[2020 Solved] How to Boot Mac in Recovery Mode

Most Mac users will experience years of using a Mac without problems. But like any other computer, Macs are prone to problems that could significantly impact performance. Fortunately, your Mac is equipped with mac Recovery mode which is very useful to fix some issues. Here, we'll discuss how to boot Mac in Recovery mode.

Important: If you're still covered by Apple's warranty or AppleCare, you should contact Apple support.

What Is Mac Recovery Mode and When to Use It?

The macOS Recovery mode, also known as Recovery Partition, is a set of troubleshooting utilities, part of the built-in recovery system of your Mac.

macos high sierra recovery mode utilities

Here's when you might need to use different Recovery mode utilities:

  • Reinstall macOS, to restore macOS to its original factory state.

  • Restore from a Time Machine backup.

  • Set a firmware password on your Mac, for additional security.

  • Access Disk Utility, to repair or erase your start up disk.

  • Wipe all your personal data when you're selling or giving away your Mac.

How to Boot Mac in Recovery Mode?

There are 3 key combinations to start your Mac in Recovery Mode. The Reinstall macOS utility installs different versions of macOS depending on which one you use.

1Boot Mac in Recovery Mode (Standard Mode)

This is the recommended option. This ensures that the installation isn't associated with your Apple ID, which is important if you're selling or giving away your Mac.

  • 1. Shutdown your Mac.

  • 2. Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold: Command  - R, holding until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.


To quit Recovery, click on Restart or Shut Down in the menu. In the case where you need to start with a different startup disk, pick the option Startup Disk from the Apple menu.

2Boot into Recovery Mode on Mac over the Internet

You'll need an Internet connection, via cable or Wi-Fi before boot your Mac into Internet Recovery mode. Here you have two options:

A - Upgrade or Install the Latest macOS

  • 1. Shutdown your Mac first.

  • 2. Then turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold: Option - Command  - R, holding until you see a spinning globe. At this point, your mac is successfully boot in recovery mode.


B - Downgrade or Install the macOS that Came with Your Mac

This option is nearly the same as the above one. What is different is the key pressed and held should be  Shift - Option - Command  - R.

To quit Recovery, choose Restart or Shut Down from the Apple menu.

The Difference between Standard and Internet Recovery Mode

The Recovery utility enables you to reinstall the Mac operating system. So why would you choose one option over another? It really depends on your issue, and what version of macOS you need:

  • The Standard Recovery mode reinstalls the version of macOS that was last installed on your Mac, taking the Installer image file from your Mac's local recovery partition.

  • The Internet Recovery mode connects to Apple servers, checks for any hardware issues, and downloads either the version that came with your computer at the time of purchase, or the latest compatible one (depending on which key combination you choose).

Note that if your local partition is somehow damaged, your Mac will automatically revert to Internet Recovery mode.

The Best Data Recovery Software for Mac

Lost or accidentally deleted your family pictures, or other important data? If you are looking to recover lost data, but don't have a backup - macOS Recovery mode will not be very helpful to you. For that, you will need a specialised software.

One of the best software to recover lost or deleted data on your Mac is AnyRecover for Mac. Whether the system crashed, or you emptied your Trash, unintentionally deleted a partition, or fell victim to a virus attack - there are ways to recover all those important files.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of AnyRecover

  • Recover from Everywhere. Recovering data from hard drive, flash drive, sd card, digital camera and more.

  • Recover All Formats. Recovering any formats of files, including photos, videos, audios, emails, documents, etc.

  • No Matter How You Lost. All data loss situation supported, including system crashed, accident deleted, formatted device, etc

  • Fully compatible with all Mac operating systems, and most file systems, such as APFS, HFS+, HFS X, exFAT, etc.

Download NowDownload Now

How Does Mac Data Recovery Work?

First, you need to install and launch AnyRecover and select the appropriate mode.

anyrecover home mac

Then, select the location/file type and start scanning: the software scans your drive to identify deleted, hidden or lost files.

all round location mac

all round recovery select file type mac

Then it allows you to preview the scanned files and select which ones to recover. It recovers files through the data path/location, data type or data loss scenarios.

all round recovery scan complete mac

As you can see, it's quite simple and also completely safe: your data stays on your drive, doesn't get uploaded anywhere, and you recover it yourself without anyone else viewing your data.

+ View all all the comments and join the discussion


By  Simon Marcus , to Deleted Files Recovery

Posted on Apr 02, 2019  ( Updated: Dec 16, 2019 )

Related Articles: