Mac Software

How do I start my Mac in Recovery Mode?

Mac in Recovery Mode
Recovery Mode is ideal for diagnosing – and curing – issues with your Mac

Last Updated on

As the name suggest, macOS Recovery Mode isn’t going to be an everyday tool for most users. In short, it’s a utility for when you want to sell an old Mac – or for when things go very wrong. With that in mind, here’s how to start your Mac in Recovery Mode.

Before we begin, it’s worth looking at what you can actually do in Recovery Mode. Here’s a list:

  • If you want to sell your Mac or pass it on to a lucky relative, you can wipe the disk clean.
  • Repair drives using Disk Utility.
  • Troubleshoot startup issues via Safari.
  • Restore a Time Machine backup, if everything’s gone pear-shaped.
  • Roll back to a previous version of macOS.
  • Reinstall the latest version of macOS.

If you need to do any of the above, accessing Recovery Mode is a cinch.

How to start your Mac in Recovery Mode

Close down all of your windows, click on the Apple icon in the top-left of the screen and select “Restart…”.

Immediately hold down Cmd+R at the same time until you see an Apple logo with a loading bar underneath it. Bear in mind that this might take slightly longer than a usual restart.

Welcome to Recovery Mode: you’ll be greeted by an unusual all-blue screen with just the following pop-window…

Mac in Recovery Mode

From here, you can choose to complete any of the tasks outlined in the first section. Simply select an option and follow the instructions.

However, If you already know what you want to do before entering Recovery Mode, there are a couple of time-saving keyboard shortcuts:

  • If you want to upgrade to the latest version of macOS without fiddling around in the App Store, hold down Alt+Cmd+R during the restart.
  • If you want to roll back to the first version of macOS you used on your Mac, hold press Shift+Alt+Cmd+R.

READ NEXT: How do I uninstall apps on a Mac?

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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