Create a bootable USB drive for macOS X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Sierra, or High Sierra.

Launch the App Store on your Mac.
  • Launch the App Store on your Mac.

  • Search for "macOS High Sierra" (or the current version of macOS, if different).

  • Click "Download."

  • If you have previously downloaded this file, you can find it in the "Purchased" tab.

  • If you're using a Windows machine, you'll need to jump through some additional hoops that are beyond the scope of this guide.

    • Search the web for a hacked macOS disc image file, or ISO. They are commonly available in the Hackintosh community.

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After the downloading process is complete, exit the Mac App Store. The installation window should appear momentarily.
  • After the downloading process is complete, exit the Mac App Store. The installation window should appear momentarily.

  • Click the "Install macOS High Sierra" menu at the top left of the screen, and select "Quit Install macOS."

Il est également possible de passer par le soft “DiskMaker” pour faire cette clé.

Il est gratuit, le prendre en fonction de la version de l’OS.

Frédéric LEGER - Reply

  • Insert your USB drive into your Mac's USB port.

  • Note the name of your USB drive—it should appear on your desktop.

  • Your USB drive will be completely erased in the following steps. Make sure you have copies of any important files before you proceed.

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  • Launch Terminal.

    • You can either use Spotlight Search or navigate to "Applications / Utilities" and double click the Terminal icon to launch Terminal.

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  • In Terminal, type one of the following commands, depending on your version of macOS.

  • Instead of "/Volumes/MyVolume", type the name of your USB drive. Type everything else exactly as you see it (or better yet, copy and paste it from here).

    • For El Capitan : sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

    • For Yosemite : sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

    • For Mavericks : sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

    • For Sierra : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\

    • For High Sierra: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

  • If you did not download the file from the Mac App Store, you must modify the file path after "applicationpath".

Are these referring to the OS you're making the bootable device for or the one you're making it from?

Joshua Montzka - Reply

Looks like it is probably for the OS that you are installing.

Joshua Montzka - Reply

Yes it's for the OS that you want installing on USB key.

Anthony Fassler - Reply

Add ““ at start “/Applications/Install OS X El” and at end

Bitsn Bytes - Reply

For High Sierra: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

Александр - Reply

definitely copy/paste there are spaces in the command that aren’t obvious in what you see in the instructions. Also, in the replacement of Volumes/MyVolume - only replace the word MyVolume with the name of your USB - this wasn’t clear from the instructions.

If you need to change the name MyVolume you should copy/paste in pieces as you can’t go back and type over what you input in Terminal

lch63 - Reply

  • After correctly entering the command with the name of your USB drive, press the [return] key.

  • Enter your Mac's user password.

    • Your password will not be displayed, but it is there.

  • Press [return].

  • Check the name and path of your USB key. If it looks correct, press the [Y] key, then press [return].

  • The bootable drive creation will begin. Please wait until the process completes.

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  • When Terminal indicates the process is "Done," the creation of your bootable drive has succeeded.

  • To boot any Mac from your USB drive, first power it off, then press and hold the [option] or [alt] (⌥) key while turning it back on.

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Nice work! You're done.

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Anthony Fassler

Member since: 02/26/2015

2,810 Reputation

5 Guides authored


if it is possible with power iso i have installed this one on my system.

kennieboezi - Reply

You mean create a USB key from Windows ?

Anthony Fassler -

I'm thinking of using this method to revert back to an older os due to my mac slowing down with Sierra. Will I be able to install just Yosemite or el capitan? Without installing previous os upgrades? This way I can have a fresh mac book.

skylerzanth - Reply


Yes you can but with this method, we must make a clean install.

So, please sure you save all your data to another hard drive.

Anthony Fassler -

Réparer ma clé usb

Marc Pitchebai - Reply

clé usb bloquée je cherche à réparer

Marc Pitchebai - Reply

Comment réparer ma clé USB bloquée ?

Marc Pitchebai - Reply

quelle solution trouver

Marc Pitchebai - Reply

Hi, I made a USB bootable drive with el capitan on it. Everything worked fine. I replaced my old hdd with the guide from this site. My iMac is from 2007. But now when I try to boot my computer with the Usb drive while holding the option key I only get a grey screen with a cursor. Any ideas?

Matthias Caes - Reply


You must press the Option / alt key immediately after pressing the start button (no need to wait for the startup sound) and normally you can select your usb key.

Anthony Fassler -

That's what I do though. With all the other key combinations I end up with a blinking folder icon with a question mark. i have tried the vpram reset as well so the problem isn't my keyboard. Could it be the usb itself? Or some other problem? If I did something wrong during the hdd replacement I figure I wouldn't have gotten this far, no?

Matthias Caes -

So, it probably comes from the usb key. When you had done it is that the key had the name of the operating system?

If that is not the case then there was a problem when creating.

Try any other usb port though, it's not already done.

If it still does not work, it will be necessary to put back your old hard disk to be able to start your Mac and follow the tutorial above (be careful to respit spaces and characters in step 5).

And check by pressing "alt" that this works well before putting your new hard drive.

Anthony Fassler -

I used a PC to make the usb drive. Downloaded the installer from the App Store and then transferred it to a pic where I extracted the .dmg file from the installer. I used a programme called transmac. I will see if it is possible to make the usb on another Mac. I know the whole process of making the usb drive on a pc was a detour but I didn't really have any other options... Thanks anyway for the help. I'll post back with progress.

Matthias Caes -

Sorry about forgetting to post back. I did the whole procedure on the PC again and it turns out I skipped a step so it all worked eventually. Thanks again for all the help. I feel like my youth playing with LEGO Technics has somehow contributed for my success, but this site was wonderful in all its simplicity!

Matthias Caes - Reply

It does not work for me.

MacBook-Pro-6:~ computer$  sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

sudo: /Applications/Install OS X command not found

MacBook-Pro-6:~ computer$

rafa-rafelito19 - Reply


Do you have Mavericks installer in Applications folder ?

Anthony Fassler -

For some reason, terminal will not install to my flash drive. Getting this back from Terminal.

“AudioPhductions:~ Clint$ sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\


sudo: /Applications/Install macOS command not found

AudioPhductions:~ Clint$”

cwagoner78 - Reply

doh! Nevermind, I figured it out :P

cwagoner78 -

Can’t get terminal to find the El Capitan file. It is in my applications file.

wshifty - Reply

I have followed directions (trying to make a boot-able flash drive with High Sierra which was downloaded from Apple App Store and in my Applications folder, I am running El Capitan on my MacBookPro)

but get this in Terminal: “Untitled is not a valid mount volume”.

“Untitled” is the name of my 16GB USB flash drive, erased and configured as Mac extended journaled with GUID partition and renamed as “Untitled”:

any advice?

Alan Goldsworthy - Reply


Did you copy paste of the command line ? Because, the command line is case sensitive.

Anthony Fassler -

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