The final version of Mojave is now available to download, but that doesn't mean the beta program has stopped. Apple's already issued updates to developers and public testers that showcase upcoming features such as the ability to make group FaceTime calls and is hard at work testing other changes that will be coming soon. (Read our Mojave review).

If you are happy to continue to run beta versions of macOS Mojave then you can continue to enjoy getting new features early. But the problem with beta software is that it can break things that work perfectly well, and if you are running it on your main Mac then you may tire of that quickly - after all, it's not as if you are getting to try out a new version of the Mac operating system any more.

If you are fed up with Safari crashes, finding that some software you rely on has stopped working, or simply that your Mac has started behaving unreliably, you'll be wanting to say bye bye beta. In that case you can follow the steps below to revert to a standard version of macOS.

You might find you get more done if your Mac isn't installing a new, buggy, beta update to the software every two or so weeks.

In this article we’ll talk you through how to uninstall the public and developer macOS betas.

Note: it’s easier to downgrade from MacOS Mojave beta to High Sierra, or MacOS High Sierra beta to High Sierra, than it is to downgrade from High Sierra or Mojave to anything predating High Sierra. This is because Apple started using a completely new filing system (APFS) from High Sierra onwards - at least on SSDs (if you are using a Fusion Drive or a hard drive things are a little more complicated, we’ll look at that below.)

If you want to stop running the macOS Mojave beta then read on.

If you are running a full version of Mac OS and would like to know how to downgrade from that, we have a separate article here: How to downgrade macOS.

What you need to do to uninstall the MacOS Mojave beta

There are a few ways you can revert from the beta to a full version of the operating system on a Mac.

  • You can create a USB Installer and do a clean install. This may be necessary if you are reverting from High Sierra or Mojave to an older version of the Mac operating system, as we will discuss below. We have a tutorial on How to do a clean install of macOS here.
  • You can download and install the OS using the built-in Recovery mode (this could be the quickest method - if you web connection is good) But it all depends on what version you are reverting two.
  • You can download the latest stable version of macOS Mojave from the Mac App Store - this is the simplest way to revert from the beta.
  • Apple is likely to run a beta program in 2019 - when it does, if you install that beta you will be able to revert back to Mojave by downloading Mojave from the Mac App Store and installing it.

Before you install an older version of the Operating System, make sure that you make a copy of all your important files (remember you won’t be able to recover files that Time Machine backed up since you were running the beta - because this will recover that version of macOS too - so make a separate back up of these).

How to stop getting beta updates

If you want to run the final version of Mojave, rather than a beta of Mojave, you need to start by stopping any future updates to the beta being pushed out to your Mac. To do this:

  1. Open System Preferences > Software Update
  2. If you are enroleld in the Beta Software Program you will see a message confirming that and below it Details. Click on Details.
  3. Click on Restore Defaults if you do not want your Mac to continue to receive beta updates.

How to revert back to Mojave from the beta via the Mac App Store

This process can take a while - and if you have an unreliable internet connection it may fail.

However, it’s the easiest way to install an older version of the OS.

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. Type Mojave into the Search box.
  3. Click on Mojave.
  4. Click Get.
  5. The installer will begin to download. You’ll see a warning that you are downloading an older version of the OS, ignore it. 
  6. Wait while the macOS downloads - it may take a while, and if your internet connection drops you might have to start again.
  7. Once it’s downloaded click on Open and wait while it installs. Expect this to take a while…

How to revert back to Mojave from the beta using Time Machine

If you have been running the Mojave beta (or if you start running the beta version of 2019's update to macOS) and want to revert back to the non-beta version of Mojave - assuming that you had that on your Mac - you could be able to use this method. (You could also revert back to High Sierra this way assuming you have an old Time Machine backup from before the Mojave beta arrived.)

This is a simple way to install an older version of the macOS, of course you will need a Time Machine backup from just before you installed the beta (we always advise that you make a backup before updating - that's why!)

  1. Click on the Apple menu.
  2. Restart.
  3. Hold Option/Alt, Command + R until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Now you are in macOS Recovery, you’ll see the option to Restore from your Time Machine Backup. Click Continue.
  5. Select the Backup source and click Continue.
  6. Now you need to choose the right backup - the last one from before you installed the beta. (You can check this by looking at the macOS version column).
  7. Choose the back up and click on Restore.

Note that when you Restore from Time Machine backup in Recovery mode the data on your Mac will be erased - so you will lose any data that you’ve created since installing the beta (so make a copy of this on a separate drive, or make sure it’s backed up in iCloud).

Once restored any files you had created since the beta was installed can be transferred from the device you copied them to.

We have a guide to restoring from Time Machine here.

How to install macOS using a boot drive

This method will involve completely wiping your Mac, so make sure you have a back up made prior to installing the beta (or at least copy any important files and photos to a separate drive to copy back later).

Follow these instructions to make a boot drive of MacOS (or which ever version you wish to run)

Currently it is easy to download the latest version of Mojave from the Mac App Store - but if you want to get an older version of the macOS it's a lot more complicated (Apple's made it impossible to download old versions of MacOS in Mojave). It's not east, but luckily, we have instructions for how to get an older version of the Mac operating system here.

Once you have your boot drive ready, follow these instructions to reinstall the older version of MacOS.

  1. Make sure you are connected to the internet
  2. Click on the Apple logo > Restart.
  3. Press Command + R until your computer reboots.
  4. When you enter Recovery mode click on Disk Utility > Continue.
  5. Select you Startup Disk.
  6. Click on Erase (yes, you need to erase your drive before you can continue).
  7. If your Mac is using APFS - likely if you were running High Sierra on a SSD, or Mojave on an SSD, Hard drive or Fusion drive, select APFS from the format list. In some rare scenarios your Mac might be using HFS+, if you have a Fusion Drive for example, in that case you’d need to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format list.
  8. If Scheme is available, select GUID Partition Map.Click Erase.
  9. Wait for the Erase process to complete before you quit Disk Utility.
  10. Now, to install the macOS again… Make sure that the boot drive is plugged into your Mac.
  11. Click on Apple logo > Restart.
  12. Hold down Option/Alt while your Mac restarts.
  13. You’ll see a list of startup disk options, select your bootable drive containing the version of macOS you want to run.
  14. Click Continue and wait will it installs

Now you can recover your setting and data from the last back up you made prior to installing the beta.

What if you need to revert to Sierra or earlier?

As we said above, it’s a little more complicated if you are reverting from Mojave or High Sierra to a version of the macOS that predates them because Apple has made it harder to get old installers, and (probably related) Apple has switched to a new file system.

Back when Apple stopped trying to make APFS work on Fusion Drives back when it was beta testing High Sierra (an early version of that beta which did support it on Fusion Drives), the company issued the following instructions to downgrade from the APFS version to a HFS+ version. Since Mojave brings APFS to hard drives and Fusion Drives as well, it is likely that if your Mac is so equipped you will need to bear this in mind when downgrading.

  1. Make a Time Machine back up.
  2. Download the Mojave installer from the Mac App store.
  3. Create a bootable installer as above.
  4. Press Option/Alt as you start up your Mac.
  5. Choose the macOS Mojave installer as your startup disk.
  6. Select Disk Utility.
  7. Choose Show All Devices.
  8. Choose your drive and click on Erase.
  9. Change the format to MacOS Extended (Journaled).
  10. Change the name of your drive to something else.
  11. Quit Disk Utility.
  12. Choose Reinstall macOS and select the new drive name as your target.
  13. Once in Setup Assistant choose to migrate your data from your Time Machine back up (Time Machine isn’t using APFS, yet, so this should work, for now).