How to Download a Full macOS High Sierra Installer App

Sep 27, 2017 - 98 Comments

Download the complete macOS High Sierra Installer application

Many Mac users who are attempting to download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store will find that a small 19 MB version of “Install macOS High” downloads to the /Applications folder of the target Mac, rather than the complete 5.2 GB Installer application for macOS High Sierra. This is annoying because it prevents a single download from being used on multiple computers, plus the small installer requires an internet connection during usage to download the rest of the High Sierra update files. Additionally, the tiny 19 MB incomplete installer prevents users from being able to create a macOS High Sierra USB installer drive or other custom update options available through the command line, like skipping the APFS update.

This tutorial will show you a workaround trick that allows Mac users to download the full macOS High Sierra “Install macOS High” file at 5.2 GB with the complete installer tool set and all dmg files and associated Install macOS High tools, rather than the tiny incomplete truncated installer at 19 MB.

How to Download the Full “Install macOS High” Application

Warning: this method relies on a third party tool from an unverified third party source, if you are not comfortable with using unvetted and unverified software, and if you do not understand the risks associated with using potentially dubious software, do not follow this process. This is for advanced users only.

  1. Go to here and download the High Sierra patcher application*
  2. Launch “MacOS High Sierra Patcher” and ignore everything about patching, instead pull down the “Tools” menu and choose “Download MacOS High Sierra”
  3. Download the complete macOS High Sierra installer

  4. Confirm that you want to download the complete macOS High Sierra install application, and then point it to a location to save on the local hard drive
  5. Confirm to download full macOS High Sierra installer

  6. The patcher app will notify you when the download is complete, when it is done downloading quit out of the patcher app
  7. Download of full macOS high sierra installer finished

  8. Locate the “Install macOS High” file you downloaded, it will be the complete installer application with the full Contents/Resources/ toolkit available
  9. MacOS high sierra installer complete download

* The “macOS High Sierra Patcher” application is intended for those with unsupported Macs and Hackintosh users, but any Mac user can use the app to be able to download the complete installer file from Apple servers. The source of this patcher application is a MacRumors Forums

You can confirm that you have the complete Install macOS High application by getting info on the file, the complete installer should be around 5.2 GB rather than the tiny 19 MB incomplete installer that requires additional downloads.

The complete macOS High Sierra installer downloaded

Why do some users get a small incomplete version of macOS High Sierra installer from the App Store?

This is not yet known, but it happens with the final version of macOS High Sierra installer as well as with some of the beta versions.

It is unclear why some users will get a 19MB version of “Install macOS High” when downloaded from the App Store, while others users will get the complete 5.2GB version of “Install macOS High” when downloading from the App Store. Interestingly, once a user ends up with the 19 MB version of the incomplete installer, that seems to be the only thing that will download for that user regardless of how many times the incomplete installer app is deleted and re downloaded.

Incomplete macOS High Sierra installer

The installer size and completeness inconsistency appears random, and has no relation to disk space, beta enrollment, software catalog, and other theories seem to be incorrect as well.

Do you know of another method to download the complete macOS High Sierra installer application rathe than the tiny incomplete installer that arrives for some users on the Mac App Store? Let us know in the comments!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Masirvan says:

    Please give me direct link for download os mac high sierra


  2. ZIZI says:

    Thank you so much! Great references.

  3. Laila says:

    I love your post this great article and give inspiration..thanks

  4. blake owens says:

    hey, i followed all directions to download high sierra to my unsupported mac book pro(mid 2009) and I’ve gotten to the last step but it keeps failing to install. it gives the message “mounting failed, please check your macOS high sierra installer app, then run the tool again”. Help!

    • Bas de Paauw says:

      Thanks for the link; I was searching for a copy of High Sierra; I had my High Sierra upgraded to Mojave and erased earlier.

  5. TimOSX says:

    So my iMac isn’t supported by Mojave and I didn’t get the High Sierra download when it was available from the App Store.
    Is there a way to get the HS installer?

  6. rakesh says:

    could yo please support to publish article “How to Download a Full macOS mojave Installer App ” …since same issue continue in the mojave as direct down load from the app store file size is 22.5 MB only

    • Frederico Faronsi III says:

      Don’t let it download to the applications folder
      Download it to the downloads folder
      and use the patcher to download

  7. Phạm Tuấn Anh says:

    I don’t know what to say. So tired. I selected “Applications” folder as the destination. This tool asked me if I want to overwrite the stub and I choose yes and 5.7GB data and 2.5 hours just disappear =)) The stub installer still there.

