How to Remove Mac OS Update: A Comprehensive Guide - Tech Sharkz (2023)


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MacOS updates are essential for maintaining the operating system’s security, stability, and performance. However, there may be instances where you want to remove an update due to various reasons, such as compatibility issues, bugs, or simply to free up space on your Mac. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to remove MacOS updates easily and safely.

Understanding Mac OS Update

Mac OS updates are essential for maintaining the performance and security of your Mac. However, sometimes you may want to remove a Mac OS update for various reasons, such as compatibility issues or bugs. Removing Mac OS updates can be tricky, and it is vital to follow the right steps to avoid any complications.

What is a Mac OS Update?

A Mac OS update is a software update that improves the performance, security, and stability of the Mac operating system. Apple releases regular updates for Mac OS, and you can download and install them from the Mac App Store. Mac OS updates also include new features and enhancements that make your Mac better.

Why Remove a Mac OS Update?

There are several reasons why you might want to remove a Mac OS update. One reason is compatibility issues. Sometimes, an update may not be compatible with your Mac or the software you are using. In such cases, removing the update can resolve the issue. Another reason for removing a Mac OS update is bugs. Sometimes, an update may introduce new bugs that can affect the performance of your Mac. In such cases, removing the update can help fix the issue.

How to Remove Mac OS Update

Removing a Mac OS update is a relatively straightforward process. However, it is essential to follow the right steps to avoid any complications. Here’s how to remove a Mac OS update:

It’s important to understand that removing a Mac OS update can have consequences, so it’s crucial to back up your data before proceeding. Additionally, if you’re not comfortable removing the update yourself, it’s best to seek professional help. Finally, checking for compatibility issues and preventing automatic updates can also prevent problems with your Mac.

Step 1: Restart Your Mac

Before you begin, restart your Mac. This will ensure that no processes are running that might interfere with the update removal process.

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Step 2: Boot in Safe Mode

Next, boot your Mac in Safe Mode. To do this, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold the Shift key. Keep holding the key until you see the login screen. This will boot your Mac in Safe Mode.

Step 3: Remove the Mac OS Update

Once you are in Safe Mode, go to the Applications folder and open the Terminal app. Type the following command in the Terminal and press Enter:

This command will remove all the Mac OS updates that are currently installed on your Mac. After you enter the command, you will be prompted to enter your admin password. Enter the password and press Enter.

Step 4: Restart Your Mac

After you have removed the Mac OS update, restart your Mac. This will boot your Mac normally, and you should see the previous version of Mac OS.

Things to Keep in Mind

Removing a Mac OS update can have some consequences. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Mac OS updates are crucial for maintaining the performance and security of your Mac, but there may be times when you need to remove an update due to compatibility issues or bugs. To remove a Mac OS update, it is best to follow the steps outlined in this guide carefully. It is important to keep in mind the need to backup your data, check for compatibility issues, and seek professional help if you are not comfortable removing an update yourself. Additionally, you can prevent specific updates from installing or downgrade to an earlier version of Mac OS if you have a backup of your data.

Backup Your Data

Before you remove a Mac OS update, make sure to back up your data. This will ensure that you don’t lose any important files or data during the update removal process.

Reinstall the Update

If you remove a Mac OS update and later decide that you want to install it again, you can do so from the Mac App Store.

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Check for Compatibility Issues

Before you install a Mac OS update, make sure to check for compatibility issues with your Mac and any software that you are using. This will help you avoid any issues that might arise after the update is installed.

Seek Professional Help

If you are not comfortable removing a Mac OS update yourself, seek professional help. A Mac technician can remove the update for you and ensure that your Mac is running smoothly.

Common Questions

How do I prevent a Mac OS update from installing?

If you want to prevent a Mac OS update from installing, you can turn off automatic updates in System Preferences. To do this, go to System Preferences > Software Update and uncheck the box next to “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”

Can I remove a specific Mac OS update?

Yes, you can remove a specific Mac OS update by using the Terminal app. Open the Terminal app and type the following command:

Replace [update name] with the name of the update you want to remove. For example, if you want to remove the macOS High Sierra update, the command would be:

Can I downgrade to an earlier version of Mac OS?

Yes, you can downgrade to an earlier version of Mac OS if you have a backup of your data from that version. To do this, you will need to erase your hard drive and reinstall the earlier version of Mac OS. This process will erase all the data on your hard drive, so make sure to back up your data before you begin.

FAQs for How to Remove Mac OS Update

What are the common reasons why someone would want to remove Mac OS Update?

There are various reasons why someone may want to remove a Mac OS update. For instance, the update may take up significant space on your device, causing your Mac’s performance to slow down. There could also be compatibility issues with some of your apps, resulting in them not working correctly after the update. Additionally, you may have mistakenly installed the update, and you’d like to undo it.

Is it safe to remove a Mac OS update?

Yes, it is safe to remove a Mac OS update. However, it’s essential to make sure that you’ve backed up all important data and files from your Mac before carrying out any update-related actions on your device.

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How can I check my Mac’s OS version?

To check what version of the Mac operating system you have installed, click on the Apple menu icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then click on “About this Mac.” This will open a new window showing your current OS version.

Can I only remove the most recent Mac OS update?

No, it’s possible to remove any previously installed Mac OS updates. However, it’s important to note that once you remove an update, you won’t be able to reinstall it from the Mac App Store.

How do I remove a Mac OS update?

To remove a Mac OS update, start by opening the “App Store” app on your Mac. Next, click on the “Updates” tab to display a list of all available updates, including those that have already been installed. Right-click on the update that you’d like to remove, then click “Delete Update.” You’ll be asked to confirm this action, after which the update will be removed from your Mac.

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How do I uninstall a macOS update? ›

Delete Old Updates on Mac via Finder
  1. Open Finder > click Go on the menu bar.
  2. In the drop-down menu, choose Applications.
  3. Look for the macOS software update file > right-click on the file > Move it to Trash.
  4. The last step is to Empty the Trash.
Feb 8, 2023

Can you undo a Mac update? ›

How to revert to a previous update. There's no way to restore your Mac to a previous version of the OS before you install an update.

How do I wipe my Mac to original settings? ›

From the Apple menu  in the corner of your screen, choose System Settings. Click General in the sidebar. Click Transfer or Reset on the right. Click Erase All Content and Settings.

How do I delete an app that won't delete on my Mac? ›

Press and hold the Option key, or click and hold any app until the apps jiggle. Click the Delete button next to the app that you want to delete, then click Delete to confirm.

How do I delete macOS or macOS data? ›

Hold down the Command and R keys as soon as you hear the Mac tone indicating a reboot. Wait for the macOS Utilities screen to appear, then click Disk Utility. Choose your Mac's system drive, usually named Macintosh HD, then click Erase.

Can I go back to an older version of macOS? ›

Simply speaking, Macs cannot boot into an OS X version older than the one they shipped with when new, even if it's installed in a virtual machine. If you want to run older versions of OS X on your Mac, you need to get an older Mac that can run them.

How do I rollback an Apple update? ›

Downgrade iOS: Where to find old iOS versions
  1. Select your device. ...
  2. Select the version of iOS you wish to download. ...
  3. Click the Download button. ...
  4. Hold down Shift (PC) or Option (Mac) and click the Restore button.
  5. Find the IPSW file that you downloaded earlier, select it and click Open.
  6. Click Restore.
Mar 8, 2021

What happens if you delete a Mac update? ›

Is it safe to delete update files on Mac? It is totally safe to delete update files on your Mac, just as long as you're only removing files you no longer need. It's also advisable to get rid of any files that are no longer supported by your Mac in order to make sure that everything remains in tip-top condition.

Will a factory reset clean my Mac? ›

Before you delete everything on your Mac make sure to make a copy! Before you do anything you should back up or clone your Mac. This is because – as you would expect – resetting a Mac to factory settings gets rid of all the data stored on that machine.

