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I hope you can help me. I had modest tech abilities until 6 months ago, when I had a stroke. I don't know now what these abbreviations mean. I have read the answers but they don't seem to apply.

My mini got a new hard drive last November with Mountain Lion installed. I think I wanted to upgrade to Mavericks but somehow got Yosemite instead, which is awful and messes with everything. Can I get rid of it without losing everything? I don't have anymore an external hard drive, or something else I can't recall. Thank you.

  • What do you mean by "messes with everything"? The only problem I've run into is the lack of flash support, in line with the Linux community. – agentroadkill Sep 3 '15 at 18:57
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Sorry to hear about your stroke. To answer your question, downgrading operating system installs are pretty tricky. This is further complicated by Apple's switch to exclusively distribute OS X via the App Store - if you don't already have access to the Mavericks installer, you're out of luck given that you can't even get the installer on the App Store anymore.

If you do have access to the Mavericks installer, you'll need to back up your documents somewhere as you will need to completely erase the hard drive in your Mini before installing Mavericks. If you use Time Machine to backup, this could be an option - but I couldn't be certain as I've never downgraded from Yosemite to Mavericks and I know that Time Machine backs up the OS as well, so there could be some issues involved.

Once that's done, you can then bring over your documents and reconfigure your apps (if you have iCloud and sync your Apple app settings, that should be effortless - but I can't confirm as, again, I've never done the downgrade).

If this sounds like a royal pain in the butt … you're right. Yosemite is a pretty big change from OS X, but if you can stand to stick with it that will probably be your best option.

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    Good advice. Especially get a backup hard drive now since you'll need it to roll back yosemite and having a back up is even more critical if doing Tech Work isn't going to be worth your energy for the near future. – bmike Sep 3 '15 at 19:23
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    Yes, absolutely agree with @bmike - always be backing up, regardless of what you decide to do! – Brian M. Sep 3 '15 at 19:27

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