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How To Clone macOS Sonoma To An External SSD/HDD?

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Written by

Vain Rowe
Professional tech editor

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Jessica Shee

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Summary: This post elucidates how to clone macOS Sonoma to an external SSD or HDD for backup or a bootable installer with a step-wise guideline. By the way, iBoysoft DiskGeeker is highly recommended for its stunning Disk Clone feature. If you're interested in it, click in right now!

how to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive

macOS Sonoma has come to the public for several months since September 26, 2023. After going through a few minor iterations of the software and the operating system, and continually resolving various bugs and glitches, it gets more stable and smooth for use.

However, not all users will fancy the slightly updated software or features, so some of them choose to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive as a backup to roll back the Mac someday. Besides that, here are some other reasons rendering you to create a macOS Sonoma clone. What are they? Let's make them known in this post!

What does clone macOS Sonoma to an external SSD/HDD mean?

Unlike Time Machine which only backs up user files and folders, a macOS clone means that you make a full and comprehensive copy of Mac's internal hard drive, including all crucial system files, settings, and information stored to boot your Mac up and pre-installed applications or programs coming with macOS Sonoma update.

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Why should you clone macOS Sonoma to an external SSD/HDD?

Here are sorts of reasons that encourage you to clone the whole macOS Sonoma installed on your Mac computer, which are listed below:

  • Clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive to make a macOS Sonoma bootable installer
  • Clone macOS Sonoma from a damaged Mac for later restoration before professional repair
  • Clone macOS Sonoma as a backup to avoid data loss as Time Machine only backs up your files and folders but not the entire drive and macOS data

How to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive?

Cloning a macOS drive is not as complex as you imagine with the guidelines of this article, but it does take some time. So please be patient and I bet you can perform this task with ease!

Prepare to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive

Before we carry on the macOS Sonoma clone work, here are some requirements that need to be done:

  • An erased external drive with space of more than 12GB (I'll show you how to erase a drive on Mac later)
  • A functional Mac computer with macOS Sonoma installed
  • A suitable Mac Cloning Software for the macOS Sonoma drive clone

How to erase a hard drive for a macOS Sonoma clone?

It's worth mentioning that the data on the drive will be wiped completely after the drive is erased, so you ought to back up them firmly beforehand.

  1. Connect the external SSD/HDD to your Mac computer.
  2. Launch Disk Utility and select the drive you will erase in the left sidebar.
  3. Select Erase in the main toolbar of Disk Utility.how to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive
  4. Give your clone destination drive a name and choose APFS as its File System.how to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive
  5. Select GUID Partition Map in the Scheme if there is a Scheme box.
  6. Tap Erase to confirm your actions.
  7. When you're done, click the Done button.

How to choose a suitable Mac cloning software?

Given that Time Machine does not back up bootable macOS data, let alone the entire internal hard drive. So we need professional Mac cloning software here, which facilitates the creation of a full and exact replica of your Mac hard drive. 

We evaluate the Mac cloning software by testing its performance, key features, ease of use, and overall values for users. Through comprehensive and professional testing, we find that iBoysoft DiskGeeker stands out for its excellence among all the criteria mentioned before.

By using iBoysoft DiskGeeker for macOS Sonoma clone, you not only ensure the safety of macOS operating system data but also gain access to more advanced features, enhancing the overall cloning experience and providing added peace of mind.

How to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive?

With all requirements done, now we can set about cloning macOS Sonoma to an external SSD or HDD. Just read on to put extra protection to your system file and the system per se.

Step 1: Download iBoysoft DiskGeeker on your Mac computer.


Clone macOS Sonoma to an external drive

Step 2: Connect the external hard drive to your computer with a cable or adapter.

Step 3: Launch iBoysoft Diskeeker to use its Disk Clone feature.

Step 4: Select the source disk (the entire disk you want to back up files from) at the left sidebar of the iBoysoft DiskGeeker window.

Step 5: Click Clone from the right toolbar.

How to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive

Step 6: Choose the destination SSD/HDD from the pop-up list and click startClone. A prompt will warn you to make a backup of the destination disk because cloning the disk will overwrite all data on it. If you click OK, the clone starts.

The cloning process can't be terminated once it begins. If the process is terminated accidentally, the disk cloning will resume automatically when the two disks are connected to your Mac again.

After the macOS Sonoma cloning process

Once you have cloned macOS Sonoma to the desired drive successfully, you'd better take care of the external hard drive well, preventing it from abrasion, physical damage, and dust/water/fire/oil environment. You can also make an extra backup of this hard drive for further file safety.

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How to restore your Mac from the clone drive?

Now that you have a macOS Sonoma clone drive, you can restore your Mac by using it if you run into some trouble:

  1. Turn off your Mac and connect the external hard drive to your computer.
  2. Turn on your device and boot it into macOS Recovery mode.
  3. Select Disk Utility and click Continue in the macOS Utilities window.
  4. Select your hard drive.
  5. Click on the Restore tab at the top of the Disk Utility window.how to restore macOS Sonoma from a clone hard drive
  6. Select your external drive next to Restore From.
  7. Select your Mac's hard drive next to Restore and click Restore.
  8. Once the backup has finished restoring, restart your computer.


This post gives you an overall process on how to clone macOS Sonoma to an external hard drive for backup or other reasons, allowing you to perform that task with ease even if you're a green hand to hard drive cloning. If you would like to clone macOS Sonoma to an external SSD/HDD, do not hesitate and have a reading right now!