How to Make Mac Boot from USB

"How do I boot Mac from a USB drive, I just bought a new model of Mac as it does not come with an optical CD/DVD drive. Need help."

While it was easier a few years back to just insert the boot media into the device like a CD or a DVD, things have changed. And it changed for the good! But for many users this change was too fast, several computer models have altogether eliminated the CD/DVD drives from their respective device, forcing the users to find a way to boot their device.

Although, a lot of them knows that, any computer can be booted from an external drive like USB Flash drives but they are not aware of the proper procedures. This situation is even more difficult for the Mac users. But there is nothing to worry about, it is possible to set Mac boot from USB and the procedure is very simple. All the necessary details are provided in the article below.

Solutions on How to Let Mac Boot from USB

Users find it very difficult to create bootable USB Mac. Oppose to Windows, where creating a bootable USB drive is much simpler and can be achieved within a few minutes, Mac is quite different.

But quite frankly, MacOS is not like Windows or an open platform. Using the advantages of MacOS requires intricate knowledge of the system which is not available for the most part. So, as you can guess, there are ways to make bootable USB Mac, you just have to know the steps and procedures properly. So, let's have a look. 

These are pretty straightforward procedure. Let's discuss them individually. You will actually have 2 options if you want to boot Mac from USB directly.

Option 1. Boot Mac from USB Using Startup Manager

After reading the following procedure, you will see that it is very easy to make Mac boot from USB. This method uses the Startup Manager to burn the ISO. Let's have a look;

Step 1: Connect the USB drive to your Mac device.

Step 2: Restart Mac.

Step 3: Now, press and hold the "Option" key as soon as the Apple Logo is visible on the screen. It is will provide access to the Startup Manager of OS X.

Step 4: Now that the Startup Manager in on the screen, you can let go of the Option key.

Step 5: Now, the utility will search for the available drives in order to ass the bootable content.

Step 6: After the utility finds the drive, use the Arrow key on your keyboard to select the USB drive. After, you have selected it press the "Return" key and Mac will boot from there.

boot from usb

This is one of the simplest ways to boot Mac from USB with the help of the Startup Manager.

Option 2. Set Mac Boot from USB with Startup Disk

Another way to make MacBook boot from USB is the Startup Disk. If you change the Startup Disk preferences to an External drive, Mac will definitely boot from there until you change the preferences again. This procedure is very easy; here, have a look;

Step 1: Open your Mac and navigate to Apple Menu. Click on "System Preferences" followed by a click on "Startup Disk".

startup disk

Step 2: Now, a lock icon will be visible on the screen, click on it to type your Administrator password.

Step 3: After that select the USB as the Startup Disk and reboot Mac.

change the preferences

From now, your Mac will always boot from that USB drive, unless you change the Startup Disk preferences again.

Bonus Tips: How to Create Bootable USB on Mac

As a program PassFab 4WinKey is great, it is efficient, fast and operation is very easy. This is a program known for its password recovery capabilities for Windows Operating Systems by letting the users create a password recovery disk. This bootable disk can be a CD/DVD or a USB drive.

But most users do not know that it is also possible to create a bootable Windows USB from a Mac. It may seem very farfetched procedure but it is simple, which can be accomplished via PassFab 4WinKey. The procedure is detailed step by step for your convenience;

Step 1: Download and install PassFab 4WinKey for Mac on your computer and launch it.

Step 2: At the main interface of the program, you have to select the bootable media. So, select USB Flash Drive.

select usb as bootable media

Step 3: Now, connect a USB drive to the Mac and click "Burn". As soon as you click the option, a warning message will pop-up on the screen stating that the USB drive will be formatted as soon as the procedure begins.

burn usb erase data warning

Step 4: Click "Yes" to proceed. Now, wait a few minutes as 4WinKey extracts the contents of the ISO file to the USB drive. The progression will be visible on the program panel.

start burning

Step 5: Upon, completing the procedure, a message will pop-up stating that the ISO files have generated successfully.

procedure completed successfully

As you can see the procedure is very simple and it can be easily executed on a Mac.


As you can see, it is very simple to create bootable USB Mac. All the tools are provided by the device, you just have to figure it out. But not to worry anymore, all the details are available on the article. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you! But if you want to make a bootable Windows USB on Mac, then it will be best use the services of 4WinKey for Mac, so that you don't have to face any unnecessary interruption.

Updated on / Posted by Andy Samuel to Mac Tips / Follow @Andy Samuel

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