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These advanced steps are primarily for system administrators and others who are familiar with the command line. You don't need a bootable installer to upgrade macOS or reinstall macOS, but it can be useful when you want to install on multiple computers without downloading the installer each time.

What you need to create a bootable installer

  • A USB flash drive or other secondary volume, formatted as Mac OS Extended, with at least 12GB of available storage
  • A downloaded installer for macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, or El Capitan

Download macOS

  • Download: macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, or macOS High Sierra
    These download to your Applications folder as an app named Install macOS [version name]. If the installer opens after downloading, quit it without continuing installation. To get the correct installer, download from a Mac that is using macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6. Enterprise administrators, please download from Apple, not a locally hosted software-update server.
  • Download: OS X El Capitan
    This downloads as a disk image named InstallMacOSX.dmg. On a Mac that is compatible with El Capitan, open the disk image and run the installer within, named InstallMacOSX.pkg. It installs an app named Install OS X El Capitan into your Applications folder. You will create the bootable installer from this app, not from the disk image or .pkg installer.

Use the 'createinstallmedia' command in Terminal

  1. Connect the USB flash drive or other volume that you're using for the bootable installer.
  2. Open Terminal, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  3. Type or paste one of the following commands in Terminal. These assume that the installer is in your Applications folder, and MyVolume is the name of the USB flash drive or other volume you're using. If it has a different name, replace MyVolume in these commands with the name of your volume.

Big Sur:*

Catalina:*

Mojave:*

High Sierra:*

El Capitan:

* If your Mac is using macOS Sierra or earlier, include the --applicationpath argument and installer path, similar to the way this is done in the command for El Capitan.


After typing the command:

  1. Press Return to enter the command.
  2. When prompted, type your administrator password and press Return again. Terminal doesn't show any characters as you type your password.
  3. When prompted, type Y to confirm that you want to erase the volume, then press Return. Terminal shows the progress as the volume is erased.
  4. After the volume is erased, you may see an alert that Terminal would like to access files on a removable volume. Click OK to allow the copy to proceed.
  5. When Terminal says that it's done, the volume will have the same name as the installer you downloaded, such as Install macOS Big Sur. You can now quit Terminal and eject the volume.

Use the bootable installer

Determine whether you're using a Mac with Apple silicon, then follow the appropriate steps:

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  1. Plug the bootable installer into a Mac that is connected to the internet and compatible with the version of macOS you're installing.
  2. Turn on your Mac and continue to hold the power button until you see the startup options window, which shows your bootable volumes and a gear icon labled Options.
  3. Select the volume containing the bootable installer, then click Continue.
  4. When the macOS installer opens, follow the onscreen instructions.

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  1. Plug the bootable installer into a Mac that is connected to the internet and compatible with the version of macOS you're installing.
  2. Press and hold the Option (Alt) ⌥ key immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac.
  3. Release the Option key when you see a dark screen showing your bootable volumes.
  4. Select the volume containing the bootable installer. Then click the up arrow or press Return.
    If you can't start up from the bootable installer, make sure that the External Boot setting in Startup Security Utility is set to allow booting from external media.
  5. Choose your language, if prompted.
  6. Select Install macOS (or Install OS X) from the Utilities window, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

Learn more

For more information about the createinstallmedia command and the arguments that you can use with it, make sure that the macOS installer is in your Applications folder, then enter the appropriate path in Terminal:

Security
  • Big Sur: /Applications/Install macOS Big Sur.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
  • Catalina: /Applications/Install macOS Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
  • Mojave: /Applications/Install macOS Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
  • High Sierra: /Applications/Install macOS High Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia
  • El Capitan: /Applications/Install OS X El Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia

A bootable installer doesn't download macOS from the internet, but it does require an internet connection to get firmware and other information specific to the Mac model.

Oct 16, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

For many years, users of Macs have been looking for the best tutorial to make sure that the use of USB drives on a Mac is not only explored, but it is also done well, and that the best. To help users make the best use of the system tools, this article has met the demands and needs of Mac users and increase general awareness.

Numerous advanced tips can be used to make sure that the user gets the best results when it comes to USB usage on a Mac. This tutorial will discuss the top 7 tips for using a flash drive. It will also provide a basic level of training to make the overall use of flash drive easier for Mac users.

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1 Connecting Flash Drive to MAC

This is the first step that a user will take. Connecting USB to Mac is a simple process. Connecting to the Mac leads to the recognition of the device which can then be used for file transfer and sharing. USB ports are on all Macs and the user should connect the USB flash drive as seen in the picture below:

2 Formatting Flash Drive on Mac

This process is as follows:

a. Press CMD + Spacebar keys, then type application to access the application folder. Select Disk Utility.

b. Select the USB drive that is to be formatted from the left panel. Press the Erase button.

c. Press the Erase button again to confirm the process has been finished.

Related: Further, read and know more complete details on formatting flash drive on Mac.

3 Scanning for Virus on USB Flash Drive on Mac

This is also one of the functions that should be carried out to ensure that the system is never affected and the USB drive's data is also protected properly. The USB device should be right-clicked once the ClamXav has been installed, which is the best antivirus software program. Please select the scan option to complete the process.

4 Opening Flash Drive on Mac

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This is also one of the simplest processes that can be carried out. It should be noted that a user should first scan the drive for viruses so that the malware and viruses never affect the system. The finder that is built on Mac can open USB drives. The left panel shows all the connected drives and once the desired one has been clicked, the contents are shown in the right panel.

5 Transferring File from MAC to Flash Drive

Users can use flash drive on Mac in a simple way. Please scan the files that are being transferred to avoid virus attacks. The flash drive appears on the desktop of the Mac as soon as connected and the files can be dragged to finish the process.

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6 Making Backup of Your Flash Drive on Mac

Users can right-click the flash drive and select the duplicate option to backup data on Mac easily.

7 Recovering Files from Flash Drive on Mac

By using the Recoverit for Mac, the process is also very easy as below:

Recoverit for Mac can help you perform 'All-Around Recovery' once you launch Recoverit. Follow the next simple steps to perform flash drive data recovery on Mac.

Step 1: Select your flash drive on the section 'External removable device' to start scanning your data.

Step 2: A scanning process will run immediately. You can preview the files to make sure the files that you need are found.

Step 3. Select the required files and click the Recover button to finish the process.

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