How to Restore Mac from USB Drive on Mac

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Feb 23, 2024 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

" Is it possible to restore Mac from USB drive on Mac? I heard somebody said that but I don’t know the details. I want to restore Mac from an external hard drive. Please help me! "

Restoring Mac from external hard drive on Mac is one of the choices that people apply if they can’t connect to a stable Wi-Fi while restoring a Mac. And it is also an exclusive feature that Mac turns any removable storage device into a recovery tool. Here are the 7 steps you need to know for how to restore Mac from External hard drive, including USB flash drive.

Note: while using a USB memory stick to restore Mac, all data on the device will be erase completely. If you have some important files there, please move them to somewhere to store first.

Step 1. Find and launch Disk Utility. It is in the Utilities folder under Applications. Next, plug in your USB hard drive to the USB slot on your Mac, making sure it is connected with your Mac. When connected successfully, it should appear in the window or the Disk Utility window. Select it, then select the Partition heading.

Step 2. In the Partitions Layout heading, select 1 Partition from the drop-down list. Click Options, then click GUID Partition Table heading, then OK.

Step 3. Click the drop-down list for the Format and select Mac OS Extended. Name it and select Apply. Click the Partition button in the dialogue.

Step 4. When it finished for step 3, go to to download the Recovery Disk Assistant. The downloaded Recovery Disk Assistant will detect the USB drive. You need to ensure the action and click Continue, typing in the right password you have set for the Mac.

Step 5. The data will be written to the disk. Be patient and keep your USB hard drive connected firmly until it prompts to.

Step 6. To use the new recovery stick, you need to insert the USB hard drive again and reboot. Before the Apple logo appears, hold down Option and Command keys. Next, click the USB icon in the window to select it.

Step 7. When the recovery system has booted, choose the option you need. Among them, Disk Utility is the most useful tool. It will repairs errors that might prevent your Mac from booting.

Whether you restore Mac from USB hard drive or with the built-in internal recovery, it will always cause data loss. To restore the lost data back to Mac, you need to have the most powerful and useful software, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac, installed. It will scan your Mac to look for and recover deleted or lost photos, videos, audio files, archives, emails, documents and more. Here are some of its salient features:

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