any way to retrieve those files?

      1. You can retrieve your lost documents by running Stellar Data Recovery Professional on your MacBook Pro. The software is compatible with macOS Mojave. You can try the software for free. The software will show you all the recoverable files in preview and if you wish to recover (or save) the data then activate Stellar Data Recovery Professional on your Mac.

    7. Hallo I had a crash on Mojave. My HDD APFS formatted failed so I took it out and put into a USB external BOX in order to recover all data except defective system.
      When I connect the box lights detecting disk activities are continuously running and never stop. Disk can be seen on desktop but not accessed. Even DiskUtility cannot access the drive.
      If I want to use a software to recover real files, I cannot because of this continuous attempt to access the disk. Is there a way to stop it ? From recovery partition the disk can be seen and disutility can work. Unfortunately is not able to fix the problem and address you to more specific softwares. I think that I should stop this attempe with specific terminal commands…. but I don’t know them. Thanks in advance for your help.

      1. Hello Nico,

        We recommend availing data recovery services for the corrupted hard drive. There could be physical corruption and bad sectors in the hard drive due to which mounting, reading errors are there. Logical recovery by the software might not be possible in this case, therefore, it is recommended to avail in lab data recovery services. We have 100 clean room labs and expert data recovery technicians to recover data from the drive

    8. When I enter that command and enter my password it displays de error message:

      sudo: /Applications/Install macOS High command not found

      What can I do, thanks

      1. The command is looking in your applications folder for the .app file to create the bootable media but since you do not have it downloaded then the command will fail. Mojave is out so it’s pretty much too late to re-download High Sierra (unless you have a mac machine that is incompatible with Mojave but compatible with High Sierra).

        Maybe sign into App Store and hopefully you downloaded it before and it will be located in your purchases to download again. However, if you have a 2018 laptop with T2 chip then you will be unable to boot to any available High Sierra installer (even the latest) since it doesn’t seem like Apple released the latest installer for those machines.

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