But, if you like an idea of giving your Mac a fresh start with a new macOS and nothing else, a clean install is the right option for you.
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If you're going to perform a clean install on the startup drive, you need to backup your data, create a bootable copy of the installer, and, finally, boot from the bootable installer. So, let us begin. Junk removal with CleanMyMac takes only a few minutes. A clean install of macOS Sierra on the startup drive completely erases all data on that drive: Also, you can follow the instructions from an Apple article on how to create bootable installer.
Make sure to keep it pressed! Press Enter. Select Disk Utility. Select the Erase tab located next to the First Aid button at the top. Click Erase Note: Select your main drive and install the new macOS Sierra But you need to have another hard drive or volume that you can use for installing macOS. So, this is the easiest way to clean install macOS At this point in the clean install of OS X El Capitan, the two supported methods of performing a clean install are about to merge.
With that step performed, we have unified the two installation processes; going forward, all steps are the same for both clean install methods. When the installation process is complete, your Mac will reboot, and the OS X El Capitan setup assistant will automatically start. If you remember when you first got your Mac, you went through a similar process. Because you used the clean install process, your Mac, or at least the drive on which you chose to clean install OS X El Capitan, now looks and acts just like the day you first turned it on. The setup process is complete. After a few moments, you'll see the OS X El Capitan desktop, which means you're ready to start exploring the clean installation of your new OS.
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Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc.
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Updated February 06, Before proceeding, you should first verify that your Mac is capable of running OS X El Capitan; you can do this by visiting: Once you've checked out the requirements, come back here for the next, extremely essential, step: There are actually two types of clean installs you can perform. Perform the steps outlined above, when completed return here to begin the installation process. You can find instructions in the guide: Once you finish making the bootable USB flash drive, we're ready to continue.
More than likely it's already connected to your Mac, but if it isn't, you can connect it now. Restart your Mac while holding down the option key.
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After a short delay, your Mac will display the OS X Startup Manager , which will display all of your bootable devices. This should include the bootable USB flash drive you just created. Your Mac will start up from the USB flash drive that contains the installer.
This can take a bit of time, depending on the speed of the flash drive as well as the speed of your USB ports. Once the boot process finishes, your Mac will display the OS X Utilities window with the following options: The following process will erase all of the data on your startup drive.
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This can include all your user data, music, movies, and pictures, as well as the current version of OS X installed. Make sure you have a current backup before proceeding. Select the Disk Utility option, and then click the Continue button. Disk Utility will start. In the left-hand sidebar, select the volume you wish to erase. This will likely be in the Internal category, and may be named Macintosh HD if you never renamed the startup drive. Once you have the proper volume selected, click the Erase button located near the top of the Disk Utility window.
A sheet will drop down, asking if you wish to erase the selected volume and offering you the opportunity to give the volume a new name. You can leave the name the same, or enter a new one. Just below the volume name field is the format to use.
Disk Utility will erase and format the selected drive. Once the process is complete, you can quit Disk Utility. You will be returned to the OS X Utilities window. The installer will start, although it may take a few moments. The El Capitan license agreement will display. Read through the terms and conditions, and then click the Agree button.
A sheet will drop down asking you if you really meant to agree to the terms. Click the Agree button. The El Capitan installer will display the default target for the installation; this isn't always the correct target. If it is correct, you can click the Install button and skip ahead to Step 6; otherwise, click the Show All Disks button. Enter your administrator password, and click OK. The installer will copy the needed files to the drive you selected, and then restart. A progress bar will display; after a while, an estimate of the remaining time will display.
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The time estimate isn't very accurate, so this is a good time to take a coffee break or go for a walk with your dog. Once all the files are installed, your Mac will restart and you'll be guided through the initial setup process. The Welcome screen displays, asking you to select which country your Mac will be used in. Make your selection from the list, and click the Continue button. Select your keyboard layout; the available keyboard types will be displayed. Make your selection, and click Continue. The Transfer Information to This Mac window will appear.