How to create a bootable OS X Mavericks USB drive

It is possible to create a bootable USB drive for installing OS X Mavericks. This is particularly useful if you are planning to do a clean install on your Mac (also if your Mac had a hard disk replacement, upgrade or repair). It also becomes handy as you needn’t download the OS each time you need to do a fresh install. If you go by the traditional method (the method which apple prefers), you need to install OS X Mountain Lion first and then upgrade to Mavericks and then update through the store.

Here’s how to create a bootable Mavericks USB:

  • Download the installer from the app store. (Don’t run the installer yet. Once run the installer deletes itself after the upgrade. If you are already on Mavericks download the installer again.) The installer ie.’Install OS X’ should be locate in the Applications folder.



  • Format a USB drive of at least 8 GB capacity as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). (And preferably name it Untitled)



  • Launch the terminal app and in the window type

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


and press Enter. You will be prompted for password verification as it requires root privileges. This will copy the installation files to USB. (Make sure the code reflects                 the correct name of USB ie.Untitled)

  • The entire process may take maximum 20 minutes to complete

Viola! you have created your bootable USB. You should be able to boot the USB installer while holding the options key during startup.

You may also like...