How to perform a fresh install of macOS High Sierra 10.13

Do you want to install macOS High Sierra from scratch? We are facing the new Apple operating system for Macs and once we have it downloaded on our computer, two types of installations can be carried out: the one we call Update and the one we call clean or from scratch.

In both cases the user chooses the best option and obviously everything will depend on what we do on a daily basis with our team, if we accumulate many applications or documents and others. Another important data in both cases, whether we update or install from scratch, it is mandatory to make a backup copy of our Mac in Time Machine or similar, so we will avoid headaches if something goes wrong.

The truth is that this type of important updates is advisable to do them from scratch even though it is not an essential requirement, that is, If you don't want to install macOS Sierra from scratch, simply download it from the Mac App Store and click on install. We advise you to install from scratch to eliminate any remaining uninstalled applications, errors or anything that may harm the experience with the new version of the system, but go ahead that is not mandatory, we can update and go.

Installation from scratch

In this case, what we are going to do this year is to put aside a tool that helps us create the boot disk from a USB or external disk with at least 8 GB of storage and we are going to do it from Terminal. The first thing we are going to do is download macOS High Sierra from the App Store, When the download is finished we will not install it, we will close the installer by pressing cmd + Q.

Once the download starts we can continue with the installation process from scratch and it is very simple. Format and rename USB to then we open Port and we copy the code that we leave here below, it will ask us for our password, we enter it and continue.

sudo / Applications / Install \ macOS \ High \ –volume / Volumes / Untitled –applicationpath / Applications / Install \ macOS \ High \

Ready, now we have created the installer we only have to wait for the new macOS High Sierra to be copied into the USB. Formatting will be done automatically and we only have to format our internal disk where the old operating system is located, that is, macOS Sierra. Then simply with the USB or external disk connected to the Mac, what we have to do is boot by pressing Alt and install the new macOS High Sierra system.

Equipment update

If we want we can skip the installation from scratch, simply updating the Mac from the Mac App Store. This is what it does is install the system on top of what we have and although it is true that Apple does not prevent us from making this type of updates, if we have many files, applications and others on the Mac, it may over time go something else slow. We also know people who have never done a clean or scratch install on their Macs and have had no problems.

In any case, updating the Mac is simple and we simply have to follow the steps indicated by the macOS High Sierra installer. We can see that they are very simple and basically it is to give: next - next - next.

It is important to mention that the backup in these cases is also important, we may suffer an unexpected power cut or other setback that ruins the afternoon and especially the documents we have on the computer, so before clicking the update button After downloading, it is important to perform a backup using Time Machine or whatever tool we want. If you have questions you can use the comments section.

Finally, make it clear that installations from scratch can be somewhat more complicated For those users who are not familiar with Macs or who have just bought the equipment, so really if you recently have a Mac you have not had time to "load it crap" so it is best that you update directly and you will not have any problem with it and your equipment will work perfectly.

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  1.   Alvaro said

    Hello, I have an Imac from 2013 and after formatting the computer and trying to reinstall OSx, the system tells me that Sierra is not available in the App Store ...

    And now that?…

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      Hello Alvaro,

      do you have the bootable USB set up? do you have wifi active?

      In any case, if you followed the steps, it should work for you, otherwise you can always reinstall from the Time Machine backup.

      You already tell us

      1.    Alvaro said

        Hello, if I have Wi-Fi active but I don't have USB created nor does it copy to Time Machine… and the computer is already formatted….

        1.    Jordi Giménez said

          Look, we always warn about backups huh!

          Try turning off the Mac and when it starts up press Option-Command-R, then update to the latest version of macOS that is compatible with your computer

          you tell us

          1.    Alvaro said

            The fact is that I have all my important files safe but I wanted to reinstall the OS from scratch ... I followed the steps starting with Command + R but when searching the App Store the OS was no longer available ... if I came to know that this could not it occurs to me to format the truth….

  2.   Borja said

    Good I had a question, I have a macbook pro 2012 and I wanted to install from scratch, I have two hard drives, a ssd in which I have the system and applications installed and another HDD in which I like the photos, music and others, perform the installation from scratch, are both disks cleaned? Or would only the ssd be formatted?

    1.    Alvaro said

      Hello, if I have Wi-Fi active but I don't have USB created nor does it copy to Time Machine… and the computer is already formatted….

    2.    marxter said

      Dear, just format the SSD the other one is not necessary

  3.   Jordi Giménez said

    Hello Borja, you have to format only the disk on which you have the OS, the other one, do not touch it.


  4.   Alvaro said

    Hello again, I am trying to make a usb in another mac with sierra and when I paste the line in the terminal it tells me….
    You must specify a volume path.
    I have tried several times ...

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      This command is for creating the installer for macOS High Sierra, not for macOS Sierra


  5.   Alex said

    Indeed your commands are wrong, ask for the volume path

  6.   Alex said

    The correct is
    "Sudo / Applications / Install \ macOS \ High \ –volume / Volumes / Untitled –applicationpath / Applications / Install \ macOS \ High \"

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      It looks like a bug in the scripts when writing the code by hand doesn't it?

      And the command is the same in both cases


      1.    Alex said

        In fact I copied and pasted it, the one I put is already corrected, I already have my usb installer 😛 Tks!

