Apple How to

How to Start up Recovery Mode in Mac

Recovery Mode in Mac
Written by Hassan Abbas

Our prior tutorials educated you on the ways to start up your Mac from a bootable media. Pick a startup disk at boot time, or after the fact, mount another Mac’s startup drives on your desktop in Target Disk Mode. And then boot your computer in Safe Mode or Verbose Mode. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Startup Recovery Mode in Mac. Let’s begin!

macOS’ startup modes can be really helpful for, among other things, troubleshooting complex issues that might need more than fixing disk permissions. On the downside, the aforesaid startup modes are not very helpful if the startup disk has become corrupted or damaged.

Thankfully, macOS’ Recovery Mode provides the tools you need to solve these problems and is your last chance to repair the startup disk, reinstall macOS. Or restore from a backup after a fatal failure that prevents your Mac from starting up properly.

In this article, you will learn how to enter Recovery Mode at boot time and use the built-in recovery tools to bring your Mac in perfect working condition.

What is Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode is a special mode that loads macOS’ built-in recovery tools from a special disk partition. That has a recovery image along with a copy of the macOS installer as well.

If your Mac cannot be recovered in any other way, then use Recovery Mode to diagnose disk problems. Get help online or download the version of macOS that previously ran on this Mac.

Use Recovery Mode to:

  • Scan, verify and repair connected drives with Disk Utility
  • Erase, install or reinstall factory-preloaded OS X version
  • Restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup
  • Check your Internet connection or get help online using Safari

Tip: If the recovery partition itself is damaged and you cannot use Recovery Mode. Enter Internet Recovery Mode by pressing Command (⌘) – Option (⌥) – R at boot time.

How to enter Recovery Mode

  • In the Apple, menu chooses Restart, or power on your Mac.
  • As your Mac restarts, hold down the Command (⌘) – R combination immediately upon hearing the startup chime. Hold the keys until the Apple logo appears.

Tip: If you own a Mac notebook, press the keys on its built-in keyboard. As the keystroke might not register on external keyboards.

Then after a few minutes, the macOS utility window will appear.

If you see a login window or your own desktop. You did not press the keyboard combination early enough and have booted in regular macOS mode. Restart your Mac and try again.

Standard Recovery vs. Internet Recovery

Internet Recovery basically starts up your Mac directly from Apple’s servers and performs a quick test of its memory and hard drive to check for hardware issues. If the boot sector is missing on the startup volume, or the recovery partition itself has become damaged or corrupted. Your Mac will automatically enter the Internet Recovery Mode.

In order to enter Internet Recovery manually, restart or power on your Mac and hold down the Command (⌘) – Option (⌥) – Rafter hearing the startup chime. Release the keys after the animated globe appears on the screen.

“Starting Internet Recovery,” reads a message. ”This may take a while.”

You will be asked to connect to a wireless network unless your Mac is already connected to the Internet through the Ethernet. Internet Recovery requires a network connection because it needs to go online and download a recovery system image from Apple’s servers.


After the recovery image has been successfully downloaded. Internet Recovery will start up your Mac from it and present you with the same options as standard Recovery Mode. Along with one crucial difference: choosing to reinstall macOS in Internet Recovery Mode will download a version of macOS from Apple’s server. That was factory-preloaded on your computer at the time of purchase. Not the latest version you updated to through the Mac App Store.

If you reinstall macOS in standard Recovery Mode, on the other hand, it will install a version of macOS that was last installed on this Mac. Standard Recovery Mode gets the macOS Installer image file from a local recovery partition on your Mac.

Other options in Internet Recovery are the same as in normal Recovery Mode. You can use Disk Utility to fix errors on any connected drive. Get help online in Safari and restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this article and find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Fix “iMessage Waiting for activation” Error

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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