I just brought a brand new MacBook Pro (mid-2012) and it came with Mavericks installed on it. The previous Mac I had before I got this one had Mountain Lion and it ran my pro tools sufficiently but now I have a better Mac and it's giving me problems: I can't go 2 minutes without it glitching, popping and distorting and having to restart it.

I need Mountain Lion again — is it possible to go from Mavericks to Mountain Lion?

  • 1
    What are the exact errors it might be hardware issues not Mavericks
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 2, 2014 at 11:25
  • It is possible but not simple process. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/93850/…
    – Ruskes
    Mar 2, 2014 at 11:32
  • @Buscar웃 That question is regarding rolling back from an update, not from a pre-installed version of OS X on new hardware.
    – grg
    Mar 2, 2014 at 12:20
  • Do you have an external hard drive ? And a friend (or you) with a dmg of mac Os 10.8x.? Mar 2, 2014 at 12:30
  • @grgarside I read per-installed, do not see the "update"
    – Ruskes
    Mar 2, 2014 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


According to Apple, you should not install previous versions of OS X than the version that came with your Mac. Since your Mac came with Mavericks, you should not install Mountain Lion. But if you want ML, then it may be possible with the following caveats.

Both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs ship with a certain version of Mac OS X (or Mac OS X Server) on their installation disc(s). You should not install a version of Mac OS X earlier than that which came with your Mac.

If you install an earlier (previous) version of the Mac OS X than what was included, your computer may exhibit unexpected behavior such as:

  • The trackpad or mouse may not respond properly
  • The computer may stop responding
  • Sleep/wake issues may occur
  • The display image may appear to "shrink" with black bars around it, may appear tinted, or have other issues
  • Loss of built-in audio
  • Loss of Bluetooth or AirPort functionality
  • May not start up past the Apple logo

Source: Apple KB — Don't install a version of Mac OS X earlier than what came with your Mac

  • While the link you provided may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. I've edited your question to include what I believe was the section that you were referring to, however if it wasn't please quote the relevant section.
    – grg
    Mar 2, 2014 at 12:23

Generally no you can't go back. Mac OS 10.8 is going to fail upon trying to boot or install Mac OS 10.8 on to a machine that came with a newer version of OS X. Since that new Macbooks hardware identifier id is not listed as a supported Mac by prior OS X versions, since it did not exist when 10.8 was released. So when you try to boot 10.8 you will see an error message along the lines " Sorry this version of Mac OS is not compatible with this Computer"

Now with a little hacking of an existing disk that has 10.8 installed you could probably add your new machines hardware id to that list of supported Macs and get it to boot with 10.8, however your new MacBook would be missing some hardware drivers made for current generation Macs so it could be unstable and missing important drivers for graphics acceleration, and the track pad, and who knows what else.

So yes if stability is your goal then moving back to 10.8 on this MacBook is not a good idea.

If you really need 10.8 and the software you need to work is never going to be updated for 10.9 plus you could look for an older MacBook that will support 10.8. Check out http://www.everymac.com, they do an excellent job of listing which Mac OS versions are supported on any given Mac


To save expense of upgrading software, it may be possible to run an older OS than the OS your Mac came with.

I have a $2,000 scanner, but the driver only works with OS 10.6. In 2013, I replaced my mid-2006 iMac with an Apple refurbished mid-2011 iMac with OS 10.8 pre-installed. At the time there was no scanner driver available for OS 10.8.

On the refurbished iMac, the installer for OS 10.6 would not run. It gave a message something like "Sorry this software is not compatible with this Mac". However, if OS 10.6 was installed on a partition or external drive using an older iMac, and then that partition or external drive was moved to the refurbished iMac, OS 10.6 ran with no issues on the refurbished iMac.

Now I use an OS 10.6 partition on refurbished iMac only when I need to scan something. When I am not scanning, I start up from my OS 10.8 partition for all my other applications. (The scanner manufacturer has finally released a driver for OS 10.8 . . . but wanted $450 for just the driver.)

I am reluctant to upgrade past OS 10.8 as Adobe CS5 software may then not run. Upgrading Adobe software is beyond my affordability, so I am hoping I will be able to run OS 10.8 on a newer iMac when I need to replace the refurbished iMac. As a graphics printer, I've been using Adobe/Aldus software since 1988, and don't want to switch.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .