Many Mac users who are attempting to download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store will find that a small 19 MB version of “Install macOS High Sierra.app” downloads to the /Applications folder of the target Mac, rather than the complete 5.2 GB Installer application for macOS High Sierra. This is annoying because it prevents a single download from being used on multiple computers, plus the small installer requires an internet connection during usage to download the rest of the High Sierra update files. Additionally, the tiny 19 MB incomplete installer prevents users from being able to create a macOS High Sierra USB installer drive or other custom update options available through the command line, like skipping the APFS update.
This tutorial will show you a workaround trick that allows Mac users to download the full macOS High Sierra “Install macOS High Sierra.app” file at 5.2 GB with the complete installer tool set and all dmg files and associated Install macOS High Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/ tools, rather than the tiny incomplete truncated installer at 19 MB.
How to Download the Full “Install macOS High Sierra.app” Application
Warning: this method relies on a third party tool from an unverified third party source, if you are not comfortable with using unvetted and unverified software, and if you do not understand the risks associated with using potentially dubious software, do not follow this process. This is for advanced users only.
- Go to dosdude1.com here and download the High Sierra patcher application*
- Launch “MacOS High Sierra Patcher” and ignore everything about patching, instead pull down the “Tools” menu and choose “Download MacOS High Sierra”
- Confirm that you want to download the complete macOS High Sierra install application, and then point it to a location to save on the local hard drive
- The patcher app will notify you when the download is complete, when it is done downloading quit out of the patcher app
- Locate the “Install macOS High Sierra.app” file you downloaded, it will be the complete installer application with the full Contents/Resources/ toolkit available
* The “macOS High Sierra Patcher” application 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 installer file from Apple servers. The source of this patcher application is a MacRumors Forums
You can confirm that you have the complete Install macOS High Sierra.app application by getting info on the file, the complete installer should be around 5.2 GB rather than the tiny 19 MB incomplete installer that requires additional downloads.
Why do some users get a small incomplete version of macOS High Sierra installer from the App Store?
This is not yet known, but it happens with the final version of macOS High Sierra installer as well as with some of the beta versions.
It is unclear why some users will get a 19MB version of “Install macOS High Sierra.app” when downloaded from the App Store, while others users will get the complete 5.2GB version of “Install macOS High Sierra.app” when downloading from the App Store. Interestingly, once a user ends up with the 19 MB version of the incomplete installer, that seems to be the only thing that will download for that user regardless of how many times the incomplete installer app is deleted and re downloaded.
The installer size and completeness inconsistency appears random, and has no relation to disk space, beta enrollment, software catalog, and other theories seem to be incorrect as well.