How to remove the macOS Monterey Beta from an M1 MacBook Air

I’ve been playing with the macOS Monterey Beta for a couple of weeks and when my Photo library stopped syncing with it I decided to go back to Big Sur. This is a little more complicated with an M1 Mac and you can’t use the same method as you would with an Intel Mac.

In playing around with this I’ve got a working way to remove the Monterey Beta and go back to the latest public release of Big Sur.

Note: You’ll need two Mac’s and a USB-C cable for this method to work.

First off it goes without saying that you shouldn’t really be putting a beta on your main device anyway but make sure you have a back up of your most important data. I’m all in with iCloud Photo Library and drive so all of my stuff is either on our main iMac or in the cloud somewhere.

  1. On your MacBook sign out of iCloud via settings then sign out of Messages and FaceTime directly from their apps
  2. Now you’ll need to turn the MacBook off
  3. Grab a USB-C cable, now this will depend on your machine you are connecting the MacBook to. For me I connected it to our 5K iMac via a USB-A to USB-C cable.
  4. The last step is to follow these detailed instructions from Apple

For my MacBook Air to restore it took about 30 minutes as it needs to download all of the system software and reapply it.

May the force be with you…