Safe Restart Mac

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These key combinations apply only to Mac computers with an Intel processor, not Mac computers with Apple silicon.

To use any of these key combinations, press and hold the keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, or after your Mac begins to restart. Keep holding until the described behavior occurs.

Mac Restart Problem

  • Command (⌘)-R: Start up from the built-in macOS Recovery system. Or use Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS, depending on the key combination you use while starting up. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
  • Option (⌥) or Alt: Start up to Startup Manager, which allows you to choose other available startup disks or volumes. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
  • Option-Command-P-R:Reset NVRAM or PRAM. If your Mac is using a firmware password, it ignores this key combination or starts up from macOS Recovery.
  • Shift (⇧): Start up in safe mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • D: Start up to the Apple Diagnostics utility. Or use Option-Dto start up to this utility over the Internet. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • N: Start up from a NetBoot server, if your Mac supports network startup volumes. To use the default boot image on the server, hold down Option-N instead. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Command-S: Start up in single-user mode. Disabled in macOS Mojave or later, or when using a firmware password.
  • T: Start up in target disk mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Command-V: Start up in verbose mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
  • Eject (⏏) or F12 or mouse button or trackpad button: Eject removable media, such as an optical disc. Disabled when using a firmware password.
Can

Apr 25, 2020 Restart your Mac weekly to save memory. Restarting a Mac once a week is recommended to free up memory on your computer. You can use Activity Monitor to check how much memory is being used by other applications and decide when is a good time to restart the Mac. This way, you can use all of the memory that is actually on the computer. Undoubtedly the keyboard makes Mac safe boot easy for someone who just wants to boot Mac in safe mode once. Start or restart Mac and press and hold down Shift key.

If a key combination doesn't work

If a key combination doesn't work at startup, one of these solutions might help:

Mac
  • Press and hold all keys in the combination together, not one at a time.
  • Shut down your Mac. Then press the power button to turn on your Mac. Then press and hold the keys as your Mac starts up.
  • Wait a few seconds before pressing the keys, to give your Mac more time to recognize the keyboard as it starts up. Some keyboards have a light that flashes briefly at startup, indicating that the keyboard is recognized and ready for use.
  • If you're using a wireless keyboard, plug it into your Mac, if possible. Or use your built-in keyboard or a wired keyboard. If you're using a keyboard made for a PC, such as a keyboard with a Windows logo, try a keyboard made for Mac.
  • If you're using Boot Camp to start up from Microsoft Windows, set Startup Disk preferences to start up from macOS instead. Then shut down or restart and try again.
  • To leave safe mode, restart the computer normally without holding down any keys during startup. When the Mac is started in safe mode, the hard drive is first checked for errors and repaired if errors are found. Safe mode also deletes several OS caches and rebuilds them. A corrupted cache may be preventing your Mac from starting up.
  • Jun 01, 2017 To load your Mac in Safe Mode, press and hold the Shift key while it boots. You can stop holding the Shift key when you see an Apple logo and progress bar. To leave Safe Mode, just reboot your Mac without holding the Shift key. Troubleshoot from the Command Line with Single-User Mode.

Remember that some key combinations are disabled when your Mac is using a firmware password.

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  • Keyboard shortcuts that you can use after your Mac has started up.