Attempting to download macOS Catalina from the Mac App Store you may find that a small version of the “Install macOS Catalina.app” file downloads to the “Applications” folder, rather than the complete 8.1 GB installer file.
The tiny (just tens of megabytes) incomplete installer requires an internet connection during usage to download the rest of the Catalina update files. Additionally, it does not allow to create a macOS Catalina USB installer drive for use on multiple computers.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to download the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file from Apple server using the “macOS Catalina Patcher” app instead of via the Mac App Store.
A similar mini-installer issue occurred previously with some users getting a tiny incomplete macOS High Sierra installer and macOS Mojave installer too and I covered a similar workaround here and here to download the complete installer file from Apple server.
About the app
In this workaround, we’re going to use the macOS Catalina Patcher app from the dosdude1.com. This app 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 macOS Catalina installer file from Apple server. For our purposes in this particular walkthrough, we will use the app only to download the complete installer file.
Note! This method relies on a third party app from an unverified third party source. If you are not comfortable with using unvetted and unverified software, do not follow this process.
Downloading the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file from Apple server using the “macOS Catalina Patcher” app is a really easy process.
Now, step by step guide.
Go to the official website of the “macOS Catalina Patcher” app here and download the app.
The download link is labelled as “Download Latest Version” on that page.
Launch the “macOS Catalina Patcher” app.
Note! By default, macOS preventing apps from unidentified developers or sources from being launched. So you most likely will get an alert message that says: “macOS Catalina Patcher.app can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”. To allow just one specific app to run do the following:
- Hold down the
Controlkey and click the app icon. From the contextual menu choose
- A popup will appear asking you to confirm this action. Click the
Click the “Continue” button, and then select “Download a Copy”.
Confirm that you want to download the “Install macOS Catalina.app” app to start the download to your hard drive.
Close the “macOS Catalina Patcher” app when the download is complete and locate the “Install macOS Catalina.app” file you downloaded.
Note! The download will be completed when you are prompted to choose an installation method. See the screenshot below.
That’s it, you’re done. Now you have the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file downloaded. So simple isn’t it?
You can confirm that you have the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file by getting info on the file. For this simply select the file and click the
Spacebar key (or right-click on the file and choose “Get Info”). The complete installer should be around 8.1 GB rather than the tiny (just tens of megabytes) incomplete installer that requires additional downloads.
Note! Remember, the “Install macOS Catalina.app” file deletes itself automatically after macOS Catalina has successfully installed. Therefore, you may want to make a backup by having previously copied it to external storage.
Let me know in the comments section if you know another way to download the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file rather than the tiny incomplete installer.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to downloaded the complete “Install macOS Catalina.app” file from Apple server. If this article helped you then please leave a comment
Thanks for reading!