How to Use Terminal to Download macOS Installers


From the command line, you can Download macOS Installers. You could want to do this for a number of reasons, including:

  • It’s possible that you’ll wish to make a USB boot drive installer. This is a USB flash drive or secondary volume where installer files can be stored. Then you can use it to install the Mac operating system as a startup disc.
  • You might want to revert to a prior version of macOS. This, too, necessitates the creation of a bootable installer. You can get the installers for prior macOS versions by following the procedures below. This allows you to install the prior version by booting from the bootable installer.

Only macOS Catalina 10.15 and later have this Terminal command. The requested “Install macOS” application will be downloaded to your Mac’s /Applications folder once you run the command below.

How to download macOS installers

  • Open the Terminal application. In the Applications > Utility folder, you’ll find the Terminal app.
  • Enter the command below and press Enter.
softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version XX.XX.X
  • Substitute the macOS version you want to download for XX.XX.X. This might be in the XX.XX format as well. The current Monterey version, for example, is 12.3. You can download the 12.2 version if you want to revert your Mac to a prior version. It is 11.6.5
  • if you want to acquire the most recent version of Big Sur. You can also list the available installers in the following section. Here’s an illustration:
softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 12.2
  • The script above will download Monterey’s prior version.
    “Scanning for XX.XX installation,” your computer will say at first. “Installing” will appear after that. The download may take several minutes to complete.
  • The installer will appear in your programs folder after it’s finished. The Terminal will also let you know if the installation went well.
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How to list available installers

If you’re not sure which installers are available, you can use Terminal to list them all.

To use Terminal, open it and type the following command:

softwareupdate --list-full-installers

As you can see below, the end outcome could look like this. This is what you’d get today if you ran the command above; of course, this will change in the future when new macOS releases are released. Depending on your Mac, the list may also be different for you.

This is because the macOS version that came with your Mac when you bought it is the oldest macOS version that it can run.

This will reveal the version numbers, which may then be used in the command above. If you wish to download macOS Big Sur, for example, there are six different versions to pick from. You can use a command similar to this:

softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 11.5.2

However, the list above only includes recent macOS versions (because the Mac used to produce the list is not very old). Catalina installations are also available for download. All recent macOS releases are listed below:

  • macOS Monterey, Version: 12.3
  • macOS Monterey, Version: 12.2.1
  • macOS Monterey, Version: 12.2
  • macOS Monterey, Version: 12.1
  • macOS Monterey, Version: 12.0.1
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.5
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.4
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.3
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.2
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.6.1
  • macOS Big Sur, Version: 11.5.2
  • macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7
  • macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7
  • macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.6
  • macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.6
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As I said above, this command only works for Catalina and later.

Kuldeep Sathwara
Kuldeep Sathwara
Kuldeep is an iOS lover loves to write about the iphones ,iPad, Mac Updates, issues , Fixes and More.

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