The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition: How to Back-Date SSE for Modding after the Anniversary Apdate

This guide will (hopefully) tell you how to easily backdate Skyrim from the anniversary update, which breaks many mods, to the previous version.


This is just to make you are aware of all the risks of doing this-

  • Saves from Anniversary Edition may be broken, back up your saves first by copying the save folder and putting it somewhere else on your computer, the location will be shown later in the guide.
  • You will want to launch Skyrim directly from the skyrimSE.exe or skse64_loader.exe,or whatever else you use, as opening it on steam will cause any future updates that come out to start, meaning you would have to redo this. however, you should be launching from your mod launcher anyways, as this guide is for mod compatibility, such as Mod Organizer 2 or Vortex. You could add the .exe you use as a new steam game if you prefer using your steam library.


For experienced sse modders, this may seem like a lot of hand holding, however, I am assuming that new players/new modders may use this guide.

Here is a link to the downgrade patcher, which is a program that downgrades skyrim. You need an account to download on this site, and it is capped at a slow speed unless you pay, so it may take a while to download.

Unofficial Downgrade Patcher[]

There are 2 file options in the downloads tab, Best of Both Worlds and Full Patcher

Best of Both Worlds-This keeps anniversary edition content, however, can still cause issues with mods, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you are more experienced with modding.

Full Patcher-This Patches back to the previous version, removing the content and added in the anniversary edition, and won’t cause issues for mods made for sse before the anniversary update, and I recomend it to most everyone.

After downloading the .exe, go to steam, go to skyrim special edition, and click the gear icon as seen below, and go to properties.

Then go to the updates tab and make sure it matches what I have, so that the game cannot update anymore unless you launch the game from steam, which, if you are modding, you probably won’t do anyways, and you shouldn’t anymore. You can use the tips in the disclaimers section for ways to launch the game without steam.

Next, click the gear icon again, but this time go to the manage section and choose Browse Local files

That will take you to your Skyrim install folder, which should look similar to mine, however mine is modded so it might not be exactly the same

Before you run it, you may want to back up your save files just in case, although i don’t see why anything would happen to them, it is a good precaution, especially when actually modding your game. They are located under your windows user in the location below

Now, get the downloaded file, put it in the install folder or you can copy the install location into the top.
open the download patcher, locate your game with the top bar shown in the image below if you dodn’t put the .exe in the skyrim install folder or if it says that it couldn’t locate skyrim install, and press the start patching button, and let it run until it says it is done, and close it.

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