How To: Make Bootable Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Install USB Drive [Guide]

In line with the previous OS X updates, Apple released OS X 10.10 Yosemite earlier this week, exclusively as a digital download via Mac App Store for free. While Apple does not officially offer its OS via optical media or USB sticks, you can always keep a physical copy of your Mac App Store download in the form of a bootable install USB drive. This is more useful if you ever want to do a clean install of the operating system.


Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to create a bootable Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite install USB drive (via Ars Technica):

Step 1:

Download OS X 10.10 Yosemite from the Mac App Store, but don’t install it yet.

Step 2:

Now grab the latest version of Diskmaker X app for free from here.

Step 3:

Once done, connect the USB drive (8GB or larger) to your Mac and run the Diskmaker X app. Select the Yosemite 10.10 option when presented with the following screen.

Screen Shot 2014 10 10 at 2 02 38 PM 980x260

Step 4:

The app should automatically find the copy of OS X you’ve downloaded to your Applications folder. If it doesn’t detect the installer, you can navigate to the specific installer you want to use. It will then ask you where you want to copy the files. Click “An 8GB USB thumb drive” if you have a single drive to use or “Another kind of disk” to use a partition on a larger external drive.

Screen Shot 2014 10 10 at 2 04 09 PM 980x288

Step 5:

Simply follow the onscreen instructions till your OS X Yosemite boot disk is ready.

Screen Shot 2014 10 10 at 2 07 52 PM

Step 6:

You can now boot from your new USB drive either by changing the default Startup Disk in System Preferences or by holding down the Option key at boot and selecting the drive to install OS X 10.10 Yosemite on your Mac.

That’s it, enjoy!

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  • einsteinbqat

    A simple command line from Terminal can also be used without downloading any app. Since 10.9, the installer can create a bootable USB.

  • Drew

    Is there a way to do this after installing Yosemite?

  • Yes the same steps apply.

  • Olivier

    I guess my USB key needs to be format on Mac Extended

  • sophia zoi

    My last pay ???7?????



    {Go to next link in this site}

  • Diskmaker does all that for you

  • Yeah the GUI is a nice visual for those that like to see it happen

  • I used my microSD card to make one.

  • I mean SD card

  • Olivier


  • einsteinbqat

    Though you have to admit, that you really have time to kill if you like to watch it do its work! 😀

  • Erik Kappel

    I’m thinking of installing Yosemite as a virtual machine on a PC sometime in the near future. Will this bootable drive be useful for this purpose? Also you say I can use a external hard drive by hitting the “another kind of disk” option, will that partition be usable as a bootable drive still, or would it have to be copied to a usb stick before using it?