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How to downgrade your macOS version to an earlier one?

When macOS releases a new version and you upgrade your computer before upgrading your Caldera products, unexpected software behavior may occur due to incompatibility with the new OS.

In this case, a temporary solution is to downgrade your macOS until you have the latest version of your Caldera products.


Don't forget to visit our OS compatibility page to keep up with the latest updates and avoid production problems.


Backing up CalderaRIP

Before attempting to do a macOS downgrade, make sure to do a backup of any custom media profiles and spot colors you might have in CalderaRIP.


Using Caldera tools

Caldera has different tools that will help you back up everything you need. Some backups can be done directly in CalderaRIP, others can be done with CalderaDock, and with CalderaJobs it is possible to back up even your previously spooled jobs.

All backup options for CalderaRIP are documented in this dedicated article, as well as in the video below:


Manual backup

If you did not save your custom media profiles by creating a media patch before, and/or you cannot open CalderaRIP to create a media patch, you can still do the following:

  • Try to copy the media profiles folder to a safe location and manually rebuild it as shown in this dedicated article.
  • If you need to, you can also copy the SPOT folder to a safe location before the downgrade is tried. The "SPOT" folder contains all spot color-related files.
    • On a Mac, this is usually found under /CALDERADATA/Users/caldera/.cas/SPOT or under /Users/caldera/.cas/SPOT (note that these locations might differ depending on what username you usually use on the computer).
    • You can copy the entire "SPOT" folder to another computer to transfer spot color-related files.


Backing up PrimeCenter

Before attempting to downgrade macOS, it's necessary to back up your PrimeCenter data. Use CalderaSnapshots from CalderaDock to save your current settings securely. This step ensures you can keep your configurations and preferences.


  • Backing up data with CalderaSnapShots is easy. It ensures your PrimeCenter settings are preserved.
  • Restoring data after a macOS downgrade is complex. Each situation is unique, and Apple typically advises against downgrading due to these complexities.
    • A snapshot saves data but not the installation file, making full restoration challenging.
    • Reinstalling macOS or attempting to restore a snapshot on a different machine may lead to macOS security warnings.


Downgrading your macOS

After backing up everything you might need for your production, you can attempt the macOS downgrade.


Downgrading macOS can lead to unexpected challenges, including potential data loss or system instability. We highly recommend consulting with a professional or Apple's support resources before proceeding with a downgrade.

The most reliable method for preparing for a downgrade is using Time Machine, but it must be initiated before starting the macOS upgrade process.

Case 1: If you accidentally upgraded to macOS 14 Sonoma from an older version of macOS, and you want to downgrade, the following articles explain how to do it:

Case 2: If your Apple computer came with macOS 10.15 Catalina preinstalled and you want to downgrade to an earlier macOS version read this article to learn how to do it.

Case 3: You can also just take your computer to an Apple store and ask them to perform the downgrade for you.

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