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How To Install macOS on New SSD – 2023


Have you purchased a new storage drive and are wondering how to install macOS on new SSD on your Mac? Don’t worry, as we are going to discuss some easy ways to install the Mac operating system on solid-state drives.

Installing an SSD improves your Mac speed and performance by making a sluggish and old system a decent device. This step-by-step guide will guide you throughout the installation process.

Upgrading is helpful when you have already installed an SSD. However, you can also install a new solid-state drive (SSD). But, you will also require installing macOS onto that SSD as it is not of much use alone. Let’s discover ways to install macOS onto your new SSD.

Install OS X Using Recovery Mode

On modern Mac systems, there is a built-in OS X Recovery mode that allows reinstallation of a fresh OS X version. In recovery mode, you can restore files from Time Machine backup, reinstall macOS, and repair internal disks.

Before using the recovery mode method, make sure you have a backup of all the important files. Having a backup is certainly the best way to ensure your data is safe. You must learn more file organizing tips to manage your data efficiently. Knowing how to remove unwanted data, such as applications, is also useful. The video below shows you can do that.


Keeping files in an organized manner eventually saves your storage space for macOS installation. If you are installing macOS on a new SSD, storage space may not be a concern, but when installing the OS on an old and existing storage device, you need to prepare it first.

How to Use Recovery Mode?

To use this method for macOS installation, install a fresh SSD and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For Intel-based Macs, click the power button and immediately press Command, Option, and R. If you’re using M1 Macs, hold the power button.

Release it until you get a message that keeps holding this button will show the startup options. Then, choose Options and next Recovery. When you get the message for starting Recovery, immediately release the holding keys. After formatting your SSD, tap Reinstall macOS.

Format New SSD

Before installing the macOS on your new SSD, it is recommended to format the SSD to make some space. For this, first, choose the Disk Utility option. Next, choose the new SSD in the left-sided menu and tap on the Erase option.

Enter the mandatory information related to your new drive, including the drive name and format. APFS is the right format for an SSD. However, select Mac OS Extended for an older Mac. This is because APFS would not work with older versions. Pick Scheme and click GUID Partition Map.

Try Using Time Machine Backup

Before learning how to install macOS on new SSD using this method, restore the present OS X version and all associated files. Restart or turn on your Mac computer. Keep pressing the Command and R keys until the moment you see the Apple logo.

Once you see the Recovery menu titled OS X Utilities, choose Disk Utility. Next, follow the SSD initializing guide. Click Restore from Time Machine Backup, and choose your backup disk and the backup you wish to restore. Click Continue and work on the instructions.

Create a Bootable Installer

Creating a bootable installer is another way to install macOS on your new SSD. You would require an external hard drive or a flash drive and a macOS installer copy for the version you need. Download the installer and save it in the Applications folder.

Connect the external drive with your system and access Spotlight Search by tapping Command + Space and entering Terminal. Click twice on the Terminal app. Enter the command based on the OS and tap Enter. Input your password and hit Enter. Type Y and hit OK. Last, exit the Terminal and safely eject the bootable disk.

Use Bootable Installer on Intel-Based Mac

If you are working on an Intel-based Mac, then first install the SSD. Work on the manufacturer’s guide for your computer model. Plug in the created bootable installer and power on your Mac computer.

Without wasting time, press the Option key. Release this key when you see that the Mac screen is displaying the bootable volumes. Choose the drive and hit Enter. Choose Install macOS and hit Continue.

Install macOS on Apple Silicon Mac

The process of using a bootable installer slightly differs for Apple Silicon Mac. After creating an installer, simply install the new SSD on your Mac system. Follow the guide of the manufacturer and plug in the installer you have already created.

Press the power button and release it when you get startup options. Pick the drive that saves the bootable installer and then click on Continue. To complete the macOS installation process, follow the instructions recommended.

The Conclusion

So, as you can see, there are multiple ways to install a macOS on your newly purchased SSD. If you can afford it, you can also use another method, using the Carbon Copy Cloner app. This app requires a subscription. However, you can also opt for its free trial.

If you need to install macOS on various computers, use a bootable installer. This would help you save quality time by avoiding the need for the installer to download each time. A minimum of 15GB of available space is required on the external disk drive or a flash drive.