Startup Options for Apple Silicon Macs - Keyboard shortcuts for startup

On the Apple Mac, iMac and MacBook there is the possibility to call up some special system modes by pressing certain keys when starting. However, these differ between Apple computers with Intel processors and the newer models with in-house chips. In this guide you will find the start options on the Mac with the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and, in general, the M2 Chip. You can find the guide for older models here: On Mac Restart - Recovery Keyboard Shortcuts. Do you have any questions or comments? Then please leave a comment.

The Apple Silicon startup options and startup modes include macOS recovery, diagnostics, fallback recovery mode and other settings. Things like SMC Reset, NVRAM Reset and Single User Mode are available with M1,
M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2 no more.” width=”1024″ height=”484″ /> The Apple Silicon boot options and startup modes include macOS recovery, diagnostics, fallback recovery mode, and other settings. Things like SMC Reset, NVRAM Reset and Single User Mode come with M1, M1 Pro, Max M1 and M2 no longer.

Startup Options for M1 Macs - New Shortcuts and Startup Modes

With the “Apple Silicon”, currently available as the M1, M1 Pro and Max M1 is available, Apple has completely reorganized and redesigned the start options of the corresponding MacBook, Mac mini and iMac models. The old keyboard shortcuts from the advisory linked above no longer work. The new ways to diagnostic mode, safe mode, recovery mode, hard drive mode and Co. can be found here.

Start the M1 Mac in Safe Mode

For most of the Apple silicon Boot Options does not require you to hold down a specific key combination immediately after turning on the computer. You can select the different modes by holding the power button (on/off button). This is more convenient and ensures fewer errors, e.g. B. by pressing the startup shortcut too late. Proceed as follows to start the Mac in safe mode:

  1. Press and hold the on / off button when switching on
  2. Select a volume (if several are used)
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click “Continue in Safe Mode”

The Mac will then automatically restart in Safe Mode. No further entry is necessary. 

The different options of macOS recovery

If there was the so-called recovery mode on Intel Macs, you will find the current Macs with M1, M1 Pro and Max M1 the new macOS recovery. This offers various options, such as Time Machine system recovery, installation of the current operating system, use of Safari for support requests, disk and security utility, Port and so forth. Here's how to get to macOS Recovery:

  1. Press and hold the on / off button when switching on
  2. Click on "Options" and then on "Continue"
  3. Select a volume to restore (if there are more than one) and click "Next"
  4. Select an admin account and click "Next" again
  5. After entering the appropriate password, click on "Continue"

The "macOS Restore" window with the so-called Restore App is now available. From here the following options, apps and modes can be selected:

  • Startup volume to specify which volume or which hard disk is to be used for the system start
  • System recovery with Time Machine on the computer and volume that was used as the source for the Time Machine backup
  • Installation of the current macOS version, e.g. B. macOS 12 Monterey
  • Safari to go to the Apple Support site (extensions and plug-ins are disabled)
  • Disk Utility to erase or repair disks and volumes
  • Security utility for setting security policies on the Apple Mac
  • Terminal for options and settings via the command line
  • Share volume to exchange files between two Macs, e.g. B. for data recovery

You can find more information and options for using the individual menu items and apps in macOS recovery on the Mac with Apple Silicon SoC with this link. It will take you to the relevant section of the macOS user manual on the official Apple website. 

Finish macOS recovery

When you're done with what you wanted to do using the Mac's special startup option, you can exit macOS recovery. As in regular operation, this can also be done via the Mac menu ( symbol) in the menu bar. In addition to other options, you can also click on “Restart” and “Switch off” there.

Fallback Recovery Mode - Trick in case nothing else works

If the macOS recovery mode cannot be loaded when the system is started, then there is another trick. This can also be used if the Mac goes into a charging loop when it starts up or if it is hardly usable for any other reason. To call the Fallback Recovery Mode on the Mac with M1, M1 Pro and Max M1 You can get there by pressing the on / off button twice in quick succession and holding it down the second time. I have already summarized the details for you here: Fallback Recovery OS - M1-Mac with a new boot trick.

Apple Diagnostics to test the hardware

The Apple diagnosis is an automatically running test of all hardware components to determine possible errors or failures. After the test, an overview of the errors found (if any) including the reference codes that are important for support is output. While on Intel Macs you had to press the D key at startup, on the Apple Silicon Mac you proceed as follows:

  • Press and hold the on / off button when switching on
  • When the window with the start options appears (cogwheel symbol labeled "Options"), release the button
  • Then press the key combination Command + D key (⌘ + D)

The progress of the Apple diagnosis is shown by means of a bar and an overview of the results is presented after the process is complete. The following options are then available for the further procedure:

  • Press ⌘ + R: Perform the test again
  • Press ⌘ + G: Restart your Mac and automatically go to the Apple service and support website
  • Press R: Restart the Mac
  • Press S: Turn off the Mac

Source and more information: Support document HT202731

Startup modes that are no longer available

With the change from Intel chips to the Apple Silicon on the Mac, there are some startup modes or start options that have been removed from the list of options. This includes, for example, the single user mode. In addition, is easy resetting of SMC and NVRAM not possible anymore. Errors or inadvertently incorrect settings regarding the NVRAM can also mean that macOS has to be completely reinstalled. As you can see, if you work professionally with the Mac and like to take troubleshooting into your own hands, then you will have to learn new tricks when switching from Intel to Apple Silicon.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.