Whenever Apple releases a new MacOS version, I always create a bootable USB installation drive for the backup. When I want to update new MacOS version for a number of machines, it’s more convenient to plug in the USB installer drive and then run the installer than to open the App Store, and download a 6GB OS installer file, and run it. Since creating an external installer drive is not difficult, it’s my favorite means of installing a new MacOS. If any of you here are also searching for solutions to create a bootable MacOS Mojave installer drive, I would like to share with you different ways to create one. However, before proceeding, you’ll need to go over items and know how to get them.
Prepare an external drive and an adapter
As the file size of macOS Mojave installer software is over 6GB, so you need to prepare a USB external drive in order to hold that much data. The drive can be a thumb drive or SSD. If you use a thumb drive, a 16GB drive will work perfectly.
If you are using a 2015 MacBook or newer or a 2016 MacBook Pro or higher, you will need an Apple’s USB to USB-C adapter (about $19). It allows you to connect a storage device using a USB type-A connector. If you don’t have an external drive available and your Mac has only USB-C Mac ports, you could purchase a SanDisk USB Type-C Flash Drive, which comes with a USB-C connector. An SDCZ450-016G-G46 is a recommended choice.
During the process of creating the boot drive, the storage device will be reformatted, so you no need to format the drive beforehand.
How to get macOS Mojave installer software
The macOS Mojave installer is now available in the App Store. All you need is to launch the App Store app, search for “Mojave,” or you can click on this Mojave App Store link to directly go the Mojave App Store webpage. From there, click on “View in Mac App Store” button.
Now, read the information about Mojave. Once you are ready to download the update, click on the Download button on the upper left. (If you’ve previously downloaded the installer, you will see the Open button instead of Download.)
When the download is complete, the installer will open automatically. However, you should not continue the installation. Instead, press and hold Command-Q keys to exit the installer.
You will now see the Mojave installer app in your Applications folder. Go into there, open it later to upgrade your Mac to the new MacOS Mojave version.
How to make a bootable installer drive
Use Third-Party App
There are a few free apps that offer to make a bootable installer drive. I recommend you to use Install Disk Creator or Diskmaker X apps to create a bootable installer drive. The instruction below is for Install Disk Creator app.
First, download Install Disk Creator app by clicking on the link above. Once the download is completed, move it over to your Applications folder. Now, do the following steps to create a bootable MacOS Mojave drive.
- Plug your drive into your Mac.
- Open Install Disk Creator.
- In its window, under Select the volume to become the installer, there will be a pop-up menu. Click on the menu to choose your drive.
- In the pop-up menu, you will see a Select the OS X installer If there is only MacOS Mojave on your Mac, the Install Disk Creator app will automatically select it. If there are other macOS installers, click on Select the OS X installer and choose the Mojave installer.
- Now, click on Create installer option. You will be prompted that Install Disk Creator want to make changes, simply enter your username as well as password. The app will then start creating the bootable drive. There will also have a progress bar at the bottom of the Install Disk Create window. The process will take a while, so you should be patient.
When you start the process, but you get a failure message saying that the drive couldn’t be unmounted, you need to reformat the drive as ExFAT format by using Disk Utility. Next, start the process over again. Once done, the installer is now ready to use.
You don’t like the third party app to create a bootable installer, you can do this using Terminal. The process is also easy.
- Connect your external drive to your Mac. You need to change the name of your drive into Untitled for an easier process
- Open Terminal on your Mac by going to /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app
- Enter the following command into the Terminal:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled — /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app
- You are warned that your external drive will be erased. Type in Y at the prompt and hit Return.
- Terminal will now start erasing your drive and then copying the installer file to your drive.
- When the process is done, you will see that Terminal displays a “Copy complete” line. You can now exit Terminal and your drive is ready for use.
How to boot your Mac from the installer drive
- Connect your external drive to your Mac.
- Switch your Mac on and quickly press down on the Option key while your Mac is booting up.
- Wait for a few seconds and your Mac will display the Startup Manager, which displays the available boot drives. Click on your external drive and hit Return. (It does not require you to choose a network to proceed.)
- A macOS Utilities window will then display on your Mac. If you just want to install Mojave and leave the data intact, click on Install macOS. If you want to start from the scratch and erase the data, go to Disk Utility to format the internal drive first, then install macOS Mojave on your device.
That’s how to create a bootable MacOS Mojave installer drive and install it on your Mac. If you have any question, let’s know in the comment below.