Downgrading from Big Sur to Catalina

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
OP wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,765
Internet Recovery

Phillip Forsten wrote:

wklee wrote:

it seems I could be stuck with Big Sur. My attempts with Internet Recovery has failed.

Reformatted the Hard Disk to HFS+ but now I am back to APFS and Big Sur.

I get a error message that the install '(MacOS Catalina) failed.

Perhaps you have a faulty drive in the Mac mini. I would try multiple times at least before giving up. I've used Internet Recovery numerous times and it was flawless. The Macs were returned back to the OS version they came with when they were new.

I have tried multiple times. There are three Internet Recovery shortcut keys. Cmd + R, Shift + Opt + Cmd + R and Opt + Cmd + R. Opt + Cmd + R could recover the Mac back to the latest MacOS version.

I should have mentioned El Capitan instead of Catalina. I could not go back to El Capitan, which shipped with the Mac mini.

"You can choose from:

  • Command + R Will install the latest version installed on your Mac - won’t upgrade you to the latest version.
  • Option/Alt + Command + R Will upgrade you to the latest macOS compatible with your Mac. Note: If you aren’t running Sierra 10.12.4 of later, this will install the version that came with your Mac; if your Mac has a T2 chip then Option/Alt + Command + R will install the latest macOS on your Mac.
  • Shift + Option/Alt + Command R (if you are running Sierra 10.12.4 of later) will install the version of macOS that came with your Mac, or the one closest to it that is still available.


I am not a Terminal user so I haven't tried to create a Flash drive.

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