This guide deals with how to make a bootable disk of either OSX 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite or 10.9 Mavericks. It is done via the Terminal from a command Apple introduced since OSX Lion called createinstallmedia , all you need is the original OSX app installer and a spare external drive to make a copy of the new OS installer on which you will be able to boot from.
This can be useful for downgrading an OS to an earlier version, some older machines don’t run El Capitan that well which users discover after they have upgraded.
Getting the OSX Installer App
If you have previously downloaded either OSX 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite 10.9 Mavericks it should be in your top level Applications folder.
If it’s not there check in your purchased tab of the App Store app and you can click Download.
If in the instance it already says ‘Downloaded’ and it’s not in your /Applications folder, first of all try a search on your machine for it, if still no go, launch LaunchPad in Applications and find the installer, in this instance ‘Install OS X Mavericks’ and move to the Trash – now you should be able to download from the App Store app.
Attach your USB external stick/drive.
Launch the Terminal from /Applications/Utilities and enter the command below and then your password when prompted, be sure to change the ‘MyVolume‘ name in the below command to your external disk name.
OSX 10.11 El Capitan
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan.app
OSX 10.10 Yosemite
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app
OSX 10.9 Mavericks
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app
Let it do its thing and it will say done when complete, there you have it one bootable Mac OSX 10 drive.