How to Boot From Usb Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Are you looking to boot your Mac from a USB drive? This can be a useful technique when you need to install a new operating system, recover data, or troubleshoot issues. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to boot from a USB on your Mac.

Gather the necessary tools

Before we begin, let’s make sure you have everything you need:

  • A bootable USB drive: You will need a USB drive with a bootable operating system or installation media.
  • A compatible Mac: Ensure that the Mac you intend to boot from is compatible with the version of the operating system on your USB drive.

Step-by-step guide to booting from USB on Mac

1. Shut down your Mac

The first step is to completely shut down your Mac. To do this, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select “Shut Down”.

2. Connect the USB drive

Next, connect the bootable USB drive to any available USB port on your Mac.

3. Power on your Mac and access Startup Manager

To access Startup Manager, press and hold the Option (⌥) key immediately after turning on your Mac. Keep holding it until you see a list of available startup disks.

4. Select the USB drive

In Startup Manager, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the USB drive listed as an option.

The name of the drive may vary depending on what operating system or installation media is on it. Once selected, press the Return (⏎) key.

5. Boot from USB

Your Mac will now boot from the USB drive.

This may take a few moments, so be patient. You should see a progress bar or an Apple logo indicating that the boot process has started.

6. Follow on-screen instructions

Depending on the purpose of booting from the USB drive, you may need to follow specific on-screen instructions for installation, data recovery, or troubleshooting.


You have successfully booted your Mac from a USB drive. Remember to properly eject the USB drive once you are done using it to avoid data corruption.

Note: If you are unable to access Startup Manager or don’t see the USB drive listed, double-check that your USB drive is bootable and compatible with your Mac. You may also need to reset your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) or Option ROM firmware.

With these simple steps, you can easily boot your Mac from a USB drive and perform various tasks such as installing new operating systems and recovering data. Make sure to keep your bootable USB drives handy for any future needs!

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