Downloading macOS ISO is one of the essentials for making a bootable Install DVD, especially in Windows. Also, it helps in running macOS on Virtualization software like Parallels, Virtualbox, etc. Since Apple doesn’t provide any method for making macOS ISO, most people look for third-party Internet downloads. Distributing macOS disk image as DMG or ISO is illegal for use on non-Mac hardware. However, in this post, we explain how to download and make a MAC OS ISO yourself.
MacOS ISO: download and convert Catalina and High Sierra
Nowadays, users prefer USB over DVDs for creating a macOS backup installer. Hence, the primary use of macOS ISO is in the virtualization filed. As you know, macOS has a .app extension when you download, and this package is directly not usable for virtualization. The latest version of Parallels accepts the Mac OS app installer for a new guest OS. Parallels has an inbuilt facility to convert the macOS installer app to HDD, a propriety disk image format. However, freeware and paid virtualization apps like Virtualbox needs the OS in .ISO or a compatible disk format. Let’s see how we can make an ISO disk from the Mac OS installer.
- Choose the version of macOS you would like to convert to ISO. We have links to offline installers for High Sierra, Catalina, and Mojave.
- Make a bootable macOS USB disk.
- Now copy all the files inside the USB to a new folder.
- Open Disk Utility and go to File>New Image>Image from Folder and choose image format as CD/DVD master.
The above process will save a bootable macOS .CDR image to your desktop. Give the CDR image a recognizable name [HSIERAA in our case] and type in the below code in the Terminal to make a Hybrid ISO image compatible with Windows and macOS.
Take the “Convert Image File Format” and choose the source disk and destination to convert macOS DMG to ISO installer.
Download and make macOS ISO with Catalina patcher
Creating a bootable disc image for Install DVD or Virtualdisk is easy if you want to deal with macOS Catalina. Thanks for Dosdude for the macOS Catalina Patcher app which lets you download the OS and prepare a USB disk or CDR file.
Install the app and choose to download the full macOS Catalina installer. In the end, you will see an option to create a macOS ISO DVD image, as shown above.
Download Mac OS ISO for Catalina, High Sierra and Mojave DVD or Virtualbox
Mac OS ISO images made through this method are boot-friendly and hence suitable for Virtualization, mainly on Parallels. We did install macOS High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina on Virtualbox 6 for Mac. The installation is a bit unstable as Virtualbox has no native support for macOS releases after High Sierra. But it just works, as you can see in the screenshot.
We recommend a paid app like Parallels for the effective use of macOS for virtualization. With Parallels, you could even bypass the hardware requirement of running new macOS versions like Catalina on old Apple hardware with access to all features. Old Macs with DVD slots or users who have a portable DVD drive may download ISO image to make a macOS Installer disc or USB drive.
We have bootable ISO disc images of new and old macOS versions [from OS X Lion] in our OneDrive folder. You may request [click here to mail] our paid support for just $2 if you are unable to make an ISO file with the above method or find a download link on your Windows PC. The package includes 2-day tech-assistance and a direct download link for macOS ISO. We provide support only for legal use cases like creating bootable macOS Install DVDs, personal virtualization tests on a Mac, etc.