Installing Big Sur On External Drive

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A clean install of macOS Large Sur is required when in that location are problems yous’re troubleshooting or when y’all face catastrophic internal disk failures. When you are troubleshooting and need a fresh installation of the macOS Large Sur, y’all can use an external drive with a macOS Big Sur installer to get the job done.

For y’all to clean install macOS Large Sur, you need to erase your hard deejay first. Before erasing the difficult disk, make certain to accept backups of data yous may need after the new installation of the operating arrangement.

While there are processes to clean install macOS Big Sur with an internet connexion, you can also install the latest Os without an internet connexion. You will need an external drive with a macOS Big Sur installer to make this possible.

By post-obit the steps in this tutorial, you will able to gear up a problem you run into when installing macOS Big Sur from a bootable USB drive.

macOS Big Sur New Version

macOS Big Sur 20G165 (September thirteen, 2021)


During WWDC20, Apple announced that the new macOS Big Sur will not be available for macs dated 2013 and below. Unlike macOS Catalina that supported every standard configuration Mac that Mojave supported, Large Sur drops support for diverse Macs released in 2012 and 2013. The following are the Big Sur compatible macs

  • 2015 and later on for MacBook
  • 2013 and later for MacBook Air
  • 2013 and after for MacBook Pro
  • 2014 and later for Mac Mini
  • 2014 and later on for iMac
  • 2017 and later for iMac Pro
  • 2013 and afterwards for Mac Pro

USB-C External Drive

Nosotros recommend you choose a good USB-C flash drive to use as your external drive for the clean install of macOS Big Sur.

Steps to Clean Install macOS Large Sur 11.6 for M1 and Intel Fleck

Pace 1: Backup your Mac with Time Machine

Backup your Mac with Time Car

As y’all already know, clean install macOS Big Sur completely erases your Macintosh drive. Make sure that you have backed up your Mac with Time Machine. The Time Auto is the in-built backup feature of your Mac. To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an External Storage device. After you lot connect the device and select it every bit your backup disk, Time Automobile automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup deejay is full.

Step 2: Download macOS Large Sur Installer

You volition need to download the macOS Big Sur installer to begin the installation procedure. This process can be different based on the operating system that is running on your Mac.

If you’re running Large Sur on your Mac computer, follow these steps to download the installation packet.
1. Click on the Apple carte du jour icon and open up System Preferences
2. Choose Software Update
3. Download the macOS Big Sur installation files

If in instance yous’re running an older version of macOS, you can get the Big Sur installer from the Mac App Shop.

Here is the link to macOS Big Sur on the Mac App Store.

Know that the download tin take some fourth dimension because of the file size. The Big Sur installer is 12.6 GB in size and takes a while to download. Notice the installer file in your

Step iii: Format the USB Flash Bulldoze

We will be moving the Big Sur installer file to the USB wink drive we will be using for the clean installation. Y’all demand to format the flash drive to be used for installing macOS Big Sur.

Format Your USB Drive with Disk Utility

ane. Plug the USB-C drive into the Mac
ii. Become to Applications > Utilities
3. Double-click and open Deejay Utility
4. Choose the drive and click on Erase
v. And Name “Untitled”
5. Choice “Mac Bone Extended” or “APFS” every bit the format type
6. Choose the “Chief Boot Tape” from the Scheme menu
7. Click on Erase

Expect for Deejay Utility to create the segmentation and fix the external drive. This process may take a while. Once this is completed, click on Done.

Step four: Create a Bootable USB installer

The side by side stride is to turn the USB drive into a bootable device. The easiest mode to get this done is to utilise DiskMaker 10. yous tin also brand utilize of Terminal to get it done by post-obit the steps beneath:

Create a macOS Big Sur USB Installer

1. Open up Terminal
two. Type in the following command (Replace “Untitled” with the name of your USB drive)
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled

iii. Click “Render” then expect “Washed” to announced on “Concluding.” After the pop-upwardly appears, your USB drive is ready to install of macOS Large Sur xi.

Step 5: Permit Mac to Employ External Disk

You will demand to let your Mac computer to apply external disks. Both T2 Intel Macs and M1 Macs do not allow you to boot from external media. You demand to allow booting from external media from the Startup Security Utility screen.

You can check out our in-depth tutorial for Macs to let using external disks.

Pace 6: Install new macOS Big Sur

ane. Insert your USB bulldoze into your Mac.
2. Restart your mac and hold downwardly the “Option” on your keyboard for Intel Mac. Printing and hold the
Touch ID/Power
Button for M1 Mac. Keep pressing the push button until you see “Loading Startup Options” appear below the logo.

three. The kicking option volition pop on, so select the
USB installer drive.
iv. Under the “MacOS utilities” that will announced on the screen, select “Disk Utility.”

macOS Utilities in macOS Big Sur

5. In “Deejay Utility”, select the “Eras tab” then cull your startup book. This commonly volition exist labeled equally Macintosh HD.
6. Name the startup disk and choose a format (for a SSD startup disk, cull APFS; if it has a standard HDD bulldoze, you can select whatever format)
7. Click on “Erase” and volition exist erased completely and then render to the macOS utility screen.

Format macOS Big Sur Sectionalisation with APFS

8. On the Utility page, select “Install macOS”, then click on “Proceed” and then choose the destination of the disk y’all have already formatted, and macOS will then offset installing.
9. Once the installation is complete, your MacBook should restart automatically.

Install Clean macOS Big Sur with Flash Drive

When you lot clean install macOS Big Sur, you volition get a fresh version of the latest operating system without any issues y’all may have had previously. By following the steps in this tutorial, you will exist able to install macOS Big Sur without an cyberspace connection and without encountering a common installation error with USB bootable drives. You may choose to retain a copy of the latest macOS Large Sur on your USB flash drive for times when yous demand to erase the hard disk and clean install macOS Big Sur.

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