How to create bootable USB drive for Catalina

macOS & 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?