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How to create a bootable USB drive

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  1. How to create a bootable USB drive, How to create a bootable USB drive: step 1, image 1 of 3 How to create a bootable USB drive, How to create a bootable USB drive: step 1, image 2 of 3 How to create a bootable USB drive, How to create a bootable USB drive: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • If you're currently running macOS Mojave, click this link to find the Mojave installer in the App Store. For Catalina, click here.

    • For all earlier versions of macOS, launch the App Store on your Mac, and search for the macOS version you want (this option is only available when running macOS High Sierra and lower)

    • Click Get or Download

    • If you have previously downloaded this version of macOS using the current Apple ID account, you might find it in the "Purchased"tab.

    • The installer is not directly available to Windows users. If you're using Windows, in order to get access to the installer, you'll need to borrow a macOS machine, go to a Apple Retail Store and download it there, or use a Hackintosh.

  2. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 2, image 1 of 2 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • After the downloading process is complete, close the App Store. The installation window should appear afterwards.

    • [*red]Click the "Install macOS (whatever version you have downloaded)" menu at the top left of the screen, and select "Quit Install macOS (whatever version you have) ."

  3. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Insert your USB drive into your Mac's USB port.

    • Open Finder to find your USB or if your Finder preferences have been set, you can find it on the Desktop.

    • Your USB drive will be completely erased in the following steps. Make any backups of your data beforehand.

  4. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 4, image 1 of 3 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 4, image 2 of 3 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Launch Terminal.

    • You can either use Spotlight or navigate to "Utilities" inside of Applications within Finder and double click Terminal.

  5. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 5, image 1 of 2 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • In Terminal, type one of the following commands, depending on your version of macOS. (The name of the version of macOS, is the one you want to install on the key and downloaded.)

    • 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\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app

    • For Yosemite : sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app

    • For Mavericks : sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app

    • For Sierra : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app

    • Other versions, see the next step.

  6. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 6, image 1 of 2 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 6, image 2 of 2
    • For High Sierra : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app

    • For Mojave : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • For Catalina: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • For Big Sur: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • For Monterey : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Monterey.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • For Ventura : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Ventura.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • For Sonoma : sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sonoma.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume

    • If you've this error "does not appear to be a valid OS installer application". Delete and download the macOS image again.

  7. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 7, image 1 of 2 How to create a bootable USB drive: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • After correctly entering the command with the name of your USB drive, press the [return] key.

    • Enter the macOS administrator password.

    • Your password will not be displayed.

    • 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.

  8. How to create a bootable USB drive: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • When Terminal indicates the process is "Done," the creation of your bootable drive has succeeded.

    • To boot off the USB, first make sure the Mac is off and then press and hold the [option] key when you hear the chime/turn it on .

Conclusion

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Anthony Fassler

Member since: 02/26/15

6,489 Reputation

4 Guides authored

92 Comments

if it is possible with power iso i have installed this one on my system. http://standaloneinstaller.com/download-...

kennieboezi - Reply

You mean create a USB key from Windows ?

Anthony Fassler -

Absolutely possible because I successfully created a Big Sur USB installer on my Windows 10 PC with UUByte DMG Editor.

However, you should download the macOS dmg file first. This software can quickly burn DMG file to USB and you will get a bootable macOS USB disk in a few minutes.

BTW, it also has a Mac version you can try out.

Johin114 -

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

Hello,

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 -

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