How To Clean Install macOS Catalina And Older Versions

Today we are going to discuss how to clean install macOS Catalina and older versions. It will include the steps which are essential to complete this task.

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In this article, we will give you a complete understanding of the process to clean install macOS Catalina.

We will also help you in installing the older versions too. This will help you install the version of macOS even the older ones in your system.

You must keep every set of data clean and organized. Computers are no exception to this. It is important to Clean Your Mac externally and internally both.

Internally means keeping all the Softwares up to date and if there is a problem then Reinstalling a new copy of macOS for better results.

So let’s get started with the good stuff, shall we?

Without taking more of your precious time we will head straight towards the best information for a clean installation of macOS Catalina.

It also covers the steps to install the older versions of the macOS according to the system’s requirements.

Why Do You Need To Clean Install?


If you are wondering why is clean installation so important? Well, a simple clean up can boost the performance of any device.

The same is the case with Mac as it will speed up and there won’t be any problems in the system.

Another reason for installation is the removal of any possible malware/virus. Your Mac might have downloaded some harmful data from unknown resources.

No matter how secure you think your system is, there can be a loophole or a backdoor.

Keeping these reasons in mind the article consists of the easiest tips you can follow up. If you follow up on these facile methods,

you can also download and install Catalina or a copy of macOS.

So if your Mac is slow, lagging, or any other issues are there, well sit back and relax. First, we will share how you can do so for the latest version and then to older versions.

It can be either High Sierra, El Capitan, Sierra, Mojave, Yosemite, or even earlier ones. But if you want to get a clean install of Catalina and have already run one.

Yet the process may vary for older versions of macOS. Below is the process you will need to perform:

How To Clean Install macOS Using A Bootable USB



You will need to follow up on these before you move forth.

A USB flash drive of 15GB or more to hold the chosen installer file of macOS.
admin rights for the Mac and a backup in case anything goes wrong or an alternative is iCloud for syncing all the documents.

Format The External Drive


Next, you need to re-download the installer file for your opted version of macOS. Afterwards, store that file on the USB stick or any external drive.

Before you step to this, you need to prepare the USB drive and reformatting is the option.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • First, plug in your USB drive. Then go to Applications and Utilities
  • Open the Disk Utility and select the drive.
  • Click on Erase but don’t forget to rename the disk and Untitled.
  • Next, select Mac OS Extended as your file’s format type.
  • If there is availability then from the Scheme options opt for GUID Partition Map.
  • Click on Erase. From there the Disk Utility will not only create a partition but also set up your drive.
  • At last click on Done.

Get The Catalina macOS Install File



For those who want to reinstall the latest macOS version then this step is quite easy. Whereas if you are already using Mojave and then want to install Catalina.

Then you can achieve so by accessing the installation package through System Preferences.

You will need to open System Preferences then Software Update downloads it. If you don’t have Mojave or have Catalina already running.

For such a case the ideal option is to access the file by Mac App Store.

  • Open your Mac App Store and lookup for Catalina
  • Select download
  • Here you may get a warning message telling that the version is already installed. Would you like to continue? Click on Continue.
  • Lastly, enter the Apple ID and password.

Mojave was only 5.7GB but this installer will be of more space. So the download might take some time. Once finished the installer will auto-launch but you don’t need to use it yet.

Rather than clicking on the Start Installation option, press command +Q to quit process.

You can easily find this installer file in your Applications folder. Or you can instead look up for it by command + Space. This is Spotlight and you need to enter here Catalina.

For those who tend to install Catalina can skip the next step. Those who want to know how to look for an installer file for an older version can read the next part.

Get The Install File For An Older Version Of macOS



If you have an older version of Mac OS X and macOS, the process might be hard for you.

Being an Apple user you might be aware that Apple does not offer a download for any of the outdated versions.

And especially via its storefront or by searching the name of the macOS version.

So to help you out we have jotted down some tricks that you can follow-up. The installers of a few macOS versions are in the Purchased section of the Apple store.

Hence you need to log in to the Mac App Store with your ID and from there click the Purchased option on the menu. Look down the list of purchased apps or those you download for free.

Find the name of your desired version like Yosemite, El Capitan, or other and click Download.

Now, this may not work for everyone, and below are the reasons why.

If your system already has Catalina or Mojave installed. In such a case you won’t succeed in searching for old versions of the Mac OS.

If you never installed that particular version, you won’t find it in the purchased section.

Also, you won’t be able to find the version shipped within the Purchased Section of your Mac’s Store.

On the other side, if you have a newer version than Sierra, it is possible to get hands-on a few versions of macOS.

You can get Sierra, download High Sierra, Yosemite, El Capitan, and macOS Mojave.

Create A Bootable USB Disk



If you want to install a new copy of the macOS from the flash drive, you will need to create an If you want to install a new copy of the macOS from the flash drive, you will need to create a bootable USB disk.

You can do so by command + Space bar and there type Terminal which leads to the Terminal. This will be in use for creating the bootable drive.

  • First, connect your USB drive to already formatted Mac. Ensure it’s named Untitled.
  • Open Terminal application and copy and paste the given text in there. sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled
  • Keep in mind that the above-given text if for only Catalina. Now press Return and type your password.
  • The Terminal will warn you about erasing the drive and you need to press Y and Return.
  • While copying the installer file to the drive, the Terminal may take a few minutes. Copying, Copy complete, etc will appear on the window.
  • At last, when the bootable drive is all set you will see Done and this may again take some time.

Install From The Installer Drive

The installer is now on the external drive and you can use it for either installing single or more copies of macOS.

By now the majority of the work is all done and you are ready to install a copy of the macOS.

All you have to do is follow the below-given steps and voila!

  • Firstly, connect the boot drive and start or restart the Mac. Don’t forget to hold the Alt key.
  • This will take you to the Start-up Manager, there choose to install the opted version of macOS. Remember this version is in the external drive.
  • Select Disk Utility and select Mac’s start-up disc.
  • Next, click on Erase and wait till the startup disk get formatted,
  • Now, go back to the Main Utility menu. Select Install macOS from there.
  • Last but not least, of course, opt the start-up drive as your locations for installing the macOS.
  • Once this installation is complete you can download settings and apps. Or can restore them from your backup.

Wrapping It All Up!!!

These are all the essential and informative steps that tell you the ways to clean install macOS Catalina and older versions.

I am sure that you will love the contents of this article because everything is profoundly organized. This makes all the content useful and authentic.

Everything in it is well researched to give you a proper understanding of the whole process.

If you find anything difficult even after going through the contents of this guide then ask any query without hesitation.

We will provide all the assistance and viable answers for your queries after proper research.

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