Ways to Clean Install macOS 10.15 Catalina on Mac 

How excited are we all that the macOS Catalina release date is finally behind us? We’ve been waiting for the new operating system for a long time. Apple was generous with the announcement. They told us exactly what to expect, and it was a lot. The macOS Catalina Beta testers were generally okay with the system. However, most people were waiting for the official macOS Catalina release date, since they didn’t want to bother with the bugs and issues that all Beta versions are known for.

You still haven’t installed macOS 10.15 Catalina?

Maybe you’re wondering what type of install to perform.

Apple gives you two options with this:

  • Upgrade through Apple’s standard installation package. With this, you’ll keep all apps and data on your computer. For older Macs, this is a problematic install. 32-bit apps won’t work. With the upgrade, your computer will retail strange behaviors that it may have developed over time.
  • Go for a clean install of macOS Catalina. If your computer isn’t brand new, it’s the best solution. You’ll have a fresh operating system that makes your computer feel like new. You’ll get rid of all junk files. Don’t worry; you’ll backup and recover the most important ones. With a lighter Mac, you’ll easily notice the difference in performance.

We’ll give you effective tips on how to clean install macOS Catalina!

Guidelines: How to Clean Install macOS Catalina


  • First Thing: Check Your Mac’s Compatibility


Mac users knew if their devices were compatible before the macOS Catalina release date. Apple made that clear. However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

If your Mac runs Mojave, it’s good for Catalina, except if it’s a mid-2012 or mid-2010 Mac Pro. These users are frustrated because they don’t even know why they can’t upgrade. But if you’re running Mojave on any other than those two Mac Pros, you can proceed with the next steps.


  • Get Rid of All That You Don’t Need


When you perform the backup later, you won’t need duplicate files, buried data from outdated caches, years ago, and 32-bit apps. You can use a simple app like CleanMyMac X to get rid of it all. The app is great, since it enables you to filter out 32-bit apps. You can’t use them in Catalina, so there’s no reason to back them up.

If you notice that the system wants to get rid of a 32-bit app you need for work, then stop! This is not the right time for you to be upgrading. Wait for the developers to introduce a 64-bit version.


  • Back Up the Data You Need


You’ll need an app for this. Apple offers Time Machine as a native one. If you want to create bootable clones of your files, you might prefer a third-party app, such as Get Backup Pro or a similar one. Choose the one you prefer.


  • Download macOS 10.15 Catalina


You’ll find Catalina in the Mac App Store. Once the download is complete, the installer will automatically launch. You don’t want to install from there. Click Quit (or hold Command + Q on the keyboard).


  • Prepare Your USB Disk


This is where you’ll get the bootable Catalina installer.

Connect it, go to Disk Utilities and name it. The name is important, since you’ll include it in a command.

Get into Terminal and type this command:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/[USB stick name] –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app

Of course; you’ll type the actual USB stick name in that part of the command.

When you click Return, you’ll need to provide the admin password. Then, click Done to close Terminal.

You have your macOS Catalina. But you don’t want to leave it on your USB drive. So you’ll go through another step:


  • Get macOS Catalina on the Startup Drive


Stay calm. Maybe the process of how to clean install macOS Catalina seems overwhelming, but it’s really easy when you follow the right steps. You’re almost done, so don’t lose it just yet!

Find the Catalina installer under System Preferences > Startup Disk. This part is simple: restart the computer while holding Command and R on the keyboard. Plug the USB in. You’ll see the Utilities window right away. At this point, choose the option to reinstall a new copy of the operating system. Proceed, agree, and choose the startup drive.

Now, just wait. Your Mac is going through a rebirth process. You’ll have it ready in a while.

Why Should You Go through All This?

There are users who are perfectly happy with Mojave. They use the apps they need, and their Macs are functional. Why would they go through all these steps? If we’re realistic about it, most users find the tips on how to clean install macOS Catalina a bit overwhelming.

This is an honest recommendation: if your Mac is compatible and you don’t depend on 32-bit apps, you should absolutely do the upgrade. It’s a much cooler operating system than the Mojave. There are a few reasons for that:

  • iTunes is gone. That’s a good thing, since the app was outdated and too busy. Catalina introduces three new apps that replace iTunes: Music, TV, and Podcasts. It will be easier for you to choose an action if you simply access a dedicated app for it.
  • You love games and you were kind of jealous of Windows users for having better capacity for gaming. Apple Arcade is about to bring some changes in that aspect. It’s a new gaming subscription service, which costs $4.99 per month. You’ll have access to cool games for a really small subscription.
  • Screen Time is a great feature for those who use their Macs for work. It shows you how you spend your time on the computer. Awareness makes you more productive.
  • With Sidecar, you can use an iPad as a second display to your Mac. If you’re a graphic designer or an artist, you’re no longer limited to the small iPad screen if you want to design with Apple Pencil. You’ll see your work on the gorgeous screen of your Mac.
  • Voice Control is getting better with Catalina.

Whenever Apple introduces an upgrade, it means they are bringing changes developed after a lot of market scanning and testing. Sure; there’s a lot of criticizing at the beginning, but everyone eventually gets on board and starts feeling comfortable with the changes after a short period of time.

Now that you know how to clean install macOS Catalina, you can get the new operating system running in no time.