How to erase a Mac and restore it to factory settings such as when you are preparing to sell it give it away or trade it in? ›

Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, R. Release the keys after about 20 seconds. This clears user settings from memory and restores certain security features that might have been altered. Learn more about resetting NVRAM.

How do I reset my Mac to factory settings without system preferences? ›

Factory reset

You need to put your MacBook into Recovery Mode in order to erase all of your data and reinstall MacOS . To enter Recovery Mode on an old Intel-based Mac, restart it and immediately press and hold Command-R. You can release the keys once you see the Apple logo.

Why can't i delete on Mac? ›

Delete an item from your Mac or iCloud Drive

If an item is locked, you need to confirm you want to move it to the Trash, or unlock the item before putting it in the Trash. To unlock the item first, select it, choose File > Get Info (or press Command-I), then deselect the Locked checkbox.

Why can't I delete on my Mac? ›

From the File menu, select Get Info. If the file is locked, unlock it and empty the Trash. Note that you won't be able to delete a folder if even one file in it is locked. If the item is a folder, try throwing away each of the files within it.

Which one is the delete button on Mac? ›

On the Mac, the backspace key is labeled Delete, although it's in exactly the same place as the Windows Backspace key. The Delete key in Windows (technically, the forward delete key, because it deletes the character to the right of the insertion point) is a different story.

How do I Uninstall a failed update? ›

7 Ways to Clean Up Your PC After a Failed Windows Update
  1. Run the Windows Update Troubleshoot Tool. ...
  2. Run Deployment Image Servicing and Management. ...
  3. Run a System File Checker Scan. ...
  4. Pause Windows Updates. ...
  5. Delete Old Data Windows Updates Data. ...
  6. Resolve Driver Conflicts. ...
  7. Manually Roll Back Windows Updates.
Jun 26, 2021

How do I Uninstall the latest quality update? ›

Uninstall Windows Quality Updates

If you have Windows 11, open Settings > Windows Update > Update History to view a list of recent installs. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Uninstall updates to open a Control Panel window showing recent updates.

Can I uninstall macOS? ›

It is safe to delete, you will just be unable to install macOS Sierra until you re-download the installer from the Mac AppStore.

How do I Delete macOS install? ›

If you have a installer for say Monterey on the computer “Install macOS Monterey” located in your Applications folder. There may be other installers not for macOS in your Downloads folder. Just drag them to the trash and empty the trash.

Does downgrading macOS Delete everything? ›

Tips 1: Backup Your macOS Data

After you downgrade macOS Ventura, all your data will be deleted. So, it's recommended that you create a backup of your data to restore it after downgrading. You can utilize Time Machine on Mac, a cloud service, or an external USB to save your backup.

What is the oldest Mac you can update? ›

The 2016 MacBook is supported, and if you have a 2014 Mac mini or a 2013 Mac Pro you are in luck, but those are basically the oldest Macs that can support macOS Monterey. And when Big Sur launched in 2020 compatibility was limited to the 2014 iMac, 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air, 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro, and 2015 MacBook.

What is the latest version of macOS? ›

VersionRelease NameMost recent version
macOS 10.14Mojave10.14.6 (18G9323) (July 21, 2021)
macOS 10.15Catalina10.15.7 (19H2026) (July 20, 2022)
macOS 11Big Sur11.7.6 (20G1231) (April 10, 2023)
macOS 12Monterey12.6.5 (21G531) (April 10, 2023)
20 more rows

How do I remove Monterey from my Mac? ›

Delete Monterey

In the Apple menu, click Restart. Press and hold Command + R to reboot in Recovery. Access Disk Utility > click your drive > Erase. Choose APFS or macOS Extended and confirm you want to erase it.

Can I revert back to iOS 15? ›

If you recently updated your iPhone to iOS 16 and have decided it's not for you, perhaps due to some incompatibility or battery issue or otherwise, you'll be excited to know you can downgrade from iOS 16 and revert back to iOS 15.

