We installed the public beta for macOS Sierra on one of our old MacBook Pros. This one is from way back in 2011 — one of the last surviving soldiers of a robust breed of computers that is soon to go extinct. The MacBook took up the challenge bravely and got through the installation process quite uneventfully, but since then it has become slow and lethargic. We now know that Sierra is not meant for 2011 laptops, and we have no option but to downgrade macOS Sierra.
If you’re stuck in a similar situation as us, here’s a guide on how to do it. The process is divided into two steps:
Step 1: Uninstalling macOS Sierra
NOTE: Before you proceed, make sure you’re connected to the internet via wifi/ethernet.
- Quit all the apps that are running and restart your Mac. Use the shortcut [Control+Command+Power button].
- Wait for the system to shut down. When you hear the system “chime” on booting back up, Press and Hold Command+R
- Continue to hold the buttons until your Mac completely boots. You should now see an OS X Utilities screen.
- Select “Disk Utility” and click Continue.
- In the next window, choose (from the left panel) your hard disk that has macOS Sierra installed on it.
- Now click on “Erase” at the top of the window.
- Choose a name to give to the disk that is going to be erased. It doesn’t matter what you name it. Just type in ‘Downgrade macOS Sierra’.
- From the “Format” drop-down menu, choose, Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
- Click Erase.
Step 2: Installing OS X El Capitan
After you’ve erased macOS Sierra, you’ll be guided back to the OS X Utilities screen. This time, choose “Reinstall OS X” and click Continue. Agree to the Terms and Conditions and then proceed in the standard manner of installing any app. Just click “Okay/Next” whenever prompted.
Note: Based on the model of your Mac, you might have to download an earlier version, maybe Mavericks or even Mountain Lion. After that is installed, you will need to go to the Mac App Store and upgrade to the OS X El Capitan. Don’t worry, it’s free.
Although the process is a bit tedious, it’s pretty straight forward. You might face some trouble if you have a bad internet connection. In which case, you might want to Clean Install OS X El Capitan.