How Do I Downgrade from Mac OS X Server to the Standard Version? [Ask MacRx]



Upgrading a Mac running OS X Lion to the Server version is a simple process of downloading and running the Server installer app, but reverting to the non-server version is not as straightforward:

I’m using Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.2 (11C74), I wanna change it to normal OS X 10.7.2 (not server). How do I do that?  -Ahmad

Hi Ahmad,

There’s no complete way to downgrade from Server once it’s been installed. Apple does provide a support document describing how to Disable Lion Server on your system, but this is not an uninstall and some system components remain modified from their non-server configuration.

Your best bet is to backup your system to an external drive, then erase and reinstall the standard version of Lion on your primary drive. You can use Migration Assistant to import your data and apps from a clone or Time Machine backup.

How do I erase and reinstall the standard? I’m already backed up to time machine.

You can boot from Lion’s Restore Partition to erase the drive and reinstall. Hold down Command-R at startup to launch the install/restore assistant.

  • Ahmad

    worked thanks !!


  • Ex2bot

    I’m curious why you wanted to revert. Care to share?

  • Jason

    This didn’t help me. I am still stuck. 

    1. The instruction to erase and install Lion. Lion is only a digital download. I do not get a disk. When I try to Upgrade to lion it want me to buy a $79 version of Lion Server. I have noting on these server I need to keep. 2. There is no Migrate Assistant on Mac Server.  I really just want to get Server off of two mac servers that I have. I really wish the server version allowed and came with the standard UI. 

    Very Frustrated!! 

  • Adam Rosen

    As noted above you can use CMD-R to boot of the Lion Recovery Partition and erase the drives with Server installed.  If you don’t need to restore any info from the Server installation, just purchase a standard version of Lion with another computer, then use copies of that installer to put Lion on the erased drives.

  • Ex2bot

    Jason, have you tried burning the disk image to a USB drive or (dual layer) DVD and booting from it? Click the Lion installer app and select “show package contents”. The image is in there somewhere. The extension is .dmg. (right-click)

    Wow, this text box isn’t working right with my iPad and 5.0.1. Had to tap the other text box and then tap back in this one. But I can’t select or see the cursor.)