Make A Startup Disk For Mac

Wait until the startup progress bar appears and release the keys. (If you see a globe, skip down to the end of the article.) When Recovery starts up, select Disk Utility and click Continue. Nektony How to stop applications from opening on Mac startup This article is based on our expertise of macOS, its file system, the work of third-party apps and startup programs. We’ve been working 10+ years in developing our own disk utilities for making a Mac work smoothly. You can make your Mac start up from a CD or DVD, a network volume, a different disk, or another operating system. To do so, you change your startup disk. Important: If you have a Mac with an Apple T2 chip, added security features may need to be set in order to change the startup disk.

You set your Mac or Macbook which disk to start up from when more than one startup disk is connected. This works for USB drives including the NinjaStik

For 2018 to 2020 Macs with the Secure Boot T2 Chip, see the 2020 Macbook Pro Boot from USB instructions.

A “startup disk” is a volume or partition of a drive that contains a bootable operating system.

You can set your Mac to automatically use a specific startup volume, or you can temporarily override this choice at startup.

How To Make A Startup Disk For Macbook Pro

Set the default startup disk
You can change the startup disk your Mac automatically uses from System Preferences.
  1. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
  2. Click the Startup Disk icon in System Preferences, or choose View > Startup Disk.
  3. Select your startup disk from the list of available volumes.

The next time you start up or restart your computer, your Mac starts up using the operating system on the selected volume.

Temporarily change your startup disk with Startup Manager

Startup Manager allows you to pick a volume to start from while the computer is starting up.

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Use these steps to choose a startup disk with Startup Manager:

  1. Turn on or restart your Mac.
  2. Immediately press and hold the Option key. After a few seconds, the Startup Manager appears. If you don’t see the volume you want to use, wait a few moments for Startup Manager to finish scanning connected drives.
  3. Use your mouse or trackpad, or left and right arrow keys to select the volume you want to use.
  4. Double-click or press the Return key to start up your Mac from the volume you selected.

If you have an optical drive connected to your computer, you can insert an installation disc to see it in Startup Manager. You can also attach FireWire or USB external hard drives that contain an operating system to add to the list of startup volumes.

Startup Manager automatically adds bootable volumes as you connect them.

Restart in OS X from Boot Camp

If you have started up your Mac in Windows using Boot Camp, you can use the Boot Camp system tray to switch your startup disk default back to OS X.

  1. In Windows, click the Boot Camp icon in the system tray.
  2. From the menu that appears, choose Restart in OS X.

Start from OS X Recovery

You can also start your Mac from OS X Recovery or Internet Recovery if your Mac was manufactured after 2011.

To start your Mac from the Recovery System, use these steps:

  1. Start up or restart your computer.
  2. Hold down the Command and R keys on your keyboard until you see the Apple logo appear onscreen.

If you don’t see a volume listed

If you don’t see the volume you want to start your computer from, check the following:

  • If you’re using an external drive, make sure it’s connected and turned on.
  • Make sure you’ve installed an operating system, like OS X or Windows on the drive you’re trying to start from. Volumes that don’t contain a valid operating system aren’t listed in Startup Disk or Startup Manager.
  • If you’ve installed an operating system on a drive but it isn’t listed, the volume you’re trying to start from might need repair. If the volume contains OS X, start your computer from OS X Recovery and use Disk Utility to repair the volume, or reinstall OS X on the volume using the Recovery System.
  • Depending on the Mac you are using and the version of OS X that is installed, the Recovery System volume (Recovery HD) might not show up in Startup Manager. Press Command-R during startup to start your Mac from the Recovery System.

For 2018 / 2019 Macbook Pro with the Secure Boot T2 Chip, see the 2018 Macbook Pro Boot from USB instructions.

Apple has just released the final version of macOS Big Sur to the public. You can start upgrading your compatible Mac devices by downloading Big Sur from the App Store or Settings > Software Updates. But if you prefer to completely wipe out your Mac and do a fresh install of macOS Big Sur, you will need a bootable media.

I perform a fresh install every time Apple releases a major macOS version – which usually happens once a year. This time too, I will update my Macbook Air by performing a fresh install. And to do that, I will make a bootable SD card. You can also use a USB stick aka pen drive aka flash drive and perform a fresh install.

In this quick tutorial, I will share how I make a bootable macOS memory card or USB stick, wipe my Mac, and perform a fresh install. You will need a stable internet connection and a storage media with minimum 16GB space. Before you begin, make sure you have taken backup of your Mac.

Step 1: Download macOS Big Sur

Open App Store and search for macOS Big Sur. Click Get and the Software Update window will open. Click upgrade now and it will start downloading the macOS update. If you don’t see macOS Big Sur in App Store, follow this link and choose open link in App Store.

How To Make A Startup Disk For Mac Lion

The installer is 12GB so be patience.

Make A Startup Disk For Mac

Once it finished downloading, the macOS installer is placed under Applications and will run automatically. Close the setup window.

Step 2: Preparing the Storage Media

Insert the storage media you would like to use. I use a 64GB micro SD card with my MacBook Air. You can use a USB-C to USB adapter for Mac models without USB A ports and memory card slot.

Open Disk Utility.

Select the storage medium you just connected from the list on left and click Erase. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from Format dropdown. Type BigSur or any other name you like. Make it simple because you will use this name in the next step.

Make a startup disk for mac

Click Erase and wait until the media is erased.

Step 3: Making the Bootable Media

Now open Terminal and type the following command. Make sure you don’t leave any spaces. Replace BigSur with whatever name you chose in Step 2.

Press enter.

Enter your password, type Y and press enter again. The process takes roughly 20 minutes. After it’s finished, you will notice that the name of your USB stick/SD card has been changed to Install macOS Big Sur.

Step 4: Installing macOS Big Sur from Bootable Media

Right. Now you have a Big Sur bootable media. It’s time to start the installation process.

How To Make A Startup Disk For Mac

Restart your Mac. When it’s booting up (right after the chime sound), press and hold Option key until you see a screen with an option to select the startup disk.

Select Install macOS Big Sur and click continue. Let the installer load.

How Do I Create A Startup Disk For Mac

Now you will see the macOS Recovery screen which will ask you to select a user account which you know the password of. Choose your administrator account and enter password. Note that this is the user on your current macOS setup.

Click Disk Utility and continue. Select the volume where macOS is currently installed on your Mac. Click Erase. Leave all options as default. Click Erase again.

After the process finishes, close Disk Utility and you will return to the recovery screen. Choose ‘Install macOS’ this time and click continue.

The macOS installation process will start and your Mac will reboot a few times.

Once finished, you should see the macOS setup screen. After you are done with onboarding, you will see the desktop and are all set to start using macOS Big Sur.

Make

The same bootable media you just made can be used to install macOS Big Sur on all your (compatible) Macs. This approach helps save bandwidth if you have more than one devices while also letting you erase all data and perform a clean install. It will also come in handy as a recovery media if your Mac software misbehaves in future.

That’s all, folks. This was a tutorial on making a bootable macOS Big Sur installation media. I hope you found it useful and I’d like to thank you for reading.

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