How to create USB installer for Mac OS X El Capitan

In the range of this writing, we will show you how to make an USB installer for Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan using 2 different methods: DiskMaker X and Terminal.

You might want to look at the instruction to download and create USB installer for Mac OS X (Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion) in our another topic.


You need to prepare following necessary tools and utilities:

  • An USB 8GB or bigger.
  • OS X El Capitan installer application must be on the Mac and in the /Applications/ folder. Mac OS X 10.11 can be downloaded from Apple Store. You may want to take a look on our another topic – Download Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan.DMG – InstallESD.DMG.
  • Download DiskMaker X here.

Solution 1: Make OS X El Capitan USB installer via DiskMaker X

Step 1: Run DiskMaker X, choose El Capitan when you are asked which version of OS X you want to make a boot disk.

DiskMaker X and El Capitan


Step 2: Choose Select an Install file…

Create OS X USB installer via DiskMaker X

Step 3: Locate and selet El Capitan installer in Applications/
Step 4: Click An 8GB USB thumb drive
Step 5: Select the right USB then click on Choose this disk.
Step 6: Click on Erase button then create the disk
Step 7: Choose Continue and fill the administrator password when you are asked.
Step 8: Wait until the process is finished.
You now have an OS X 10.11 El Capitan installer in a bootable USB.

Solution 2: Create OS X El Capitan installer in a bootable USB installer using Terminal

You need to follow exactly step by step in details.

Step 1: Format and make USB bootable

1. Plug USB into Macbook and run Disk Utility > Select the USB drive in the left side > Click on Erase > Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format > Apply.
2. Go to Partition tab > Select 1 Partition at Partition Layout.
3. Change the name to ElCapInstaller from Untitled > Click on Option.
Make USB bootable in OS X with Disk Utility

5. Choose GUID Partition Table and click OK.

How to make OS X Yosemite installer USB 6. Click on Apply to format USB > End the Disk Utility when the process is completed.

Step 2: Using Terminal command line

  • Launch Terminal (Applications/Utilities). Copy and Paste the following code (pay attention on ElCapInstaller, the name of USB) and Enter.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –volume /Volumes/ElCapInstaller –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ –nointeraction

  • Type the administrator password, and then it will be finished you see the “Done”.

Create USB Capital installer via Terminal

With having an bootable USB which contains OS X El Capitan installer, you could easily to install OS X 10.11 on your Mac device by pressing and holding Option (Alt) key when booting.

Boot El Capitan USB installer

  • Kevin

    You should use two dashes in the terminal command.

    sudo /Applications/Install OS
    X El –volume
    /Volumes/ElCapInstaller –applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X
    El –nointeraction