Create macOS Big Sur 11 / 11.0.1 Installer USB Drive [Tutorial]


Here is how you can create the macOS Big Sur 11 / 11.0.1 installer USB drive for clean install on your Mac, MacBook and more.

You can Create a macOS Big Sur USB Installer Drive in a Few Steps, Use it Later for Clean Install or Share it with Someone Else Who Needs One

It's here, it's out now. Big Sur is available for download. But which route should you take to install it? Should you just perform an update over the air or do a clean install? There are pros and cons to both.

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If you are going for an over the air installation, it's plain and simple. But, you might run into performance issues. Clean installation is the way to go if you want to experience a new OS at its maximum potential. The downside? It will wipe your drive clean, meaning you have to backup everything before you go ahead with it. That's not all, you have to go through other things as well, such as creating a USB installer for macOS Big Sur. Don't worry, that's why you are here and we will guide you through it all.


But first, a few important things:

  • Backup everything to iCloud or use an external drive to do so
  • Grab hold of a USB-A / USB-C flash drive with at least 32GB of onboard storage
  • Connect the flash drive to your Mac and erase it using Disk Utility
  • Make sure you have downloaded the macOS Big Sur installer and place it inside the Downloads folder. Read this post on how to do that: Download macOS Big Sur 11 / 11.0.1 Final Installer, Available for All Compatible Macs


Step 1. Connect your USB drive into your Mac's USB port

Step 2. Make sure the macOS Big Sur image file is in your Downloads folder. Go to the /Applications folder and drag it to /Downloads

Step 3. Launch Terminal and type in:

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Step 4. Now, go to the /Downloads folder, right-click on the Big Sur image file and then click on Show Package Contents

Step 5. Find a file labeled createinstallmedia in Contents > Resources then drag and drop it into the Terminal window in which you typed in the sudo command in step 3

Step 6. Now, add the following command after the command string:


Note: add the above command after hitting the space bar once and that there is a double dash before volume.

Step 7: The entire command string should now look something like this

sudo [macOS Big Sur string] --volume

Step 8. Launch Finder

Step 9. You should see your flash drive listed in the left hand side pane. Click and hold on the USB drive's listing and drag it to the Terminal window

Step 10. Press the Return key on your keyboard and enter your Mac's password to begin the process

Step 11. Once complete, you can use the drive to clean install Big Sur, the steps for which are outlined below:

Want to learn about the new features in macOS Big Sur? Read more below: