How to Downgrade macOS Big Sur Beta to macOS Catalina, Step By Step

Last Updated on Jul 6, 2020

Regretting macOS Big Sur Beta? Not an issue, we will help you roll back macOS Big Sur beta to macOS Catalina. It’s hard to control downloading the macOS Big Sur beta to the Mac, after looking at the classy features of the MacOS Big Sur. Apple releases the stable software, in September every year, this fall we are expecting the same from Apple. If you are frustrated with bugs and want to get rid of the macOS Big Sur beta, this article will help you do so, without losing personal data.

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To back up the Mac, we will use the Time Machine, and after reinstalling the macOS Catalina, you can get back the Mac just like it was before. From my point of view, this is the easiest method to reinstall the macOS Catalina, it might take some time, but safe and pretty straightforward to do.

Downgrade MacOS Big Sur Beta to MacOS Catalina

How to Back Up Mac With Time Machine

The Time Machine backups can only be created on an external drive, so connect the external drive to the Mac. Once the Mac detects the External Drive, it will ask you, do you want to use [Drive Name] to backup with Time Machine? Choose Use as Backup Disk.

Alternatively, it can be added manually,

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top menu bar.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Then, Time Machine.
  4. Click Select Backup Disk…
  5. From the pop-up choose the External Drive that you want to use as Backup Disk for Time Machine.
  6. Checkmark Encrypt backups option and then hit Use Disk.
  7. You may be asked to format the external drive if it isn’t in the format that the Time Machine needs.

1: Download MacOS Catalina Setup From App Store on MacOS Big Sur

The very first step is to download the macOS Catalina Set Up file, here’s how to do so.

  1. Click on the macOS Catalina File from App Store and download it to your Mac.
  2. Alternatively, you can open the Mac App Store and search macOS Catalina.
  3. From the Mac App Store, you will see an option Get under macOS Catalina file, click Get to begin downloading.
  4. Doing this will force the Mac App Store to run the scan on your Mac, for Finding Update…. Give Mac App Store some time, and when the Unable to Check for Updates appears, the App Store will let you download the macOS Catalina, click Download on the pop-up.
  5. The macOS Catalina file is about 8GB, so it will take time, depending upon the internet speed.
  6. Since you are running macOS Big Sur, the Mac will show caution, prompt that “This copy of macOS Catalina installer application is too old to be opened on this version of macOS”, click Quit. It’s just a formal pop-up nothing to worry about.
  7. Close the Mac App Store and open the Launchpad of Mac, to access the macOS Catalina file that you’ve downloaded.

2: Make MacOS Catalina Bootable Drive on macOS Big Sur

We have instructed a few steps to make macOS Catalina Bootable Drive using the Terminal Commands. Make sure to back up the USB Drive before connecting to Mac, because later the Mac will erase it.

  1. Connect USB Drive with a minimum of 16GB capacity to Mac.
  2. Launch Finder.
  3. (Sidebar) Under Locations, the connected USB Drive will be shown.
  4. Rename the USB Drive with Single Word, right-click and Rename it to howtoisolve.
  5. Open Terminal on Mac.
  6. Then Paste the following command in the Terminal,
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/howtoisolve 

Apple Source for Command Line

  1. Replace the howtoisolve string with your name of connected USB Drive [If you Changed].
  2. Enter Mac’s login password to proceed further.
  3. The Mac will erase the USB Drive, type Y, and hit enter.
  4. It’ll take two to five minutes to complete the entire process.
  5. This is it. Again open Finder, and locate the Drive named Install macOS Catalina, under Locations.

3: Install macOS Catalina Using Bootable Drive

Don’t disconnect the USB Drive from the Mac, until the macOS Catalina installation finishes up.

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top menu.
  2. And choose to Restart.
  3. Immediately hold the Option key on Keyboard, until the Startup Disk screen comes.
  4. Select the macOS Catalina Bootable Drive.
  5. This will start the macOS Catalina installation.
  6. When the macOS Utilities window comes up, select Install macOS.
  7. Agree to the Terms & Conditions.
  8. Next, choose the Mac Disk Partition on which you want to install the MacOS Catalina.
  9. Several times the Mac will restart.

4: Setup macOS Catalina on Mac [Your Mac is Downgraded]

  1. Now, the macOS Welcome screen will show up, follow the on-screen instructions such as Choose Region, Connect to Wi-Fi Network, Entering Apple ID, and more.
  2. Click on the Apple icon on the top menu bar, and select About This Mac.
  3. Verify the macOS Version.

This is it. You have successfully downgraded the macOS Big Sur beta to macOS Catalina. However one more task is still pending, since you have erased the disk, the Mac is clean and plain. So, move to the next step and restore the Time Machine backup that you took before.

Restore Time Machine Backup

The Time Machine Backup will bring back all the files and data to the back, here’s how to do it.

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  1. Connect the External Drive on which you have taken Backup previously to Mac.
  2. Again Restart the Mac, from Apple icon on the top menu bar.
  3. Press and hold the Command+R, until the macOS Utilities appears.
  4. Click on Restore From Time Machine Backup.
  5. Hit Continue.
  6. Select the latest backup from the drive.
  7. Click Continue and follow the on-screen instructions to restore the backup.

Leave the Mac alone for a few minutes or say hours. Restoring the backup depends on the internet speed and size of the backup.

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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