How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store

Apr 30, 2021 - 4 Comments

How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store

If you’ve owned a Mac for a while, you’re well-aware of the fact that updating macOS to the latest version is a pretty straightforward procedure. However, if you’re looking to create a bootable USB drive, a full installer file is necessary, and the update you download from Apple’s servers might not always be the full installer, particularly with Catalina and Mojave (Big Sur does not seem to have this issue, for what it’s worth). Fortunately, downloading a full installer of macOS Catalina is a lot more easier than you might think, and we’re going to show you one quick and easy way to do this.


This could come in handy for many situations, be it to make boot media, or to run Catalina on various Macs (supported or otherwise). Or, if you don’t have a reliable internet connection to download the update directly. A macOS installer in DMG format could prove to be quite useful if your Mac isn’t booting up and you’re attempting recovery.

Interested in learning how you can download the full Catalina installer file, but without going through the App Store? Then read along, as we’ll be showing you a simple method to do so that works on just about any modern MacOS release.

How to Download a Full MacOS Catalina Installer Without the App Store

We’ll be using the third party macOS Catalina patcher tool to download the full installer on to your Mac. Simply follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Head over to the dosdude1 website and click on “Download Latest Version” to begin downloading the macOS Catalina Patcher on to your system. Once the download is complete, click on the download manager at the top-right corner of the Safari window and double-click on the file.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  2. This will open up a new window. Click on “macOS Catalina Patcher” to proceed further.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  3. Click on “Continue” to begin with the macOS Catalina installation procedure.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  4. Next, click on “Download a Copy” to download macOS Catalina from Apple’s servers.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  5. Now, click on “Start Download”. You might get a pop-up requesting access to files in your Downloads folder. Choose “OK” to continue.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  6. Depending on your internet connection, the download could take a while.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store
  7. Once the download is complete, you’ll have the option to create a bootable installer or make an ISO image of macOS Catalina.

    How to Download MacOS Catalina Without the App Store

That’s pretty much all you need to do. You’ve successfully download macOS Catalina without having to use the App Store.

Although we were primarily focusing on macOS Catalina in this article, you can follow the same procedure to download macOS Mojave via the Dosdude tool and older versions on to your computer. DosDude1 also offers a similar utility for High Sierra and Sierra.

Thanks to this patcher tool, you will still be able to install macOS Catalina on an unsupported Mac, as long as you meet the hardware requirements for the update. Also, if you have multiple Macs but limited internet data, you can download the full installer as a one-time step, transfer it to a USB flash drive and use it as bootable media for installation on other Macs.

Not sure how to create a bootable USB drive for installing macOS Catalina? We got you covered. You can follow these instructions to create a bootable Catalina media with Terminal. Or, you can just choose the “Create a Bootable Installer” in the macOS Catalina patcher tool.

Obviously we’re focusing on macOS Catalina here, which is still quite popular despite being an older OS release, and this is just one method to download the full installer without using the App Store. If you want more options and you’re actively running Catalina or later (including Big Sur), you can use the command line to download full MacOS Installer applications with this handy approach.

We hope you were able to download macOS Catalina on to your computer without having to rely on the Mac App Store. What’s your reason for resorting to this method? Do share your valuable thoughts and experience in the comments section down below.

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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. uupset says:

    This no longer works as Apple is actively blocking the download because “it cannot verify it for malware”

    • Paul says:

      This still works fine, I just confirmed it yet again.

      I am not sure what you are experiencing. Apple does not block downloads, Safari may request to allow the download however. Maybe you have a third party tool installed in your web browser?

      You can also learn how to download macOS Catalina from here:

      https://osxdaily.com/where-download-macos-installers/

      Or from Terminal, use the following syntax:

      softwareupdate --fetch-full-installer --full-installer-version 10.15.7

  2. Paul A. Gureghian says:

    I have gotten by by just downloading Catalina from within the recovery / internet recovery mode.

  3. Alex says:

    IMO, there exists a better method: https://github.com/corpnewt/gibMacOS

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