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macOS Boot Option Cheatsheet

16/10/2017 Comments off

To access some specialized Mac features you’ll need to hold down one or more keys during startup. If you’re having trouble with your Mac, this can be a great way to troubleshoot and analyze your options.

To use any of these boot keys, hold down the listed key combo as soon as you press your Mac’s power button. If you’re restarting your Mac, press and hold the keys immediately after your Mac begins to restart. Don’t release the keys until you see the described behavior.

Shift: Start your Mac in Safe Mode. Since safe mode only loads essential software, you can determine whether a system process or a user-installed application is causing your problem.

Option: Boot into Startup Manager. From here you can select different startup disks if any bootable partitions are available.

Command + R: Boot into Recovery Mode. Recovery Mode is macOS’s powerful recovery suite with a bunch of options for saving or wiping your Mac. You can use it to reinstall macOS, restore from a Time Machine backup or use Disk Utility to repair or format your hard drive.

Shift + Command + Option + R: Start in Internet Recovery Mode, skipping your system’s hard drive. This allows you to reinstall the build of macOS that came with your computer from the factory. macOS might do this one on its own if your installation is so messed up that you can’t boot into Recovery Mode.

Command + S: Start in single user, command-line-only mode. This is useful for running diagnostic Terminal commands or fsck, but it can’t do much beyond that.

Command + V: Boot in verbose mode. This mode displays logging and diagnostic messages as your Macboots. If your Mac is showing the Apple logo but failing to start completely, try this step to see where in the boot process the error occurs.

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