How to Put Your Mac in Recovery Mode: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hello readers, have you ever encountered any problem with your Mac? If so, sometimes you need to put your Mac in recovery mode to fix it. Recovery mode is a useful tool when you need to troubleshoot macOS issues or perform a clean install. However, not everyone knows how to put their Mac in recovery mode. In this article, we will guide you through 12 easy steps to put your Mac in recovery mode. Let’s start!


Step 1 – Shut down your Mac

The first step before you put your Mac in recovery mode is to turn it off completely. To do this, click on the Apple menu on the top left corner of the screen and select the Shutdown option. Or, press and hold the power button on your Mac until the screen turns black.

Step 2 – Press the power button

After your Mac is fully turned off, press the power button to turn it on again.

Step 3 – Press and hold Command + R

As soon as you hear the startup sound, press and hold the Command + R keys on your keyboard. Keep holding these keys until the Apple logo appears, and you see the progress bar under it.

Step 4 – Wait for recovery mode to load

Next, your Mac will load the recovery mode interface. This process may take a few minutes, depending on the speed of your Mac.

Step 5 – Choose your language

Once recovery mode has loaded, you will be asked to choose your preferred language.

Step 6 – Connect to Wi-Fi

If you need to access the internet, you can connect to a Wi-Fi network by selecting the Wi-Fi network and entering the Wi-Fi password.

Step 7 – Choose Disk Utility

After you connect to Wi-Fi (if needed), select Disk Utility from the list of options on the Recovery mode screen.

Step 8 – Choose the disk to repair

You will see the list of disks that are connected to your Mac. Choose the disk that you want to repair, then click on the First Aid button.

Step 9 – Wait for Disk Utility to repair the disk

The repairing process may take several minutes, depending on the size and complexity of your disk. Wait for Disk Utility to finish repairing the disk before you proceed to the next step.

Step 10 – Choose Restart

Once the disk is repaired, select Restart from the list of options on the Recovery mode screen.

Step 11 – Press and hold the power button

As soon as the screen turns black, press and hold the power button until your Mac turns off. Then, press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

Step 12 – Boot normally

Finally, boot your Mac normally. You should see your desktop as usual.


Now that you know the 12 steps to put your Mac in recovery mode, let’s talk about why it is useful and how it works.

Recovery mode is a built-in feature in macOS that allows you to perform tasks that are not possible in normal mode. For example, you can use it to troubleshoot issues with your Mac, reinstall macOS, and repair disk errors. Recovery mode loads a minimal version of macOS that contains only the essential tools for these tasks.

When you put your Mac in recovery mode, it loads a different partition on your hard drive that is reserved for recovery tools. This partition contains a special recovery image that includes macOS utilities and tools. The recovery image is stored on a separate volume on your hard drive, and it can be used to diagnose and repair common problems with your Mac.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1 – Create a backup of your data before using recovery mode

Before you put your Mac in recovery mode, it is always a good idea to create a backup of your important data. This will ensure that you don’t lose any files or documents if something goes wrong during the recovery process.

Tip 2 – Use recovery mode only when necessary

Recovery mode should only be used when necessary. You don’t need to use it every time you have a problem with your Mac. In fact, most problems can be solved by restarting your Mac or running basic maintenance tasks like disk cleanup or malware scan.

Tip 3 – Update your Mac regularly

To avoid the need for recovery mode, make sure you update your Mac regularly. Apple regularly releases software updates that fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features to your Mac. Keep your software up-to-date to avoid common issues that may require recovery mode.

Tip 4 – Use a reliable antivirus software

One of the common problems that require using recovery mode is malware infection. To avoid this, use a reliable antivirus software that can scan and remove malware from your Mac. Don’t rely on free antivirus software that may not provide adequate protection.

Tip 5 – Read the instructions carefully

When using recovery mode, make sure you read all the instructions carefully. Skipping a step or making a mistake can cause serious damage to your Mac. If you’re not sure what to do, consult Apple support or a certified technician.

Tip 6 – Use a wired keyboard

When using recovery mode, it’s recommended to use a wired keyboard instead of a wireless one. This is because wireless keyboards may not work properly during the recovery process and cause errors.

Tip 7 – Disconnect all external devices

Before putting your Mac in recovery mode, disconnect all external devices. This includes USB drives, printers, and other peripherals. This will prevent any conflicts that may cause errors during the recovery process.

Tip 8 – Keep your power adapter connected

Make sure your Mac is connected to a power source during the recovery process. Recovery mode requires a minimum level of power to function correctly. If your Mac runs out of battery, it may cause errors or data loss.

Tip 9 – Re-install the latest version of macOS

If you need to re-install macOS, make sure you download and install the latest version. This will ensure that your Mac has all the latest features and bug fixes.

Tip 10 – Contact Apple Support if you have any issues

If you encounter any issues while using recovery mode, don’t hesitate to contact Apple Support. They have a team of experts who can help you with any problem related to your Mac.

In conclusion, putting your Mac in recovery mode can be a useful tool to fix common problems and perform maintenance tasks. By following the 12 steps outlined in this article, you can easily put your Mac in recovery mode and get it up and running again. Remember to use recovery mode only when necessary, and always read the instructions carefully to avoid any mistakes. Also, keep your Mac updated and protected with reliable antivirus software to avoid common problems that may require recovery mode. Good luck!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Putting Mac in Recovery Mode


1. Easy access to important files and documents. Recovery mode allows you to access your important files and documents even when your Mac won’t boot up normally.

