Internet Recovery

All the ways you can start up your Mac

We’ve talked quite a lot about Recovery OS, an underestimated feature of OS X that makes it easier to troubleshoot your Mac even if it refuses to start up properly.

But as you’ll see for yourself in this post, Recovery OS is but one of the more than dozen different ways to start up your computer, aside from OS X’s regular startup mode. In this tutorial, we’ll list all the ways you can start up your Mac and detail each one.

19 useful Mac startup key combinations you should familiarize yourself with

Most of the time, your Mac just works—until it refuses to start up properly due to an unforeseen system error, a misbehaving app, a broken system component and what not. Beyond system errors, different people have different needs when it comes to starting up their computer.

For example, you could be a pro user who dual boots between OS X and Windows on a daily basis. Others might be wondering about booting a Mac from a disk other than their designated startup disk. Or perhaps you’re looking to isolate the cause of a software issue in OS X’s Safe Mode or boot straight into Recovery OS as the last option?

For those of you who have wondered about the many ways you can start up your Mac, here’s a quick list of the keyboard shortcuts you can invoke to access handy OS X features which are only available at boot time.

Installing or reinstalling macOS in Recovery Mode

Invoked at boot time, Recovery Mode helps you check your connected disks for errors, get help online and reinstall macOS. This tutorial covers entering Recovery Mode and taking advantage of it to erase, install or reinstall the latest version of macOS that was previously found on your Mac.

How to repair Mac disk errors in macOS Recovery Mode

The built-in recovery partition on your Mac’s startup disk contains recovery tools, like Disk Utility. Recovery Mode makes it easy to repair your Mac’s disk in situations when the machine won’t boot properly and load the desktop in the first place. We show you how to repair disk error using Recovery Mode.

How to start up your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode

In addition to the startup volume which holds a bootable copy of the operating system along with your applications and data, your Mac’s disk contains a hidden recovery partition that you can boot from in order to reinstall macOS, perform a quick check of connected disks and more.

But what it the recovery partition gets damaged? Enter Internet Recovery, an Internet-based version of Recovery Mode found on newer Macs, which loads recovery tools from Apple’s servers.

With Internet Recovery, you can reinstall macOS and troubleshoot issues in the unfortunate scenario of your Mac’s startup disk having become corrupted or completely unreadable. In this tutorial, you’ll learn everything there is about Internet Recovery Mode and how it can be used to your advantage if your disk encounters an issue or the startup drive has been replaced or erased.

How to start up your Mac in Recovery Mode

macOS’ startup modes can be quite helpful for troubleshooting complex issues that might require more than fixing disk permissions. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to enter Recovery Mode at boot time and use the built-in recovery tools to bring your Mac to perfect working condition.