How to Perform a Clean Install of OS X Mavericks

How to Perform a Clean Install of OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks is finally here, and it packs a wallop – over 200 new features, according to Apple! That’s a lot of changes! While some may choose to upgrade their Macs from Lion, Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard, others will want a clean, fresh install of Mavericks to make sure they can take advantage of all its default settings! If you fall in that category, this guide is for you!

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Performing a clean install of Mavericks isn’t quite a simple as just updating, but it’s also not very difficult. To get started, you’ll need to create a bootable DVD or USB drive of the OS X Mavericks installer using these instructions.

Now that you have a USB drive or DVD, just insert it into your Mac and follow these steps:

  • Restart your Mac while holding down the option key.
  • Select Mac OS Install ESD as your boot volume.
  •  After you’ve booted into the installer, you’ll be able to erase your Mac’s main hard drive using Disk Utility, or choose a separate hard drive or partition to install OS X. In either case, make sure the volume you want to install has been erased and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  • Quit Disk Utility to return to the Mavericks installer, choose which drive you would like to install on, and click Continue.

Personally, I always make a habit of starting fresh whenever I install a major new version of OS X. It’s the best way to ensure you have the cleanest, smoothest experience on your Mac.

* Note: Make sure you have a full backup of your boot drive before erasing any volumes – or before attempting any major upgrade to your Mac!

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!