Creating a Bootable USB Installer for OS X El Capitan


OS X El Capitan is a beloved version of Apple’s macOS, known for its performance enhancements and attractive features. As the need arises to reinstall or upgrade your operating system, having a bootable USB installer can significantly simplify the process. In this article, we’ll guide you through creating a bootable USB installer for OS X El Capitan.

Essential Requirements:

Before you begin, make sure you have the following requirements fulfilled:

1. A Mac with OS X El Capitan downloaded from the Mac App Store.

2. An 8GB (minimum) USB flash drive.

3. A stable internet connection.

Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Bootable USB Installer:

Step 1: Download OS X El Capitan

First, ensure that you have downloaded OS X El Capitan from the Mac App Store. If it’s not within your Purchased section, search for it in the App Store and download it. The installer file will be saved in your Applications folder.

Step 2: Format Your USB Drive

Insert your USB flash drive into your Mac. Open Disk Utility (located in Applications > Utilities) and select your flash drive from the list on the left sidebar.

Click on the “Erase” button at the top menu and choose the following options:

– Name: “Untitled”

– Format: “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”

– Scheme: “GUID Partition Map”

Click on “Erase,” and once completed, close Disk Utility.

Step 3: Create Your Bootable USB Installer

Navigate to Terminal (also located in Applications > Utilities). Copy and paste the following command:


sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –nointeraction


Press “Enter” and type in your admin password when prompted. The Terminal will initiate the process and display its progress. Note that this process may take some time to complete.

Step 4: Boot Using Your USB Installer

After the process is completed, restart your Mac while holding down the “Option” key. You’ll reach a screen displaying available bootable volumes. Choose your USB installer (titled “Install OS X El Capitan”) and press “Enter” to initiate the installation process.


Creating a bootable USB installer for OS X El Capitan is a simple, yet effective method for reinstalling or upgrading your macOS. This handy tool can resolve various issues, optimize performance, and help breathe new life into an older Mac. With a bootable USB installer at your disposal, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any macOS-related emergencies.