May 30, 2024
How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Posted September 26, 2023 at 11:56pm by iClarified
These are instructions on how to create a bootable USB installer for macOS Sonoma.

A bootable installer for macOS Sonoma makes it easy to install the operating system onto multiple Macs no matter their version of macOS. It's also useful to have when installing on a device with slow Internet access.





Create Sonoma USB Installer



Step One


To create a bootable installer, connect a 16GB or larger USB flash drive (formatted to Mac OS Extended) to your computer, then launch the Mac App Store from your dock.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Step Two


Navigate to the macOS Sonoma application page and click the Get button to download macOS Sonoma.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Step Three


You may be brought to a Software Update window, click Upgrade Now or Download to begin downloading the macOS installer.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Step Four


Once the macOS Sonoma installer launches, press the Command+Q keys on the keyboard to exit. Then click Quit.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]


Step Five
Open your Applications folder and select the 'Install macOS Sonoma' app. Press Command+i on the keyboard and verify its size.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

If the macOS Sonoma installer app is over 10GB, skip to the next step.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

If it's tiny (~20MB), you have a few options.
1. You can run it to install macOS Sonoma and then redownload the installer.
2. You can delete it, upgrade to the latest version of Sonoma from the Mac App Store, then redownload the installer.
3. You can delete it and use one of the direct download links found here.


Step Six


Once you've verified that you have the full installer, launch Terminal from the Applications:Utilities folder.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Step Seven


Note the name of your USB flash drive.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Execute the following command in the Terminal window to create a macOS Sonoma installer, replacing 'Untitled' with the name of your USB key. Please note this will erase the entire USB drive.

sudo '/Applications/Install macOS Sonoma.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia' --volume '/Volumes/Untitled'

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

You will be asked to enter your Administrative account password.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]

Type Y and press Enter to begin.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]


Step Eight


If prompted to allow Terminal to access your removable device, click OK.


After about 30 minutes the creation of your macOS Sonoma USB installer will be complete.

How to Create a Bootable macOS Sonoma USB Installer [Video]


Install macOS Sonoma


If you have an Intel Mac, restart your computer and hold down the Option key after hearing the boot sound. You'll be presented with a list of bootable drives. Select the USB installer drive from the boot menu to begin.

If you have an Apple Silicon Mac, power off your device. Turn it back on and keep holding down the power button until you see the boot menu appear. You can then select the bootable install drive to begin installing macOS Sonoma.



USB Stick


If you want a suggestion on which flash drive to use for your macOS Sonoma bootable installer, the Samsung Fit Plus is a compact and affordable option. Most drives 16GB or larger will work; however, you'll likely want a drive that is USB 3.0 or newer for best performance. Samsung also has a new USB Type-C Flash Drive available.

If you purchase a new USB flash drive, it may need to be formatted as Mac OS Extended. You can use the Disk Utility app to do this before you attempt to make a bootable installer.

Important Notes


If you are looking to make bootable installer for macOS Monterey or Ventura, you can find instructions on how to do that here:
How to Make a Bootable macOS Monterey USB Install Key [Video]
How to Make a Bootable macOS Ventura USB Install Key [Video]

Why Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive


Creating a bootable USB installer for macOS Sonoma, or any macOS version, offers several advantages and use cases.

Here's why it's useful to make a bootable USB installer for macOS Sonoma:

Recovery and Troubleshooting

: A bootable USB installer serves as a valuable recovery tool. If your Mac encounters issues or becomes unresponsive, you can boot from the USB installer to troubleshoot and potentially resolve problems. This is especially helpful when your Mac's operating system is corrupted or facing serious issues.

Clean Installations

: When you want to perform a clean installation of macOS Sonoma on your Mac, a bootable USB installer is essential. It enables you to erase your Mac's hard drive and install the operating system from scratch, which can help resolve persistent issues, eliminate malware, or give your Mac a fresh start.

Multiple Macs

: If you have multiple Macs that need to be upgraded or have macOS Sonoma installed, a bootable USB installer can save you time and bandwidth. You can use the same USB installer on each Mac instead of downloading the installation files separately for each machine.

Offline Installation

: Creating a bootable USB installer allows you to install macOS Sonoma without requiring an internet connection. This is beneficial in areas with limited or no internet access or if you want to perform the installation offline for any reason.

Faster Installation

: Installing macOS from a USB drive is generally faster than downloading the entire installation package over the internet, particularly if you have a slow or unreliable internet connection.

Emergency Preparedness

: Having a bootable USB installer ready is akin to having an emergency kit for your Mac. It can be a lifesaver if your Mac faces severe issues or if you need to restore your system quickly.


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