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How to Clean Install macOS Big Sur 11.0

Written by John

macOS Big Sur (version 11.0) is the new version of macOS that will hopefully be released later this year. macOS Big Sur is Apple Inc.'s operating system for Macintosh computers (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Pro Tower). Big Sur is the successor to the current macOS Catalina (version 10.15) and was announced at the first digital Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 22, 2020, with public release scheduled for July and general release projected for fall. The name “Big Sur” was coined out from the coastal region of Big Sur in the Central Coast of California. In a symbolic gesture accompanying Apple's transition of the Macintosh to a new M1 Chip, the primary version number of the operating system has been incremented (10.0 to 11.0) for the first time since the release of the first Mac OS X Public in 2000.

New Features of macOS Big Sur 11.0

1. Safari
There have been some major improvements to the Safari on Big Sur. With new and advanced features like "Privacy Report", “Password monitoring”, “Page previews”, Importing of passwords from Chrome, Customizable start page, and Built-in webpage translation, it is no doubt that Safari will be more sophisticated, stylish and better than before.

2. Control Center
This is one of the exciting news announced at WWDC20. After a lot of years of using the control center on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod), Apple has decided to add a control center to the new macOS Big Sur. By simply clicking on the toolbar beside the time will bring up the control center just like on other iOS devices. Big Sur will allow you to customize the control center and take full advantage of quick access to the common controls such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, playing music, controlling Dark Mode and more.

3. Notification Center
Apple has been known for being stylish in their designs and we are proud to say that the notification center on Big Sur is no exception. The Notification Center was redesigned, featuring interactive notifications and a transparent user interface. Notification Center also features a new widget system similar to that in iOS 14, displaying more information with more customization than previously available.


During WWDC20, Apple announced that the new macOS Big Sur will not be available for macs dated 2013 and below. Unlike macOS Catalina that supported every standard configuration Mac that Mojave supported, Big Sur drops support for various Macs released in 2012 and 2013. The following are the Big Sur compatible macs

  • 2015 and later for MacBook
  • 2013 and later for MacBook Air
  • 2013 and later for MacBook Pro
  • 2014 and later for Mac Mini
  • 2014 and later for iMac
  • 2017 and later for iMac Pro
  • 2013 and later for Mac Pro

What You'll Need

1. Downloading macOS Big Sur Final:
Go to Mac App Store link here. Once you are signed in, select the “Download” button for Big Sur 11.0. Big Sur Installation file will be downloaded automatically

2. A Flash Drive USB with a minimum capacity of 16 GB.

Steps to Clean Install macOS Big Sur 11.0

Step 1: Backup your Mac with Time Machine

Backup your Mac with Time Machine

As you already know, clean install macOS Big Sur completely erases your Macintosh drive. Make sure that you have backed up your Mac with Time Machine. The Time Machine is the in-built backup feature of your Mac. To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an External Storage device. After you connect the device and select it as your backup disk, Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup disk is full.

Step 2: Create a Bootable USB installer with Terminal

1. Go to the Applications folder on your mac then click on “Utilities” and select “Disk Utility”.

2. In Disk Utility, the drives connected to your mac will be in a list, select the USB drive and format it as a "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". You can also select the "Master Boot Record".

Format Your USB Drive with Disk Utility

3. The next step is to turn the USB drive into a bootable device with Terminal. Open Terminal in Application folder.

4. Type in the following command, replace “Untitled” with the name of your USB drive.

macOS Big Sur 11.0 Final Version:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled

Create macOS Big Sur Final USB Installer with Terminal

5. Click “Return” then expect “Done” to appear on “Terminal”.

6. After the pop-up appears, your USB drive is ready to install of macOS Big Sur 11.

Step 3: Install new macOS Big Sur 11.0

1. Insert your USB drive into your Mac.
2. Restart your mac and hold down the “Option” on your keyboard.
3. The boot option will pop on, then select the USB installer drive.
4. Under the “macOS Utilities” that will appear on the screen, select “Disk Utility.”

macOS Utilities in macOS Big Sur

5. In “Disk Utility”, select the “Erase tab” then choose your startup volume. This normally will be labeled as Macintosh HD.

Format macOS Big Sur Partition with APFS

6. Click on “Erase” and will be erased completely then return to the macOS utility screen.

7. On the Utility page, select “Install macOS”, then click on “Continue” and then choose the destination of the disk you have already formatted, and macOS will then start installing.

Clean Install macOS Big Sur with USB Installer

9. Once the installation is complete, your MacBook should restart automatically. 

In this article, we have talked about the new macOS Big Sur 11.0, the new and prominent features, its compatibility, and most importantly how to clean install macOS Big Sur 11.0. If you have any questions or queries, comment below. Thanks.

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