How to create a MacOS installer on a USB stick

If you want to download the latest version of macOS, you simply need to go to the Mac App Store and download it. But what if you’re an IT geek working in a computer repair shop, remodeling Macs that need a reinstall of MacOS? What if the internet connection you’re on is dubious to say the least?

Well, accessing the App Store to reinstall macOS will be quite difficult and will take a long time. You will find it much easier and faster to reinstall macOS if you already have the program on a USB stick ready to use.

Put the latest and best MacOS on a USB stick

I should get the scam out of the way before I get into the pros. Although creating a macOS installer is undoubtedly a great time saver if you have a lot of Macs to work on there is a downside.

As operating systems are continually updated to keep up with security issues, any version of the operating system you end up putting on the USB stick will inevitably become invalid very soon. So you’ll need to keep up to date with security updates on a regular basis and make sure you also update the OS version on your stick using the method I’m about to outline.

Cartoon of a USB stick with eyes

To do this, you’ll need access to a Mac computer and a good internet connection, as well as a USB stick with at least 8GB on it. Make sure you have backups of everything on the stick because the stick will be erased when formatted by Disk Creator.

How to create a MacOS installer using Disk Creator

At the time of writing, the current macOS is Mojave. So the first thing you need to do is go to the Mac App Store on an Internet-connected Mac and download the operating system.

This can be done simply by clicking on the “Get” button.

MacOS Mojave in the App Store with the Get button indicated

It will ask if you are sure you want to download it (probably because you have already downloaded it). Click “Yes” (you may need to log in using your admin ID), then it will begin.

Download the macOS Mojave popup window

Depending on the speed of your internet connection, allow between 5 and 10 minutes to download the complete file. When finished, you will find it in the Applications folder.

Install the macOS Mojave app in the Applications folder

Then, unzip and open Disk Creator. No installation is required. Therefore you will see it immediately.

Disk Creator installation window

First, choose what the installer will be. In this case, it’s “USB” (of course make sure the blank USB stick is in your computer first for it to show up in this menu).

By selecting USB from the drop-down menu in Disk Creator

Now click “Choose a macOS installer”. This will open a window on your computer. Navigate to the Mojave file in the Applications folder and choose it.

Install the macOS Mojave app in the Applications folder

Finally, click “Create Installer” and let it do its job. You will be asked to log in with your administrator password to authorize it.

Create alert window for the installer

It will take approximately 10 minutes for the USB stick to be formatted correctly and the installer to be ready for use.

But when it’s done, you will see this little window that tells you how to use it.

Full window in Disk Creator

Make the USB installer using the terminal

MacOS Mojave installer window

Since Disk Creator is free and easy to use, there’s no reason not to use it. But some people are just a little nervous about using software that comes from third-party developers. If that describes you, you can still create a USB installer using Terminal, instead of Disk Creator.

Download Mojave as usual and keep your blank USB stick inserted and ready. Then in Terminal, type the following:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ install macOS
mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia – volume /Volumes/Untitled –
applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ install macOS mojave.app
--nointeraction &&say Done

Enter your password when prompted and wait for it to say “Done” in Terminal before removing the USB drive. Have a good time!

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