How to install macOS from USB on Macbook pro?

Installing macOS from a USB drive on a MacBook Pro can be a useful solution when you want to perform a clean installation, upgrade your operating system, or reinstall macOS due to system issues. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install macOS from a USB on your MacBook Pro.

How to install macOS from USB on MacBook Pro?

To install macOS from a USB on your MacBook Pro, follow these steps:
1. Format your USB drive: Connect the USB drive to your MacBook Pro and open Disk Utility. Select the USB drive and format it to macOS Extended (Journaled) with the GUID Partition Map scheme.
2. Download macOS: Go to the Apple menu, select App Store, and search for the version of macOS you want to install. Click on Download and wait until the installation package is downloaded.
3. Create a bootable installer: Open Terminal from the Utilities folder in Applications and enter the command “sudo /Applications/Install macOS [version].app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled.” Replace [version] with the name of the macOS version you downloaded and Untitled with the name of your USB drive.
4. Authenticate the process: Enter your administrator password when prompted and press Return to authenticate the creation of the bootable installer. Wait for the process to finish, which may take a while.
5. Restart your MacBook Pro: Once the bootable installer is created, restart your Mac and hold down the Option key immediately upon hearing the startup chime. Release the key once you see the Startup Manager.
6. Select the USB installer: Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the USB drive with the installer and press Enter. Your MacBook Pro will now boot from the USB drive.
7. Install macOS: Follow the on-screen instructions to install macOS on your MacBook Pro. Make sure to select the appropriate disk for installation, usually your Macintosh HD.
8. Complete the installation: Once the installation is completed, your MacBook Pro will restart, and you can set up your Mac with your preferences, data, and apps.


1. Can I use any USB drive to create a bootable installer?

No, you will need a USB drive with a capacity of at least 12GB and preferably a USB 3.0 drive for faster installation.

2. Can I use this method to install an older macOS version on my MacBook Pro?

Yes, as long as the version you want to install is compatible with your MacBook Pro.

3. Can I use a Windows PC to create a bootable installer for macOS?

It is recommended to create the bootable installer using a Mac, but some third-party tools allow you to create it on a Windows PC.

4. Will installing macOS from a USB erase my data?

If you perform a clean installation, all data on your MacBook Pro will be erased. Make sure to back up your important files before proceeding.

5. What if my MacBook Pro does not recognize the USB drive during startup?

Try restarting your MacBook Pro and holding down the Option key again. If the USB drive is still not recognized, ensure that the USB drive is properly formatted and that the installation files are properly created.

6. Can I install macOS using a wireless internet connection?

Yes, during the installation process, you will be prompted to select a Wi-Fi network if available, enabling you to download the latest updates and drivers.

7. How long does the installation process usually take?

The installation process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on your MacBook Pro’s hardware and the version of macOS being installed.

8. Can I cancel the installation once it has started?

Yes, you can cancel the installation by restarting your MacBook Pro. However, this may cause instability or issues with your system, so it is advisable to let the installation process complete.

9. Do I need an Apple ID to install macOS from a USB?

No, you do not need an Apple ID specifically for installing macOS from a USB drive. However, having an Apple ID will enable you to download the macOS installation files from the App Store.

10. Can I use a USB-C to USB adapter to create a bootable installer?

Yes, if your MacBook Pro only has USB-C ports, you can use a USB-C to USB adapter to connect the USB drive and create a bootable installer.

11. Can I use this method to downgrade my macOS version?

If your MacBook Pro supports the older macOS version you want to install, you can use this method to downgrade your macOS.

12. What should I do if I encounter an error during the installation process?

If you encounter an error during installation, you can try restarting your MacBook Pro and attempting the installation again. If the error persists, it is advisable to seek assistance from an Apple Support representative or consult the Apple Support website for troubleshooting options.

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