Here’s how to clean install macOS Sonoma on your Mac via a USB drive the right way.
Apple’s macOS Sonoma is now available for download which means that its months-long beta program has finally come to an end. The new software is finally ready for everyone who wants it and you can of course install it via the Settings app if you want. But what if you want to do it via a USB drive instead?
We’re going to run you through the steps that you need to follow here but make sure that you have a few things taken care of first. They include making sure that you have a full backup just in case the worst happens. You’ll also need to have a Mac that is compatible with macOS Sonoma, too.
With that said let’s dive in.
How To Do A Clean Install Of macOS 14 Sonoma
Step 1: Before you begin you will need to have the installation file for this particular version of macOS. You can download the installer for macOS Sonoma from Mac App Store.
Step 2: With that installation all downloaded you will need to make a bootable USB drive with this version of macOS all set and ready to go. We have a guide for that, so make sure to follow along before you continue: How To Make macOS Sonoma Bootable USB Installer.
Step 3: Turn your Mac off and then insert the USB drive into a USB port. Turn it back on while holding the Option key if you’re using an Intel Mac. Using an Apple Silicon Mac? Just power it back on. You should be taken to the boot menu when everything starts up.
Note: If you have a T2-chip enabled Mac, you will first need to enable booting from external storage via macOS Recovery. Nothing is going to work if you don’t have that all squared away ahead of time.
Step 4: You should now be able to use the macOS Utilities menu. Select Disk Utility and then click Continue.
Step 5: Make sure that your Mac’s main drive is selected and then click Erase. Ensure that the name of the new drive is Macintosh HD and make sure that the format is set as either “APFS (Encrypted)” (if you have a modern Mac with faster SSD) or “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. Select the Erase option to begin.
Step 6: Select Install macOS and then click Continue. Make sure that your newly-formatted drive is selected and follow the prompts.
Once that’s all done and dusted you should be good to go with macOS Sonoma installed on your Mac.