Big Sur & bootable drives

Hey all — have a question about Big Sur I haven’t been able to find an answer to.

I have a backup copy of macOS installed on a flash drive. Not a bootable cloned copy of my drive—a new install on a fresh external drive that I can boot up if needed. (My plan D :slightly_smiling_face:).

With the changes in Big Sur, is it still possible to boot up from an external drive? I know they created issues with bootable clones—but didn’t they kill booting up from an external drive?

According to the release notes on the last CCC version, thanks to something apple has done in the final Big Sur release they have managed to fix the bootable backups.

Yes, Big Sur supports external boot drives.

Thank you! Missed that–good to know!

Awesome, thanks for the confirmation! Still will wait for a .1 release, but that was a big thing holding me back :grinning:.

That should work fine except that the default security settings on a new Mac prevent booting from an external drive. But you can change that if you want and it wouldn’t apply to an existing Mac.

I would run the Big Sur installer and install directly to your external drive. That’s your best bet for making sure it’s bootable.

Last but not least: there is a bug in Big Sur that sometimes prevents bootable drives from appearing in the Startup Drive section of System Preferences. But holding down Option while booting still works.

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If you haven’t already, you might want to verify that you can actually boot from your flash drive.

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Excellent suggestion to install on the external drive first–and if not, I can hold back the main machine. Perfect. Thanks for the other thoughts, too!