Oct 13, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions
Recovery Mode in OS X provides a set of solutions for users to utilize when users need to repair and reinstall their operating system in an emergency. You can also reset the Mac password using recovery mode if needed. There are several ways to boot Mac into recovery mode. If you find one method overwhelming, there are several other alternatives you can use. We will walk you through the different ways on how to boot Mac into recovery mode so that they will become undoubtedly useful in a rare emergency.
If you are unable to download Boot Camp drivers on your Mac computer for some reason or want to download Boot Camp on a Windows PC, you can use a third-party tool. Such tool automatically finds the suitable driver for your Mac or Windows OS. Getting your Mac to load from a USB drive is fairly straightforward. Insert the USB boot media into an open USB slot. Press the Power button to turn on your Mac (or Restart your Mac if it’s already on). When you hear the startup chime, press and hold the Option key.
Part 1: How to Boot Mac in Internet Recovery Mode
Along with the introduction of a locally stored recovery volume, Apple introduced its Internet Recovery service that allows your operating system to download contents of the recovery hard disk partition from the company's service. This option is great to use when your local drive is completely corrupted and you no longer can access locally-stored recovery tools.
To launch Internet Recovery, make sure your Mac is connected to a WiFi network and follow the steps below:
- Reboot your Mac.
- Hold the 'Options', 'Command', and 'R' buttons until the boot chimes are triggered.
- Wait until the system finished downloading the recovery tools from Apple's website.
It is noted that you are unable to boot Mac into Recovery Mode if you are using devices older than the ones below:
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
- iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)
- iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)
- MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)
- Mac mini (Mid 2010)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch and 17-inch, Mid 2010)
- iMac (21.5-inch and 27-inch, Mid 2010)
- MacBook Air (11-inch and 13-inch, Late 2010)
Part 2: How to Create a bootable drive into Recovery Mode
You can create a bootable drive to store an OS X Recovery Disk so that you can access recovery tools anytime, anywhere. It would be great if you could invest in a high-capacity USB 3.0 flash drive to store the required tools.
There are plenty of articles outlining how you can create a bootable OS X Recovery Disk, including ours. Once you have this established, you can follow these steps to get your Mac into Recovery Mode:
- Reboot your Mac.
- Hold down 'Option' on your keyboard once you hear the chime sound.
- Attach your bootable OS X Recovery Disk to your Mac and select it from the prompt list.
- Your Mac will launch into Recovery Mode and you can start fixing your Mac.
As you can see, there are plenty of methods you can use to boot Mac into Recovery Mode. There is no need to panic when you find yourself in trouble - just choose and master the method that seems least intimidating to you and you will be well on your way. After you boot Mac into Recovery Mode, you can also restore your data on Mac.
Part 3: How to Boot Mac with Installation Disk
If you are using an older Mac, it probably comes with a grey recovery DVD that you can use to run recovery routines. If you had bought a copy of a newer operating system, you can also use the installation disk to perform recovery.
It is the easiest way to go into Recovery Mode and here is how you can do it:
- Insert the grey DVD and reboot your Mac.
- Hold down 'C' on your keyboard until you hear the boot chimes.
The recovery tool will take some time to load. Follow the wizard that will put your Mac into Recovery Mode.
Part 4: How to Boot Mac into Recovery Mode with Local Recovery
- Reboot your Mac.
- Hold the 'Command' and 'R' buttons until the boot chimes are triggered.
- You will see the OS X utility window that will prompt you to choose one of the four options.
Part 5: How to Boot Mac into Recovery Mode from Time Machine
It is really important to keep backups of your machine and Apple facilitates this with its Time Machine feature. It would be best to store your backup on an external drive so that you can initiate Recovery Mode using this when your hard drive is wiped out.
Follow these steps to boot Mac into Recovery Mode:
- Reboot your Mac.
- Hold down the Option button when the startup chimes sound.
- Connect your Time Machine drive. It will take some time for the system to detect the drive. You might need to key in your password.
