Frequently Asked Questions

MacOS USB Recovery Media
Last Updated a year ago

Use the 'createinstallmedia' command in Terminal

  1. Download the OS X installer from the Mac App Store. Quit the installer if it opens automatically after downloading. The installer will be in your Applications folder.
  2. Mount your USB flash drive or other volume. You could also use a secondary internal partition.
  3. Open the Terminal app, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  4. Use the createinstallmedia command in Terminal to create the bootable installer. Examples of this command are in the next section. For detailed usage instructions, make sure that the appropriate Install OS X app is in your Applications folder, then enter one of the following paths in Terminal:

Path for El Captain
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

Path for Yosemite
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

Path for Mavericks
/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\


This is the basic syntax of the command. Replace <var>volumepath</var> with the path to your USB flash drive or other volume, and replace <var>installerpath</var> with the path to the Install OS X app.

Example for El Captain
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

Example for Yosemite
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

Example for Mavericks
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\

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