  8. illu says:

    i already downloaded on my macbook pro mid 2009 its work fine now its giving update in app store macosx 10.13.6 , can i update ?

  9. James says:

    Dosdude’s patch dmg file wont allow me to download the full package. It says:

    An error occurred while downloading macOS. Please check your Internet connection and try again.

    I’m going to explode in a minute

    • aTutorMe says:

      Do you have a firewall running, like Little Snitch?

      You’ll need to manually change the rule to allow Dosdude’s patch to allow network connections.

      • carl says:

        how do you manually do that?

      • z says:

        It’s all fine that we need to punch a hole for the connection to apple’s servers, but this app also *requires* a connection back to, which doesn’t make sense.

        I guess if he wants to attempt to monitor the usage of his app that’s his call, but it’s pretty rude to disable the downloading of the installer from apple if you block the phoning home to

  10. Raddy says:

    Yea I updated Yosemite with Apple installer then after High Sierra was installed clicked download from Apple store full giggage in applications folder….

  11. Anesti says:

    Hi guys,

    For those of you who are getting an incomplete ~20MB installer stub when downloading High Sierra from the App Store, here’s what worked for me:

    There was a Software Update for me under ‘Updates’ in the App Store that relates to the App Store’s ability to download future updates. (FYI, I’m running El Capitan on my mac).

    I clicked on ‘Update’ to download and install this update (Restart was required), the update restarted my mac and completed.

    After that, opened up the App Store again and went to the High Sierra download page, clicked ‘Download’ and bingo! the full ‘High Sierra’ installer downloaded successfully.

    This fix also applies if you’re getting the error message:

    ‘Install macOS High does not appear to be a valid OS installer application.’

    when trying to create a bootable USB with terminal from the incomplete installer or from the installer downloaded using the High Sierra patcher application suggested in the above article.

    Hope this helps.


  12. Tim says:

    I’m running macOS 10.13.4 on an iMac Pro and only get 2 24MB stub installer, tried everything suggested with no luck.

    Would really like to know why?

  13. mat says:

    I created a more explanatory guide for making a High Sierra USB installer for newbies who receive the 19MB stub installer. Thanks to the advice from ‘Crazy Forthreed’ above.

    Create a macOS High Sierra (10.13) bootable installer USB stick (including starting from the 19MB installer stub).

    This technique does not require any third party tools unlike the OSX daily post below.
    It does require access to a Mac in order to use the App store and use of Terminal.

    Step by step procedure:

    Download the MacOS High Sierra installer from the App Store.

    When done, find the installer file in the /Applications folder.

    NOTE!!! Some users only get a stub installer of 19MB instead of the full 5.2GB installer package.
    See apple reason here that “If you’re creating a bootable installer for macOS High Sierra, download from a Mac using High Sierra, Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6.”.
    Downloading when on other versions gives you the small installer stub.
    If you got the 19MB installer stub see ‘a’ below.
    If you got the 5.2GB full installer jump down to ‘b’ below.

    a) Starting from the 19MB stub installer:

    You will need to recreate the full installer from the separate parts.
    To do so we will use the installer stub app to grab all the files from Apple and then abort the install before it does anything else.

    Run the 19MB stub installer (/Applications/Install macOS High Sierra).
    Choose the install disk and click ‘install’ (it won’t actually install yet!).
    It will download the remaining install files and place them under /macOS Install Data (i.e. look for the folder in the root of your hard drive ‘Macintosh HD’).
    When it has finished downloading all it needs, the installer screen will then ask you to restart the Mac – but don’t! At this point ABORT the install by quitting the installer app.

    Next we will recreate the full installer from all the downloaded parts. This will restore the ability to create an install media USB. Do the following:

    Open Terminal and run: sudo -s
    Enter admin credentials to gain root permissions.
    Then copy and paste the following 3 commands:

    mkdir /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

    cd /macOS\ Install\ Data

    find . -mount | cpio -pvdm /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

    You now have a full installer package in your Applications folder!
    Continue with the steps below…

    b) Starting from the 5.2GB full installer:

    You need a blank USB stick. Note that the USB stick will be completely wiped as part of the process.
    Apple recommends at least 12GB of available storage.

    You can now use the createinstallmedia command to create the installer USB stick (in the following example the USB stick volume is named “MACOS” – change this to match the volume name of your USB stick). Example command:

    /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ –volume /Volumes/MACOS –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

    You will be asked to confirm the command by typing Y.

    It will do its stuff resulting in a USB labeled ‘Install macOS High Sierra’.


    A discussion post by “Crazy Forthreed December 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm” at for the combining commands.

    Apple lists createinstallmedia commands for each version of OSX/macOS.

