Start Mac in Recovery Mode (Mac Recovery Mode)

Mac in recovery mode

If nothing works anymore on the Apple computer, the last upgrade made macOS badly lame or another, larger error occurs, then it can be worthwhile to start the Mac in recovery mode. The so-called "Recovery Mode" is available in different versions - depending on the problem and the system version you want to restore. In the following, I'll show you how to start the correct Mac recovery mode, and how you can call up macOS from another drive for self-repairing the system. But one after anonther…

Mac Recovery Mode ensures that macOS is reinstalled as a solution. With a key combination you can tell the recovery mode which version you want.

Mac Recovery Mode ensures that macOS is reinstalled as a solution. With a key combination you can tell the recovery mode which version you want.

Quick guide to all keyboard shortcuts when booting

Basically, this is about key combinations that you press and hold immediately after switching on or restarting the Mac until something happens on the monitor. I explain what the individual combinations trigger in brief here and in a longer version below. Keys that appear are CMD (), SHIFT (), OPTION (), CTRL (⌃) and letters.

  • OTHER → Boot manager to select the start volume
  • CMD + R → Recovery mode to install the currently installed macOS
  • CMD + OPTION + R → Recovery mode to install the latest macOS compatible with the Mac
  • CMD + OPTION + SHIFT + R → Recovery mode for installing the macOS with which the Mac was shipped
  • CMD + S → Start in single user mode (see fsck description)
  • CMD + V → Start in Verbose mode (log output during booting)
  • SHIFT → Start in Safe-Mods

The "simple" Mac recovery mode

The regular recovery mode of the Apple Mac is carried out at system start-up if you turn on the computer immediately Command + R (or cmd + R or ⌘ + R) hold down. With this key combination you ensure that the operating system under which you last worked on the Mac is reinstalled. So if you have just installed macOS 10.14.1 Mojave, then this version will also be installed with the Mac recovery mode, which you call up with Command + R at system start.

Mac recovery with the latest macOS

Did you downgrade or your Mac is crazy while a more recent version of the macOS operating system is available, then the key combination Option + Command + R (or alt + cmd + R or ⌥ + ⌘ + R) are worthwhile. Make sure that your Mac is restored with the latest macOS version, which of course means that there must be a (fast) internet connection. The operating system with all updates, patches and fixes available to date is loaded and installed from the Apple server. That can take a long time.

Mac recovery mode with "Factory Settings"

If something goes fundamentally wrong with a newer or the current macOS version, the Apple computer does not run properly or too slowly or other errors occur, then it may be worthwhile to reset to the operating system with which the model you are using was delivered has been. You don't need an installation CD-ROM or something for this, but again a key combination for the system start. Presses simultaneously immediately after switching on Shift + Option + Command + R (or Shift + alt + cmd + R or ⇧ + ⌥ + ⌘ + R) to install the macOS version that came with your Mac. 

Note: If your Mac is so old that its "original" Mac OS X has become obsolete in the meantime, the oldest version still available will be selected as an alternative.

MacOS recovery information: Support.Apple.com

Mac Startup Manager - start the system from another medium

As mentioned at the beginning, if you have problems with your Mac, you can also start the macOS operating system from another volume. To do this, simply press the Option key (or option, old or ⌥). This leads to the so-called "Startup Manager" being called. In this you can, for example, select an external hard drive on which you have installed macOS and thus start the system. In an emergency, you can fix errors with a "fresh" system without reinstalling or resetting and, for example, repair file permissions.

My approach to hard drive / system problems

In case of emergency I bought a small, external SSD hard drive with 128 GB (this model). I plug this in when there are system problems or when the internal hard drive of the Mac goes crazy in order to start a fresh macOS Mojave with the Option key and Startup Manager. From that system, I then call Disk Utility to take action to repair the system. If you want to use this procedure, but get stuck somewhere, then please use it Contact or leave a comment under this post. I am happy to help you solve your Mac problems;)

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72 comments

  1. Woro says:

    Have a mac with Yosemite 10.10.5
    The old mouse is defective, I bought a new one, magic mouse 2.
    But it is not recognized.
    What can I do?

  2. Pamela Funke says:

    Would like to upgrade from Catalania back to Mojave. Unfortunately that doesn't work because the system wants a password. I already took out the password in the system settings. But it is still being demanded. Therefore, my whole keystroke is unfortunately of no use to me at this point. What can I do?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Pamela! Of course, I can't see much from here, but I could imagine that it is a typical login problem with macOS Catalina. In this case, the following procedure would be advisable:
      1. Restart your Mac and then hold down CMD + S. Then the Mac boots in single user mode.
      2. Enter the following command: / sbin / mount -uw /
      3. Press Enter and then type this command: rm /var/db/.applesetupdone
      4. Press Enter again. Then restart the Mac.

      The Mac should then ask you if you want to create a new admin user. Here you can also create a new password.

  3. Sophie says:

    Hello, I have a MacBook Air from 2014 with update 10.9.5. Requires at least 10.10. Unfortunately, the cmd + Alt + r combination doesn't help either. Updates are installed, but after restarting the Mac, I am back to the previous software. Is there a solution for this.

  4. Angela says:

    Hello, I have a MAC BOOK AIR from 2015.
    The day before yesterday it just went off, then turned on again briefly and then off again. I haven't gotten it started since then. I pressed the start button for 10 seconds. Tried again yesterday. The screen came on but with black stripes like a barcode. Then off again. Called Apple Support. They couldn't help either. What can I do? Unfortunately, the last data backup was 6 months ago. If I could only save them I would be very grateful.
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Angela

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Angela! Unfortunately, that doesn't sound very good. I strongly assume that there is something wrong with the hardware here. I think you can't avoid taking the device to an Apple Service Partner for repair. :-(

  5. Thomas says:

    Hello, I've been messing around with getting a fresh system on my 'new' iMac 2 for 2017 evenings. Mojave was previously installed - until I had the idea to restore a High Sierra backup ... (from an iMac 2009). In any case, I cannot delete the hard drive for a new installation, it is an APFS volume. Booting from the installation medium with Mojave - as described great here in the blog - but still end up in the recovery environment.
    There is no password on it….
    Is there another trick - I'm getting crazy !?
    Greetings Thomas

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Thomas! You end up in the recovery partition without pressing CMD + R? Or do you press that key combination and land there? When you are in recovery mode, you cannot erase the entire hard drive, since the recovery partition is also located there, but if you click on one partition with your system in the hard drive utility, you can usually delete it. It shouldn't really make a difference what kind of filesystem is on it (I think).

      • Thomas says:

        Hello - thanks for the quick feedback. Maybe again shortly:
        - have a stick with - High Sierra (but no Mojave),
        - alternatively also via SHIFT + OPTION + CMD + R
        - press CMD + R at startup
        - go to the hard drive manager and let "show all devices"
        - Then mark the disk (no SSD) or the volume in it and try to delete it…. takes, takes, takes ... after 30 minutes I stop the process ..
        Finally, I have now dissolved the APFS network and deleted all partitions and formatted with HFS (including GUID) - at least that worked.

        Could I install the system again in this way in the SSD of the FD or what advantage do I have from it?

  6. Dirk says:

    Thanks for this report. My Mac is running again. Super help !!!

    • David says:

      Hallo,

      I wanted to erase the hard drive of my 2009 IMac and then sell it.
      I saw an internet video where it said to rename the hard drive.
      Did this too.
      Now I wanted to install the original system because I thought it was necessary.
      Now Mac os x can no longer be installed.
      Tried all keyboard shortcuts. Nothing works.
      The system cannot be installed message appears every time it is loaded for the last time. Please help, I am desperate.

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hello David! Renaming the hard drive is nonsense. What is this supposed to do? But ok ... this is criticism of the video and does not help you now. I don't think the recovery keyboard shortcuts work (yet) on such an old Mac. You will likely need to create a bootable USB stick. You can find instructions .. Unfortunately, you will need a working Mac for these actions. Do you have a friend with whom you can create such a stick?

  7. David says:

    Would it be possible that you create such a boot stick for me and I will pay you your expenses?
    I don't really have time for that because of the house building.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello David! Unfortunately, I feel the same way. I'm currently renovating our house from 1924 and have to work normally on the side. That takes a lot of time. But maybe a reader will contact me who would do it for you?

      • David says:

        Hallo,

        I was able to order a boot stick via eBay for about 13 € with shipping. And just plugged in, then everything went by itself.
        Thank you Sir Apfelot

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello David! It's good that it worked out in your case. I already had another reader who had ordered a DVD on Ebay and then installed a virus-attempted macOS. You have to be really careful ...

          • David says:

            Every time I want to install it, it says.
            The item is currently unavailable.

            Did I do something wrong when erasing the hard drive?
            It is to despair ????.

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            Hello David! I still don't quite understand where you're hanging. How did you start the installer? If the Mac is not too old, you can also try this way: https://support.apple.com/de-de/HT204904
            Please hold down Shift-Option-⌘-R when restarting to get into the restore from the system that was originally on the Mac. Maybe it will work

  8. Carsten says:

    Hello Thomas,
    I want to sell my 2009 Mac and have deleted the hard drive (via the hard disk utility), overwritten it 7 times and installed the supplied OS X 10.5.8 from CD. Safari works poorly, but Google works. So upgrade to Snowleo, should now be done with a USB stick (copy of an install DVD obtained from ebay), but at the start I can no longer enter the Mac OS utility with cmd and R. The Mac starts "normally" through to the screen with the desk. Pull out the plug, unplug all devices, wait - restarting with cmd and R still did not lead to the utilities. What to do?
    Another question: Could I install the Snowleo right away after deleting it? How?

  9. Carsten says:

    Hello again!
    Now I've only reached the Mac OS Utilities by pressing the Select key.
    Problem not solved, but bypassed.
    LG

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Carsten! Nice that there is a workaround: D.

    • David says:

      Hello Sir

      I've used the imac again for a while and have now found a buyer.
      Today I thought I had erased the hard drive again and wanted to use the boot stick from the last time.
      Somehow it doesn't work.
      Do you have the instructions for deletion and instructions on how to use the boot stick again.
      Or you can only use it once
      gruß
      David

      • Sir Apfelot says:

        Hello David! How to do the bootstick you can . read up. And of course you can use it several times. Simply insert the stick, start the Mac and hold down the ALT key until the boot media selection appears. Then select the stick there and start the installer.

  10. Mario says:

    I wanted to really freshly install my 2014 iMac 5k over Easter. All data backed up. Bootstick created. NVRAM and SMC reset. Cable keyboard used but I can't get into the Boot Manager when I press alt or cmd + r. After a while I always end up on the login screen. Does anyone have a tip?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Mario! That sounds to me like he doesn't have an alternate system to boot from. Without this, it will probably just skip the boot manager. Can you look in the disk utility to see if you have a recovery partition on the startup volume? If not, CMD + R won't work either.

  11. Tobias says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot
    Great site!
    I have a problem: I wanted to update my MacBookPro (2009) from Yosemitte to El Capitan. At some point I got the message that the update could not be completed. When I restart the Mac, it always starts with the update, not on my disk where the OX would be. If I press the option key at startup and go to the selection for the start volumes, no start volume is displayed there. What's going on there? I guess my OS is still intact, right?
    Thanks in advance for your answer!
    Kind regards, Tobias

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello, tobias! Unfortunately, I can only guess: I assume that the Mac cannot find a bootable system and boots in recovery mode. If no startup volume is displayed in the start manager (hold down the ALT key), that actually supports my idea. To get out of the endless loop, you would have to plug in an external hard drive and try to install a clean OS X on it. Maybe you can use this to get the data from the old system using the migration assistant.

  12. Jörg says:

    Dear Sir Apfelot.

    Inherited an iMac from my dad who has Mavericks. I wanted to update it to High Sierra. The result of it all: "Installation resources have expired".

    I found your description and think it's great because it's very sorted. So started in recovery mode as you described and at least got so far that I was offered the window with the option "Reinstall OS X". But when I click on it says "OS X cannot be reinstalled because there is no connection to the Internet." LAN cable is connected and working properly.

