MacOS Startup Keys

When booting MacOS, you can apply several startup keyboard combinations to perform certain tasks. These are useful if you encounter problems with starting your Mac.

You can run internet recovery or start up from other disks. You can also reset the SMC and NVRAM, as well as run various diagnostics.

Most of them use the option/alt key or the command key.

Power on your mac then quickly hold down the keyboard combos below

KeypressDescription
CMD RStart macOS Recovery
CMD Option RStart Internet Recovery
OptionStartup Manager to boot from other disks
ShiftEnter safe mode
CBoot from DVD or Flash Drive
Hold shift as you log inBypass login items
CMD Option P RReset NVRAM
Right Shift, Left CTRL Left Option, PowerReset SMC on newer Macs (2018-19) with T2 security chip
Left Shift, Left CTRL, Left Option, PowerReset SMC (older Macs)
XMacOS Startup Volume
DRun Diagnostics
NBoot from network startup volume or NetBoot server