Downloading MacOS IPSW Files for Apple Silicon Macs

Jan 28, 2021 - 2 Comments

Mac IPSW files can be used with Apple Configurator tool

The latest Apple Silicon Macs can use IPSW files to restore and revive Mac hardware, similar to how iPhone and iPad can use IPSW files for firmware updates and restores. Unsurprisingly, this means there are now Mac IPSW files for the Apple Silicon M1 Macs.

The usage of IPSW files is generally considered advanced, and with the Mac IPSW files this is particularly true because they’re a bit of a hassle to use for restoring and reviving Apple Silicon Macs. But more on that in a moment. If you’re wondering where you can download MacOS IPSW files from, you can get them directly from Apple once you know the proper URLs.

The Mac IPSW File URL List from Apple

Similar to how you can get IPSW file lists directly from Apple for iPhone and iPad, you can also access this data for Mac IPSW files too by looking at a different URL.

The URL for Apple Silicon MacOS IPSW files is as follows:

https://mesu.apple.com/assets/macos/com_apple_macOSIPSW/com_apple_macOSIPSW.xml

Get a List of Apple Silicon Mac IPSW Files from Apple

If you want to quickly get the direct Mac IPSW file URLs for downloading, you can use curl and grep to find the relevant XML entries:

curl https://mesu.apple.com/assets/macos/com_apple_macOSIPSW/com_apple_macOSIPSW.xml |grep ipsw

Currently it appears that all Apple Silicon Macs use the same IPSW file for each version of macOS 11, though that will likely change as new Mac hardware is released over time, and as new macOS versions come out too.

Direct Download Links for Apple Silicon Mac IPSW Files

For macOS Big Sur 11.1 Apple Silicon IPSW, the direct download URL is:

If you’re not up for digging around in XML files to find direct download links from Apple, the IPSW Me site here also offers direct links to Mac IPSW files now.

Using Apple Silicon Mac IPSW Files to Restore & Revive Macs

Using Mac IPSW to restore or revive a Mac is a bit more complex than the process of using IPSW for iPhone and iPad, and as of now you need to use the Apple Configurator 2 application, along with a USB-C to USB-C cable, and another Mac.

If you’re interested in learning how to work with Apple Silicon Mac IPSW files, check out:

Considering that working with Mac IPSW files looks to be a bit of a hassle, hopefully it’s not something that any of us have to do often, if ever. Given that the majority of iPhone and iPad users don’t need to use IPSW files either, it seems likely that will continue to be the case as more Apple Silicon Macs come to market and deployed to users.

Have you used Apple Silicon Mac IPSW files yet? What was the reason, and how did it go? If you have any tips, advice, suggestions, or relevant experiences, share in the comments.

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

2 Comments

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  1. bogdanw says:

    For a nicer view, try curl https://mesu.apple.com/assets/macos/com_apple_macOSIPSW/com_apple_macOSIPSW.xml |grep ipsw | sed -e s/””//g -e s/””//g -e s/\ //g

  2. Jason says:

    Anyway to use this same process to download IPSW of the beta / RCs?

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