How to boot a Mac in Recovery Mode [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Hello Guys! Hope you will be in the best of health and high spirits. Welcome to the Steve Sadiq World of Mac Solutions.  Todays Article assumes great importance because in addition to enhance your knowledge of mac, this will also provide you information which will make your mac like a new born baby. Fresh as daisy. Today’s article is about RECOVERY MODE MAC.  Today i will guide you about, how to boot a Mac in Recovery mode.

Hope you guys would be totally excited to know more about. Are you ready?

There are many instances when you need to wipe your mac. Either due to some operating system error, or sometime you want to upgrade yourself to new mac device so you need to sale it and have to wipe all your data before that.


Also this happens when you get fed-up of the new update and you want to revert to the older version. The choices are endless. But the thing is that with every wipe out or you can call it factory reset. You need to start your device in recovery mode.

There are 3 ways of doing it.


In 2010 Apple introduced the Recovery Mode which is also referred to as Mac Operating System Recovery. Operating System Version 10.7 Lion. A very important question that triggers the mind is the what basically is the Recovery mode. I guess Windows users would be quite familiar with this.

Apple introduced recovery drive. A partition of HDD which contains the Operating System. When do you need the MAC Recover Mode?

  • For Troubleshooting which requires necessary format.
  • When the Disk Utility fails to answer the query.
  • You plan to upgrade your mac and sale the old device.
  • Recently updated the OS but not happy with it and you want to revert to older version.
  • Need to clean your HDD
  • The choices are endless.

But Steve would definitely recommend you to learn this. This will be very useful for you guys.

How to enter Mac Recovery Mode

The most often used way to enter Recovery Mode is this:

  1. Click on Apple logo at the top left of the screen.
  2. Select Restart.
  3. Immediately hold down the Command and R keys until you see an Apple logo or spinning globe. You will see the spinning globe if the Mac is trying to start macOS Recovery via the internet because it is unable to start from the built-in recovery system.
  4. Eventually your Mac will show the Recovery Mode Utilities window with the following options:

However, there are a number of different key combinations you can use to boot in Recovery mode depending on what you want to do, we detail these below.

Which Key conbination is used for the Mac Operating System Recovery

Three key combinations are used defending upon your requirement.

These are;

Command + R

I would recommend you to use this combination of keys when you want to install the latest version of the Operating System Of Mac.

Kindly Keep in mind that 

If you’re selling or giving away a Mac that is using OS X El Capitan or earlier you should also use Command-R – this will make sure that the installation isn’t associated with your Apple ID”.

Option + Command + R

Use this if you want to upgrade to the latest version of macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Shift + Option + Command + R

This will install the version of Mac OS that came with your Mac, or the one closest to that version if it isn’t available as a download.

Recovery Mode options

When you start up in Recovery Mode you will see the following options:

  • Restore from a Time Machine backup
  • Use Disk Utility to verify and repair connected drives
  • Check your internet connection
  • Get help online using Safari
  • Install or reinstall Mac Operating System.

If you want to repair or erase a disk click on Disk Utility, we have this tutorial on using Disk Utility. Well if you don’t understand anything, you can contact the apple site directly and get the help from the online forums. Open the Safari and check for the options that best answer your questions.

Or else

Feel free to type in your comment in the comment section, I’ll try to address your issue.

What other Options do we have?

  • Network Utility
  • Firmware Password Utility (or Startup Security Utility)


In Case of Recovery Failure – What Choices do we have?

Now we have come to a very unique situation. What if the Mac OS recovery fails at the startup. There are options, use just need to find them.

If this happens to you, Try Mac Operating System Recovery over the internet.


The commands for the mac recovery over internet are

Option + Command + R


Shift + Option + Command + R

This will force Mac OS Recovery to boot over the Internet.

If you want to know more about Mac Recovery over the internet to type in comments section and i will explain in detail.

For any further questions, feel free to contact me any time.

This is Steve Sadiq signing off for now.

Stay Blessed.

Peace 🙂

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