How to Access Recovery Mode in Mac OS X


Recovery Mode is one of the best Mac OS X boot feature which allow you to run reinstallation and repair tools for your computer. Also it allow you to setup firmware password if you needed.

You can load this tools in different ways.

Use Installation or Recovery DVD

If you MacBook Pro or iMac came with a gray recovery DVD Or you have purchased separate retail copy of  OS X on DVD, then you can use any one of the DVD to run recovery maintenance. Follow my guide to run recovery mode.

  1. Insert your Installation or recovery DVD and restart your computer.
  2. Press and Hold C key when your computer make startup sound (boot chime).

After you pressed the C key, your computer may take some time to load the recovery tools, but they will finally show up.

Note : You may need to access some tools or option from Utilities menu.

How to load Local recovery

Apple added local 650MB recovery portion with standard Mac OS X installation which contain recovery boot image from OS X Lion. It also support fileVault disk encryption feature. This recovery partition contain all tools to recovery or reinstall OS X. If you want to load local recovery follow my guide.

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press and hold the Command + R key combination when you hear boot sound

OS X recovery mode

After recovery window loads you will see tools window with options to recover from backup, reinstall Mac OS X, Disk Utility and Safari browser. Its also have options to reset account password and firmware password in Utilities menu.

Use Apple Internet Recovery Service

Apple introduced their Internet recovery service in 2010. It allow you computer to download Recovery HD partition contents from Apple Servers instead of loading local recovery mode. Its allow you to run recovery tools even though your hard drive completely wiped or your system does not have recovery tools.

If you want to load Internet recovery mode, your system need to connected to a Non-Enterprise WPA/WPA2-secured wireless network and follow the same steps above for local recovery mode but instead press and hold Option+Command+R keys combination when your computer starting up.

After you do this, you will see a spinning wheel as the computer downloads the recovery tools from Apple.

Internet recovery mode only support the following systems and later versions.

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2010 & Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2010 & Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Mid 2010 & Early 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch & 27-inch Mid 2010 & Mid 2011)
  • iMac (
  • MacBook (13 inch Mid 2010)
  • Mac Mini (Mid 2010)
  • MacBook Air (11 & 13 inch, Late 2010)

This guide is same of all Mac OS X version like OS X Yosemite, Mavericks and Mountain Lion.

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