If you want to install macOS on a Mac, you can download the installer directly from the App Store. But what if you don’t have access to a Mac and only have a Windows PC? In this case, you can still create a bootable USB macOS installer on your Windows PC with the right tools and some know-how. In this article, we’ll go through the steps to create a bootable USB installer for macOS on a Windows PC.
- A Windows PC running Windows 10 or later
- A 16GB or larger USB flash drive
- The macOS installer application (can be downloaded from the App Store)
Step 1: Download the macOS Installer
The first step is to download the macOS installer from the App Store. This can be done from a Mac, or if you don’t have access to a Mac, you can use a third-party tool like gibMacOS to download the installer directly on your Windows PC. gibMacOS is a tool that can download macOS installers, firmware updates, and recovery images from Apple’s servers. You can download gibMacOS from GitHub.
Once you have downloaded the macOS installer, it will be saved as an application in your Applications folder (or Downloads folder). Do not run the installer yet.
Step 2: Format the USB Drive
The next step is to format the USB flash drive. This will erase all data on the USB drive, so make sure you’ve backed up any important files before proceeding. Here are the steps to format the USB drive:
- Insert the USB drive into your Windows PC.
- Open the Disk Management tool by pressing Windows key + X and selecting “Disk Management”.
- Find the USB drive in the list of disks and right-click on it.
- Select “Format” from the context menu.
- In the “Format” window, select “FAT32” as the file system.
- Give the USB drive a name (e.g. “macOS Installer”).
- Click “OK” to start formatting the USB drive.
Step 3: Create the Bootable USB Installer
Now that you have the macOS installer and a formatted USB drive, you can create the bootable USB installer. You’ll need to use a third-party tool to do this. There are several options available, but we’ll use a free tool called BalenaEtcher for this tutorial. BalenaEtcher is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Here are the steps to create the bootable USB installer:
- Download and install BalenaEtcher from their website.
- Open BalenaEtcher and select the macOS installer application you downloaded in step 1.
- Select the USB drive you formatted in step 2.
- Click “Flash!” to start the process.
- Wait for the process to complete. This can take several minutes.
Once the process is complete, you’ll have a bootable USB installer for macOS that you can use to install macOS on a Mac.
Step 4: Use the Bootable USB Installer
To use the bootable USB installer, insert it into a Mac and power it on. Hold down the Option key during startup to access the boot menu. Select the USB drive from the list of available bootable devices, and follow the on-screen instructions to install macOS.
Creating a bootable USB installer for macOS on a Windows PC is not difficult if you have the right tools and follow the steps outlined above. The key is to make sure you have a macOS installer and a formatted USB drive before using a third-party tool to create the bootable USB installer. Once you have the bootable USB installer, you can use it to install macOS on any compatible Mac computer. This can be useful if you need to install macOS on a new Mac or if you need to reinstall macOS on an existing Mac.
Creating a bootable USB installer also gives you more flexibility and control over the installation process. You can choose to install a specific version of macOS, or you can use the USB installer as a troubleshooting tool if you’re experiencing issues with your Mac.
It’s important to note that creating a bootable USB installer for macOS on a Windows PC is not an officially supported method by Apple. Therefore, it’s important to use caution and make sure you download the macOS installer from a trusted source. Additionally, creating a bootable USB installer requires some technical knowledge, so it may not be suitable for beginners.
Overall, creating a bootable USB installer for macOS on a Windows PC can be a useful tool to have in your arsenal if you need to install macOS on a Mac. With the right tools and know-how, it’s possible to create a bootable USB installer quickly and easily.