How to Boot Mac Into Recovery Mode Featured Image

How to Boot Mac Into Recovery Mode: 3 Quick Ways

Written by

Reviewed by

Last updated: September 6, 2023

Expert verified

SVG Image

Are you facing issues with your Mac, or do you need to reinstall the operating system, repair the disk, or troubleshoot an unresponsive device? When these situations arise, Apple provides a solution: Recovery Mode.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the process of booting your Mac into Recovery Mode, a powerful troubleshooting tool designed to handle a wide range of issues. So, let’s dive in and master the art of booting your Mac into Recovery Mode.

Before We Begin

Sometimes it becomes necessary to boot Mac into recovery mode to resolve Mac performance issues or reinstall macOS. The process might become slow if your Mac is not efficient. MacKeeper can help you as it provides various features that keep Mac optimized and efficient. Download and install MacKeeper for a healthy Mac.

Why Should I Boot Mac Into Recovery Mode?

Recovery Mode on a Mac is a special startup mode that provides various tools and utilities for troubleshooting and repairing your Mac. You can access it by restarting your Mac and holding down a specific key combination as it starts up.

Here are some reasons why you might want to boot Mac into Recovery Mode:

  • 🔧 Repairing Disk Errors: If your Mac’s startup disk is experiencing problems or errors, you can use Disk Utility in Recovery Mode to repair them. It can resolve issues like slow performance, freezing, or crashes.
  • 🔄 Reinstalling macOS: If your Mac is not starting up properly or experiencing issues you cannot resolve through other means, you can use Recovery Mode to reinstall macOS. It will erase your Mac’s startup disk and install a fresh copy of macOS.
  • Restoring from Time Machine Backup: If you have a Time Machine backup of your Mac, you can use Recovery Mode to restore your Mac from Time Machine backup. It can be useful if you need to recover lost or damaged files or settings.
  • 🗑️ Erasing the Startup Disk: If you plan to sell or give away your Mac, you may want to erase the startup disk to protect your data. You can use Recovery Mode to erase the startup disk and reinstall macOS, ensuring your data is securely erased.
  • 💻 Running Terminal Commands: If you’re comfortable using the command line, you can use Terminal in Recovery Mode to perform advanced troubleshooting or maintenance tasks on your Mac. It can perform tasks unavailable in the regular macOS environment.

How to Boot Mac Into Recovery Mode

Booting your Mac into Recovery Mode can be a useful troubleshooting step when encountering system issues. Recovery Mode provides a range of tools that can help you diagnose and fix problems with your Mac, such as reinstalling macOS or restoring from a backup.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to boot Mac into Recovery Mode:

  1. Make sure your Mac is turned off by clicking the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and selecting Shut Down.
click apple icon and select shut down
  1. Press the power button to turn on your Mac. Wait for the startup chime, then immediately press and hold the Command ⌘ + R keys on your keyboard until the Apple logo appears on the screen. It indicates your Mac is booting into Recovery Mode.
press Command R
  1. The window provides a range of utilities you can use to troubleshoot and repair your Mac. You can select the utility you want to use from the macOS Utilities window to troubleshoot and repair your Mac. Some options include:
  1. Restore from Time Machine Backup: This option allows you to restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup.
  2. Reinstall macOS: This option allows you to reinstall a fresh copy of the macOS version previously installed on your Mac.
  3. Disk Utility: This utility allows you to repair or erase your Mac’s hard drive.

Boot M1 Mac into Recovery Mode

The M1 Macs use Apple Silicon, which has a different boot and recovery process than the older Intel-based Macs. Therefore, the steps to access the recovery mode on M1 Macs differ from the older models.

You can follow these steps to boot M1 Mac into recovery mode:

  1. Shut down your Mac by choosing the Apple menu > Shut Down.
click apple icon and select shut down
  1. Press the power button until you see Loading startup options.
loading startup options screen on mac 3
  1. Click Options, then click Continue.
click options on startup options page 1
  1. Select your language, then click Next.
  2. Click Utilities > Startup Security Utility.
  3. Enter your administrator password, and click OK.
  4. Select Full Security under Startup Security, then click Restart.
  5. Press the power button until you see Loading startup options again.
  6. Click Options, then click Continue to boot Mac into Recovery Mode.

How to Boot Mac into Recovery Mode Using Security Utility

Using the Startup Security Utility method to boot into Recovery Mode with full security enabled is useful to ensure your Mac is as secure as possible.

It’s worth noting that enabling full security mode may limit your ability to troubleshoot or repair your Mac, as some third-party utilities or recovery options may not be available. Therefore, only use this method if you’re comfortable with its limitations and need added security.

Follow these steps to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode using Security Utility:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the power button to turn on your Mac, and immediately press and hold the Command ⌘ + R keys until the Apple logo appears.
press Command R
  1. Release the keys once the Apple logo appears, and your Mac will boot into Recovery Mode.
  2. From the Utilities menu, select Startup Security Utility.
  3. Authenticate as an administrator if necessary.
  4. In the Startup Security Utility window, select Full Security and then click OK.
  5. Restart your Mac by selecting Restart from the Apple menu.
  1. Press and hold the power button to turn on your Mac, and immediately press and hold the Command ⌘ + R keys until the Apple logo appears.
  1. Release the keys once the Apple logo appears, and your Mac will boot directly into Recovery Mode with full security enabled.

Final Thoughts On Booting Mac Into Recovery Mode

Knowing how to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode can be valuable in resolving various issues you may encounter. Here are three tips related to using Recovery Mode that can help you in the future:

  • If you’re having issues with your Mac, check for any available software updates before attempting to use Recovery Mode.
  • Before attempting any repairs or reinstallation through Recovery Mode, back up your Mac data to an external drive or cloud storage to keep it safe.
  • If you’re erasing the startup disk before you sell or give away your Mac, double-check that you’re erasing the correct disk before proceeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will booting my Mac into Recovery Mode erase my data? 

    No, booting your Mac into Recovery Mode will not erase your data. However, some actions you perform while in Recovery Mode, such as reinstalling macOS or erasing the startup disk, can result in data loss.

  2. How do I know if my Mac is in Recovery Mode? 

    When you boot your Mac into Recovery Mode, you should see a macOS Utilities window with several options, including Disk Utility and Reinstall macOS. During the boot process, you can also identify Recovery Mode by the Apple logo and the progress bar on the screen.

  3. How long does it take to boot into Recovery Mode? 

    The time it takes to boot into Recovery Mode depends on the speed of your Mac and the version of macOS you’re running. Loading the necessary files and launching the macOS Utilities window typically takes a few minutes.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

Total
0
Shares
You May Also Like