A Guide About How to Create a Bootable USB MacOS Installer


Bethany Walsh

Jun 27, 2022

To install a new copy of macOS on your computer in a manner that is both rapid and clean, you need to create a bootable macOS Big Sur USB drive. Mac OS X Big Sur's public and development betas are supported by this hands-on lesson, and the final version of Big Sur is expected to be released later this year. Our step-by-step tutorial about how to create a bootable USB macOS installer has all the information you need.

What Does It Mean for A USB Or External Device to Be Bootable?

In the simplest terms, a bootable USB Mac stick can boot from a disc that is not on your computer. It doesn't matter whether it's an external hard disc or a USB "thumb" device. We'll use the term "USB drive" to refer to any external storage device.

Is There a Specific Type of USB Required?

Not every flash drive is capable of booting the macOS installation. When purchasing a flash drive, size and kind are the most important factors. Depending on the macOS version you want to install, you'll need a different-sized USB flash drive. Because the macOS Big Sur installation is 12.6 GB, you'll want to double-check that your hard disc can accommodate it. You should choose a USB flash drive with 16 gigabytes of storage space; however, the more space it has, the better.

Make sure that the USB type you choose is compatible with your computer before purchasing it. Flash drives are available for older Macs with USB 3 connections. It is, however, recommended that you purchase a USB-C flash drive and an adapter for your Mac if you have an older model.

How to Make a Mac USB Flash Drive Bootable

You can create a bootable USB drive on a Mac using either a third-party programme or Terminal. Since the second option doesn't need you to install a new app, it may seem the superior choice. A third-party programme is a better option if you don't have the time or patience to type in command-line commands. To build a macOS bootable USB installer, you'll need to click a few buttons, and the software will handle the rest.

Method 1: Use Disk Drill to make a macOS bootable USB

When creating bootable USBs for Mac, Disk Drill is one of the most user-friendly tools out there. You may save time and stress by using this strategy.

Method 2: (Manual) Create a Bootable USB Drive on a Mac using the Terminal command

It is only possible to make a bootable USB installer on a Mac using Terminal if you wish to do it directly. Warning: this method is more difficult and takes more time and effort than the previous one. To begin, open Terminal. Launchpad from the Dock is where you'll find the app. Find the appropriate command for your macOS version now. However, it would be best if you didn't rush into entering a code at this time.

How to Boot From A USB Device on A Mac

A new install of macOS may now be performed on a bootable installer you've made for your Mac. Let us warn you once again that you must only install macOS on a computer or device that is compatible. It is possible to install macOS on unsupported devices, but doing so requires a high level of technical ability; thus, we do not advocate it unless you are a true power user. On M1 Macs, here's how to boot from a USB:

  1. Bootable USB drive inserted into Mac
  2. Hold the power button down to turn Mac on.
  3. Select the drive containing a bootable installation and click Continue.
  4. Follow the prompts.

Remember to Backup Your Data

Please remember to create a backup of all your crucial data before booting from a USB drive since this is the single most important step you must never skip. It is possible to do this by hand by searching through your files and copying them onto a second USB drive, but there is a more efficient method.


You should still make a macOS USB installer, even if your Mac is in perfect working order and you don't believe you'll ever need it. There is no way to know for certain when that event will occur, but being prepared for it by having a portable macOS installer that is already set up and ready to use can often save a lot of time and alleviate a lot of stress.

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