Safari is a pre-installed browser on Apple devices. It’s not easy to uninstall or remove the browser; this also applies to downgrading to previous or older versions.
The downgrade is technically challenging but doable if we have all the required re-installation or migration assistant support setups.
Please proceed with caution, as it might break your system.
In this guide, we have shared the detailed steps to downgrade Safari browser to an older version. But, it’s recommended to proceed cautiously and ensure you’ve prerequisite and read through before starting the rollback.
On this page, you can find and jump to:
Pre-requisite: Stopping Automatic System Updates on Mac
If you don’t disable the auto-update feature, the OS will again install the latest Safari version, making the entire process futile.
So head over to > System Preferences > Software Update, and disable the Automatically keep my Mac up to date option. Once that is done, you may proceed with the below steps to downgrade Safari to an older version.
Method 1: Restoring with Time Machine Backup
If you took a Time Machine backup before Safari automatically updated, you shouldn’t give it any second thought and restore that backup immediately.
For the unaware, The Time Machine progressively restores the data. It will only restore those data unchanged since the last snapshot.
- Head over to the Applications folder and select Utilities.
- Select the Migration Assistant app.
- Select From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk
- Hit on the
- Select the Time Machine backup made before the Safari update, and click the
- Select the Applications checkbox under the Information to transfer dialog box, and hit the
The restoration process shall now begin and could take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the backup size.
Once done, you will have successfully downgraded to an older Safari version. To be safer, re-verify that the Auto-updates feature is still disabled after the restoration.
However, many users wouldn’t have such a backup satisfying this requirement.
Method 2: Downgrading the macOS on the computer
In this process, we will downgrade macOS to the earlier build that initially shipped with your device. It will then automatically downgrade all the pre-installed apps to their earlier versions. However, the process will wipe off all the data, so backup beforehand. Here are the steps to downgrade:
- Keypress the + to boot your Mac to Recovery mode.
- Select Reinstall macOS <version-name> from the Utilities menu.
- Proceed with the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Moreover, if it asks whether you want to install Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD – Data, choose Macintosh HD.
When the installation is complete, disable the auto-update feature under System Preferences. It will ensure that Safari isn’t automatically updated to the latest build. At the same time, don’t forget to install all the other updates manually.
We have shared two different methods for the same. While both do their job effectively, it could be a bit complicated for the newcomers.
Making changes to the operating system just to downgrade to an earlier app build is risky. Apple should have provided a more straightforward approach to carrying out a rollback.
Talking about more accessible approaches, a couple of third-party apps claim to do this job. However, they tend to give varying degrees of success.
Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.