I upgraded my MacBook Air early 2014 to El Capitan from Yosemite. I'm encountering random lags , especially while app switching.

Is downgrading to OS X Mavericks possible ? (My MBA came preinstalled with Mavericks)

  • And you mean downgrading, not reinstalling everything from scratch?
    – techraf
    Oct 5 '15 at 13:53

If your Mac originally came with OS X Mavericks installed and you do not have a separate USB Installer for OS X Mavericks or never downloaded a complete OS X Mavericks Installer from the App Store, from which you can create a USB OS X Mavericks Installer, then you'd have to wipe the HDD/SSD so the Recovery HD was not there and then start the Mac using OS X Internet Recovery (Command-R). Without the aforementioned USB Installer then OS X Internet Recovery is the only way to get what originally shipped on your Mac back.

Note: If in the past you had downloaded the full Installer for OS X Mavericks from the App Store but no longer have it you can still download it again from the App Store under Purchased and then create a USB Installer from it.

Be sure you are properly backed up before proceeding to reinstall, by whatever means.

  • I don't have Mavericks purchased , since that's what the Mac came with. So I just go into recovery, wipe my disk, then go into internet recovery and install Mavericks right ?
    – Hormigas
    Oct 5 '15 at 14:34
  • @Anant, It's the Recovery HD, not the Macintosh HD, that has to be wiped because as long as it's functional the Mac will not boot to OS X Internet Recovery and if you boot to the Recovery HD you'll probably not be able to wipe it unless you boot from a USB Installer to then wipe the Recovery HD on the internal HDD/SSD. In other words, OS X Internet Recovery is what gets booted if the internal HDD/SSD Recovery HD isn't functional when booting direct from the Mac itself. Oct 5 '15 at 15:06
  • Can't you also use Command Option R for Internet recovery?
    – 0942v8653
    Oct 5 '15 at 16:02
  • @0942v8653, I haven't tried it and in the Apple link I provided under OS X Internet Recovery it states "Newer Macs include the ability to start up directly from an Internet-based version OS X Recovery. Your Mac automatically uses this feature when the Recovery System on the startup drive isn't available." and does not mention Command-Option-R. That said, it certainly worth a try. Oct 5 '15 at 16:11

Downgrading isn't possible, only erasing and starting from scratch.

You can always make a backup of your data, then manually restore it to your MacBook after you install Mavericks. I'd recommend just an external HD to copy all of your home folders (Desktop, Music, Documents, etc.); then when you finish setting up Mavericks, just copy the data back.

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