How to reinstall macOS on a Mac without losing any data

If your Mac isn’t performing as expected or shows signs of slowing down, you could reinstall macOS to improve things. There could be several other reasons you may want to reinstall macOS on your Mac. However, some people don’t do it, worrying they will lose all their files, documents, or data in the reinstall process. In this article, we will show you how to reinstall macOS without losing any data.

Reinstall macOS on your Mac without losing data

Reinstall macOS without losing data

When you reinstall macOS from Recovery, you will not lose any data if you don’t erase your main drive. A reinstall will only touch the system files and settings while keeping all your data safe. Here’s how to proceed:

1) Restart your Mac into Recovery mode:

  • On a Mac with Apple silicon (M1, M2), press and hold the power button until you see Loading startup options¬†on the screen. After that, click Options > Continue.
  • On Mac with an Intel processor, press the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo or any other image on the screen.

2) You should see a macOS Utilities window with several options.

3) Start the process by clicking Reinstall macOS Ventura, macOS Monterey, or the shown version name.

Reinstall macOS Monterey in Recovery

4) Hit Continue to start the reinstall.

5) Select the main drive on your Mac when asked where you want to reinstall macOS.

The utility will now start to reinstall macOS on your Mac and will not erase any files or data on your drive. The reinstall process requires you to be connected to the internet at all times, so make sure you have a stable connection.

As mentioned in the beginning, it’ll only replace the system files and settings. The process can take some time, and your Mac will restart a couple of times before booting into the login screen. You can also choose to restore data from a Time Machine backup.

Reinstalling macOS without removing the data

As you can see, it’s fairly simple to reinstall macOS without losing any files, data, or documents. However, we recommend taking a backup on an external drive using the Time Machine backup feature. This way, you will still have all your data if anything goes wrong during the reinstall process.

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