How to Make Your Mac Boot from USB Drive

Operating system updates are important to keep up with the latest trends and technology. Here is the method to boot from USB and to recover data when the Mac becomes unbootable.

Aug 28,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

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A Universal Serial Bus or USB Drive, also known as a flash drive is a portable data storage device that includes a memory which includes a USB interface. It is typically removable and much smaller than an optical disc. Any sort of data can be stored in this device. The drives are available in various sizes and as of till date, the 2TB(Tera-Byte) flash drives in terms of storage capacity are the largest ones available in the market.

Today, these drives are one of the most consumed used devices in the world. Thanks to their portable nature, affordability, and compatibility, USB drives are being used to send and receive endless information across a surplus of networks and platforms all around the globe. This small tool has opened the world to a stream of limitless options with respect to storing, transferring, copying data, and much more. One of them includes Booting the Mac from such device.

Part 1. Reasons for Mac Boot from USB

Booting the Mac from USB in a way gives the power back to the user. The likeliest of the reason for choosing the boot from USB method is that your Mac won’t start which denies the user access to the computer. Using from an external source like the USB drive helps the user get around the problem. It provides the user access to contents of the internal drive, assuming the data is safe and not corrupted. It also helps to repair the Mac disk with Disk Utility and other tools. Here are the top reasons why the user should choose to Boot Mac from USB:


Part 2. Preparations for Booting Mac from USB

To ensure a risk-free procedure certain measure should be taken:


Part 3. How to Create Bootable USB on Mac

There are a few general guidelines that can help get your machine started which are mentioned above, regardless of the OS the user prefers. Here are the methods to create a bootable USB drive on Mac.

Creating a Bootable USB Using Terminal

Terminal is the default gateway to the command line on a Mac. It is just like the Command Prompt feature works for MS Windows. The Terminal feature ensures a hassle-free experience for the Mac user without the conventional pointing and clicking, the user just has to type the commands and the computer does the rest. The user can find Terminal in the Applications > Utilities folder or it can be checked in the finder utility.

Related: Further read and know more complete details on Mac Terminal.
- 3 minutes to read it.

terminal-window

Using the Terminal feature is the most simple way to create the bootable USB drive. The user just needs to follow one easy step which is renaming the MyVolume portion of the command with the name of the drive. The name of the drive can be changed using the Disk Utility of Mac. Here are the steps required after opening the Terminal feature to create a bootable USB drive.

If there is a need to install a different version of the operating system then the user just has to replace the above-underlined command with their desired version of OS. For example, if the user wants to install Mac OS Sierra instead of Mojave then they would have to replace “Mojave.app” with “Sierra.app” inside the command line.

mac-terminal


Part 4. How to Boot Mac from USB Media

After creating a bootable USB drive, the user simply needs to plug the created drive into the open port on the Mac. Here are the steps to boot Mac from the USB flash drive:


Part 5. How to Recover Data from Unbootable Mac

The Mac becomes unbootable when the BIOS which is a firmware that is used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process fails to recognize the startup process. It usually happens when there is a failed system update, system crash, damaged MBR, or when the drive becomes corrupt.

Recoverit Mac Data Recovery software is the most efficient option to recover all the lost data when Mac becomes unbootable. Developed by Wondershare, Recoverit is one of the most preferred recovery tools in the world. The tool provides an instant preview of what is recovered after a detailed scan. It allows to connect almost every type of portable device and recover data from them. Data can be restored by performing the recovery and repair process. The process involves the installation of the Recoverit software that offers users the chance to get back the important data that they had lost.

Step 1. Create a Bootable Media

To recover data from an unbootable Mac, you need to create a bootable media first.

Step 2. Recover Data from Crashed Mac

Here are the following steps required to recover data from an unbootable computer.

1. Select the Location

When you launch Recoverit, you can select a location to scan. In this case, we will be performing data recovery on Mac’s internal hard drive (Macintosh HD) instead of any other connected source.

select-scan-location

2. Scan the Location

As soon as you would click on the “Start” button, Recoverit will take the needed steps for data extraction. If you want positive results, then try not to close the application in between.

scan-location

3. Preview and Recover

When the data recovery process is completed, the application will display the results on the interface. You can go to any category of your choice from here and preview the retrieved content. Make the needed selection and click on the “Recover” button to save your files to a secure location.

recover-email

All hope gets lost when the computer becomes unbootable and the data gets deleted. Recoverit recovery software is the most convenient program when it comes to retrieving lost data from the computer.


Installing the MacOS from a USB flash drive gives the user an instant solution when the Mac installer due to some reason refused to work. The method to create a bootable drive is easier than it sounds. Now, you know what to do whenever you want to upgrade your MacOS from a bootable external source by following different methods to ensure a safe and hassle-free process. If you lose valuable data when the Mac becomes unbootable then you can easily recover the lost files by using the Recoverit recovery software. Recoverit guarantees data recovery in no time.

Sue Wen

staff Editor

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