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How to switch from macOS Catalina beta to macOS Catalina stable

macOS Catalina is now available to all users with a supported Mac. This is the official stable version of the OS that most people will upgrade to. If you’re one of the many users who joined the Catalina beta, you will still continue to receive beta builds unless you switch from macOS Catalina beta to macOS Catalina stable. It’s easy enough to do, and you can do it from your Mac. To be safe, make sure you’ve backed everything up first.

macOS Catalina beta to macOS Catalina stable

On the Mac that’s currently enrolled in the macOS beta program, go to the Apple menu on the menu bar. Select the ‘About this Mac’ option from the menu. In the window that opens, click ‘Software Update’.

This will open System Preferences and your Mac will check for updates however, if you look at the left column on the Software Update window, you will see a message telling you the Mac is enrolled in the Apple Beta Software program. Under this message is a ‘Details’ option. Click it.

You will see a message asking if you want to restore the default update settings. This is what essentially gets you off the beta channel and back on the stable channel. Click the ‘Restore Defaults’ button and your Mac will check for updates.

If there is a version of macOS Catalina stable available that is newer than the beta version you had installed, you will be upgraded to the stable one. If the beta that you’re running on your Mac is a newer version, you’re going to have to wait for a later version of macOS Catalina stable to be released. This limitation comes with using macOS’ built-in software update feature.

You can still force the Mac to switch to a the stable version of Catalina even if the beta version you’re running is higher than the stable one. The process is just going to be a lot longer. You will have to create a bootable drive for macOS Catalina and perform a clean install of the system. This of course comes with quite a few disadvantages such as all your files being deleted. Take a back up before you do a clean boot and then use the back up to restore files. Make sure you exit the beta program after performing the clean install or your Mac might continue to get beta builds via Software Update.

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