    See pastebin:

    • RafaelMagossi says:

      Thanks Bro… make 1 day i was trying to download the full instalation of highSierra to create the USB instalation drive.

    • Bhabanisankar Das says:

      Thanks bro, explaining everything..

      But after downloading it even didn’t ask for rebooting..It automatically rebooted.

      So how I will merged everything…

      Please assist..


    • Gustavo says:

      Thanks a lot mate! Works fine!

  14. Naomi says:

    I’ve downloaded it. But only realised that apple already stated here in their website: that “If you’re creating a bootable installer for macOS High Sierra, download from a Mac using High Sierra, Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6. Enterprise administrators: Please download from Apple, not a locally hosted software-update server.”

    After a whole day of trying and getting my eyes tired and my head migraine, I’m now downloading Sierra. WTH.

    • Naomi says:

      Im on Yosemite

    • romeo says:

      The article here details how I downloaded the High Sierra complete installer to a Mac, and it worked exactly as described. Apple downloads the little mini-installer which is frustrating, but I can’t figure out why or how to disable that, so you have to use these workarounds to get the installer. I think that’s a good indicator of what’s to come, it’s a hassle from the get-go? Yea, take that as a hint.

      But for me personally, after much consideration and exploration, I would not use High Sierra or recommend it to anyone, it offers almost no user benefit but has plenty of potential downside. Sierra is much more stable and works just fine.

  15. Bertrand says:

    There is no Tools-menue in my Patcher, so no way to download the OS image, any idea?

  16. Arbind Yadav says:

    after the download high sierra from the patcher after what t do

  17. Ben says:

    Hi guys

    Does anyone know if with this patcher tool you get the possibility of updating the SO to further releases? I followed every step and worked, although I’m not sure about the device’s software’s future

  18. Antonio says:

    I’ll try to make it with my very old 2007 macbook, without too much expectations. Thanks a lot anyway!
    Cheers from Italy

  19. Dom says:

    Downloaded the installer file using dosdude1’s setup this worked like a charm. This after several attempts at installing High Sierra through the App store. Thank you.

  20. Good job, Dosdude1. It is very useful for us for accomodate my oldmac

  21. Roman says:

    Andrew solution worked, thanks.

  22. Crazy Forthreed says:

    If you go ahead and run the 19MB installer (/Applications/Install macOS High Sierra), it will download the remaining install files and place them under /macOS Install Data.
    Simply abort the install when it asks which disk you want to install to.

    To restore the ability to create install media, do the following:
    Open Terminal and run: sudo -s
    Enter admin credentials to gain root access and cut-n-paste the following 3 commands

    mkdir /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\
    cd /macOS\ Install\ Data
    find . -mount | cpio -pvdm /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\

    You can now use the normal createinstallmedia command:

    cd /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\
    ./createinstallmedia –help

  23. Benjamin FR zone says:

    The download of High Sierre incomplete (20mo) is due to the fact that your mac is not up to date (security problem of appStore) made the update of your mac or AppStore then you can download the full version of High Sierra

  24. Ben says:

    The download of High Sierre incomplete (20mo) is due to the fact that your mac is not up to date (security problem of appStore) made the update of your mac or AppStore then you can download the full version of High Sierra

  25. zen says:

    This works great for installing High Sierra on an early 2009 iMac 9’11.

    Now the question is this, how do I get the ISO to load up in say, VirtualBox, or from a Clover boot? Neither seem to recognize the ISO, yet the Mac does.

    I’ve tried several methods of conversion yet none are working.

  26. suupys says:

    Will this kind off update work if im running os x 10.7.4 at the moment?

  27. Stefan says:

    Holding shift key while clicking download did it for me

  28. Ivo says:

    I was going to try the note that Kirk gave a few days ago. (
    First step was to download the installer. And … It gave me the full installer 5.2 GB.

  29. Bachsau says:

    I got the full installer. Maybe it has something to do with having system integrity protection disabled.

  30. md540i says:

    Andrews solution allowed the button in App store to change to download, but it still downloaded the 14mb file.

    • Khalil says:

      Thank you so much, at first it wouldn’t take me to the High Sierra page but after using Andrews solution and Kirk’s link it appeared. I’m on a mid 2012 MacBook pro running El Capitan.

  31. app says:

    Andrew’s simple solution worked for me!

  32. ble says:

    this is the most disgustingly slow download ive ever seen.

  33. Andrew says:

    Delete the stub installer and then run this command in your Terminal:

    sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog

    Open App Store and attempt the update again and you should get the full file.

