If your Mac starts up to Options with a gear icon

The startup options window shows icons for each available startup disk, a gear icon labeled Options, and buttons for Shut Down and Restart.

macOS Big Sur startup options screen

If you're using a Mac with Apple silicon, the startup options window appears when you turn on your Mac, then immediately press and hold its power button for at least 10 seconds. 

Here's what you can do in startup options:

  • Select a startup disk, such as Macintosh HD. Then click Continue to start up from that disk.
  • Select Options, then click Continue to open macOS Recovery. From there you can reinstall macOS, use Disk Utility to repair your disk or erase your disk, and more.
  • Click Shut Down or Restart.

These hidden features are also available in startup options:

  • Select a startup disk, such as Macintosh HD, then press and hold the Shift key while clicking “Continue in Safe Mode.” Learn about safe mode.
  • Press Command (⌘)-D to open Apple Diagnostics.
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