Mac startup shortcut keys not working

Some Mac models from late and later lack the startup chimes. If you're using one of these Mac models press the appropriate startup key combination immediately after starting your Mac, or if using the restart function right after the screen goes black. These startup shortcuts come in handy if you need to troubleshoot your Mac, or you just want to boot from a different volume than usual.

7 Mac Startup Options Every OS X User Should Know

Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Hold the 'x' key during startup. In some cases, an alternate OS may prevent the Mac's normal boot manager from running. If you have created a bootable Mac OS installer on a flash drive , this is an easy way to boot from the installer. Hold the 'n' key during startup to boot from a networked computer that has a NetBoot volume.

This mode lets you use any Mac with a FireWire or Thunderbolt port as the source for your bootup system.

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Hold the 'd' key during startup. Hold the option key during startup. The Mac OS startup manager will appear, allowing you to select a disk to boot from. The startup manager will search all of the volumes connected to your Mac and display those that have a bootable operating system available on them. Hold the shift key during startup. This will boot your computer in Safe Mode. Safe Mode disables login items and non-essential kernel extensions from starting up. This will cause your Mac to use the Recovery HD partition, which will allow you to restore the Mac OS , or use various utilities to troubleshoot your Mac.

Your Mac will boot from the Internet using Apple servers. A specialized version of the Mac OS will be run that includes a small suite of utilities, including Disk Utility, and the ability to download and install the Mac OS, or to restore from a Time Machine backup.

Shut down your Mac, power it up, then immediately hit the key combination above. Wait till your Mac reboots again, then let go of the combination. Most Apple computers use the combination of keys provided above, but some models require you remove batteries or remove the power cord instead. Recovery mode is your ticket to solving many macOS problems from a friendly environment.

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Here's a troubleshooting guide to help get your external hard drive or flash drive working again. Later you also may want to restore it. Here's how to do both. If you want to transfer files from one Mac hard drive to another, Target Disk mode makes it simple. By starting a Mac in Target Disk mode, you can connect it to another Mac and copy files to and from the drives.

In essence, it turns your Mac into a hard drive enclosure. Apple states you can use:. Here's everything you need to know about your MacBook ports. Single User mode boots your Mac into a minimal text-based environment with no GUI, and no drive volumes mounted on startup. This mode allows you to fix problems with a Mac that refuses to start. The clue here is in the name. Instead, Verbose mode is perfect for those instances when your Mac hangs on boot. You can see exactly what is interrupting the boot process, and hopefully take steps to remedy it.

For example, many boot problems are related to third-party kernel extensions.

All the keyboard shortcuts you can use when starting up your Mac | iMore

Verbose mode may highlight the problem extension, allowing you to reboot in Safe mode, remove the offending item, then boot as normal and try again. Is your Mac old enough to have an optical drive? Holding C while your computer boots forces macOS to ignore your startup volume in favor of bootable optical media instead.


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Trying to boot from the wrong optical volume? This allows companies to customize macOS to their liking and create custom images for specific users, then deploy it network-wide without modifying every machine. If you have set your Mac to login automatically, you can tell it to ignore this setting by holding Left Shift after the boot screen a white Apple logo and progress bar appears.

Want to stop all your login items and previous session windows from opening on launch? When you get to the login screen, enter your password as normal then click on the Log In button or hit Enter. Immediately press and hold the Shift key while your Mac logs in and boots up.