    • WaveyDavey says:

      This worked perfectly for me. Thank you Andrew. No idea why Apple have to be so damn obtuse about everything! There is ALWAYS a work around… just need to find it ;)

      • NAomi says:

        What is your current OS when you downloaded high sierra? because Andrew’s method doesn’t work with my mac. I’m on Yosemite. I’ve been trying all day…..

  34. LexS says:

    I have a compatible (older) MBP, with SSD.
    Some time ago I downloaded the HS Installer (from Appstore), but took it out of the Applications folder to an external disk and compressed it, (it does not uncompress anymore, probably because HS has been updated to clear a bug some time ago). So the dmg part is not in the decompressed file.
    I want to install HS with the
    startosinstall –converttoapfs NO
    Terminal command so I downloaded the HS file again from Appstore: it stopped at 400kb. I tried again while holding the Shift key then while holding the Alt/option key: no difference. Then I let it for 20 minutes and see: it slowly began to download more, then more and after 10 minutes the Installer file was ˜5.2GB ! I stopped the install then copied the file to the external disk without compression. Then took away the .app from the name in getinfo and left it in the Applications folder. I stay another while in Sierra. Until I have enough learned about APFS and possible compatibility issues with my other macs.

  35. madison says:

    HI there , i have the same problem on my late 2012 macbook. any easy solutions for this? have tried the “shift” option- but no luck.

  36. phridds says:

    I’d download 19MB installer nearly 6times.
    after update my sierra to the latest release the app store delivered the full 5.18 GB image

  37. Flo says:

    On the App Store, I held down the shift key but also chose a partition other than my Sierra partition and it downloaded 5.18GB

  38. Louis says:


    there is a much easier way to get the full version:
    You can force the softwareupdate tool to use Apple’s servers by issuing the following command in Terminal: sudo softwareupdate –clear-catalog (may require 10.12) and that should allow the App Store to download the full installer.

    • ian says:

      Good suggestion Louis, but unfortunately that does not always work. I have tried that and it did not succeed, I had to build the installer myself. I wish there was an obvious option to download the full one from App Store directly on the High Sierra page.

  39. Mr S says:

    Regarding the 19MB File, My assumption from my own install experience is that it had to build a custom install the first time to update the firmware on my MacBook Pro 17″ Early 2011 edition. The following steps are what I took to install macOS High Sierra.

    Steps taken are as follows…

    After thinking my ElCapitan install was borked for only downloading the 19MB installer, I decided to do a isolation install and clean booted my MacBook Pro with a USB installer of Mountain Lion, Mac OS X 10.8.0 (All I could find laying around).

    Erased the Internal SSD drive with Disk Utility and Installed Mac OS X 10.8 fresh.

    Booted newly installed Mac OS X 10.8 and opened App Store (App Store still works fine just a little slow rendering images).

    The Mac OS 10.8 App Store would ONLY download the 19MB High Sierra Installer AGAIN !!!. So I proceeded with that. I monitored the install and discovered the 19MB Installer was downloading the extra installer files directly to a hidden folder on the root drive. The folder is called “macOS Install Data” and contained the following files, AppleDiagnostics.chunklist, AppleDiagnostics.dmg, BaseSystem.chunklist, BaseSystem.dmg, index.sproduct, InstallESDDmg.pkg, InstallInfo.plist, OSX_10_13_IncompatibleAppList.pkg. I copied the whole hidden folder out after it had finished its download just in case I needed it later.

    Now when the Installer had finished downloading the remainder of the macOS High Sierra’s parts the Installation proceeded to install itself.

    I then noticed on the first reboot the MacBook Pro Firmware was being updated. (Usual firmware update beeps, and old version of larger progress bar).

    Then the next reboot after that was the Install of the Base System Image.

    Then the final reboot was the long install of macOS High Sierra.

    To semi verify my theory, I proceeded to download macOS High Sierra again in the macOS High Sierra App Store and this time the App Store now proceeded to download the full macOS High Sierra Install App without any fuss. (I realise it would have been better to check in the older App Store)

    So it makes sense that apple is enforcing a firmware update before High Sierra is installed, probably for APFS boot support etc.

  40. RajaShekhar says:

    Downloaded the installer and checked the SHA values.
    BaseSystem.dmg seems intact but the InstallESD.dmg is not proper. Something seems fishy here. Download with caution guys.

