In this article, we will learn how to create a bootable installer for macOS Sonoma. This tutorial works well for macOS Sonoma Developer beta, macOS Sonoma Public Beta, or macOS Sonoma Stable.

macOS Sonoma is the latest iteration of Apple’s operating system for Mac computers, packed with exciting features and improvements. Whether you plan to upgrade to macOS Sonoma or perform a clean installation, having a bootable installer can be incredibly useful. In this article, we will guide you through creating a bootable installer for macOS Sonoma, allowing you to easily install or upgrade your Mac with the new operating system.

Requirements:

Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  1. A Mac computer
  2. A USB flash drive with at least 16GB of storage capacity.
  3. A reliable internet connection.
  4. The macOS Sonoma installer from the App Store.
Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Create Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Step 1: Download macOS Sonoma Installer

Start by downloading the macOS Sonoma installer. Once the file is downloaded, double-click the InstallAssistant.pkg.

NOTE: This is for Sonoma Beta as the public version has not yet released. 

Once the publish version is released, start by downloading the macOS Sonoma installer from the App Store. Open the App Store, search for "macOS Sonoma," and click the download button. The installer will be saved in the Applications folder.
Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Step 2: Prepare the USB Flash Drive

Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac. Please note that all data on the drive will be erased during the process, so make sure you have a backup if necessary.

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Step 3: Format the USB Flash Drive

Open “Disk Utility” on your Mac. You can find it in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder or by using Spotlight search. Select the USB flash drive from the list of available drives and click the “Erase” button.

In the format dropdown menu, choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and provide a name for the drive (In my case, it is Sonoma). Click on “Erase” to format the drive with the selected settings.

Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Step 4: Create the Bootable Installer

Launch “Terminal” from the Utilities folder or by using Spotlight search. Type the following command and press Enter:

For macOS Sonoma Developer Beta:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ 14\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Sonoma --nointeraction
For macOS Sonoma Final:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sonoma.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Sonoma --nointeraction
For macOS Sonoma Public Beta:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sonoma\ beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Sonoma --nointeraction

You will be prompted to enter your administrator password. Type it carefully and press Enter. The Terminal will then start creating the bootable installer, which may take a while. Do not interrupt the process.

Since we are currently running on the developer beta version:

Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Step 5: Wait for the Process to Complete

Once the bootable installer creation process finishes, the Terminal will display “Install media now available at “/Volume/Install macOS 14 Beta”.” This indicates that the bootable installer has been successfully created on the USB flash drive.

You will see that your USB drive will be renamed to Install macOS 14 Beta.

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Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Step 6: Eject the USB Flash Drive

After the process is complete, you can eject the USB flash drive. Close the Terminal and open “Finder.” Locate the USB flash drive under the “Devices” section on the sidebar. Right-click on the drive and select “Eject.”

Complete Video Tutorial:

How to Boot a Mac with the macOS Sonoma Beta USB Install Drive

If you’re eager to try out the latest macOS Sonoma beta on your Mac, you’ll need to boot from a USB install drive. The process differs slightly depending on whether you have an Intel-based Mac or an Apple Silicon (M1) Mac. Here’s a step-by-step guide for each:

For Intel-based Macs:

  1. Connect the USB boot drive to your Intel Mac. Ensure the USB drive with the macOS Sonoma beta installer is securely connected to your Mac.
  2. Restart the Mac and immediately hold down the OPTION key on the boot. Press the restart button on your Mac, and as soon as it begins to boot up, press and hold the OPTION key on your keyboard. Keep holding it until the boot menu appears.
  3. Choose the macOS Sonoma 14 Beta installer from the boot menu. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, navigate to the macOS Sonoma 14 Beta installer option on the boot menu. Once selected, press the Return key to start the boot process.
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For Apple Silicon (M1) Macs:

  1. Attach the USB boot drive to your ARM/M1 Mac. Connect the USB boot drive containing the macOS Sonoma beta installer to your Apple Silicon Mac.
  2. Turn on the Mac by pressing the power button and continue holding it. Press and hold the power button on your Mac until you see a boot options menu appear on the screen. This process may take a few seconds.
  3. Select the macOS Sonoma beta boot drive from the options. Using the trackpad or mouse, select the macOS Sonoma beta boot drive from the available options on the screen. Click on it to begin the booting process.

Running the Installer:

Whether you have an Intel-based Mac or an Apple Silicon (M1) Mac, the process for running the installer is the same.

  1. Choose the “Install macOS 14 Beta” option. Once the Mac has finished booting from the USB install drive, you will be presented with the macOS Sonoma beta installer. Select the “Install macOS 14 Beta” option to proceed.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. The installer will guide you through the installation process. Choose the destination Mac where you want to install macOS Sonoma beta and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Bootable Installer for macOS Sonoma

Note: Beta software may contain bugs and is not recommended for everyday use on your primary Mac. Installing it on a secondary Mac or creating a backup of your important data before proceeding is advisable.

Following these steps, you can boot your Mac using the macOS Sonoma beta USB install drive and experience the new features and improvements offered by the latest macOS version. Remember to exercise caution and be aware that beta software is still developing, so occasional issues may arise.

Conclusion:

Congratulations! You have successfully created a bootable installer for macOS Sonoma. This bootable installer will allow you to easily install or upgrade macOS Sonoma on your compatible Mac computer. A bootable installer is convenient for personal use and is handy for troubleshooting and performing clean installations. Enjoy exploring the new features and enhancements that macOS Sonoma has to offer!

Author

Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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