Creating a macOS Sierra USB Installer: The Simple Guide You’ve Been Looking For

Creating a macOS Sierra USB Installer: The Simple Guide You’ve Been Looking For

If you’ve ever wondered how to create a macOS Sierra USB installer, you’re in luck. Today, I’m going to share with you a straightforward guide that will walk you through the process step by step. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to create your own USB installer for macOS Sierra. Let’s dive in!

First things first, you’ll need a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage capacity. Make sure it’s empty and ready to be used. Once you have your USB drive, follow these simple steps:

1. Download the macOS Sierra Installer

Start by downloading the macOS Sierra installer from the App Store. It’s a large file, so be prepared for it to take some time to download.

2. Prepare the USB Drive

Insert your USB drive into your Mac and open the Disk Utility. Select your USB drive from the list on the left and then click on the “Erase” tab. Choose a name for your drive and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format. Finally, click on the “Erase” button to format the drive.

3. Create the USB Installer

Once your USB drive is formatted, open the Terminal application. Type in the following command, replacing “Untitled” with the name you chose for your USB drive:


sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\


Press “Enter” and then enter your administrator password when prompted. The Terminal will now create the USB installer, which may take a while.

4. Install macOS Sierra

Once the USB installer is created, restart your Mac and hold down the Option key. When the startup disk selection screen appears, choose the USB installer and click on the arrow to boot from it. Follow the on-screen instructions to install macOS Sierra on your Mac.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully created a macOS Sierra USB installer and installed it on your Mac. Now you can use this USB installer for various purposes, such as clean installations or troubleshooting.

Creating a macOS Sierra USB installer doesn’t have to be a complex and confusing process. By following these simple steps, you can have your USB installer up and running in no time. So go ahead and give it a try – you’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

How to Create a macOS Sierra USB Installer

If you want to upgrade to the latest macOS, you can easily do so through the Mac App Store. But for those who prefer having a physical copy of the full installation, whether for upgrading multiple Macs or troubleshooting purposes, you’ll need to create your own USB installer since Apple no longer distributes macOS in physical form. Luckily, this can be done with just a single Terminal command. Here’s how you can create a USB installer for macOS Sierra.

Step 1: Download macOS Sierra from the Mac App Store

install macos sierra

To make a USB installer for macOS Sierra, the first thing you need to do is download the installation application from the Mac App Store. You’ll need a Mac that is compatible with Sierra. Just open the App Store and look for Sierra on the homepage sidebar. Once you find it, download the installer.

After the download is complete, the Sierra installer will automatically open. However, you don’t need to use the installer itself, as it’s designed for upgrading Macs to Sierra. To quit the installer application, simply press the Command and Q keys together on your keyboard.

Now let’s move on to the second step: preparing the USB drive.

prepare sierra usb installer disk utility

To make a macOS Sierra USB installer, you’ll need a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 drive with at least 8GB of storage. Just be aware that creating the USB installer will erase all data on the USB drive, so make sure there’s nothing important on it.

Connect your USB drive to your Mac and open the Disk Utility app. You can find it by searching in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities.

In Disk Utility, choose your USB drive from the list on the left. Then, click on the Erase button in the toolbar. To make the Terminal command work, you’ll need to give the USB installer a temporary name. If you plan on copying and pasting the Terminal command, name your USB drive “Sierra.” You can change the name if you want, but you’ll also need to modify the command to match the new name.

Make sure that the Format is set to OS X Extended (Journaled) and the Scheme is set to GUID Partition Map. Finally, click on Erase to complete the process.

Step 3: Create the macOS Sierra USB Installer

Now that your USB drive is ready, open Terminal. You can find it by using Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window:

sudo /Applications/Install macOS –volume /Volumes/Sierra –applicationpath /Applications/Install macOS –nointeraction

create sierra usb terminal

Hey there! This command is a bit special, so you’ll need to punch in your admin password when it asks for it. After that, Terminal will jump into action and use a tool called “createinstallmedia” that’s tucked away inside the Sierra installation package. Cool, right? You can keep track of how it’s going by keeping an eye on the Terminal window.

How long it takes to finish depends on how speedy your USB drive is, but it should be done in about 5 minutes or so. Just make sure you don’t interrupt the command until it says “Done.” Once you see that, you can wave goodbye to Terminal.
By the way, when the process is all wrapped up, your shiny new macOS Sierra USB installer will appear on your Mac’s desktop, ready to do its thing.

Step 4: Let’s Get macOS Sierra Installed Via USB!

macbook boot menu

Once you have your macOS Sierra USB installer, you have two ways to install Sierra on compatible Macs. The first way is to connect the USB drive to a running Mac and launch the upgrade installer. This is like upgrading through the Mac App Store but saves you from downloading the Sierra installer application.
The second way is to use the USB drive to do a clean install of Sierra. To do this, first turn off the Mac you want to upgrade and plug in the USB drive. Then, press the Mac’s power button to turn it on and hold down the Alt/Option key on your keyboard as soon as you hear the Mac’s startup sound.

Keep holding Alt/Option until the boot menu appears. Use the cursor or arrow keys on your keyboard to select your Sierra USB installer. The Mac will now boot to the Sierra installer and, since it’s running from the USB drive, it can access and erase your Mac’s internal drive. Once erased, the installer will perform a clean install of Sierra on your drive (just remember to back up before doing a clean install!).

Leave a Comment

Do not miss this experience!

Ask us any questions

Get in touch