I plan to buy a MacBook Pro. But my work relies heavily on 32 bit apps for music production, which are not supported in Catalina. Can I downgrade to macOS Mojave if I buy the new MacBook Pro?

  • 3
    This should probably list what "the new" MacBook Pro is. There is a new new one that wasn't out when this question was asked, so being specific will help us help you and everyone else. – bmike Nov 15 '19 at 20:22


Apple has released a new 16" MacBook Pro on 13 November 2019. It replaces the 15" MacBook Pro lineup moving forward. The new 16" MacBook Pro comes pre-installed with macOS Catalina 10.15.1 and cannot be downgraded to run macOS Mojave, or earlier releases of macOS.


So far, year 2019 has seen three releases of MacBook Pro:

  1. 13-inch, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports (May 21, 2019).

  2. 15-inch (May 21, 2019).

  3. 13-inch, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports (July 9, 2019).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro#Technical_specifications_4

All three of them came pre-installed with macOS Mojave 10.14.5 (However, the build number of macOS for the former two is 18F132, and for the one released in July is 18F2058).

Source: Mactracker macOS app

macOS Mojave saw a point release past 10.14.5 with the current latest public release at 10.14.6.

Can I downgrade to macOS Mojave if I buy the new MacBook Pro?

So, yes it is possible to downgrade to run macOS Mojave 10.14.5 or later on all the MacBook Pro's released in 2019 till date. Even if the MacBook Pro you purchase comes pre-installed with macOS Catalina 10.15, it would be possible to install and run macOS Mojave 10.14.5 or later as the build includes the necessary drivers for the newer machines.

Note: This above information will most likely not hold true for any newer Mac/MacBook hardware that happen to get released by Apple during the remainder of the year 2019.

  • Thank you so much. The build numbers are certainly helpful. – Sachin Oct 27 '19 at 12:50
  • How do you think the T2 chip, bridgeOS, EFI and such will be managed when they ship with Catalina only builds? I believe Apple will follow iOS very rapidly with if it ships, you don't downgrade for all T2 hardware. Time will tell of course – bmike Nov 16 '19 at 20:45
  • Would this still apply to the Mac mini (2018)? Thinking about buying one but I need Mojave for the 32-bit support. – At0mic Nov 20 '19 at 23:24
  • @At0mic Late 2018 Mac mini (the latest model) can run macOS Mojave 10.14 or later. Can be easily downgraded. – Nimesh Neema Nov 21 '19 at 0:46
  • I have always heard that you cannot downgrade macOS earlier than what it was shipped with. I recommend finding a machine that still runs Mojave. Look around. Some places sell "old" machines. – historystamp Nov 27 '19 at 23:20

If the machine was released during the lifetime of Mojave, then it is likely that you can downgrade the OS. But not guaranteed, depending on firmware updates and other issues.

The current 2019 MacBook Pros were all released earlier this year, and shipped with Mojave 10.14.5, so that release contains the drivers for the hardware. It's possible some came with special builds, so you'll need to install 10.14.6.

If you really need to stay sub-Catalina, then I'd recommend staying with your current Mac, or getting a newer but secondhand Mac.

  • In order to stay with High Sierra, I recently got an Apple refurb 2017 iMac. It came loaded with Mojave, but no problem adding High Sierra to its disk or using High Sierra from an external drive. – Tom Gewecke Oct 25 '19 at 18:14
  • Yes - T2 chip, bridge OS, recovery volume, EFI and other firmware make down grading less likely on the Mac and more like iOS that when a code signing window or firmware update arrives - it's a one way street ahead and never back. – bmike Nov 15 '19 at 21:28

Very unlikely.

Macs (generally) ship with the earliest operating system they will work with. The problem with previous versions of macOS is they do not have the model specific drivers to support the new features of a new Mac because they came out before that new Mac was ready.

I have heard some rare cases where some Macs were able to work with previous versions of macOS, but those are few and far between, and getting more rare as time goes on.

So if you NEED a system that supports Mojave best get it now before new ones come out and you end up with a system that REALLY won't work for you.


Yes, it's a tedious process, but you can indeed downgrade a machine pre-loaded with macOS Catalina to Mojave. You first need to download the macOS Mojave installation file from the App store, then create a bootable USB drive using that installer. You can create the bootable USB drive using the following command: Note - Make sure your USB drive is named "Untitled" or this won't work.

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --nointeraction

Next, boot your system using the new USB drive (hold the option key during boot), erase the SSD in the laptop/computer using Disk Utility, and then install macOS Mojave on the freshly formatted drive. It's not the easiest process but it does work. Feel free to contact me if you need help. :-)

  • It's not clear the T2 chip will allow you to down level. It's possible, but certainly not a guarantee on the 15 inch (now discontinued) and the 13 inch. I highly doubt the 16 inch MacBook Pro will allow Mojave to install officially and perhaps even not unoficially / hacked together. – bmike Nov 15 '19 at 21:27

I got the new 16 inch MacBook Pro that shipped with macOS Catalina and my workplace apps do not support it.

I was asked by my IT support team to downgrade to Mojave but when I called Apple Support to help with that downgrade, I came to know that it isn't possible to downgrade.

The App Store doesn't allow me to download Mojave, already warning me not to look that way.

Like the pros already mentioned here, the reason could be due to the T2 chip, bridgeOS, EFI, etc.


Best Buy claims they're selling a MacBook Pro with Mojave.

  • It helps to keep in mind that a lot of users on AD are not living in the US :-) – nohillside Dec 2 '19 at 16:41

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