How to make your external drive into a macOS High Sierra boot drive

Important:You will need to use an administrator account on your Mac in order to run the Terminal commands to create a boot drive.

  1. Click on Finder in your Dock to open a Finder window.
  2. Select Applications from the list on the left side of the window.


  1. Scroll down and double-click on Utilities.
  2. Scroll down and double click on Terminal.
  3. Recall the name of your formatted external drivewhen entering the following text into Terminal. If it is not named “Untitled,” you will need to change the command syntax for the pathname where it says: Volumes/Untitled. The name of the drive can’t have any spaces and it is case sensitive.
  4. Enter the following text into Terminal (Don’t forget to change the name “Untitled” if your hard drive is named something else):sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled
  5. Hit the enter/return key.
  6. Enter your administrator account password. This is the password you use to make changes on your Mac or log in. No text will appear in Terminal when you enter the password.

The process could take a very long time, depending on the drive. When it is done, the Terminal window will report “Done.”

How to use macOS High Sierra with a bootable drive

Once macOS High Sierra is installed on your external drive, you can boot up any Mac with the drive plugged into it.

  1. Turn off the Mac you want to install macOS High Sierra with the bootable drive.
  2. Connect the drive to your Mac via the USB port.
  3. Turn on your Mac.
  4. Hold down the Option key when it starts up.
  5. Select the external drive with macOS High Sierra on it from the list of systems to start up your computer.
  6. Follow the installation process when prompted.


Do you have any questions about how to create a bootable drive for the macOS High Sierra installer? Let us know in the comments.

Updated September 2017: Updated with High Sierra Syntax pathway for Terminal.


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