How to Create a USB Boot Drive with Disk Drill

There are a number of reasons why you might need to create a USB boot drive for your Mac. Thankfully — with Disk Drill, the process is now much easier than you might expect. Disk Drill has a selection of powerful tools that help you create bootable USB drivers for your Mac, quickly and easily.
How to Boot Mac from USB
If you need to create a bootable USB drive for your Mac OS X platform to try and recover or manage data — Disk Drill is the number one choice on the market.

MacOS hasn't shipped as a bootable disk for a number of years now. While more and more software solutions are moving to download-only, there are times when you need a physical copy. It's especially inconvenient when you need a running Mac to access the Mac store in order to download macOS. What do you do if your Mac crashed and becomes unbootable? That's when you might need a bootable USB drive. It makes fixing or reformatting your faulty system much, much easier.

Disk Drill's bootable drive facility will also help recover lost or hidden data on your Mac before you reinstall the OS. This is especially useful as most reinstallation techniques will lose important files as your system needs to be reformatted to work properly again.

#1 What are the most common reasons for needing to boot Mac from a USB?

  • When your system no longer boots.
  • When you need to recover lost files without installing any other apps.
  • You want to install Mac OS X on your system conveniently without downloading.
  • You want to keep a backup Mac OS X for emergencies.
  • 1Download Disk Drill
  • 2Drag to Applications Folder
  • 3Launch Disk Drill

#2 Why Disk Drill is the best option for creating a Mac USB boot drive

While there are other ways to create a USB boot drive for Mac, many of them are complicated and require quite a high level of computer knowledge. Thankfully, Disk Drill now makes the process easy. Here's how to do it:

  1. Download the latest version of Disk Drill and install it. If your Mac isn't working, install it on another Mac if you have access to one. It's a good idea to do this step as a precaution instead of when your computer is already broken, in case you don't have access to other machines.
  2. Insert a USB flash drive. You could also use an external hard drive.
  3. Click on "Create Boot Drive". You'll normally want to be using a Mac with one of the newer updates. If there is more than one system available you will get an option to select which one you want to copy.

#3 It's really that simple

What used to require a number of different applications or even knowledge of how to use your Mac's terminal, can now be done with a few simple clicks thanks to Disk Drill. You can then use your boot drive to reinstall Mac OS X on an affected system or to recover lost data from other systems.

#4 What other benefits does Disk Drill have?

  • It's free, safe and secure.
  • Bootable disk is created from your own Mac so you know it's legitimate.
  • Highly efficient boot disk suite.
  • A number of other disk related tasks and tools available.
  • Saves you from having to download a full Mac OS X installation.
  • It's fast and reliable.
  • Has a simple, user friendly interface that allows anyone to create a USB boot.


You can now install newer versions of macOS Sierra, High SierraSierra and Mac OS X Yosemite with Disk Drill, setting it apart from much of the competition. Disk Drill is now unrivalled in its simplicity, usability and functionality — making it the number one disk tool on the market.

When you've created a bootable USB drive, how do you boot from it?

Simply plug the USB stick into your broken Mac and boot the system while holding the Option key. This will give you a list of options to boot from, where you'll choose your new USB drive, it'll normally be named "Install macOS...". Then it'll boot your Mac from the drive you selected — simple, easy and quick.
How is Disk Drill's free boot drive different?

#5 Our final part of this great guide will cover the newest addition to the macOS family, High Sierra (10.13+)

There has been quite a bit of news coverage on the 10.13 release and Apple’s new APFS (file system) which greatly changes the way some programs access the startup Mac disk and subsequently affects the way DIsk Drill can recover data from your Mac computer.

Disk Drill 3.5+ proudly boasts support for the latest macOS (High Sierra) and the new APFS. One of the multiple recommended methods for recovery is to create a boot drive for data recovery with Disk Drill. In less than 10 minutes it is possible to create a USB boot drive for High Sierra and begin the file recovery process on your Mac. We cover this in more detail in our article about Disk Drill and High Sierra. We also have a boot drive specific article with more detailed steps called, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, create a recovery boot drive.
If you've been looking for a safe and secure way to create bootable Mac USB drives — Disk Drill is the number one choice on the market.

Disk Drill is a data management multi-tool

With all the data recovery, data backup, disk management and optimization features Disk Drill becomes your all-in-one stop to perform disk imaging and secure data recovery at any time. Disk Drill is a well-known product available for multiple platforms for years.

Take care of your important files now!

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Don't just take our word for it:

  • Macupdate.com user oggie168
    I had a corrupted USB with 5.97 GB of data on it. I tried several other software recovery programs with no success. Then I downloaded Disk Drill, was pleased with nice interface, and even more surprised when I ran the scan. The scan was fast, and comprehensive, finding all the data on the corrupted USB, with one more easy step, the data was recovered to a folder on my hard drive. This software is a keeper, one of those essential programs you must have. I would highly recommend this product.
  • Disk Drill has shown no effect on my system performance or speed. I opened up Disk Drill and enabled Recovery Vault and did a Quick Scan that took less than 5 minutes. It recovered every single one of the pictures perfectly. NICK POST