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I need to do some software testing against macOS. I know I can download the El Capitan and Sierra installers, but they seem to install the last version (i.e. 10.12.6) rather than the 10.12.0 release.

Is there a way to get ahold of the older installers, or some way to downgrade?

  • There's no way to get prior point releases. For the future, I suggest downloading the initial release, make a USB installer. This way, you always have the original version. Additionally, I would create a VM of macOS which will easily allow you to take snapshots at any point in time (like before point updates). – Allan Apr 3 '18 at 15:26
  • @klanomath - I stand corrected...I just can't seem to find them on the Developer site. Though I still stand by my VM solution; it's much easier than installing/reinstalling. – Allan Apr 3 '18 at 15:44
  • @klanomath Can you specify what extra work is required? Like I know with iOS devices you can download old IPSWs directly from their URL (i.e. from the iPhone Wiki). Is there something similar with macOS? – itsokimbatman Apr 3 '18 at 15:50
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    Possible duplicate of How can I download an older version of OS X/macOS? – fsb Apr 3 '18 at 16:29
  • There's a major distinction between this one and the suspected dupe, @fsb - this one is about point (minor) releases within a current version of macOS and the dupe is about major versions (i.e. Mavericks, Yosemite, El Cap, etc.) – Allan Apr 3 '18 at 16:38
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You may be able to load an earlier macOS using Recovery, the HD/SSD partition on the computer's boot drive. Briefly, you may be able to load the macOS that originally came with your Mac, or the closest software still available, whatever that is.

Booting while holding Shift + Option + Command + r (if your machine has macOS Sierra or later), or Option + Command + r (if your machine has an earlier release of OS X) should restore an earlier version. Refer to the Apple Support Document, How to reinstall macOS for more info.

I would also like to point to another discussion, How can I download an older version of OS X/macOS?, which goes into much more detail on what macOS reversions can be restored using Recovery and other Apple resources.

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There is no way to downgrade to or download an older point release of macOS from any official source.

  • Yes there is. Just use recovery mode to go to oldest version then install up to what you want. – JBis May 30 '18 at 0:31

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