Where is macOS recovery? ›

Immediately press and hold one of the following key combinations until you see the startup screen:
  1. Command-R: Start up from the built-in macOS Recovery System. ...
  2. Option-Command-R: Start up from macOS Recovery over the internet. ...
  3. Option-Shift-Command-R: Start up from macOS Recovery over the internet.

Does Apple allow Mac to downgrade after software update? ›

Once your Mac is running a newer version it won't allow you to downgrade it that way. But it is still possible to downgrade your Mac. We also address How to install older versions of macOS or OS X separately. We'll run through the steps to downgrade your Mac from Ventura in this article.

Will reinstall macOS delete my files? ›

macOS Recovery keeps your files and user settings intact when reinstalling. Important: Your computer must be connected to the internet to reinstall macOS.

Can I delete updater? ›

If you've recently installed a Windows update and you are having a problem, here's how to uninstall the update to try to resolve the issue: Select Start > Settings > Windows Update > Update history > Uninstall updates .

Does erasing Mac remove macOS? ›

You can erase your Mac and use macOS Recovery, the built-in recovery system on your Mac, to reinstall macOS. WARNING: Erasing your Mac removes all the information from it.

What should I check before erasing my Mac? ›

Now let's go over the process step-by-step.
  1. Backup Your Current Data. The easiest way to back up your Mac is by using Time Machine. ...
  2. List of apps. ...
  3. Collect licenses and serials. ...
  4. Backup settings. ...
  5. List of widgets, snippets and plugins. ...
  6. Clean Your Mac of Personal Data Before Erasing It. ...
  7. Erase Process.

Does factory reset remove virus? ›

If you get malware on your iPhone or Android phone, does a factory reset remove it? The short answer is that it can and will in most cases, but there are some things to consider first. Once you do a factory reset, it's an irreversible act. You cannot stop the process if you suddenly change your mind.

How do I factory reset my Mac from the recovery menu? ›

How to Factory Reset a Mac Using Recovery Mode
  1. Restart your Mac. ...
  2. Then press and hold the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo appear. ...
  3. Next, select Disk Utility.
  4. Then select Continue.
  5. In the Disk Utility window, click View.
  6. Then select Show All Devices. ...
  7. Select the drive you want to erase. ...
  8. Then click Erase.
Jan 25, 2023

How do I wipe my Mac with Disk Utility? ›

For Mac users, the following steps show you how to wipe your hard drive clean.
  1. Restart your Mac. ...
  2. Hold down the Command + R keys while your Mac is restarting. ...
  3. Click Disc Utility. ...
  4. Click View > Show All Devices.
  5. Select your Mac's drive and then click Erase. ...
  6. Click Erase and fill in the name, format, and Scheme.

How can I reset Mac without disk? ›

How do I restore my Mac to factory settings without a disk? There are two options: reset your Mac with the help of Recovery. Once you boot into Recovery, then select "Reinstall macOS". The other is to use the macOS Erase Assistant in System Preferences.

How do I reset my Mac without reinstalling? ›

How to use the Erase All Content and Settings feature to reset a Mac
  1. Open Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu bar.
  3. Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  4. Type your admin account password and click OK and Continue.
  5. Read the warnings and select Erase All Content & Settings.

What does Command h do? ›

Command+H in word processors and text editors

In word processors and text editors, Command + H opens the find and replace tool that lets you search for a character, word, or phrase and replace it with something else. If you only want to find text and not replace, use the Command+F shortcut.

What does Command h mean on Mac? ›

Command-H: Hide the windows of the front app. To view the front app but hide all other apps, press Option-Command-H. Command-M: Minimize the front window to the Dock.

What does Command Z do? ›

To reverse your last action, press CTRL+Z. You can reverse more than one action. To reverse your last Undo, press CTRL+Y.

