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How to Enter macOS Recovery on an Apple Silicon Mac


The way to enter macOS Recovery is different for Intel and Apple silicon Macs. Here’s what you need to do for the latter.

How to Enter macOS Recovery on Apple Silicon Macs

macOS Recovery is a special boot mode on your Mac that helps you troubleshoot various software problems. On Intel Macs, you could access it simply by holding down Cmd + R during startup. But that method doesn’t work for the newer crop of Macs that run on Apple silicon chips.

So whether your Mac uses an M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, or any other kind of Apple silicon chip, we’ll show you how to boot into macOS Recovery below.

Booting Into macOS Recovery With Apple Silicon

If you’re using an Apple silicon Mac, you first need to get to the boot selection (or startup options) screen, and then you can enter macOS Recovery from there. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off your Mac. If you have trouble doing that, forcibly shut it down by holding the Power or the Touch ID button.
  2. Now press and hold the Power or Touch ID button to reboot your Mac. You will see a Keep holding to load startup options message appear on your screen.
  3. Release the Power or Touch ID button when the message changes to Loading startup options. Your Mac’s boot selection screen should show up after a while.
  4. Select Options > Continue using your mouse, trackpad, or the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  5. Wait for macOS Recovery to load on your Mac.

Mac startup options screen.

Note: If you use a non-Apple Bluetooth keyboard or a mouse with an iMac or a Mac mini, simply press the Power button three times (wait one second between after each press) and use the Bluetooth Pair Assistant to connect to them at the boot selection screen.


macOS Recovery Options With Apple Silicon

Upon entering macOS Recovery on your Apple silicon Mac, you will come across the following options. Here’s what they do:

  • Restore Time Machine: Restore your Mac using a Time Machine backup.
  • Reinstall macOS: Reinstall macOS without losing your data.
  • Safari: Access the internet using Safari.
  • Disk Utility: Check for disk errors or format drives and volumes with Disk Utility.
macOS Recovery Menu.

The menu bar in macOS Recovery also gives you access to additional tools such as the Startup Disk Utility and Terminal. Check our complete guide to macOS Recovery for more details.

Related: A Complete Guide to macOS Recovery

Consider Safe Mode as a macOS Recovery Alternative

macOS Recovery isn’t the only way to get a malfunctioning Apple silicon Mac in working order again. If you feel that an issue warrants a complete reinstall of macOS, it’s always a good idea to troubleshoot your Mac in Safe Mode before you do that.

How to Boot Your Mac in Safe Mode

You might need to boot your Mac in Safe mode to fix a startup error or performance bug. Here’s how to do it.

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