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Downgrade to macOS Big Sur from macOS 12 Monterey

If you’re regretting installing Apple’s all-new macOS 12 Monterey to try out the new features but instead ended up just with bugs and are now stuck as to how to downgrade back to macOS Big Sur, then this is the article for you.

This guide will teach you how to downgrade back to macOS 11 Big Sur from macOS 12 Monterey.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to downgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur from macOS 12 Monterey. Remember that doing so will completely remove macOS 12 from your hard drive, as well as all of your data.

To save your files, you can use a cloud storage platform such as iCloud, OneDrive, DropBox or any external storage.

  • First, download macOS Big Sur from the App Store
  • After downloading macOS Big Sur, you must create a bootable USB.
  • Connect the USB flash drive
  • Erase the USB drive with Disk Utility and name the USB “MyVolume”
  • Once erased the USB, open Terminal and type or paste the following commands in Terminal.
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume


  • If asked, type your Mac’s administrative password to continue. Because this command will delete all files on your USB drive, you’ll be asked to type “Y” to confirm the operation. The command will now create a bootable Big Sur installer on your USB drive.
  • After copying, you should see Terminal display a message saying your drive is ready for use.

Apple silicon

  • Connect the bootable installer to a Mac that is compatible with the version of macOS you’re installing.
  • Turn on your Mac and keep holding the power button down until you see the startup options window.
  • Choose the volume containing the bootable installer, then press the Continue button.
  • When the macOS installer launches, follow the onscreen instructions.

Intel Mac

  • Connect the bootable installer to a Mac that is compatible with the version of macOS you’re installing.
  • Hold the Option (⌥) key while you power on the Mac, then let go when you see a list of bootable volumes.
  • Choose the volume containing the bootable installer
  • When the macOS installer launches, select Disk Utility under Utilities, click on Continue and choose the disk drive where macOS Monterey is currently installed from the left pane and click on “Erase”
  • After erasing the disk drive, close Disk Utility and select Install macOS

So there you have it: how to downgrade from macOS 12 Monterey to macOS 11 Big Sur. Bugs and unexpected issues are common in beta versions of software, this is why beta software should be installed on a second Mac or external drives.

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