I have a disk that's so full I cannot install Catalina in Recovery mode as there is not enough space. I have a pre-formatted and bootable USB but when I try and install the image to the HD it fails telling me there is not enough space, doh! Could someone please send me a link or the instructions to reformat the internal SSD hard drive and create the necessary partitions so that I have an 'empty' drive on which I can install from USB.

Thanks in advance, and yes I have a time machine backup of the unit!

  • Before you click on install, go to the Tools Menu at the top of the screen, select Disk Utility, then format the drive.
    – Allan
    Oct 19, 2020 at 18:46
  • @Allan this should probably just be closed but with a couple answers, even that might not be necessary finding a dupe or closing for lack of clear details.
    – bmike
    Oct 20, 2020 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


Your situation doesn't entirely makes sense to me (but maybe I'm reading too much into it). You need zero space and zero functioning drive to boot to Internet recovery. Since you mentioned reformatting as a solution. I wanted to share the official steps for an erase install (for the curious)

If you like more narrative, there are few technical writers better than Howard Oakley. Here is his best method for Catalina macOS erasure:


Thanks everyone. I reformatted the drive and reinstalled and now I am in the middle of a Time Machine recovery. Cheers gents you are the best.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .