How to download macOS Catalina installer without Mac App Store


Upgrading your Mac to the latest version of macOS is usually a straight forward process. In some cases, the full setup file is needed to create a bootable USB drive which can be used to perform a clean install or install the update on other Macs which might not have access to fast Internet. Here is how you can download the full macOS Catalina installer, directly from Apple’s servers.

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Download macOS Catalina 10.15 Installer

It may seem quite simple to download an update for macOS by going to System Preferences > Software Update. But, the size of these updates varies based on your Mac. This means that what you download as an update might not always be the full installer. If you want to archive the installer file for later use, or use it to create a bootable USB drive, this file might not be sufficient. Luckily, there is a utility called macOS Catalina Patcher, which lets you download the complete setup file from Apple’s servers. Here is how you can use this app to get a copy of macOS Catalina.

  1. Download the latest version of the app from here.macOS Catalina patcher
  2. Once you download the app and run it, you will see the below error message. This is because the app does not have any developer verification data for macOS to recognize it. Simply go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and look for the ‘Open Anyway‘ button to allow the app to run. Note that you will have to run the app at least once, otherwise the ‘Open Anyway’ button will not appear.macOS Catalina patcher 2macOS Catalina Security & Privacy
  3. Run the app again, and you will see the following screen. Click Continue.
    macOS Catalina patcher setupIn the file menu, go to Options and uncheck the option which says 'Auto-apply Post Install Patches'. This should only be used if you're downloading macOS Catalina to use it on an unsupported Mac model.
    Auto-apply post install patches macos Catalina Patcher
  4. Once you reach the below screen, click on Download a Copy. This app also lets you install macOS Catalina on unsupported Macs, but that’s a topic for another day.macOS Catalina installer appThe next screen will tell you that the download size will be around 7GB and the file will be saved in your Downloads folder. Click Continue to start the download process.
    Download macOS CatalinaDownload macOS Catalina 2

Depending on your Internet connection speed, the download might take some time. Once the download is complete, you will have the complete setup file for macOS Catalina available on your Mac.

macOS Catalina 10.15 is the latest update to Apple’s popular desktop operating system. It has a number of new features which include new TV, Music, Podcasts, Screen Time, Find My and Reminders apps, Apple Arcade gaming subscription service, improvements to Safari, Photos and Notes, Sidecar for display extension to iPad, and much more. Apple is also providing APIs for developers to easily port their iPad apps to macOS Catalina, which is one of the biggest changes in Apple’s strategy for Mac apps, in a long time.