Apple’s comparatively new M1 Macs that depend on Apple silicon have quite a lot of usability variations from earlier Intel0based Macs. One distinction that’s tripped some readers up is methods to begin up or boot the M1 Mac from an exterior drive. Intel Macs typically make this straightforward.
You would possibly wish to use a bootable exterior drive to have a higher-capacity SSD than is obtainable or inexpensive by way of Apple’s pricing. Otherwise you need one for backup in case one thing goes very pear formed along with your M1 Mac.
Testing signifies that the next are required to start out up from an exterior quantity:
A Thunderbolt 3 drive. That’s not only one that makes use of the USB-C connector, however is a local USB 3.1 or 3.2 drive. Nor can you employ a Sort A adapter for a USB 3.0 or later drive. Success seems to require a native Thunderbolt 3 drive.
Erasing the drive fully, then formatting it as APFS.
Acquiring a Large Sur installer, after which putting in Large Sur out of your M1 Mac immediately onto the exterior drive.
Let’s broaden on every level.
Thunderbolt 3 drive
Most cheap exterior drives use a taste of USB 3 to attach over USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 is mostly reserved for high-performance drives and arrays of drives used for graphics and video functions. Nonetheless, One World Computing provides a particular line of lower-cost, bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 SSDs. (Some folks have apparently been capable of get a USB 3 drive to work for this, however nobody has narrowed down which of them or why, so it’s unimaginable to advocate it as a plan of action.)
With an SSD inside, OWC fees $199 for 480GB and $299.75 for 1TB. You should buy increased capacities, or simply get its Envoy Categorical enclosure, which runs $79, to which you’ll be able to add any SSD that’s designed for the 2280 M.2 NVMe commonplace. (That appears like a mouthful, however you may search on that to seek out appropriate SSDs.) OWC says it helps present capacities as much as 4TB, and is designed to assist future increased capacities, too. I opted to purchase a comparatively cheap 500GB SSD for now (about $75) so I may have a bootable possibility.
Erase and format as APFS
To make use of Large Sur, the drive needs to be formatted as APFS. However studies point out that you could be not have the ability to simply change the formatting on an current drive, as invisible partitions used for functions associated to booting from an Intel drive from a earlier macOS set up on the drive may trigger points. To keep away from that, choose the drive in Disk Utility, click on Erase, and comply with prompts to create a single APFS container. This could wipe out any conflicting information buildings.
Acquire the Large Sur installer
Since it’s important to be operating Large Sur on an M1 Mac, you need to have the ability to obtain the installer immediately from the Mac App Retailer by way of this hyperlink. Large Sur 11.1 or later is required.
Set up Large Sur onto the exterior drive
Launch the Large Sur installer, and choose the exterior drive because the goal. Observe the prompts and steps. When your Mac restarts, it would boot from the exterior drive to finish the set up.
Restart out of your inner drive or swap between
To get again to your inner drive because the startup quantity, you may open the Startup Disk desire pane whereas macOS is operating on the exterior drive and choose the interior drive. Then click on Restart.
You’ll need to unmount the exterior drive after the restart is full, and a few folks have reported that Large Sur says one in every of its partitions stays in use. (Catalina and Large Sur invisibly divide a macOS right into a quantity containing system recordsdata and a quantity along with your consumer information; the information quantity could not unmount appropriately.) You would possibly favor to close down at that time, unplug the exterior drive, and begin up once more.
You may also use restoration mode to vary the startup disk. This is a little more difficult with an M1 Mac than an Intel one, the place you would merely maintain down the Possibility key whereas restarting and choose a drive (until you had turned on sure safety settings, wherein case you’d want to make use of restoration mode to disable them).
Right here’s how you alter the startup drive from restoration mode with an M1 Mac:
If macOS is operating, you could shut down. A restart doesn’t work. Choose > Shut Down.
Once you see your Mac has powered down, maintain down the ability button till you see a immediate that claims “Loading startup choices.”
When the Choices icon seems, additionally, you will see a listing of volumes subsequent to it you could choose. Choose the quantity that you just wish to begin up from.
Click on Proceed and the Mac restarts from that quantity.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a query submitted by Macworld reader Gerald.
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