Developers from Cupertino are often criticized for the ever-growing demands of new versions of operating systems for hardware. This is noticeable on both iOS mobile devices and macOS computers.
A large group of Apple technology users intentionally block operating system updates immediately after purchasing an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
If you can’t do anything with an updated smartphone or tablet, then on a Mac it is quite possible to downgrade and install an older version of macOS. This is exactly what I decided to do with my 2018 Mac mini, which lately has not pleased me at all.
Why did you decide to rollback to Mojave
I’m just tired of struggling with the jambs and flaws in macOS. All summer spent on test versions of Big Sur and suffered glitches, realizing the shortcomings of beta versions.
I barely waited for the final release of the system, which was delayed right up to November, and then made a clean install of macOS.
Problems and glitches have not been fixed, and many of them are still present.
At first, does not sync open tabs in Safari via iCloud. iPhone and iPad with the same Apple ID perfectly see each other’s tabs, and Mac doesn’t want to see tabs from mobile devices in any way. You have to manually transfer the necessary tabs via AirDrop.
Problem quite massive, but the Cupertinians do nothing.
Secondly, periodically the universal clipboard falls off… I fix everything according to this instruction.
Since the release of the final version, Big Sur has encountered this error four times.
Thirdly, Mac doesn’t immediately appear in the AirDrop list devices. You have to wait a few seconds or restart the file transfer.
Transferring files between other devices works seamlessly, just like it did with this Mac before the operating system update.
Fourth, Mac took noticeably longer to wake up from sleep… Tried keeping the minimum number of applications running, but it doesn’t help.
There is enough space on the drive for hibernation, tried different sleep parameters, all to no avail.
Fifth, the computer cooler began to spin up more often and more strongly even without visible load. I opened the case of Mac mini to clean it from dust, it didn’t help much.
At the same time, I do not use specific software, with which users often complain about compatibility after updating.
As a result, I decided to roll back, but not to the previous one macOS Catalina, but to “native” Mojavethat this Mac came with. It is officially impossible to downgrade to the version of the operating system that preceded the release of the computer.
How to install macOS Mojave on Mac
1. We make an up-to-date backup in Time Machine… You won’t be able to deploy it to Mojave, you need a backup in case you restore your Mac to its current state with the Big Sur version installed.
2. Restart the Mac with the keyboard shortcut held down Shift-Option-Command-R… With this recovery mode over the network, the computer will download the installation files of the operating system with which it was shipped (or the most current update for it).
2. If your Mac was released before 2018, you’ll need to download macOS Mojave manually. Download the installer macOS Mojave из Mac App Store (about 6.5 GB of disk space required).
3. We create a bootable USB flash drive with macOS Mojave according to our instructions.
4. On computers with T2 chip turn on the ability to boot from external drives.
5. Restart the Mac while holding down the key Alt (option) and select the macOS Mojave USB flash drive as the boot disk.
6. We follow the instructions of the installation wizard.
Be prepared for the fact that after downgrading the operating system, you will not be able to download a backup from a newer version. You will have to manually make all the settings and download the necessary applications.
What features from Catalina and Big Sur will not be after downgrade
After returning to the base operating system for my Mac, I lost several useful chips at once. These system features are noticeable after switching from macOS Big Sur:
1. Old system designwhich we saw for several years up until macOS Big Sur released in 2020.
There are no complaints about this, you get used to it literally in 15 minutes. I don’t see much difference between round and square icons, the old style of application design is not particularly annoying, and I don’t use widgets on Mac at all (although the calculator was convenient before).
2. No control centerwhich collects all system indicators under one menu bar icon.
This feature has never been in macOS, so I have not had time to get used to it enough to start getting bored. If desired, you can install a third-party analogue with different switches.
3. Safari does not have a number of new features: standard tracker blocker, password security analysis, website translator into the system language (you need to enable it with a little trick).
I think that the only thing I need is the built-in translator, but it can be easily replaced with third-party software.
And I also noticed these smart chips that have appeared in macOS since the days of Catalina.
4. I have iTunes again… A year and a half ago, the media combine was divided into three applications: Music, Podcasts and TV… Functions for working with a connected iPhone and iPad have been moved to Finder.
I do not use any of these three applications on Mac, and I rarely connect mobile gadgets to my computer. Because of the appearance of the new-old icon, I was not very upset.
5. Standard applications have changed a bit… Almost every program has a dozen small chips and design changes, but they are barely noticeable.
Most seriously redesigned System settings… Some menu items have been moved or named differently, otherwise everything is in its place.
6. macOS Mojave does not have a built-in archiver… To work with compressed data, you need to install the well-known The Unarchiver.
7. A little bit missing Screen time… Accounting for the time spent in different applications and the set limits for each program will have to be set through third-party activity trackers.
8. No SideCar mode to output the image to the connected iPad. I used this feature in some scenarios until I switched to an ultra-widescreen display.
The chip, although it works more stable than third-party solutions, has significant drawbacks. The main thing that I could not get used to is the inability to control applications by touching the iPad display. This can only be done using the original Apple stylus, and without it, only page scrolling and function buttons under the screen are available.
If you need such an opportunity in the future, just choose one of the third-party applications.
9. macOS Mojave does not support Apple Arcade and Apple TV+. Does anyone use them on a Mac?
As you can see, in two years, the Cupertino developers have offered a rather modest set of benefits. But with a downgrade, there will be no serious problems and hardships.
How Mac works on macOS Mojave
Sumptuously! And this is not a temporary improvement after a clean installation of the operating system, but a noticeable tangible increase in performance.
The system itself consumes fewer resources than newer OS versions. This is felt when working with different windows, launching applications or waking from sleep mode.
Here is a comparison of computer performance on different versions of macOS:
Geekbench 5 benchmark test on macOS Mojave (left) and macOS Big Sur (right)
We have an approximately 10% performance gain when downgrading the OS. This is noticeable when rendering video in Final Cut and working with heavy shots in Photoshop.
All the problems and glitches described above have magically disappeared. Safari tabs, Universal Clipboard and AirDrop are now working properly. Mac spins up the cooling system less often and it runs at noticeably lower RPM in the same use cases.
In addition, support for 32-bit applications has returned. I have found all the necessary analogs for a long time, but it is always pleasant to return to a couple of familiar utilities.
And even more, there is no need to install clumsy plugins to support the format webp in Photoshop. After the upgrade to Big Sur, support for this type of graphics appeared in Safari, and the browser often downloaded such images from the network.
The automatic theme change is a little lacking, but this can be easily solved using automation or third-party utilities.
Once again, the truth was confirmed: the best operating system for your Mac is the one it was sold with.
As a result, I consider my experiment to be quite successful. I can safely recommend everyone who is tired of struggling with the problems of the latest versions of macOS to roll back to older and more stable releases.
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