Downgrade Mac OSX Lion with Time Machine

Posted on July 27, 2011

Snow Leopard

Last days, I told you about my disappointment when I rushed at installing Mac OSX Lion only a few hours after it was released. Quickly, I decided to downgrade back to Snow Leopard. Hopefully, Time Machine is a very good piece of software that works pretty well for restoring your OS to the exact state of the desired date. Here is how to do it.

  1. Check that yo have saved/backuped all of your work and data you carried out since you installed Lion (USB sticks, DVDs, whatever)
  2. Insert your DVD of Snow Leopard and shut down your mac
  3. When starting your mac again, press the OPTION key and wait until it offers a list of volumes to boot from. Select the Snow Leopard DVD
  4. In the Installer, don’t go on the process of installation. Instead, click on the Utilities menu, then choose¬†Restore System from Backup
  5. Check that you are connected to your time capsule:
    for networked time capsules, I recommend to link an ethernet wire instead of using wifi, it will be quicker. If you really can’t use a wire, then connect to your wifi access point via the Airport Utilities menu at the top left of the screen
    for USB time capsules (or external HDD), you don’t have to do anything special
  6. In the list, select your Time Machine volume
  7. In the list, select the date at which you want to restore your system to. Dates and versions of the system are indicated, so just take the most recent backup you’ve made on Snow Leopard before you installed Lion

Now you’re good for waiting several hours, depending on the size of your backup and the speed of your connection. You have the time to go and make a coffee. Wait and relax, and forget about how Steve raped you with 24 euros.

Some hours later, your mac will reboot and your system is back like before. Lion is just now an old bad memory to you, until the day you have no choice but to upgrade because major softwares will not be supported on Snow Leopard anymore.


NB: if you don’t use Time Machine, I guess you’re going to have much more troubles while downgrading from Lion (if not possible at all?). Probabilities are that you’re to make a new clean install of Snow Leopard. And that you start to use Time Machine, at last (sorry dudes).

About the author

Cyril Mazur is a serial web entrepreneur with experience in various fields: online dating, forex & finance, blogging, online advertising... who enjoys building things that people like to use.