How big does the USB stick have to be if I want to copy the OS X installer onto it?

usb stick os x installer size post image

Who visites make a USB stick bootable and so that you want to start your Mac in an emergency, you also need a good guide to creating the OS X stick first of all one USB Stick. But not only this, but also enough space on it. So how much memory on the stick is enough to boot OS X (for example El Capitan) from it? This is exactly what is to be discussed here - in addition, a brief outlook on future systems and thus on future ones Boot stick requirements be dared.

8 GB is currently the minimum size for a bootable USB stick with El Capitan

If you have a bootable USB stick for OS X El Capitan want to tinker, then this should at least 8 GB of storage space bring. The installer for the Mac operating system from Apple definitely fits on it. At least currently. If you do not have a suitable USB stick in stock in this capacity, or if you want to buy an unused one for a possible system rescue, then I have picked out three very good models with capacities of 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB are available:

  • Kingston DataTraveler DTSE9H with USB 2.0 (1.593 5-star ratings) here at Amazon
  • Kingston DataTraveler DT101G2 with USB 2.0 (747 5-star ratings) here at Amazon
  • Transcend JetFlash 700 with USB 3.0 (747 5-star ratings) here at Amazon

Personally, I would definitely take the USB 3.0 model from Transcend, as it boots much faster on newer Macs with USB 3.0 than the USB 2.0 sticks. In addition, I would Transcend USB stick with 32 GB to be prepared for future systems.

For the future with macOS, it is better to rely on larger capacities

Internal storage is not only increasing in smartphones, but also in PCs, laptops, Macs, MacBooks and all other devices with storage. In addition, both CPUs and memory are always providing more performance. This means that the operating systems (including upcoming MacOS Versions) tend to be more extensive. You should know that your bootable USB stick is equipped accordingly.

8 GB USB stick maybe too small

An 8 GB USB stick may be too small for future macOS operating systems ...

So if you select one of the three USB sticks above, you will not only get the 8 GB in front of your nose. I picked out extra models that you from 8 GB memory up to 128 GB choose a few steps. In the foreseeable future, however, 16 GB or a maximum of 32 GB should definitely be sufficientto create a bootable USB stick.

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