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How to create a bootable MacOS Big Sur installation drive

Apple will soon have a new version of macOS. It’s called Big Sur, and it’s version 11. To install it on multiple Macs, you can go to each Mac, connect to the App Store, download Big Sur, and then install it. Waiting for the installer to download, however, takes a long time, and it lays over several Macs.

The best way to do this is to create a bootable installation station. You download the installer once, create the installer, and then use the drive to install Big Sur on your Macs. You can also keep the drive for future reference.

In this article I will go through how to create a bootable MacOS Big Sur installation drive. But before I give instructions on how to make the drive, I will go through the items you need and how to get them.

These instructions are for the public beta of macOS Big Sur. This article will be updated when the operating system is officially released this fall.

Important Note: These instructions must be run on a Mac running macOS Big Sur Public Beta. If you are running an earlier version of macOS and have the Big Sur Public Beta installer, the drive cannot be created.

Macworld also has startup installation instructions for:

Get an external drive and maybe an adapter

MacOS Big Sur installation software is over 12 GB, so you need an external USB drive that can hold as much data. The drive can be a thumb drive, hard drive or SSD.

memory stick IDG

I used this thumb drive to create a MacOS Big Sur installer. You can use a thumb drive, external hard drive or SSD. The 32 GB drive I used has both USB-C and USB-A connectors (USB 2 speed, so it’s slow), and is available on Amazon for about $ 5.

If you have a 2015 or newer Mac laptop that has USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, you may need Apple’s $ 19 USB to USB-C adapter. This allows you to connect a storage device that uses a USB Type A connector. If you do not have an external drive and have a USB-C Mac laptop, you can purchase the SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive, which has a USB-C connector. You can get model number SDCZ450-016G-G46.

You need to delete the drive and format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). You can do this in the Mac Disk Utility app, which is in the Tools folder.

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