How to Create a Bootable macOS Big Sur Installer Drive

A bootable macOS Big Sur USB drive is required if you want to install this new macOS on your Mac. So, we’ve tested the latest method to make a bootable installer for macOS in order to give you the best guide. Read on to know how to create a bootable macOS Big Sur installer drive.

What you Need to Create a Bootable macOS Big Sur Installer

Before starting, there are a couple of things you should before installing the latest Big Sur update.

USB Flash Drive

First, you will need a USB flash drive to create a bootable installer. Because there are some Macs that only support USB-C, so we recommend using a USB drive with a USB-C connector.

Besides, your USB drive also needs at least 12GB of storage space. In case you might want to know, our go-to choice here is SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C. This USB is not only affordable but it also comes with both USB-A and USB-C connections, which allows you to connect to any Mac easily. In addition, make sure that there’s nothing important data on the drive because everything will be deleted during the process.

A macOS Big Sur Installer Software

You can easily download macOS Big Sur directly from the App Store. Simply click on the Get button and wait a few minutes to download. Remember that after the downloading process is complete, do not click on the Continue button! 

What you need to do now is quit the installer by pressing Command-Q. Then, go to the Applications folder. Here, you should find an “Install macOS Big Sur” app, which is important to make a bootable drive.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Big Sur USB Installer Drive

Follow these steps to make a bootable USB installer drive on your Mac:

1. After closing the macOS Big Sur installer, open Finder > Applications

2. Right-click on Install macOS Big Sur and choose Show Package Contents.

3. Here, open Contents > Resources.

4. Next, launch Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

5. Type “sudo” followed by a space in the Terminal window.

6. Drag createinstallmedia to the Terminal window from the Resources folder you just opened in Step 3.

7. Then, type “–volume” followed by a space.

8. Open Finder > Go > Go To Folder.

9. In the Go To Folder box, type “/Volumes and click the Go button.

10. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac and wait for it to appear in the Finder window.

11. After that, drag the USB drive volume into the Terminal window.

12. Press the Return key on your keyboard to submit the full Terminal command. You also need to enter your password here.

13. When prompted, type “Y” to confirm that you want to erase the volume. Then, press Return to submit (Terminal might ask for access to files on the removable volume).

14. The install process will begin by purging the contents in the USB drive in order to copy the installer files to the drive.

15. When it’s done, the volume will have the same name as the installer which is Install macOS Big Sur in this case. Now, you can quit Terminal and eject the volume.

Note: Be patient throughout the install process because this might take some time

How to Use the macOS Big Sur USB installer

Well, using the macOS Big Sur USB you just created can be challenging for users who use Mac models with Apple T2 Security chips. When installing macOS Big Sur, here are the options you can do.

  • Choose to upgrade your existing macOS installation, going from macOS Catalina or older Big Sur versions to the latest macOS Big Sur.
  • Erase your existing installation and start from scratch.
  • Create a separate APFS volume and install macOS Big Sur if you like to keep macOS Catalina around.

Have you successfully created a bootable macOS Big Sur installer drive on your Mac? Let us know about it in the comments!

Read more: How to Activate Windows 10 in Boot Camp for Mac

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