How to uninstall macOS Sierra

How to uninstall macOS Sierra

Since the launch of macOS Sierra back in September 2016, Apple received a lot of bad reviews from its users. The operating system provides you with a wide range of new useful features (for instance, the integration of Siri, the Optimize Storage utility, etc.) but has many problems under the hood. The issues include Mac's inability to start after installing the macOS Sierra, iCloud errors, slow Wi-Fi, etc. So, you can see why many Mac users prefer to downgrade from macOS Sierra back to the previous Apple operating system - El Capitan. Here's what you need to do in order to complete the aforementioned task.

Back up your Mac

It's important to complete this step if you don't want to lose personal documents or program data you worked with while using Apple's latest operating system. All of your files will be deleted when downgrading to El Capitan. One solution would be to back up your data to an external storage device (USB stick, external hard drive, etc.) or to a cloud service account.

Create a bootable OS X El Capitan installation drive

It's impossible to finish this step if you don't have a copy of the El Capitan operating system. You can acquire one from the Apple website if you don't have one on your Mac. Here's what you need to do in order to create the El Capitan bootable drive:

1. Format your external drive. Launch the Disk Utility application, select the drive you wish to format, and go to "Erase" panel. Select the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" profile and give a suggestive name to the selected external drive (for example, "ElCapInst" - without the quotations). Click the "Erase" button.

2. Launch the Terminal app. Enter the following lines (make sure you enter the correct target volume name - in my case, it's "ElCapInst"):

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --volume /Volumes/ElCapInst --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --nointeraction

3. Hit the Return (Enter) key and enter your administrator password when demanded.

Erase macOS Sierra

1. Click the Apple icon button from the left side of your Menu Bar and select the "Restart" option.

Restarting MacRestarting Mac

2. Hold down the Command+R keys as soon as you hear the startup chime. Release the keys once the computer reboots.
3. OS X Utilities window will be displayed on your screen. Select "Disk Utility" and click the "Continue" button.

OS X Utilities WindowOS X Utilities Window

4. Choose your startup disk from the list and press the "Erase" button. Enter a new for the deleted disk and select the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" option. 
5. Close the Disk Utility window and return to OS X Utilities screen.

Reinstall El Capitan on your Mac

1. Select the "Reinstall OS X" option from the OS X Utilities screen.
2. Click the "Continue" button.


It might take a while to downgrade from macOS Sierra back to El Capitan. However, it's definitely worth the time and effort investment if the latest operating system from Apple is causing issues on your Mac, or you simply don't like the new changes and wish to switch back to a version that worked for you.

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