    What can I do now?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Jörg! It is probably due to the network settings of the Mac. If a fixed IP address is set there, the installation will not work. You would need to enable DHCP for the router to assign an IP address to the Mac. I hope that's the problem. Or you have to switch to the LAN cable in System Preferences> Network, but the Mac actually checks this automatically and selects LAN, if available.

  13. Jörg says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,
    Yes. The problem is / was that in Safe Mode I couldn't enable DHCP. I also had no access to the system settings.

    But I got the internet connection by restarting and pressing the Option key at the same time. Then a window appears under which I can choose the WLAN.

    Thanks again for your help!

  14. Jörg says:

    Well ... there I am again.

    That works with the internet connection. But now I have the problem that there is no volume to install on.

    Do you have another good idea?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Jörg! That means you have a built-in hard drive, but it doesn't show up as a possible volume for installation? If so, you can open Disk Utility and erase or format the volume in Mac OS Extended format. If it's a new Mac (High Sierra and up), you can also choose APFS as the format. I hope I got your question right. : D If not, please report again.

  15. Thomas Aistleitner says:

    Good Morning! I have my daughter's old Macbook Air here.
    I deleted the hard drive in recovery mode (journaled) and checked that everything was ok.
    The recovery mode only offers Mac OSX Lion for installation from the Internet. (The last system installed was El Capitan.)
    The installation is being prepared, after approx. 1 minute the message “Additional components necessary for the installation of Mac OS X could not be loaded.
    If I confirm with OK, I get back to the Utilities menu.
    I would be very grateful for a tip!

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      There are several possible causes for this problem:
      1. No good internet connection, as a test maybe plug in the network cable (I type on it)
      2. the hard disk is not yet properly formatted (you can possibly exclude it here)

      To rule out problems with the installer, you could also download El Capitan as an image and then with DiskMaker X make a bootstick.

      I hope you get on with this.

  16. Jörg says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot. I just wanted to say thank you again for all the tips and help. I have now found an external hard drive on which the data was. So I deleted everything and re-uploaded the data from the hard drive. THANKS! Jörg

  17. Vaile says:

    Moin :) Maybe you can help me, I would like to sell my old little Macbook Pro 2011 (still running great) and would like to erase the hard drive. Now I am in the disk utility via the recovery mode and have done everything as described by Apple, but the disk cannot be erased and always reports an error. I fear the worst ... is there hope? I played Sierra on it and as I said, it actually runs great (only at a snail's pace, since the original hard drive, nothing SSD) help :) Greetings! Vaile

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Vaile! Yes, the hard drive with which the Mac starts cannot be erased, otherwise the Mac would be "bricked". So just a stone that doesn't do anything anymore. If you boot with CMD + R, you may be able to freshly install the system on a USB stick. Then you boot from the USB stick (unfortunately it is very slow) and delete the internal disk and install the system on it. Then you can shut down the Mac, remove the USB stick and send the Mac. So the new owner has a fresh system and all your data is gone. And don't forget to remove the Mac from the list of devices in your iCloud account, otherwise there will be problems when the new user wants to set up the Mac.

      • Vaile says:

        Hey, thank you very much for your answer! In the meantime I had read that you can upload the old (latest) operating system directly over the Internet with alt, cmd and r. After a few attempts, it worked really well. Now the little one is running again with Sierra and after that I was even able to erase the hard drive in normal recovery mode without an error message. Then I simply uploaded the operating system again via the Internet Resource (instead of the normal utility window in recovery mode, a globe appears) and I think the computer is now as data-free as it was in 2011: D Thanks anyway! Kind regards! Vaile

  18. renato says:

    Hi, we have an iMac 27 inch from 2018 in the office. It runs Catalina. Yesterday someone accidentally started a 65GB transfer to iCloud. When he realized his mistake, he simply turned off the calculator. Since then the computer has started, after entering the password it shows the desk, but empty, no hard drive symbol, the colorful wheel turns and you can no longer activate anything. If you restart the Finder, you immediately get the information that the Finder is not responding. Are a little helpless right now. My question:
    If I start the computer in recovery mode and reinstall the OS, are all files and mails gone and I have a new bare operating system? Or are all files still there? Otherwise maybe any tip? Thank you in advance. Greetings Renato

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Renato! No, if you install over it, all your files will be preserved. I've done this several times and it might solve your problem. Nothing can actually go wrong.

