How to boot a Mac in Recovery Mode

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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In this article we will explain another way to boot your Mac. If you have trouble locating Recovery Mode on your device, you can find detailed instructions at this link – How to enter Recovery Mode.

Recovery Mode can be used in cases when your Mac fails to boot properly. Through it, you will be able to do things like diagnosing and resolving problems, as well as reinstalling macOS, if you happen to have a system emergency that needs to be dealt with. MacOS Recovery, as is its official name, can also come in handy should you decide to sell your Mac. It will allow you to wipe your device clean, making sure that no personal data of yours remains for the new Mac user to see.

You can use different key combinations on startup, according to what you want to do in Recovery Mode:

  • Command and R keys: you can use this combination if you want to install the latest macOS version that had previously been installed on your Mac. Please note, that this option will not install the newest OS version, if you hadn’t upgraded to it before.
  • Option, Command and R keys: this particular command will help you to upgrade to the latest macOS version that is compatible with your device.
  • Shift, Option, Command and R keys: to install the original version of macOS that came with the purchase of your Mac, you need to use this combination. If the version that came with your device is no longer available, the one closest to it will be installed instead.

Once you get in Recovery Mode, you will be presented with the following options:

  • Restore From Time Machine backup
  • Reinstall Mac OS
  • Get Help Online
  • Disk Utility

Time Machine is a Mac feature that allows you to backup your data such as files, photos, apps, documents, music, emails, etc. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where your personal data gets deleted from your device, you can restore it successfully suing this option. In order to create a Time Machine backup, you’ll need an external drive.

Disk Utility is used to perform operation such as but not limited to creating disk partitions, managing internal disks and external storage devices.

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