Create a Bootable USB of macOS Sonoma – Full Guide

If you are interested in creating a bootable USB of macOS Sonoma then this guide can help you to create one. Follow each step one by one and you will have a fully functional bootable USB of macOS Sonoma.

macOS Sonoma is the latest operating system developed by Apple, released in 2023. It is introduced as the successor of macOS Ventura and has brought tons of new features like interactive widgets, screensavers, and performance enhancements. Sonoma is designed to work on both Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs, offering an enhanced user experience.

How to Create a Bootable USB of macOS Sonoma?

create macOS Sonoma bootable USB
create macOS Sonoma bootable USB

Here is a step-by-step guide to create a bootable USB installer for macOS Sonoma:


Before we begin the process, let’s look at all the tools required to make a bootable USB for macOS Sonoma.

  • A USB flash drive with at least 16GB of storage. Remember to back up all the files inside as the USB will be formatted while proceeding.
  • A Mac with internet access and power backup. While you will need an internet connection to download macOS Sonoma, it is recommended to have your Mac fully charged as the process might take some time.
  • You will also need to check if your system is compatible with macOS Sonoma.

Step 1: Download macOS Sonoma

Begin by downloading the macOS Sonoma installer. For this, you can download macOS Sonoma DMG, ISO, or the full offline installer from direct links here. Or you can download it by visiting the official Apple website and download the macOS Sonoma installer.

Step 2: Format USB Pen Drive

Now we are going to format the USB drive. This will be later used to make it bootable with the macOS Sonoma installer.

  • Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac.
  • Open Disk Utility (you can find it in the Applications > Utilities folder).
  • Select your USB drive from the list on the left.
  • Click on Erase and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the format. Make sure the scheme is set to GUID Partition Map. Give the drive a name (e.g., “macOS Sonoma”).
  • Click Erase to format the drive.

Step 3: Create a Bootable Installer

Now we will use the installer of macOS Sonoma and make the USB bootable. Here is what you are going to do:

  • Open Terminal (you can find it in the Applications > Utilities folder).
  • Type the following command and press Enter:
create macos sonoma bootable usb
create macOS Sonoma bootable usb
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ 14\ --volume /Volumes/Sonoma

sudo: It allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or another user, as specified in the sudoers file.

/Applications/Install\ macOS\ 14\ This is the path to the createinstallmedia tool. It’s a utility provided by Apple that is used to create a bootable macOS installer.

volume /Volumes/Sonoma: This is an option passed to createinstallmedia. It specifies the target volume (in this case, the USB drive) where the installer will be created. `/Volumes/Sonoma` is the path to the volume, and “Sonoma” is the name of the USB drive.

Make sure you replace “Sonoma” with the name of your formatted USB drive if it’s different.

   – Enter your admin password when prompted.

Step 4: Wait for the Process to Complete

The Terminal will notify you when the process is finished. This might take some time, so be patient. Depending on your system, this might take some time. Normally the process completes within 10-15 minutes.

Step 5: Eject the USB Drive

When the process of creating a bootable USB of macOS Sonoma is completed, you will receive a notification in the Terminal indicating that the operation was successful. This means that all the necessary files and components have been copied to the USB drive, and it is now ready to be used as an installer.

You can then eject the USB drive safely. It will now contain the macOS Sonoma installer, which can be used to install macOS 14 on compatible Mac computers.

Step 6: Boot macOS Sonoma Bootable USB

To boot your Mac from the newly created Sonoma USB Installer, follow these steps:

Connect the USB Installer to your Mac.

Restart Your Mac Access Startup Options.

  • For Apple Silicon (M1, M2, etc.) Macs hold the Power button until Loading startup options appear.
  • For Intel-based Macs hold down the Option key immediately after you hear the startup chime.
  • Intel T2 Macs are required to enable booting from external media first. Restart in Recovery Mode (hold command+R at startup), and navigate through Startup Security Utility > Allow booting from external media.
boot macOS 14
boot macOS 14

You will now see a list of bootable volumes. Select the USB drive with the Sonoma installer. Initiate the Installation.

And that is it! You now have a bootable USB installer for macOS Sonoma! You can use this to install macOS 14 on your Mac or other compatible devices.

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