Downgrade to Mountain Lion from installer, restore data and apps from Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zen, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I'm getting a little confused about Time Machine so need some help!

    I have a Mac mini running Mavericks. I have Time Machine running regularly.

    I would like to do a clean install of Mountain Lion. Is it possible to then restore my data and apps from Time Machine - i.e., everything EXCEPT the OS?

    I'm sure one of my Time Machine backups is a snapshot of my system running Mountain Lion, but I've been running Mavericks since October 22nd, and that backup will be pretty out of date in terms of data and files.

    Do I need to use Migration Assistant?
  2. zen thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
  3. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2010
    I cannot offer much help in this regard, as my MacBook Pro is does not go below the Mavericks build it came with (not even the stock build) and my other MacBook Pro is on Snow Leopard (compatibility purposes).

    The only thing I could recommend is that if you install Mountain Lion and try using Migration Assistant to restore your documents and settings. I don't know how good it will work, but I'm afraid that's the only solution I can give at the moment.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I recall using Migration Assistant to "do a downgrade" like you're suggesting once before, and it worked.

    Here is the order in which I'd proceed:
    1. Back up to an external drive (I ALWAYS recommend CarbonCopyCloner over Time Machine, so that your backup is fully bootable)
    2. Boot from the external drive, and re-initialize the internal
    3. Install a completely clean copy of the "old OS" from an install .dmg file (get it however you can)
    4. Disconnect backup and boot from newly-installed OS
    5. Create a new, "temporary" administrative account
    6. Update OS as needed
    7. Connect backup drive
    8. Use Migration Assistant to "selectively migrate" your old account, apps, settings, data

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