Download Full Mac Installers With MDS

If you do any tech work on yours or friends Macs, you probably wish to keep a copy of different macOS installers handy. There are different ways to obtain these full installation files. Recently, I discovered a neat little App called MDS (Mac Deploy Stick) by TwoCanoes software. MDS does many things including allowing the download of complete macOS installers. The App is free, but you can donate if you wish. Here is how MDS works.

MDS macOS Download

I have to preface this article with some important information about MDS. The MDS App is really used for deploying Mac computers in a business or organization. As a result of this, there are all kinds of things in the App that pertain to doing just that. Downloading a macOS is just part of what the App can do, but you can still use it to do just that part.

So, to start, just download MDS from their website and install it. When you first open MDS you will be asked to create a Certificate. Just click through this message to the main window.

MDS Main Window

Select “Download macOS” in the sidebar and then click on the operating system you wish to download. When you click the Download button the App asks you to choose a download location, then it downloads the macOS.

Download Window

While it is downloading, you will see the “Busy, Please Wait” message. It does not have a progress bar.

When the download is complete you will see a Disk Image (.dmg file) which contains the installer.

Disk Image File

To get at the actual installer you have to open that Disk Image file which MDS downloaded.

Disk Image

Now just double-click the “Applications” folder to see the macOS you have downloaded.

macOS File

That is all there is to it. Now you can drag the installer to your storage location for future use.

Creat An Installer

I mentioned that MDS performs all kinds of functions related to deploying Mac computers. One of those functions is the ability to create a standalone installer. To create the installer, just click on “Create macOS Installer” in the sidebar which produces this window.

Installer Window

All you have to do is “Select macOS Installer”.1 Then, “Select a Target” for the operating system to be installed. In your case you would probably choose a USB Flash Drive.

Install Media

I did not actually do an installation, but my experience is that creating an installer on a USB drive can take a while.


Even though MDS is primarily used for deploying Mac computers, some of its functions could be useful to the average Mac user. It is a free App so download it and give it a try.

  1. the installer needs to be on your hard drive somewhere[]