  19. Simon says:

    Hello
    I have a problem with my 27-inch iMac. I wanted to install the new software OS X, my computer did the preparations and restarted itself. However, when I wanted to configure the installation I couldn't. The same message always appears: “No suitable packages found for installation. Contact the software manufacturer. Quit the installation program to restart your computer and try again. “I've tried every key command nothing works. I tried to finish the installation and nothing works. It always comes up Select Start Volume, but I can't enter or select anything.
    Internet connection is also available during installation.
    If anyone can help me, thank you in advance.
    Greetings simon

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Simon! I had the same problem when I recently tried to install Yosemite on an old MacBook Pro. It just didn't work, no matter what I did. At some point I made a boot stick with the OS X El Capitan installer and DAS was installed without any problems. So maybe just try it with EL Capitan.

  20. Christian says:

    Hello Apfelot,
    my new Macbook Pro has just arrived. I installed all programs and files etc. from a TimeMachine backup using the migration assistant - it also worked great (except for a number of programs that are no longer running ????).
    Unfortunately there was an error message with "Little Snitch" - I should update the program. I did the required restart - and now the computer hangs itself every time at the end of the apple menu (progress bar runs through to the end, then it's over). Not even "Safe Mode" works. I assume Little Snitch is causing problems (I found some information on the net, but it doesn't match my problem). Do you have another tip for me?

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Christian! I also suppose it's up to Little Snitch. It installs something in the system so that it can monitor network traffic. I would say you have to somehow uninstall the software. But if you can no longer boot, you can actually only boot with a second system or in recovery mode. Then with the terminal on the system hard drive and the files of Little Snitch out. I have a list of where these files are here at the developer found:
      Little Snitch creates files under the following paths:

      / Library / Little Snitch /
      / Library / Application Support / Objective Development / Little Snitch /
      /Library/Extensions/LittleSnitch.kext
      /Library/LaunchAgents/at.obdev.LittleSnitchHelper.plist
      /Library/LaunchAgents/at.obdev.LittleSnitchUIAgent.plist
      /Library/LaunchDaemons/at.obdev.littlesnitchd.plist
      ~ / Library / Application Support / Little Snitch /
      ~ / Library / Logs / Little Snitch Agent.log
      ~ / Library / Logs / Little Snitch Helper.log
      ~ / Library / Logs / Little Snitch Network Monitor.log
      ~ / Library / Preferences / at.obdev.LittleSnitchConfiguration.plist
      ~ / Library / Preferences / at.obdev.LittleSnitchNetworkMonitor.plist
      ~ / Library / Preferences / at.obdev.LittleSnitchHelper.plist
      ~ / Library / Preferences / at.obdev.LittleSnitchSoftwareUpdate.plist
      ~ / Library / Preferences / at.obdev.LittleSnitchInstaller.plist

      The “~” (tilde) symbol stands for your (the currently logged in) user folder.

  21. Christian says:

    Thank you for the tip - I installed a new system, then the Mac started. Even LittleSnitch was running again, but in demo mode. Something got mixed up with the LittleSnitch update. I have now uninstalled the program and will keep an eye on it for a while.

  22. Carsten says:

    Hallo,

    my Macbook Pro from 2010 keeps crashing during the boot process and switches itself off. I strongly assume that the internal SSD is faulty (could not write anything, move it in the mailbox, it is shown to me as full although it is not, etc.). There are no graphic errors to be found.

    Starts in safe mode (shift) or in verbose mode (shift + cmd + V) are also canceled. I would like to rescue as much data as possible before formatting the hard drive. How can I do this? Expand and copy?

    Thank you!

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Carsten! Have you tried booting with CMD + R pressed? Maybe you can reinstall the system over it and it boots up again? Otherwise, an external hard drive or stick with a system like El Capitan would be an idea to boot. Then you could still back up the data. Otherwise just really expand the plate ...