How do I uninstall Monterey from my Mac? ›

Delete Monterey

In the Apple menu, click Restart. Press and hold Command + R to reboot in Recovery. Access Disk Utility > click your drive > Erase. Choose APFS or macOS Extended and confirm you want to erase it.

How do I uninstall Big Sur Mac update? ›

Here's how to downgrade from Big Sur to Catalina by removing macOS 11 from your hard drive:
  1. Click on the Apple logo and select Restart from the menu.
  2. Hold down Command + R to reboot in Recovery mode.
  3. Open Disk Utility > Continue.
  4. Select your Startup Disk > Erase.
  5. Select APFS or macOS Extended format and confirm your action.
Oct 5, 2021

Can I delete install macOS Monterey? ›

You do not need to keep the Install macOS Monterey file on your Mac if you do not wish to actually use it. Thus, you may remove the file from your Mac without any worries. Just like we said before, the deletion of the file will not affect your device negatively.

What is the command to uninstall an app macOS? ›

Uninstall apps on a Mac using Terminal
  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utlitlies > Terminal.
  2. Type in the below command. sudo uninstall file://
  3. Now, simply drag the app icon into Terminal, automatically updating the path.
  4. Press Return and input your admin password when requested.
Apr 5, 2023

How do I revert back to a previous version of Mac? ›

Reinstall macOS
  1. Start up your computer in macOS Recovery: ...
  2. In the Recovery app window, select Reinstall for your macOS release, then click Continue.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  4. In the settings where you select a volume, select your current macOS volume (in most cases, it's the only one available).

Is it possible to uninstall Monterey? ›

If you installed it from a previous OS, you can erase the drive and install the older OS or restore from the backup you made prior to installing Monterey.

How do I downgrade IOS Monterey? ›

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Select the USB drive among startup options > Continue.
  4. Click Install macOS Monterey > Quit install macOS.Jul 8, 2022.
Jan 11, 2023

Can I uninstall Big Sur and go back to Mojave? ›

The easiest way to downgrade from macOS Big Sur is by formatting your Mac and then restoring it from a Time Machine backup that was made prior to the installation of macOS Big Sur.

Can I download an older version of macOS? ›

Open the Mac App Store (choose Store > Sign In if you need to log in). Click Purchased. Scroll down to find the copy of OS X or macOS you want. Click Install.

How do I get back from Monterey to Big Sur? ›

How to Downgrade MacOS Monterey to Big Sur
  1. Restart the Mac, and then do the following depending on Mac architecture.
  2. Now in Recovery mode, choose “Disk Utility” from the options.
  3. Select the drive where macOS Monterey is installed and then choose “Erase” from the options – this will delete all data on the Mac.
Mar 21, 2022

Is it possible to delete macOS? ›

You can erase your Mac and use macOS Recovery, the built-in recovery system on your Mac, to reinstall macOS. WARNING: Erasing your Mac removes all the information from it. Before you start, back up your Mac with Time Machine.

Can I delete Monterey and install Big Sur? ›

Uninstall macOS Monterey

Before you install Big Sur, you'll have to remove macOS Monterey from your Mac. You'll need to use recovery mode to do this.

What is the command to uninstall application? ›

Uninstall from Control Panel

In search on the taskbar, enter Control Panel and select it from the results. Select Programs > Programs and Features. Press and hold (or right-click) on the program you want to remove and select Uninstall or Uninstall/Change.

Where is app cleaner and uninstall on Mac? ›

Uninstall AppCleaner Manually
  1. Quit AppCleaner.
  2. Open the Applications folder. ...
  3. Open Finder to get access to the user's Library folder. ...
  4. Within the user's Library folder, find and delete all remaining files related to AppCleaner. ...
  5. Then, empty the Trash bin to completely remove the AppCleaner app from your Mac.

What is app Cleaner and Uninstaller in Mac? ›

As its name suggests, App Cleaner & Uninstaller help you to remove apps from your Mac. Of course, you can do that simply by deleting apps in your Applications folder, but Nektony's tool ensures no unwanted files are left behind.


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