    Original Hash values:
    4164f0dde7316ad745426438ef013568fe0313ba (InstallESD.dmg), 530839420356e6d77b5ff6da3a3753305da26567 (BaseSystem.dmg)

    Calculated Hash Values:
    530839420356e6d77b5ff6da3a3753305da26567 (BaseSystem.dmg)

  41. gurpreet says:

    thank you

  42. WTS says:

    can i download, burn to disk and later decide the installation

  43. Robert says:

    Regarding the download of the full macOS High Sierra installer app – I have personally used dosdude1’s patcher version for Sierra many times. He is a meticulous programmer who offers excellent support for the tool, and also a respected contributor on the Low End Mac facebook page. Definitely not “dubious” third party software imho.

    • junebeetle says:

      I agree with you. His website has many other useful things including the /os directory which I’ve used numerous times (: Plus some useful tools for installing to an unsupported Mac.

    • Paul says:

      Robert, that’s a fair assessment as the tools work as advertised, and dosdude1 is a very helpful forum poster around the web. The “dubious” comment is only related to the app triggering the Gatekeeper warning from an unverified developer.

    • Reuben Cummings says:

      So meticulous that he couldn’t spring for https?? I’ll pass for now.

  44. Alex says:

    Isn’t there any way to get the Apple server address, as well as this patcher does, and download the complete installer using curl in Terminal?

  45. Mike says:

    I held down the shift key when clicking the download link from the App Store and it appears to be downloading the complete package, not the 19 MB installer.

    • Misiek says:

      With Shift doesn’t work too :/ It downloads only ~14MB .app :/

      • Mike says:

        It downloaded the complete 5.2 GB file for me, not sure what I did differently but I was even able to copy the file to my documents to save it for later install.

      • czymaupy says:

        If you have host system High Sierra should be download complete, if oldest – will be download only small installer to make upgrade process first. I have checked this few times.

  46. ted says:

    The installer is available on some Torrent sites. Check the hash mark and you are good to go.

    • Paul says:

      I would not recommend downloading anything from any torrent site, far too risky for many reasons.

      The only legitimate source of a macOS installer is from Apple, Apple servers, and the Mac App Store.

    • Joe says:

      I wouldn’t download anything from a torrent site. Good chance of infecting your computer and they are know for piracy. Not good.

      • MacWare says:

        That’s hilarious… Yeah, go to this and click open to download mac os x. As if!

        • hashy says:

          You can use a hash to verify file integrity, but that is beyond the scope of most user competency and it’s also noteworthy that Apple stopped providing hash for their files perhaps to prevent exactly this type of thing from being relied on. Most people can’t figure it out, so that’s that.

    • junebeetle says:

      Would probably work, but why do that when you can download directly from Apple?? That’s always more of a last resort for me.

      • sam says:

        because downloading from apple never works
        I have tried dozens of times
        and have to start over and over again
        why is the downloaded portion not stored (saved)
        are there other download tools like torrent
        apple does not seem to be in the 20th century yet

    • Philip says:

      “I wouldn’t download anything from a torrent site”

      Guys, perhaps you have no idea what file checksum (hash) means. Simply because someone has told that the files, downloaded from torrent sites, are risky, that doesn’t mean it’s true.

      • Bert says:

        So said the one who generated the checksum (hash) for infected torrents.

        • Anonymous says:

          You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Apple’s official image will have security hashes and running a security hash check on the torrented image will produce an identical hash if the file is identical to the official file from Apple.

          Too many of you commenting have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about with your “muh torrents have viruses!” and “muh security hashes are scams!” nonsense. You’d argue that 1+1=11 with Einstein. Stop speaking authoritatively regarding subjects which you are completely clueless about. There is a reason that Mac users get mocked for technical ignorance and you are a large part of it. Grow up.

          • Brian says:


            You are so right about this. As an IT professional the ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me. They have no idea what they are talking about and fall for every little piece of half information that is thrown their way. This conversation reminds me of the people on Torrent sites that go looking for cracked versions of software and then after it has been downloaded by 10,000 people, that all post good comments, there is always that idiot that posts “DON’T DOWNLOAD HAS VIRUS!!!” Ya, pal because you are the first one to “catch on to the trick, everyone else is just not as smart as you”….LOL. Of course they don’t know that their stupid little anti-virus is not even identifying it as an actual Virus but says that by default because it cannot identify the file as the original….of course it can’t! You were looking for cracked (modded) software, what do you thing the affect of cracking it was going to be??? Yet, it’s still not a virus…

      • Divebus says:

        I just pulled a checksum from the two most important packages of Mojave installers and the checksums match between the Apple direct download and the installer from the site:

        InstallESD.dmg= 2986e4e8c3c7026bab284a83e5fd832c
        BaseSystem.dmg= 23595fe3c533e458fdde124b79a5ac1a

        The site sounds dodgy, but the guy hasn’t tampered with the part I would fear most. Someone else can verify what he’s patching.

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