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

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.

Add Comment

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.

Add Comment

  • Launch Terminal.

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

Add Comment

  • In Terminal, type one of the following commands, depending on your version of macOS. (The name of OS, is the one you want to install on the key. Not that of your Mac's system)

  • 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\

    • The rest to the next step.

  • 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

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

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

Add Comment

  • 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.

Add Comment

  • 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 and then press and hold the [option] or [alt] (⌥) key while turning it back on.

Really great guide. Nicely laid out and easy to understand. Nice

ChingChangChong Chong - Reply


Nice work! You're done.

55 other people completed this guide.

Special thanks to these translators:


These translators are helping us fix the world! Want to contribute?
Start translating ›

Anthony Fassler

Member since: 02/26/2015

3,342 Reputation

2 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 -

Hi there,

Question for you. The step 5 am I copying the os code on the computer I currently have active or am I selecting the one that I am trying to download for the computer I just replaced the hard drive for? I’ve tried both and keep getting errors.

Here is an example:

Audras-Mac-mini:~ audracarpenter$ sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ --volume /Volumes/BlkBackup --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

createinstallmedia: unrecognized option `--volume /Volumes/BlkBackup --applicationpath'

Usage: createinstallmedia --volume <path to volume to convert>


--volume, A path to a volume that can be unmounted and erased to create the install media.

--applicationpath, A path to copy of the OS installer application to create the bootable media from.

--nointeraction, Erase the disk pointed to by volume without prompting for confirmation.

Example: createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled

Audras-Mac-mini:~ audracarpenter$


audrajcarpenter - Reply


The step 5 is for OS that you install on USB key not for your actual OS.


Anthony Fassler -

Hi Anthony, thanks for the response. Ok, so the example I posted above, I am trying to use for High Sierra, which is the one I downloaded from the app store. But I am getting arguments that it’s incorrect. Does anything stand out to you as to what I have posted above?

audrajcarpenter -

You’ve a problem with the path of your Volume.

Copy and paste the command line of tutorial because, there are spaces that are not very visible.


All symbol “@” are spaces.

Anthony Fassler -

Hi Anthony, thanks, but there is a space for each of them. I did just copy straight from the page. Any other thoughts what it could be?

audrajcarpenter -

So, format your USB key in format Fat32 with more simple name (UNTITLED) by disk utility.

Then copy and paste this command line :

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ --volume /Volumes/UNTITLED --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

Anthony Fassler -

Hi Anthony that worked! Thanks so much. QQ.. now that I have that drive, I’ve followed your instruction on installing on a new hard drive for a mac book pro 2010 but I’m getting a ‘This copy of the install mac0s high sierra application is damaged, and can’t be used to install macos.’

I’ve tried it twice, but still getting same issue. Do you have a how to around this that I can take a look at?

audrajcarpenter -

It’s an other problem, normally it's because of the time of your Mac that is not fair.

if, you have booted on the usb key. So, you have to set the time of your mac.

So, before click on install macOS, go to utilities/Terminal, enter this command line “date mmddHHMMyy” and change the lettre by the actual date.

mm=mouth, dd = day, HH=hour, MM=minute and yy = year (example = date 0824113518)

Anthony Fassler -

How long should the installer files take to load onto the USB? I’m currently copying El Capitan onto a 16gb USB, the file is only 6.something Gb and it’s already taken longer than 20 minutes…

Katrina Evitts - Reply

It’s written above Time Required 30 minutes - 2 hours.

It depends on the speed of the usb.

Anthony Fassler -

so easy … its making me paranoid.

Rick Carter - Reply

this procedure does not work for os x mountain lion, right?

Gianluca - Reply


Unfortunately no

Anthony Fassler -

After I enter it all, I get a comment that says “ /Applications/Install macOS High does not appear to be a valid OS installer application.” Any ideas why this might be?

Russell Greenberg - Reply


Do you have the file in your application folder ?

If yes, the command line you entered is incorrect. Copy and paste is the better option.

Anthony Fassler -

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 266

Past 7 Days: 1,726

Past 30 Days: 9,324

All Time: 68,117