How To Create OS X El Capitan Bootable USB Flash Drive – Tutorial

Uzair Ghani
Posted Sep 30, 2015
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Here’s how you can create a Mac OS X El Capitan bootable USB flash drive.

EL Capitan bootable usb flash drive

OS X El Capitan is finally here, and if you’re looking to install Apple’s new desktop OS fresh from the ground up, then you’ll be needing a bootable USB flash drive to get started with the process. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process on how you can create a bootable OS X El Capitan USB flash drive in no time.

How To Create OS X El Capitan Bootable USB Flash Drive

Before we begin, make sure that you have a 16GB (at least) USB flash drive at hand, although 8GB will do as well. If you have a newer Mac that supports USB 3.0, then we highly recommend that you source yourself a drive that supports that standard.

All set? Let’s begin.

1. First of all, download OS X El Capitan onto your Mac from this link. Make sure that once the download process is complete, do not run the installer. It’s very important, because once you upgrade to El Capitan, the installer will delete itself from the Applications folder. With the installer sitting in the Applications folder, move to the next step.

2. Connect your USB flash drive to your Mac and launch Disk Utility.

3. Select your USB flash drive from the left hand side of Disk Utility. Make sure you select the correct drive.

4. On the right hand side, click on the ‘Erase’ tab shown at the top.

5. Make sure your USB drive is named ‘Untitled’ and the format is selected as ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled).’ Refer to the screenshot below so that you know what you’re doing.

Download OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan Final Version

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.17.56 AM

6. Now click on the ‘Erase’ button.

7. Once the drive has been erased, click on the ‘Partition’ tab at the top of Disk Utility.

8. In the ‘Name’ field, make sure your USB drive is called ‘Untitled,’ not anything else. In the ‘Partition Layout’ dropdown menu, make sure ‘1 Partition’ is selected.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.18.20 AM

9. Now click on the ‘Options’ button in the same tab, and click on ‘GUID Partition Table.’ Click on ‘Ok’ once you’ve made your choice.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.18.23 AM

10. Click on the ‘Apply’ button to create the partition.

11. With your USB drive plugged in and the El Capitan installer sitting in the Applications folder, launch the Terminal app.

12. Now copy and paste the following command as it is in Terminal:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app –nointeraction

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.26.44 AM

13. Hit the return key on your keyboard and the process of creating the bootable USB will begin.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.47.08 AM

This will take some time so please be patient. Once done, you’ll be left with a USB flash drive from which you can install OS X El Capitan onto your Mac.

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