- Choose the drive to launch your Mac into Recovery Mode.
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Video Tutorial on How to Boot Mac into Recovery Mode
What's Wrong with Mac
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Every operating system can crash at one time or another. While it's safe to say that macOS is more stable than Windows, it can still be affected by issues that prevent your computer from booting up. In such cases, you might need to boot your Mac from a USB flash drive to fix the problem. This article shows you two ways to boot Mac from external USB stick, as well as some troubleshooting tips in case Mac won't boot from the target USB.
Boot Mac from USB Option l: Startup Manager
If your Mac won't boot up normally, you can set it to boot from a different drive, such as a USB stick containing macOS installation files in bootable format. The drive will have to contain a version of the OS that is compatible with the Mac. As long as you have the bootable installation USB, you can start your Mac from the USB by accessing the Startup Manager. Here are the steps to be followed:
Step 1: Insert the bootable USB into Mac and power it on.
Step 2: As soon as the startup process begins, hold down the Option (alt) key and keep it depressed until you see the Startup Manager on your screen. If there is a firmware password on your Mac, hold down the Option key until you're asked to enter that password.
Step 3: You will now see the various startup disk options, and your USB will be listed there. If you click on the Up arrow right below the icon for the USB, the computer will only startup once using this disk. If you press and hold down the Control key while making your selection, it will be saved, and your computer will boot from the USB every time, as long as it is left in the computer.
At this point, you can also use the Mac installation disk to boot your Mac from. It will appear as EFI Boot, and it works on all computers running macOS 10.9 or higher.
Boot Mac from USB Option 2: Safe Mode/Recovery Mode
As an alternative, you can start your Mac in Safe Mode (Recovery Mode). This will allow the system to automatically detect and repair directory issues. Safe Mode will only allow required kernel extensions to load, preventing login items and startup items to load automatically. It can also help you isolate the issue depending on whether or not the issue goes away in Safe Mode. If the issues you have during normal startup don't show up in safe mode, they are most likely fixed. That means you can reboot normally and your system should be back to normal.
Step 1: Start your Mac and hold down the Shift key. You will see the Apple logo on your screen.
Step 2: When you see the login screen, you can release the Shift key and login to your Mac.
Step 3: To check whether your Mac has booted into Safe Mode, click on the Apple logo on the top left and then on About this Mac. In the window that opens, click on System Report… You should be able to see this:
How to Fix Mac Won't Boot from USB Drive
Sometimes Mac won't boot from USB as expected. If you are unable to select a different startup disk, it's possible that your disk is not showing up in Startup Manager. If you try Method 1 above but don't see your USB drive listed there, it could mean one of the following problems:
Compatibility: It is possible that the version of macOS or Mac OS X that you have on the USB drive is not compatible with the hardware. That means you won't be able to see it in the Startup Manager so, of course, you won't be able to boot from it. Enfocus pitstop professional free download macintosh. In such cases, you may need to burn a compatible macOS version on USB drive in order to be able to boot Mac from it.
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Startup Security Utility: In certain cases where your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip (2018 and later devices), it may be your Startup Security Utility settings that are preventing you from booting from USB. In this situation, restart your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys when you see the Apple logo. This will put your Mac into Recovery mode. In macOS Utilities, go to Utilities >Startup Security Utility and sign in as admin. Under External Boot, select the second option - Allow Booting from External Media.
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Option ROM Firmware: Another known issue is that Option ROM firmware will not load in Startup Manager until you press certain keys manually. To do this, use Method 1 to access Startup Manager. Once you are there, press Option-Shift-Command-Period. You should now be able to see the USB drive. This is not exactly a problem as much as a feature. If the USB contains Option ROM firmware, you will need to press those keys everytime to boot from your pen drive.
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These two methods and the troubleshooting tips should allow you to boot from USB or in Safe Mode so you can then isolate the problem that's preventing your Mac from booting up normally.