2. Solves startup issues. With recovery mode, you can diagnose and repair any startup issues your Mac may be experiencing.

3. Reinstall macOS. You can reinstall the entire macOS system through recovery mode, making it especially helpful when you are experiencing major issues or errors.

4. Disk Utility. You can use Disk Utility in recovery mode to repair or erase your hard drive, which can help resolve issues with files and performance.

5. Safe mode. Recovery mode also includes the option to start your Mac in safe mode, which can help isolate and troubleshoot issues with third-party software.

6. Protects your data. Recovery mode can help protect your data by allowing you to create backups and access Time Machine.

7. No additional software required. Recovery mode is built into your Mac, so you don’t need to download any additional software or tools.

8. User-friendly. The recovery mode interface is designed to be user-friendly and easy to understand, even for those with limited technical knowledge.

9. Saves time and money. Instead of taking your Mac to a repair shop or spending money on expensive software, you can use recovery mode to solve many common issues on your own.

10. Versatile. Recovery mode can be used to solve a wide range of issues, from minor software errors to major hardware problems.


1. Limited options. While recovery mode offers many helpful features, it does have limitations compared to more advanced tools and software.

2. Can be time-consuming. Depending on the issue you are experiencing, using recovery mode can be a time-consuming process that requires multiple steps and patience.

3. May not solve all problems. Recovery mode is not a guaranteed solution for every issue and may not be able to rectify more complicated or severe problems.

4. Risk of data loss. While recovery mode is designed to help protect your data, there is always a risk of data loss or corruption during the repair process.

5. Requires technical knowledge. While the recovery mode interface is user-friendly, some of the diagnostic and repair processes may require a basic understanding of technical concepts.

6. No access to third-party software. You cannot access any third-party software or tools while in recovery mode, which can limit your options for troubleshooting or solving more complex issues.

7. Cannot be used on older Macs. Recovery mode is only available on Macs running macOS Lion or later, so if you have an older Mac, you cannot use this feature.

8. Can affect warranty. If you attempt to diagnose or repair your Mac on your own through recovery mode, you may void your warranty or accidentally cause additional damage.

9. No customization. Recovery mode does not allow for any customization or personalization, so you must use the built-in tools and options provided.

10. Not foolproof. Recovery mode is not a fail-safe solution and may not always be able to fix your Mac, so it is important to have a backup plan or seek professional help if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About How to Put Mac in Recovery Mode

What is Mac Recovery Mode?

Mac Recovery Mode is a special mode which allows you to troubleshoot and fix problems that your Mac might encounter. It contains tools for repairing the drive, reinstalling the operating system, restoring your data, and more.

What is the need to put my Mac in Recovery Mode?

You might need to put your Mac in Recovery Mode when you need to troubleshoot issues like a failing hard drive, a corrupt operating system, or when you want to erase your Mac completely to start afresh.

How do I put my Mac in Recovery Mode?

To put your Mac in Recovery Mode, restart your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys simultaneously until the Apple logo appears. Release the keys only when you see the macOS Utilities window.

What if Command + R doesn’t work?

If pressing Command + R doesn’t work, you can try using Command + Option + R instead. This will boot your Mac into Internet Recovery mode, which downloads the macOS Recovery system from Apple’s servers.

How can I check if my Mac is in Recovery Mode?

You can check if your Mac is in Recovery Mode by looking at the top of your screen. If you see “macOS Utilities” or “OS X Utilities” in the window title, then your Mac is in Recovery Mode.

What are the options available in Recovery Mode?

The options available in Recovery Mode include restoring your Mac from a Time Machine backup, reinstalling macOS, repairing or erasing the disk, and more.

How can I choose an option in Recovery Mode?

You can choose an option in Recovery Mode using the cursor keys or the mouse/trackpad. Click on the option you want and follow the onscreen instructions.

Can I still use my computer normally when in Recovery Mode?

No, in Recovery Mode, you cannot use your Mac normally as you would when the operating system is running. You can only use the tools available in Recovery Mode.

Can I exit Recovery Mode without selecting an option?

Yes, you can exit Recovery Mode at any time by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and selecting “Restart” or “Shutdown”.

How long does it take to reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode?

Reinstalling the macOS usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the speed of your Mac and your internet connection.

Will I lose my data if I restore my Mac from a Time Machine backup?

No, restoring your Mac from a Time Machine backup will not cause you to lose data, as long as the backup is up-to-date and there were no errors.

Can I create a Recovery USB drive for my Mac?

Yes, you can create a Recovery USB drive for your Mac using the Disk Utility app, but it requires an external hard drive or USB stick of at least 1GB in size.

Do I need to always be connected to the internet to use Recovery Mode?

No, you do not need to be connected to the internet to use Recovery Mode, but some options like reinstalling the macOS or system updates require an internet connection.

How to Put Mac in Recovery Mode

As a Mac user, you may encounter certain problems like a corrupt file or a frozen application. To troubleshoot these issues efficiently, you can put your mac in recovery mode. This mode allows you to repair and reinstall your operating system without losing any data. So, if you want to learn how to put your mac in recovery mode, keep reading.

Conclusion and Closing

Putting your mac in recovery mode is a straightforward process that can save you a lot of time and effort. By following the steps mentioned above, you can easily access recovery mode and troubleshoot any issues you are facing. However, before you proceed with any repair or reinstallation, make sure to back up your data to avoid losing any important files. We hope this guide was helpful and informative, and we wish you all the best in fixing any issues with your mac.

Thank you for reading and happy troubleshooting!