How to create a macOS virtual machine in VmWare Fusion on Mac without a CD, USB drive or recovery partition

If you own a Mac and a VmWare Fusion, then you can legally create macOS virtual machines. However it is surprisingly unintuitive if you don’t have a recovery partition (in which case you can just to Add > New > Install OS X from the recovery partition) or a media, that you can convert into bootable media and use in a new custom VmWare machine.

This is a simple guide of installing macOS X into VmWare on macOS without a recovery partition or creating external bootable media.

1. Download macOS installation from the App Store

Open App Store app and search for the latest version of macOS (at the moment it’s macos high sierra. Click “Download” on the application page. When the download finishes the Installation app will start automatically, but you can just close it. Installation will remain in your /Applications folder.

Click Download
The download has finished

(Finding older versions in App Store might be a non-trivial task though. Here is a link to macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra just in case)

2. Install into VmWare Fusion

Open VmWare Fusion. Click Add > New, a dialog will open. Just drag-n-drop the “Install macOS Sierra” (or version one you have) from the Applications folder onto that dialog window and continue to the installation.

Now the installation boots and you can proceed with the macOS install.

For the sake of truth there is an official-ish instruction from VmWare (you need to scroll to the “Installation Instructions for VMware Fusion 7 and Later”) which is not an easy find to begin with and it does not really explain how to get the installer first.