How to Put Macbook in Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode on a MacBook is a mode that’s part of the built-in recovery system of a Mac. It’s typically used to troubleshoot various issues, like disk verification, or to repair your internal storage.

It’s a core feature that can be used for various system recovery task, and it’s important to know how to put your Macbook into Recovery Mode if your device stops working.

How to Put a Macbook Into Recovery Mode – Different methods for different processors

The way that you put your Macbook into recovery Mode differs depending on the Macbook that you’ve got, and more importantly, what processor it uses.

If you have a newer Macbook that uses an M1, M2 or M3 processor, you can put it into Recovery Mode by;

  • First, shut down your Macbook.
  • Then, turn it on by pressing the power button, but keep the power button pressed until Startup Options appear.
  • Click Options, and then select Continue.
  • Enter your Macbook password from your admin account.

It’s a fairly straightforward process for users of Macbook with Apple Mac chips.

The process is slightly different if you’ve got a Macbook that users an Intel processor, though it’s still pretty straightforward to do.

You can start by;

  • Restarting your Macbook, or as before, starting your device and then turning it on again.
  • Whilst the Macbook restarts, you need to ensure that you’re holding the Command and R keys simultaneously.
  • This will bring up the Start-up screen. You may need to enter your password again at this point.
  • Finally, select which volume you want to recover.

A volume is simply a storage entity on your device – for example, you may partition your hard drive into two volumes. Overall, this is a fairly simple process to follow, whichever processor your Macbook uses.

Why would I need to put my Macbook in Recovery Mode? – 8 Common Reasons

There are various different reasons why you may want to put your Macbook into Recovery Mode. This includes things like;

  1. Reinstalling macOS: If your current operating system is corrupted or experiencing significant issues, using Recovery Mode to reinstall macOS can often resolve these problems.
  2. Repairing the Hard Drive: If you suspect there are issues with your MacBook’s hard drive, you can use Disk Utility in Recovery Mode to repair disk errors.
  3. Restoring from a Time Machine Backup: If your system has crashed or you need to revert to a previous state, Recovery Mode allows you to restore your system from a Time Machine backup.
  4. Erasing the Hard Drive: If you’re planning to sell or give away your MacBook, you can use Recovery Mode to erase all data securely from the hard drive and reinstall a clean version of macOS.
  5. Resetting Passwords: If you’ve forgotten your user account password, Recovery Mode provides a way to reset it.
  6. Troubleshooting Software Issues: When experiencing persistent software-related issues that aren’t resolved by standard troubleshooting methods, booting into Recovery Mode can be a useful diagnostic tool.
  7. Solving Startup Issues: If your MacBook doesn’t boot correctly or hangs during startup, Recovery Mode can help diagnose and fix these startup issues.
  8. Accessing Terminal for Advanced Troubleshooting: For more technical users, Recovery Mode provides access to the Terminal, which can be used for a variety of advanced troubleshooting tasks.

Using Recovery Mode is a great way to address a range of issues that can arise with your MacBook, from simple password resets to more complex tasks like reinstalling the operating system.


Though the way that you enter Recovery Mode depends on the Macbook version you’re using, they’re both fairly simple processes to follow. Once done, you’ll have the option to use Recovery Mode to fix your device, troubleshoot software issues and much more.


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