How to Re-Download OS X Mavericks Installer from the OS X Yosemite App Store
In some specific situations, Mac users running OS X Yosemite may wish to re-download the complete installer application of a prior operating system like OS X Mavericks. This is typically something only advanced users would want to do, perhaps for making a bootable installer for the older OS X version, for upgrading a different Mac, or even to downgrade (more on that in a moment), but unless you have a compelling reason to download the prior OS X release installer there is little other reason to do this.
To be perfectly clear, simply downloading and attempting to run the old installer alone is not sufficient to downgrade from OS X Yosemite back to OS X Mavericks on a Mac. Users who wish to accomplish that could either use an old Time Machine backup, use internet recovery, perform a clean Mavericks install, or follow this to make a bootable installer drive for OS X Mavericks, all of which are much more technical processes that are not going to be covered here. Do not attempt to install OS X Mavericks over an existing OS X Yosemite installation, it will not work and you will almost certainly break something which could result in file loss or worse.
Downloading the OS X Mavericks Installer from the OS X Yosemite App Store
To be able to find the Mavericks installer app, you must have downloaded it at some point with the same Apple ID you are using to access the App Store. If you never previously downloaded it or installed it on a Mac, you will not find the installer available on that account.
- Go to the Apple menu and choose “App Store”
- Click on the “Purchases” tab and log in to your Apple ID if you haven’t done so already
- Scroll through the list of purchased / downloaded apps and find “OS X Mavericks”, then click the “Download” button next to its name
- Confirm that you want to download the installer for OS X Mavericks (10.9), despite running a newer version of OS X (10.10)
The familiar “Install OS X Mavericks” app will appear in the /Applications/ folder of the Mac when it has finished downloading.
At this point you can do whatever your original intention was with the installer app, whether it’s simply copying it to another older Mac to upgrade it to a newer OS (but not to Yosemite), make a bootable installer drive, format and run a clean install of the OS X 10.9, or whatever your plan was.
For what it’s worth, this process works to download any other older version of the OS X installer app that is attached to your App Store account, as well as re-downloading the installers of currently active versions of OS X, including the install application for OS X Yosemite.