How to downgrade macOS 12 beta to macOS Big Sur

We recently published a guide on how to install the new macOS 12 developer beta on your Mac. Now, if you are not satisfied with the update and have had problems, you probably want to downgrade. As a beta, you may run into third-party app issues, stability issues, etc. The new macOS 12 brings several new features and improvements, but it’s not a huge leap in terms of user interface.

If you’d rather go back to before the developer beta days, here’s how you can downgrade macOS 12 beta to macOS Big Sur.

How to downgrade macOS 12 beta to macOS Big Sur

Before proceeding with the downgrading process, there are a couple of things you need to do. First of all, we hope you made a backup before upgrading to beta. You can restore from a Time Machine backup after you’ve removed macOS 12 beta from your Mac.

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Now, to downgrade macOS 12 beta to macOS Big Sur, you will first need to erase the drive where the beta version is installed. If you installed it on a partition, you can simply delete the partition and your Mac will boot into macOS Big Sur.

If you did a fresh install of macOS 12 beta on your Mac’s main drive, you will need to follow the guide below.

Clear macOS 12 Monterey beta

We recommend that you have a bootable USB installer for macOS 11 Big Sur ready before erasing the beta version of macOS 12. You will find instructions on how to create a bootable drive in our guide to a clean install of macOS Big Sur.

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Again, this method is for those who did a fresh install of macOS 12 beta on their Mac. This is what you should do.

1) Click on the Apple logo in the menu bar and select Resume.

2) Now press and hold Command + R until the Utilities pop-up menu.

3) Please select Startup security utility, enter your firmware password and enable ‘Allow booting from external media ‘.

Now, reboot and go back to the Utilities menu by following Step 2.

1) Under Utilities, select Disk utility, click on Continueand choose the Startup disk (probably called Macintosh HD)

2) Click Erase at the top of the page and choose your format. Enter a new name for your Mac drive or choose Macintosh HD. Using newer Macs APFSwhile older systems run on HFS + (Journaled MacOS).

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3) Once again, click on the Erase and wait for the process to finish.

Reinstall macOS Big Sur

To perform a clean install of macOS Big Sur, you will need to use the bootable USB drive that you created. This is what you should do.

1) Plug in the bootable USB drive, wait for it to boot, and click on the Apple logo in the menu bar. Make sure you are connected to the internet.

2) Click To close.

3) If you are using an Apple Silicon Mac, press and hold Energy button up to Start options the window appears. On an Intel Mac, press and hold Option right after turning it on.

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4) In the next menu, choose your Startup disk, which is the bootable USB stick.

5) Click on Continue or press the He came back key.

The macOS Big Sur update will now begin to install as a standard update. Just follow the instructions, choose a language, agree to the software terms, provide iCloud details, and more.

Restore from a Time Machine backup

If you had backed up to macOS Big Sur before installing macOS 12 beta, you can recover your settings by restoring from a Time Machine backup. Here’s how to do it.

1) Plug in the Time Machine backup hard drive and make sure you are connected to the internet.

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2) Click on the Apple in the menu bar and press Resume.

3) Hold down the Command + R keys up to Utilities the window appears.

4) Please select Restore from Time Machine backup and click Continue.

5) Click Continue again to choose the Back source. You will need to select Continue again after selecting the most recent macOS Big Sur backup.

Wait for the process to finish and you should have all your original settings as they were before.


As you can see, the downgrade process from macOS 12 Monterey to macOS Big Sur can take a long time. It is always best to install the beta software on a replacement device or on a partition within your Mac disk. If you performed a clean install of the beta version, you will have to erase the drive and reinstall macOS Big Sur from scratch. A backup will also come in handy, as you can simply go back to your previous settings instead of setting up your Mac again. We hope this guide helped you make the switch to macOS Big Sur.

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