13 Mac download options for special occasions

Why they are needed and when to use them.

As a rule, Mac works without fail. However, anyone may encounter a problem that will prevent OS X from loading.

The system has a complete set of tools for computer emergency start, system recovery and specific startup methods for non-standard situations. Let’s take a closer look at all the possible Mac startup options.

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Most modern Macs support more than 10 ways to run the system. To get into any of them, you need to hold down a certain button or key combination immediately after the starting sound when you turn on the power.

1. Recovery Mode

Why you need it: in recovery mode, a disk utility, an OS X installer and a restore service from Time Machine backup are available. You need to boot in this mode, if the system does not start in the usual way, to restore it from backup or complete reinstallation.

How to get into: we hold down the combination Command (⌘) + R after the sound signal of the beginning of turning on the computer until the loading indicator appears.

2. Startup Manager

Why do I need it: if Windows is installed on the Mac with the second system, then in this menu you can choose whether to boot into OS X or Window.

How to get there: hold the Option button (⌥) or point the Apple Remote to your Mac, which was paired with it in advance, and hold down the Menu button .

3. Boot from CD / DVD

Why you need it: Intel-based Mac computers with an optical drive or with an external CD / DVD drive connected can be loaded from disk. If you have an OS X distribution kit, you can install the operating system on a disk.

How to get there: stifle C .

4. External drive mode

Why you need: any Mac with a FireWire or Thunderbolt port can be used as an external drive for another Mac to transfer large amounts of data between computers or expand the drive on a second computer.

How to get: you first need to go to Settings – Boot volume and activate External Disk Mode . After that, at boot time, hold down the T button .

If you do not want to risk data on your Mac, choose a capacious and fast flash drive.

5. Safe Mode

Why you need it: safe mode allows you to troubleshoot problems arising during normal OS X booting. When starting the system, the integrity of the drive will be checked and only the most necessary system components will be started. If third-party applications lead to errors at startup, the system will boot without problems.

We use this mode when it crashes and hangs when OS X boots. If the Mac loads into it, we start disabling the automatic loading of applications that run with the system.

How to get there: hold Shift () .

6. Network recovery mode

Why do I need: this mode is similar to the previous one, but allows you to restore the system from the distribution downloaded from the Apple server. To do this, you need to connect to a network with Internet access. This mode should be used if the disk area for normal recovery is damaged.

How to get: use a combination of Command (⌘) + Option (⌥) + R .

Save data and be able to recover from a backup will help specialized devices from Apple.


Why you need: in a special section of Mac memory, certain parameters are stored (speaker volume settings, screen resolution, selection of the boot volume and information on the latest critical errors). If errors occur that may be associated with these settings, reset them.

How to get: after the beep clamp Command Option + P + R + . Hold the keys until the computer restarts and you hear the boot tone a second time.

8. Diagnostic mode

Why do I need: this mode is designed to test the hardware components of the Mac. It will identify the cause of the computer malfunction. If there is a suspicion of malfunctioning Mac components, boot and check.

How to get there: we press the button D .

9. Network diagnostic mode

Why you need it: like the previous mode, designed for testing hardware stuffing. However, if your Mac has problems with your hard drive or SSD, network mode will download everything you need for testing from an Apple server.

How to get: press the Option (⌥) + D key combination .

10. Download from NetBoot server

Why you need: in this mode, you can install or restore the operating system over the network. This will require a ready disk image, which is stored on a server accessible over the network.

How to get there: enough to hold down the button of N .

11. Single player mode

Why do I need: In this mode, only the command line will be available. You should load it only if you have experience with UNIX commands. Advanced users will be able to maintain computer maintenance and troubleshoot system problems.

How to get: push combination Command (⌘) + S .

12. Detailed logging mode

Why you need it: this mode is no different from the standard Mac download. However, during system startup, instead of the usual indicator, you will see a detailed system startup protocol. It may be necessary to understand on which OS boot process an error or failure occurs. Please note that this mode is intended for advanced users.

How to get: push combination Command (⌘) + V .

13. Reset System Management Controller (SMC) Parameters

Why you need it: a similar reset should be used when there are system errors that do not disappear after the system is rebooted and the computer is turned off / on. Below is a list of such problems for which Apple experts recommend resetting the controller’s parameters:

  • unreasonable rotation of computer fans at high speeds (when the Mac is unloaded);
  • improper operation of the keyboard backlight;
  • Incorrect power indicator;
  • the battery charge indicator does not work correctly on the laptop;
  • the display backlight is not adjustable or is not adjusted correctly;
  • Mac does not respond to pressing the power button;
  • the laptop does not respond correctly to the opening and closing of the lid;
  • the computer itself goes into sleep mode;
  • There are problems when charging the battery;
  • The MagSafe port indicator incorrectly displays the current mode of operation;
  • applications do not work correctly or freeze at startup;
  • errors occur when working with an external display.

How to get: on different Macs, this reset is done in excellent ways.

On stationary computers:

1. Turn off the computer.2. Unplug the power cord.3. Wait 15 seconds.4. Connect the power cable.5. Wait 5 seconds and press the power button.

On laptops with a non-removable battery:

1. Turn off the computer.2. Connect to the power supply using an adapter via MagSafe or USB-C.3. Hold the combination Shift + Control + Option on the keyboard to the left and hold them, press the power button.4. Release the keys and press the power button again.

On laptops with a removable battery:

1. Turn off the computer.2. Disconnect the power adapter.3. Remove the battery.4. Press the power button for 5 seconds.5. Install the battery, connect the power adapter and turn on the computer.


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