macOS Mojave: Create a bootable USB stick with installer

I've been running Mojave for a few weeks without any problems. Nevertheless, it is never wrong to have a bootable USB stick with the Mojave installer - be it to help a friend with the installation or to do a "clean install" on a Mac, with the Mojave being fresh is installed on an empty disk. No matter what you need the stick for: Here are the instructions on how to create it!

You want to create a bootable USB stick with installer to install macOS Mojave, to upgrade a Mac without internet or to fix problems? You can find the instructions here!

You want to create a bootable USB stick with installer to install macOS Mojave, to upgrade a Mac without internet or to fix problems? You can find the instructions here!

Create a bootable USB stick with macOS Mojave Installer

Similar to previous versions of Mac OS X and macOS, an external storage medium can also be used for macOS 10.14 Mojave to back up the Apple operating system, install it or keep it ready for troubleshooting. You can also use a Mojave USB stick to upgrade multiple Macs to macOS Mojave without each one having to download the installer from the Mac App Store. 

Requirements

If you want to create a bootable USB stick with macOS Mojave Installer, then you need a few things. Here you will find a brief list of the individual points:

  • An Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook with an installer file or an Internet connection
  • The "macOS Mojave Installer" file from the Mac App Store (Link to download)
  • USB stick with at least 8 GB memory or external hard drive (examples see below)

Create a bootable USB stick in the terminal

Below you will find a note on apps for the Mac that do the terminal work for you and almost automatically create a macOS Mojave boot stick. For all those who want to proceed "manually", there are first of all the terminal instructions:

  • Make sure that the installer file is in the Applications folder (search with / Applications)
  • Connect the USB stick to the Mac and, if necessary, format
  • Start the terminal - for example from the "Utilities" folder or by searching with Spotlight (cmd + space bar)
  • Enter this code in the terminal and replace "NAME" with the name of the USB stick:
sudo / Applications / Install \ macOS \ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume / Volumes / NAME --nointeraction && say Mojave Stick was created
  • Press Enter and enter the administrator password when prompted
  • Wait until the process is finished (may take some time depending on the Mac, stick and performance)
  • With "&& say Mojave Stick was created" in the code, your Mac should report with a corresponding voice output when everything is ready;)
  • Close Terminal and enjoy the possibilities of the bootable macOS Mojave Stick

Create a Mojave boot stick with the app - Install Disk Creator or DiskMaker X

If you don't feel like using the terminal and would rather have an app issue the necessary commands, there is a solution for that too. Two even. One is the “Install Disk Creator” app from a programmer from New Zealand who runs the program at this point free to download. And on the other hand “DiskMaker X”, which you might already have from this post knows. You can find the download of the Mojave-compatible version as well as older editions of the app on the Developer website.

Counselor: Only download apps outside of the store directly from the developer

This is how macOS 10.14 Mojave is booted from the USB stick

So now you have the macOS Mojave Installer on a USB stick from which you can boot or install the Mac operating system. To do that, do the following:

  1. Connect the boot stick to the Mac, iMac or MacBook
  2. Turn on or restart the computer
  3. Hold down the Alt key during startup
  4. Select the USB stick in the startup manager that opens
  5. Press Enter and select the desired option (e.g. Install macOS)

USB stick recommendations for the bootable medium

A USB stick with at least 8 GB can be used as a medium, but it should absolutely support USB 3.0. The 8 GB sticks that you can find on Amazon and Co. are mostly pretty old models. For this reason, the versions with 16 or 32 GB are often better, faster and not necessarily more expensive. If you work on Macs with USB-C ports, you can either get a combination stick with USB-A and USB-C connection or a normal USB stick with a USB-C adapter.

Here are my recommendations:

The SanDisk stick has mixed ratings because it gets warm when you use it. While using the stick (model with 128 GB), I measured its temperature and it felt “hot”, but for electronic components it was perfect. The technical values ​​are also very good, which is why I give a recommendation for the stick. My test of the storage medium can be followed here in the blog.

Recommendation: USB-A-USB-C adapter cable

If you work on a Mac, iMac or MacBook with a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port and want to use a USB-A stick or an external hard drive with USB-A to create the bootable medium with macOS Mojave Installer, then have a look times this adapter cable at. The USB-A-USB-C adapter cable is compatible with USB 3.1 (and downwards) and has a decisive advantage: unlike a clip-on adapter without a cable, the cable has no leverage on the Mac connection, stick or hard drive, so that defects and Damage can be prevented.

External hard drives for booting macOS Mojave

Maybe you don't want to use a USB stick at all, but an external hard drive to save the macOS Mojave installer or to use it for installations, upgrades and troubleshooting. For example, a 2,5 inch hard drive from WD with a total of 1 TB of storage would be recommended: look here. If you like it faster and are willing to spend more money on it, you can also buy an external SSD; like this SanDisk model with up to 2TB: view here. 

Do you have any questions, comments or tips for the bootable USB stick with Mojave Installer? Then please leave a comment under this post :)

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6 comments

  1. Male says:

    Link to download Mojave no longer leads to download. It will not be shown available in the store.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello! Have you tried safari? The other browsers often report problems there. Otherwise I still have the installer with me as a file ...

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello, I have done all of this, of course, adjusted it, from the terminal onwards I answer "sudo: / Applications / Install Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia: command not found" I am unfortunately not getting any further here .. f

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hi Daniel! I can't tell you exactly where it hangs, but maybe it will help you if you can these instructions from Apple follow? However, I've also had the case that a Mac didn't want to create a bootable USB stick for me. I then had to switch to one with an older macOS to make it work.

  3. Julius says:

    Hallo,

    Can I use an external hard drive to boot that I also use for my Time Machine backups, or should I always have them separate from each other?

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Julie! This works if you create two different volumes on the disk. You then use one for the TimeMachine backup and the second you use for the system to boot.

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