How to perform a clean install of macOS High Sierra

“This article explains how to clean install the macOS High Sierra,” Trend Micro writes. “First we need to do some preparation before we can install the new operating system.”

“In the first step, I will explain how to create a bootable USB flash drive that can be used to install Mac OS X,” Trend Micro writes. “After making this USB, you will be able to easily install Mac OS X from a USB drive.”

“There are two methods to create a bootable USB drive,” Trend Micro writes. “I prefer the method of using a Terminal Command Line first. The advantage is that there is no compromise between compatibility and security, and it is easy for a novice to perform.”

How to perform a clean install of macOS High Sierra is detailed in full here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s always nice to have a fresh Mac performing at its best following a clean install of Apple’s latest macOS.


  1. Very frustrating (and idiotic) I can’t install High Sierra via Target Drive.

    When I have a mac go down, I use to put it into Target Disk mode, connect my laptop, install the OS from my laptop to the other computers drive mounted on my laptop.

    Apple says no can do anymore. Again, idiotic.

    1. Firewire as an interface has outlived its purpose, and even Apple has now acknowledged that. It was a superb piece of technology, far superior to USB at the time and, thanks to DV industry’s adoption as a standard for DV stream, it became fairly popular, with quite many computer makers (not called Apple) choosing to put it on their machines (of course, every single Mac had it since G4 models in late 90s). Its most significant advantage was its peer-to-peer architecture (vs. USB’s host-client). And one of the major advantages of that peer-to-peer architecture was the ability for Apple to make Target Mode possible. It was a great option for the time, to flip the role of a firewire-enabled device from a host to a storage device with a simply re-boot.

      Firewire is long gone from virtually all modern devices. DV devices are no longer manufactured; everything is now HD, and there are no tape-based new devices anymore, so there is no need for live DV (or HDV) stream via firewire. Even Apple has long ago realised that nobody uses firewire on the Macs anymore.

      USB2 (and now USB3) have essentially pushed out firewire as the standard hardware connection for fast data transfer. Unfortunately, since USB has certain limitations that require one device to be host, and the other to be client (and the OTG mode doesn’t support “Target Mode”-like connections), we no longer have the ability to turn our Macs into an external hard disk.

      FIrewire was technology invented by Apple. It was superior to USB. Unfortunately, USB was a juggernaut that wouldn’t be stopped, and Firewire simply died its natural death. That is unfortunately, but such is the price of progress.

  2. Do NOT leave any external dives plugged in during the update. I made this rookie mistake and lost access to all my files on those drives. The drives were daisy chained via Thunderbolt. Had to purchase data recovery software to recover files. While the files were recovered they are named File0001, File0002, etc. The directory structure is lost as well. I have thousands upon thousands of files to sort through. It will be easier for me to re-rip my music CDs than to try to manually recreate my iTunes library. Yes one on the my external drives was Time Machine. Please let my stupidity be a warning for those doing a clean install. My clean install cleaned out my iTunes and Photo libraries. Probably will be the last time I ever do a clean install.

  3. Apple’s vision of the future: a clean install will require a maintenance subscription, and be performed only by an Apple store employee. Removal of handy stuff like Target mode is an insult to all Mac owners. There is no reason it is not offered via Thunderbolt except Apple leadership’s stupidity.

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