How to create bootable USB drive for Catalina

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello all,
What is the easiest way to create a bootable USB drive for Catalina? I am wanting to do a complete reinstall on my MacBook Air. I want to start over from scratch with my mac. I did have a bootcamp partition and I have already gotten rid of it.

Greg Wocher



Submitted by Tyler on Monday, December 16, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The app I would recommend is Disk Maker X, which you can download here.


Submitted by Greg Wocher on Tuesday, December 17, 2019

I downloaded the program but I cannot tell if it created the bootable disk. I went thru all the steps but it never told me if it was successful or not. When I look at the USB thumb drive it says install mac OS catalina on it but the file is only 1.31GB in size. How can I tell if the program created the bootable disk correctly?

Submitted by Tyler on Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In System Preferences > Startup Disk, does the drive show up as a bootable disk? If it does, I'd imagine it was created successfully.

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

I have used two different flash drives and both do not work. The process seems to be successful but my computer will not recognize them as startup disks. I am not sure what is going wrong. What can I try next?

Submitted by Daniel Angus MacDonald on Friday, January 8, 2021

the other way to create boot disks for macOS is through terminal. Apple has a support article on how to do this task. VoiceOver does not provide progress as the boot disk is create though. it tells what it's doing, maybe TDSR would be better for creating boot disks.