About macOS Recovery

The utilities in macOS Recovery help you restore from Time Machine, reinstall macOS, get help online, repair or erase a hard disk, and more.

macOS Recovery is part of the built-in recovery system on your Mac. You can use its utilities to recover from certain software issues or take other actions on your Mac.

Start up from macOS Recovery

Hold down one of these key combinations immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac. Release the keys when you see the Apple logo. 

  • Command (⌘)-R
    Start up from the built-in (local) recovery system on your Mac.
  • Option-Command-R
    Start up from the recovery system over the Internet (macOS Internet Recovery*).

Startup is complete when you see the utilities window:

macOS Utilities window

To quit macOS Recovery, choose Restart or Shut Down from the Apple menu ().

To start up from a different startup disk (if available), choose Startup Disk from the Apple menu, then select a startup disk and click Restart.

Use the utilities in macOS Recovery

After starting up from macOS Recovery or macOS Internet Recovery, select from these utilities, then click Continue:

  • Restore From Time Machine Backup: Restore your Mac from an external hard drive or Time Capsule that contains a Time Machine backup of your Mac.
  • Reinstall macOS*: Download and reinstall macOS on your startup disk.
  • Get Help Online*: Use Safari to browse the web and find help for your Mac. Links to Apple's support website are included. Browser plug-ins and extensions are disabled.
  • Disk Utility: Use Disk Utility to repair or erase your startup disk or other hard disk.

These other utilities are available from the Utilities menu in the menu bar:

* macOS Internet Recovery, Reinstall macOS, and Get Help Online require an Internet connection. If you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, move your pointer to the top of the screen, then choose a network from the Wi-Fi status menu . Newer Mac computers and some older Mac computers automatically try to start up from macOS Internet Recovery when unable to start from macOS Recovery. If that happens, your computer's memory and startup disk are tested before startup completes. 

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