In this handy video guide, I’ll show you how to turn a matching USB drive, one you may already have around the house, into a handy macOS Monterey installation drive. This is useful for making it easy to upgrade to Monterey on multiple Macs. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more guides, tutorials, and instructions for the Mac.
It is important to note that you do not need to make a USB Installer to install macOS Monterey. You can use the App Store to download Monterey or install macOS from Recovery. As mentioned at the beginning, one of the primary benefits of creating a Monterey USB Install device is installing Monterey on multiple computers.
USB drive selection
Before following this guide, you will need to make sure that you have access to a USB drive that can serve as a destination for installation. In general, a USB flash drive will work as long as it has at least 16 GB of storage space. In this particular tutorial, I use a spare SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, because that’s all I had available at the moment. Admittedly, the SanDisk SSD is exaggerated considering its 1TB storage capacity.
If you are buying a new USB drive that serves as an installation drive, I highly recommend the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive. First and foremost, it is available with the required capacity of 16 GB, but it also has a USB-C connection which is good with today’s Macs. Finally, I think you will find out that it is very affordable for the price.
Video guide for macOS Monterey USB installer
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos
How to create a macOS Monterey USB boot installation drive
Step 1: Launch the Mac App Store and download macOS Monterey.
Step 2: When the macOS Monterey download is complete, the installation program will start automatically. Close the installer via the menu bar or using ⌘ + Q.
Step 3: Connect the USB drive, open the drive in the Finder and make sure there is nothing on it that you need. If there is, it is important to back up all the data on the disk that you need, because following these steps will clean the contents of the disk.
Note: APFS formatted disks cannot be used with this guide. If the drive is formatted as APFS or you are unsure, open Disk Utility, select the drive, and click Delete. For the format, be sure to select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click Delete.
Step 4: Open Finder → Applications. Right click on Install macOS Monterey → Show package contents.
Step 5: Go to Contents → Resources.
Step 6: Open a new terminal window by going to Applications → Utilities → Terminal.
Step 7: Type
sudo followed by a space in the terminal window.
Step 8: Drag createinstallmedia to the terminal window from the Resources folder that is opened in step 5.
Step 9: Type
--volume followed by a space.
Step 10: Open Finder → Go → Go to folder…
Step 11: Type / Volumes and press Back.
Step 12: Drag the volume of the USB drive into the terminal window.
Note: Be sure to select the correct USB drive, otherwise you risk affecting the wrong drive.
Step 13: Press Return key on the keyboard to process the complete terminal command and enter the administrator password when prompted.
Step 14: When prompted, type “y” and press Return keyboard key.
If you have not already given permission, the Terminal utility can request access to files on a removable volume. If so, be sure to click OK to allow access.
Step 15: The installation process will begin by cleaning the contents of the connected USB drive, enabling bootable disk, and copying the installation files to the drive. Since this process takes a few minutes, be patient.
Using macOS Monterey USB installer
To use the installer on a Mac that contains Apple silicone, turn off your Mac, connect the drive, and press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo with the words Loading startup options below. After a while, you should see that Install macOS Monterey appears as a boot option.
For Intel-based Macs, connect the USB installation device and press and hold the Option key after restarting the computer until you see the startup selector.
When you install macOS Monterey, you will have several options available, such as:
- Upgrade your existing macOS installation, switching from macOS Big Sur or previous versions of macOS to macOS Monterey.
- Delete an existing installation and start from scratch.
- Create a separate APFS volume and install macOS Monterey there if you want to keep macOS Big Sur or a previous version of macOS. Read and / or see our guide on creating separate APFS volumes for macOS for more details.
While there are other options available for reinstalling macOS, such as the Mac App Store or macOS Recovery, I like to have a macOS USB installer on hand, especially since I usually manage multiple Macs and do upgrades for friends and family. . Sound in the comments below with your thoughts.
FTC: We use auto affiliate links to earn revenue. More.
Watch 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.