How to Start a Mac in Internet Recovery Mode?

Learn how to start your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode with our step-by-step guide.

As a long-time Mac user, I know how essential it is to have a plan when things go awry. Whether you’ve encountered a major software issue or your Mac is simply not booting up, you’ll want a reliable solution to get you back on track.

That’s where Internet Recovery Mode comes to the rescue!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the process of starting your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode, step by step, so you can tackle the problem with confidence.

What is Internet Recovery Mode?

Internet Recovery Mode is a built-in feature on Mac computers that allows you to troubleshoot and repair your system by accessing Apple’s servers.

When your Mac won’t start up as expected, or you need to reinstall macOS without a local recovery partition, Internet Recovery Mode is your lifeline.

This handy feature downloads and installs the original macOS version that came with your Mac or the closest available version.

Once the process is complete, you can then upgrade to the latest macOS version.

Why Use Internet Recovery Mode?

There are several reasons why you might need to use Internet Recovery Mode:

  1. Your Mac won’t start up: If you’re experiencing issues with your Mac that prevent it from booting normally, Internet Recovery Mode can help you fix the problem.
  2. You need to reinstall macOS: If you’ve tried other troubleshooting methods and your Mac still isn’t working correctly, reinstalling macOS via Internet Recovery Mode could be the solution.
  3. You’re selling or giving away your Mac: Before passing your Mac on to someone else, it’s a good idea to erase all personal data and reinstall macOS. Internet Recovery Mode makes this process easy.
  4. Your local recovery partition is missing or damaged: If your Mac’s built-in recovery partition is unavailable, you can still access recovery tools using Internet Recovery Mode.

Now that you understand the importance of Internet Recovery Mode, let’s dive into the steps to access it on your Mac.

How to Start a Mac in Internet Recovery Mode: Steps to Consider

Before getting started, make sure you have a stable internet connection, preferably via Ethernet. If you must use Wi-Fi, ensure the signal is strong and consistent. Also, keep your Mac connected to a power source during the process to avoid any interruptions.

Follow these steps to start your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode:

Step 1 – Power off your Mac: If your Mac is currently running, shut it down by clicking the Apple menu and selecting “Shut Down.”

Step 2 – Press the keyboard shortcut: As soon as you press the power button to turn on your Mac, immediately press and hold the appropriate keyboard shortcut for your Mac model:

  • For Macs with Intel processors: Press and hold Option + Command + R
  • For Macs with Apple Silicon (M1) processors: Press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window.

Step 3 – Choose a network: If you’re using Wi-Fi, you’ll be prompted to select a Wi-Fi network and enter the password. If you’re using an Ethernet connection, this step will be skipped.

Step 4 – Wait for the recovery utilities to load: Your Mac will display a spinning globe icon while it downloads the necessary recovery utilities from Apple’s servers. This process may take some time, depending on your internet connection speed.

Step 6 – Access macOS Recovery: Once the download is complete, you’ll see the macOS Recovery window, which includes several options such as “Restore From Time Machine Backup,” “Reinstall macOS,” “Get Help Online,” and “Disk Utility.”

Common Issues You May Face and Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter issues while trying to start your Mac in Internet Recovery Mode, here are some helpful tips to resolve them:

  • Check your internet connection: Ensure you have a stable internet connection, as this is critical for the recovery process. If possible, use an Ethernet connection for a more reliable experience.
  • Update your firmware: Outdated firmware can sometimes cause issues with accessing Internet Recovery Mode. Visit Apple’s support website to learn how to update your Mac’s firmware.
  • Reset NVRAM or PRAM: Resetting your Mac’s NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) or PRAM (parameter random-access memory) can sometimes resolve issues that prevent your Mac from starting in Internet Recovery Mode. To do this, power off your Mac, then press and hold Option + Command + P + R as you turn it back on. Release the keys after about 20 seconds.

Also Read – How to Reset SMC on Mac

Wrapping it up…

With this guide, you now have the knowledge and tools to tackle any Mac-related problem using Internet Recovery Mode.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Keep your Mac up-to-date, perform regular backups, and maintain good system hygiene to minimize the chances of encountering issues. But when the unexpected does happen, rest assured that Internet Recovery Mode has got your back.

So, fellow Mac users, stay prepared, stay informed, and always have a plan.

You’ve got this!

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