I made the mistake of thinking OS X 10.9 Mavericks was an improvement over 10.8.5 Mountain Lion and my system now is slugish, applications constantly crash, and it's generally horrible. I would like to migrate back to 10.8.5 and need my applications and settings to be transferred back onto a partition containing 10.8.5.

I tried both migration managers and 10.9 will only move others settings over to itself, while the 10.8.5 version does not recognize the 10.9 startup volume as one it can migrate data from. I'm guessing Apple doesn't consider people might need backward compatibility, thus have seemingly left those like myself to determine a fix for issues that are a direct result of this.

Is there a solution is there for this situation? I really would like to 'migrate' back to 10.8.5

  • There's an issue here beyond Mavericks that you should investigate. It's likely easier to do then a whole reinstall – Alexander Nov 2 '13 at 7:31
  • I'm not sure if this is a problem, but you have a backup/clone of your 10.8.5, right? RIGHT? – Martin Marconcini Nov 2 '13 at 7:32
  • I want to put the apps and settings back onto 10.8.5 – Cocoa Puffs Nov 2 '13 at 7:44

The easiest way would be do a Time Machine backup of your 10.9 Home and Applications folders only.

Then do a clean install of 10.8.5 and boot up in recovery mode and restore your 10.9 Home folder, and pick which applications you wish to restore from your 10.9 Applications folder.

I've had to do this rolling back to previous OS X versions and have rarely had too many problems.

  • does this method retain all the apps settings that are stored for example in ~/library/preferences ? thx – Cocoa Puffs Nov 2 '13 at 8:34

If you have a full backup of Mountain Lion from before the upgrade

Perform a full restoration.

If you do not have a full backup of Mountain Lion from before the upgrade

There is no migration (no downgrade) from Mavericks to any lesser operating system. You could:

  1. backup
  2. install Mountain Lion
  3. from the backup, manually copy or restore selected non-system items.


Some data from Mavericks may be unusable with Mountain Lion.

If, for example, the database for Mail was upgraded by Mavericks then you should not expect that database to be reusable with Mountain Lion.

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