About OS X Recovery

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

OS X 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 OS X Recovery

To start up from OS X Recovery, hold down Command (⌘)-R immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac. Release when you see the Apple logo. If you can't start up from OS X Recovery, try holding down Option-Command-R to start up from OS X Internet Recovery*.

Startup is complete when you see the OS X Utilities window.

OS X Utilities window

To quit OS X Utilities, 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 OS X Recovery

After starting up from OS X Recovery (or OS X 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 OS X*: Download and reinstall OS X on your startup disk. OS X Recovery (Command-R) installs the version of OS X that was last installed on your Mac. OS X Internet Recovery (Option-Command-R) installs the version that originally came with your Mac.
  • 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:

* OS X Internet Recovery, Reinstall OS X, 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 OS X Internet Recovery when unable to start from OS X Recovery. If that happens, your computer's memory and startup disk are tested before startup completes. 
 

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