  23. U Lee says:

    Hello Sir ;-)
    Macbook Pro 13 (early 2013): after an update from Yosemite to ElCapitan, my internal SSD is full to the last Bype and I only get panic messages after logging in. Therefore, an external SSD or a stick with Mojave would be perfect. But how do I make them without a second system?

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello! You restart the Mac and hold down CMD + R until the apple comes. Then you end up in the recovery partition and from there you can format an external hard drive to APFS and play a fresh system on it. During the installation, the Mac also asks you whether it should take over data from an existing system and there you can then choose the internal SSD.

  24. hey Jens

    I have a little problem:
    My friend received a used MacBook air from her daughter, but the daughter no longer knows her password and the documents are probably no longer there-
    I know that sounds like stolen, but it really isn't !!!
    does that work somehow?
    best regards from Stuttgart
    Holger

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Holger!
      So, if it is only protected with the normal user password, then you can usually reboot and hold down the CMD + R buttons immediately after the restart. Then the Mac boots into the recovery partition and you should first have an external hard drive (e.g. These ones), reformat to APFS or Mac OS Extended (depending on how old the Mac is) and then install a fresh system on it. Then you boot from the external hard drive (hold down ALT at startup and then select the external hard drive) and delete the internal hard drive in the Mac and again put a fresh system on it with CMD + R in the recovery.

      Why the detour via an external hard drive? Because I've already had readers whose Mac suddenly refused to start after deleting the internal volume. And you definitely don't want that. : D

      However, if the last user set a firmware password, you can no longer access the Mac. Only Apple Support in the shop can help and they usually always want to see an invoice that shows that you are the owner of the device.

  25. michelle says:

    Hello, I have a little problem: I already have an older model. But when I turn on the Mac there is only a blinking question mark, I have already tried all the key combinations and nothing works, the question mark keeps coming back and I really don't know what to do next. And Apple Support couldn't help me because they said he was too old. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything else online either.
    Can he still be saved or not?
    Best regards,
    Michelle

  26. Lu says:

    Hello!
    The screen of my 2019 MacBook Air was recently damaged in an accident and I see mostly abstract barcode-like lines. I kept using it with an external monitor until it got very noisy yesterday (it was very warm) and I restarted it. The restart process took minutes and then there was a long black background with a white slider in the middle and the message that updates are being carried out. After that, the external monitor could no longer automatically recognize the MacBook and I therefore switched the laptop on / off several times with the on / off button. The external monitor then turned black or gray, so there was a connection again, but you only saw a gray monitor. In a panic, I quickly searched the Internet for keyboard shortcuts and pressed cmd - R the next time I switched on. The word "Recovery Assistant" could be read on the broken monitor of the MacBook Air at the bottom left, but the external monitor was only gray with an arrow as a symbol when I used the mousepad, so I was powerless again.
    Since I can no longer see what is being shown on the broken monitor, is there a keyboard command to bring the MacBook Air back to its original state without having to interact through the monitor?
    Thank you for any advice!

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Lu! I don't know ... Anytime you restore you would have to answer dialogues. But even if you could do it: someday you want to have a working display again anyway. I would have that thing fixed ...

  27. tome says:

    Hi Jens,
    What's the best way to switch from HDD to SSD because my iMac has gotten slow.
    Should I be up-to-date: Reinstall Big Sure 11.5.1 on SSD? and then play back the data from an external backup or copy the HDD with CCC and then change the disks and restart (this variant, however, did not succeed - did not boot) .. an error message came from the Mac.
    Thank you

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hi Tom!
      The variant with CCC is already correct. Maybe the SSD wasn't formatted to APFS when you wrote it?
      The procedure would be like this (I assume it is an external SSD via USB):
      1. Format SSD to APFS
      2. Make a bootable backup with CCC from HDD to SSD
      3. Set SSD as the start volume
      4. done

  28. Michael says:

    Hello Jens, great site, just found. Thanks!

