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How to Create macOS Big Sur Beta USB Installer Disk [Tutorial]

Jun 22, 2020
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Here's how you can create a macOS Big Sur beta USB installer disk for clean installation on your Mac. Grab a USB and follow the tutorial!

Create a macOS Big Sur Beta USB Installer Disk for Clean Install on Your Compatible Mac

Want to learn about the new features in macOS Big Sur? Check out our detailed launch post:

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Planning a clean install of macOS Big Sur beta on your Mac? Good choice. But the starting point is a good old fashioned USB installer disk, and that is why you are here. It takes a few minutes to install, and will come in handy if you are planning to deploy Apple's new released beta on a number of Macs which are currently supported.

Step 1. Check whether or not your Mac is supported. If it is not on the list, then it's a waste of time creating a macOS Big Sur beta, even if you are making one for someone else.

Step 2. Source a USB flash drive with at least 16GB or more storage.

Step 3. Download the macOS Big Sur beta image file and make sure it is sitting in the /Applications folder on your Mac. More details can be found below. Just make sure you do not install Big Sur when the final installer pops up and return here to continue with the rest of the USB creation process.

Step 4. Launch Disk Utility and Erase your drive and make sure you name it 'Untitled.' Do not change the currently set parameters. Make sure the drive is set to be APFS and Scheme is set to GUID Partition Map. Click Erase.

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Step 5. Now launch Terminal and type in the following command exactly as shown. There is no margin of error at all here:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled

Step 6. Hit Return on the keyboard and enter the administrator password if you are asked for it. It's the password you use to log into your Mac, provided you are the administrator yourself.

Step 7. The process of creating the USB installer disk will now commence. It may take a while and you can use the spare time to make yourself a latte or just sit back and relax. Once the process is complete, you can eject the USB from your Mac and now you are set to use it on any compatible Mac to install macOS 10.16 beta.

Clean installing a beta OS on a Mac is the way to go if you want to experience everything at its full potential. Installing updates over the air can mess up a lot of things, but it's entirely up to you how you want to go about this.

Be sure to check out the following before you leave:

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