Why can’t you just roll back from a bad macOS update?

As some of us learned in the last week, it’s easy to uninstall a troublesome Rapid Security Response (RSR). Several naturally asked why that isn’t possible with a macOS update, pointing out that it was available and worryingly popular between High Sierra and Catalina 10.15.2, since when the ability has been lost.

The answer is as straightforward as you’d expect: the updates themselves, as well as the update process, have become more complicated than they used to be, and rollback would be difficult to implement.

As such, the advice for those unhappy with a new macOS version is as simple as it is disruptive:

For those who decide that they want to roll back a macOS update on an Apple silicon Mac, by far the simplest procedure is to back the Mac up fully, put it into DFU mode, use Configurator 2 to restore the IPSW image for the previous version of macOS including its firmware, then to migrate the backup to that fresh boot disk. That also caters for all problems that may have arisen with the update.

Apple always moves forwards, never backwards – even when you might want to.


  1. 2023-07-15 9:25 am
  2. 2023-07-15 5:00 pm