    I have a MacBook Pro 2013 that I want to reinstall from scratch. I always updated it, so currently Big Sur. Is it correct to do this via cms + R? So in the macOS utilities first disk utility, format hard disk and then "reinstall macOS Big Sure"? You don't need a bootable disk? Then where does the system boot from?
    I do not dare :-)
    and because I was just browsing: there seem to be a lot of users who always use the operating system with which they bought the Mac. Why this? I think you should always update for security reasons or does that have any disadvantages with OS?
    Thanks and regards
    Michael

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hi Michael! Nice that you like the site. : D But to your questions:

      1. I would always use the most up-to-date system - purely for security reasons. And most of the time it's even faster than the old macOS. There have been a few exceptions in the past that you shouldn't install on an old Mac, but most of the time you can upgrade as far as the Mac will allow. BUT: Make a backup beforehand - at least for the major updates. For this I can tell you my article about the Time Machine hard drive recommend, which also contains tips on external hard drive for Mac. I would then take the backup with me Carbon Copy Cloner create. It costs a lot, but has been the best solution for me for years. I cannot understand why people recommend using a macOS that was up-to-date when the Mac was shipped. There is no reasonable justification for this - except perhaps nostalgia.

      2. For your project with the clean install concerns: I would do it like this: an external hard drive, like that WD Elements Portable fetch, then format it on APFS. Now you create a backup with Carbon Copy Cloner on the external hard drive, because if you messed up something while formatting the internal hard drive and no longer have a boot option, you'll be stupid at first. You also need a backup so that you can get your data back on the new system. Next, boot with ALT pressed and select the external hard drive as the startup volume in the menu. From there you can format the internal hard drive with the hard disk utility and then (as you have described it) boot with CMD + R to freshly install macOS.

      A bootable installation medium is also a good option. I can give you the tool for that AnyMacOS recommend. And if you still have questions, you'll find that too Sir Apfelot Forum. There you can solve individual problems more easily than here in the comment thread.

  29. chris says:

    Hi Sir-Apfelot,

    i have a problem, maybe you can help me:

    My MacBook Pro 2010 only starts in "Mac OSX Utilities" mode,
    where you can choose to reinstall Mac OSX. That was my original plan too. Here the error message appears that an error occurred while preparing the installation. I have already corrected the date via the terminal, but it does not help, the error persists. I noticed that the time zone is incorrect. But I can't find an order to correct this as well.
    Now I wanted to try to start an Internet recovery or a recovery to the delivery state, but no matter which key combination at start I end up in the above screen again.
    Do you have any idea?

    Thanks in advance :-)

    Best regards,
    chris

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Chris! I don't think Internet recovery existed in 2010. That probably only came into the Macs later. I recently had the problem with the aborted installation on an old Mac, but couldn't do anything. Ultimately, only the El Capitan installation ran, for which I made a boot stick. Maybe that would help with you too? Which system do you want to install?

  30. Andre says:

    Hallo,
    I have the following problem: I wanted to prepare my iMac (mid 2010) for sale and have deleted all personal data. Then I started the "Clear free space" function with the fastest selection using the hard disk utility. That went well for about 2 hours and then hung up. I waited 2 more hours, but when the computer still did not respond, I switched it off using the power button.

    The iMac has not started up since then. The start tone sounds, the apple symbol appears and the loading wheel charges and charges and nothing happens.

    I've already tried the following:
    CMD V: works, I get a log, but it doesn't go any further.
    CMD R: You end up in the endless loading loop again
    CMD Alt R: A globe is displayed, something is loaded for 15 minutes (although it does not ask for the internet connection beforehand) and then you end up in the loading loop again

    I even made a USB boot stick with OS X 10.9. You can select it when you switch it on via Alt, but it also ends up in the charging loop again.

    Since I don't have a Fire Wire cable, I haven't been able to try to access the defective iMac via my Macbook Air.

    Is there anything else I can do? What could be the problem here? Before this "clear free memory", the computer ran perfectly.

    I am grateful for any information, VG André

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Andre! Have you unplugged all external devices that you don't need? Sometimes they cause problems too. But if CMD + R doesn't work either, then I'm at a loss. Then maybe you can still use the connection with the MacBook Air and the Apple Configurator 2 make an attempt. But if that doesn't help either, I would send it to a workshop. The colleagues from Sadaghian have already helped quite a few of my readers and were there - so the feedback came - incredibly cheap.

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