How to maintain easy rollback options after upgrading to macOS Sierra
October 3, 2016 11:39 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to try upgrading my Mac from OS X Yosemite to macOS Sierra. But in case I'm not happy with the upgrade, I'd like to be able to roll it back as painlessly as possible. What steps should I take to make sure I can do so if need be? Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Simply make sure your Time Machine backup is up to date.
posted by kindall at 11:46 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might want to use Disk Utility to make an image of your current disk as well, assuming you have an external disk to which you can save it.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:08 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Time Machine is the way to go. FWIW I've been running Sierra since the first beta without incident.
posted by dis_integration at 12:33 PM on October 3, 2016

Nerd of the North is right; you should use an external drive (or a secondary internal drive if you're on a MacPro) for the easiest surefire way and make a complete copy of your current system. I recommend and use a program called SuperDuper, but there are others that work too, like Carbon Copy Cloner. Time Machine isn't as reliable, imo.

After you make a copy of your system, boot up to the external drive to make sure it works (System Preferences, Startup Disk, then select the drive you want and restart). Once you've verified that the new copy is fully functional, set your startup disk back to the original drive and "upgrade" to Sierra. Personally, I'm skipping this realease. You can read more about the problems people are having with Sierra at Mac In Touch.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:40 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Like LuckySeven~, I would recommend making a bootable clone on an external drive. I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my external backups. If I were to upgrade an OS and want to roll back, that's the way I'd do it.
posted by slogger at 12:44 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

SuperDuper to a different external drive than Time Machine uses. Suspenders and a belt.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:26 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just to put your mind at rest, you could pretty easily move from Yosemite to Sierra without even noticing. Almost nothing has changed, other than the addition of Siri. Time Machine will be fine, it should be running permanently anyway.
posted by tillsbury at 3:21 PM on October 3, 2016

Absolutely use SuperDuper or CCC to make a bootable clone of your drive. Then, if you don't like what happens, you can just restore from that copy and be right back where you were.

Obviously, if you do 2 weeks worth of work in the interim, you'll need a plan to save your work-in-progress, but that's easy.
posted by uberchet at 8:39 AM on October 4, 2016

Both SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner can be set to make backups at any scheduled time. Just leave your external drive plugged in, set it and forget it. You can tell SuperDuper to put your system to sleep when it's finished, bootup from the new copy, or do nothing.

I'd also recommend making a backup before any major changes to your system, as the OP is planning to do, or right before you install new software or apps. (Adobe has burned me one too many times, so this is just habit for me now.) Once the first backup clone is made of your system, the subsequent backups are really fast, usually it takes just a few minutes.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:04 AM on October 4, 2016

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