  7.   Winston duran said

    I have an iMac Late 2009, I have macOS Sierra installed and when trying to update to macOS High Sierra, it throws me an error "There was an error verifying the firmware"

    is there any solution to this problem ???

    1.    charged said

      Winston hi, do a first aid check on OS X and check the high sierra update or download it again. regards

      1.    Winston said

        Thanks Chargged,
        I have done it and I have even recorded the usb to install it from 0, but the installation never finishes and sends me back to restore the system.
        It may be that SSD (SanDisk) is not compatible and that is why it is giving that error or it does not let me install?

        Best regards,

  8.   Anas said

    The characters before the directive "volume" are wrong; It seems that all the websites copied it from one wrong source. To correct it, remove the dash already available in the text and replace it with two new dashes. You can use the following:

    sudo / Applications / Install macOS High –volume / Volumes / Untitled –applicationpath / Applications / Install macOS High

  9.   Manu said

    When it comes to erasing the main disk (SSD) from Disk Utilities, should AFPS or macOS Plus (with registry) be set?
    Thank you.

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      If it is SSD you can put AFPS or macOS Plus, whichever you want

      File management with SSD says Apple is faster and better with AFPS

      a greeting

    2.    marxter said

      Manu after reading several forums recommend putting macOS Plus (with registration) once the installation is completed if you check your hard drive it appears with AFPS

  10.   Francisco Valenzuela-Rojas said

    Last night I generated a usb drive via terminal, the contribution is appreciated. However, I think I will wait a few days, because there are programs that do not work with this new update.

  11.   Winston said


    I have seen that some users have the same problem that I am presenting right now, I tried to update, but it gives me a Firnware verification error. I recorded a USB to do the installation 0, but it never finished installing and sent me to the restore screen.

    1.    JESUS ​​ALONSO said

      Exactly the same thing happens to me on a 2013 macpro with a 1tb owc ssd, I have tried to update only and either and from scratch I did not succeed or I was left on a screen with a folder and a blinking question inside.

  12.   river said

    Hello, on my macbook pro from 2012, installed high sierra from scratch in a partition, it turns out that several keys do not work, when from sierra there is no problem with the keyboard, any ideas? thank you very much

  13.   gardel9 said

    Good. I want to download High Sierra to use an external ssd as the main disk of my iMac. The fact is that I already have it installed, and it won't let me download it again. How could I do it to start the whole process later?
    Thank you

  14.   gilberto said

    When installing Mac OS high Sierra, it will ask me for an iCloud account, because I don't have it, supposedly when installing from scratch it is as if I had bought it as new.

  15.   gilberto said

    When installing Mac OS high Sierra, it will ask me for an iCloud account, because I don't have it, supposedly when installing from scratch it is as if I had bought it as new.

  16.   Alan said

    Hello How was I formatting a macbook Pro but at the time of being installed the OS stays in the middle and no longer installs it. I have left it for days to see if it worked but no. Also change the hard drive for another I had but that does not let me or format Mac OS (with registration).

  17.   Miguel said


    Sorry about the mess ... do you know if there is a problem installing from scratch on a partition that is already APFS? Thank you

    on an iMAC late 2013, I create the USB and everything ok. I start with ALT, I choose the USB ... And after a few minutes I get a black screen that alternates between mouse and keyboard (and does not recognize the mouse)

    Total, I couldn't ... Then I restart COmand + Option + R ... and then if it starts working. It asks me what I want to do, and I format the SSD to install from scratch. The issue is that the SSD already had it as APFS ... Install, but I look at the log and there are a lot of errors, especially related to AFPS ... Total, after about 15 minutes it says there is an error, and does not install anything.

    I do the same thing again, and the result is the same; and I can't reformat the SSD to MacOs with registry… it won't allow.

    In the end I had to recover from the Internet, and then TimeMachine ... and of course, nothing to install from scratch

    1.    Angel said

      Hello Miguel; The first thing you count happens to me too (I'm almost glad I'm not the only one) and with the same iMac model (late 2013) and also with an SSD hard drive (in my case I changed it on an Apple SAT and they gave me an unofficial one) (the thing about not recognizing the mouse after selecting the USB installation partition).

      I even opened a chat with the Apple SAT and ended up taking it to a physical SAT (I had three days left until the Apple Care expired); In neither of the two cases did they solve it for me or detect it as an error, so I have it at home, everything working perfectly except that little detail.

      When formatting it with Control-Alt-R I have no longer had a problem, fortunately, always in APFS format.

      However, on my 2016 macbook nothing like that happens and everything works normally; the iMac also did it without problems before upgrading to High Sierra and APFS.

      Regards and good luck.

  18.   antonio said

    Hello my Name Is Antonio. Please see if you can help me, I thank you in advance.
    I have a mac mini Yosemite with the Sierra operating system, I have gone to update it and seeing that it took a long time to turn it off, now it does not start.
    Have a keyboard that is not the apple is a normal Trust.
    I have backups to an external hard drive, but I can't boot it from disk.
    Please help.

  19.   M. Joseph said

    Hello, my name is M. José. I just bought a MacBook Pro and I don't know if I can install previously used programs like print artist and corel (I think it uses a different operating system). If possible I would like you to tell me how to do it.
    Thank you very much for your help