How To Clean Install The Latest version Of macOS

You’ve probably heard about the new macOS 12 Monterey, the next big thing after Big Sur. As Apple rolls out Monterey, it packs them with enhanced app upgrades, privacy, and more stunning features.

Some of the features available from late October 2021 include Universal Control from cross-device work, Shortcuts, SharePlay for FaceTime, among many other features.

However, many Mac users do not know that by updating your Mac via “This Mac” and then “Software Update,” you put the new macOS 12 Monterey over the old one. This is not the best way to update the system as it leaves you with a smaller space and could also make your computer slower.

It is therefore much better to perform a clean install of macOS from USB. This article focuses on the “HOW?” But first, let’s discuss some of the essential macOS Monterey system requirements. See the complete list of Macs that support the update below:

  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)

Check the year of your Mac through the Apple menu by going to “About this Mac” and then “Overview.”

To clean install the latest public beta of macOS, you will need to create a bootable installer for macos by first creating a bootable USB drive on Mac. Below are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Clean Up And Free More Space

Junk and unnecessary apps on your system will slow down the update process. Besides, you will free up a considerable amount of storage space, especially if you back up data using the Time Machine.

Therefore, the less stuff on your Mac, the better. See below for the process to clean up your Mac.

  1. Open “CleanMyMac X,” which is the best available Mac cleaner with Setapp.
  2. Click on the “Smart Scan” icon and wait for the app to scan your Mac.
  3. Review the files suggested by “CleanMyMac X” to either delete or remove them right away.

Step 2: Back Up Your Data

By updating your Mac from a Mac clean installer, you are giving the macOS a fresh start. Use recover software to backup your Mac and secure your precious photos and other essential documents. You can also perform backups with a Time Machine, external hard drive, or even the cloud.

If you want to use the Time Machine for your mac backups, follow the steps below.

  1. Plug the external drive into the Mac.
  2. Go to the “System Preferences.”
  3. Choose “Time Machine.”
  4. Click on the “Use Disk” icon to prompt the start of the backup process.

If you find it challenging to use the Time Machine, you can back up your mac folder by folder or get the official Disk Drill developed by Cleverfiles to help with the backup. Connect the external drive, copy all the data you need, and paste it into the drive. You can then transfer the files back to the system later.

Step 3: Download Monterey Public Beta Installer

Now that you have backed up your important files, it is time to download the installer. Since Monterey is only available in the Beta version, you will have to enroll in the Apple Beta Software Program to get the installer.

Remember that in this step, you only need to download the installer. If, by chance, you are prompted for installation, cancel it immediately. As a crucial part of performing a clean installation, let the installer sit in your Applications.

Here’s the process:

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Go to the Apple Beta program page.
  3. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  4. Click the “Enroll your devices” button in the upper right corner.
  5. Select the “macOS” tab.
  6. Continue by scrolling down and clicking the “Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility” button.
  7. Run the installer, and the “Software Update” window will open automatically.
  8. Click “Upgrade Now.”

But be very careful not to rush the process. As we already mentioned, your goal is to save the installer to your Applications folder and not go through the installation process. Therefore, if the installer launches automatically, close the window by clicking on “Quit install.”

Step 4: Format Your USB Drive

Connect a USB drive with 16 GB or more to your Mac and wait for the Disk Utility to appear on the screen. Format the drive in readiness for Monterey installation – choose GUID Partition Map and Mac OS X Extended. Then, save with the name “Installer” and tap “Erase.”

Step 5: Create A USB Installer Disk With Terminal

Open Terminal and type the command below:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Monterey.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/MyVolume

Hit Return and key your admin password. Replace “MyVolume” with the name you used on the external drive. Remember to copy and paste the command to avoid keying a wrong symbol. Wait for the process to end to create a macOS bootable USB.

Step 6: Clean Install macOS From USB

Once you make a macOS bootable USB, follow the steps below to finish the install.

  1. Connect the USB and restart the Mac.
  2. While the Mac restarts, press and hold the Option key.
  3. Choose to install macOS from the connected USB.
  4. Follow the instructions to clean install macOS Monterey.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.