How to Fix Mac Won’t Boot Into Recovery Mode (9 Solutions)


Owning a Mac comes with its fair share of perks and conveniences, making it a favored choice for millions of users worldwide. However, as with any sophisticated technology, Macs can encounter occasional glitches and issues that can leave us scratching our heads for solutions. One such common problem is “Mac won’t boot into recovery mode”. 

Mac’s Recovery Mode is an essential tool that allows users to troubleshoot various problems, reinstall macOS, recover files from a Time Machine backup, and perform disk repairs. It serves as a lifeline when your operating system is misbehaving or encountering critical errors.

If you find yourself in a perplexing situation where your Mac stubbornly refuses to boot into Recovery Mode, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most probable causes behind this issue and provide you with proven troubleshooting steps to get your Mac back on track.

Mac Won’t Go Into Recovery Mode? Try These Fixes! 

Mac Won’t Go Into Recovery Mode

Solution 1: Check the Keyboard

If your Mac won’t go into Recovery Mode, start by checking your keyboard. Ensure it’s connected properly (for external keyboards) and has sufficient power (for wireless keyboards). Try using a different keyboard or connecting to another USB port to rule out keyboard-related issues.

Solution 2: Use a Different Keyboard Shortcut

Mac won’t go into recovery mode? Well, if the standard keyboard shortcut for entering Recovery Mode (Command + R) doesn’t work, try an alternative combination. Hold down Option (Alt) + Command + R or Shift + Option (Alt) + Command + R during the boot process to access Recovery Mode. Sometimes, using a different key combination can bypass any keyboard-related glitches and successfully initiate Recovery Mode.

Solution 3: Reset SMC

If your Mac still won’t enter Recovery Mode, resetting the SMC might help resolve the issue. The System Management Controller is responsible for managing various hardware functions, including keyboard response. To reset the SMC, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Connect the power adapter or USB-C charger to your MacBook and a power source.
  3. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the Shift, Control, and Option keys on the left side of the keyboard, along with the power button, all at the same time.
Reset SMC on Mac
  1. Release all the keys and the power button simultaneously.
  2. Press the power button again to turn on your MacBook.

After resetting the SMC, try entering Recovery Mode again using the standard keyboard shortcut (Command + R). If the problem persists, move on to the next solution.

Solution 4: Boot Mac in Safe Mode

Boot your Mac in Safe Mode to troubleshoot potential software conflicts that might be preventing Recovery Mode from functioning correctly. Here’s how to do it:

1. Shut down your Mac: Click on the Apple menu and select “Shut Down.”

2. Start your Mac in Safe Mode: Press the power button, and immediately hold down the Shift key until the Apple logo or a progress bar appears on the screen.

boot mac in safe mode

3. Wait for Safe Mode to load: Your Mac will take longer to boot in Safe Mode as it performs additional checks and disables non-essential software.

4. Try entering Recovery Mode: Once your Mac is in Safe Mode, attempt to enter Recovery Mode using the standard keyboard shortcut (Command + R).

5. Exit Safe Mode: After troubleshooting in Safe Mode, restart your Mac normally to exit Safe Mode.

If you can enter Recovery Mode in Safe Mode but not in the regular boot, the issue might be related to third-party software or drivers. In such cases, investigate recently installed applications or updates that could be causing the problem. If the Mac won’t go into recovery mode issue persists, move on to the next solution.

Solution 5: Create a Bootable Installer

Still, encountering the “Mac won’t boot into recovery mode” issue? If the Mac’s recovery mode is unresponsive, an alternative approach is to create a bootable installer using the Disk Utility feature. It is recommended to use a dedicated USB for this purpose. Follow the steps below:

1. Restart your Mac and access the “Options” tab during start-up to reach the Utility window.

2. Select “Disk Utility” mode and connect a bootable installer drive to your Mac.

Create a Bootable Installer

3. Choose the drive from the pop-up list, and your Mac will restart. Now you can effortlessly repair your Mac, restoring it to its former functionality.

Solution 6: Use Mac Internet Recovery

Use Mac Internet Recovery

If standard Recovery Mode options fail, try Mac Internet Recovery. Restart your Mac, press Option + Command + R, and wait for the globe icon. Internet Recovery lets you access recovery tools online, allowing you to reinstall macOS or perform disk repairs. Ensure a stable internet connection for this method.

Solution 7: Verify Startup Disk

Ensuring that your Mac’s startup disk is correctly selected in System Preferences > Startup Disk is crucial for smooth booting and recovery processes. If you find that the wrong disk is selected, it may lead to booting issues and hinder access to Recovery Mode.

Hence, by choosing the appropriate startup disk and restarting your Mac, you are allowing the system to prioritize the correct boot drive, potentially resolving any conflicts related to the “Mac won’t boot into recovery mode” issue.

Taking a moment to verify and adjust the startup disk setting can save you time and effort in troubleshooting further issues down the line.

Solution 8: Check FileVault

If FileVault encryption is enabled on your Mac, it provides an added layer of security by encrypting your data. However, it’s essential to be aware that while FileVault enhances your Mac’s data protection, it can also impact certain system functionalities like Recovery Mode. 

Check FileVault to fix mac won't boot in recover mode

By turning off FileVault temporarily through System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault, you are essentially decrypting your disk, which might resolve any conflicts hindering Recovery Mode access. Once you’ve performed the necessary troubleshooting in Recovery Mode, you can consider re-enabling FileVault to continue benefiting from its robust data encryption and security features.

Solution 9: Contact Apple Support

If none of the above solutions work, it’s best to reach out to Apple Support or visit an authorized service provider for further assistance. They can help diagnose and resolve more complex issues.


In conclusion, encountering the Mac won’t boot into recovery mode can be a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock. Right? With the troubleshooting solutions we’ve explored, from checking the keyboard and using alternative shortcuts to creating bootable installers and leveraging Mac Internet Recovery, you have a range of options at your disposal. 

Remember to approach each step with care, back up your data, and seek professional help if needed. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Post

Recent Post

How To Download and Update 802 11n WLAN Driver

By CleanerBestComputer / September 4, 2023

Having trouble with your WLAN drivers? Explore a step-by-step guide to download 802 11n WLAN driver on Windows, including manual settings and automatic updates.

How to Fix Mac Won’t Boot Into Recovery Mode (9 Solutions)

By CleanerBestComputer / August 26, 2023

Stuck with the Mac won’t boot into recovery mode issue? In this guide, we will explore the most probable causes behind this issue and provide you with practical solutions. 

How to Print Double-Sided on a Mac

By CleanerBestComputer / August 19, 2023

Learn how to print double sided on Mac, whether you’re using the Notes app, Word app or want to print web pages or PDFs online.

How to Fix Calendar App Not Working on Windows (7 Solutions)

By CleanerBestComputer / August 12, 2023

The calendar app plays a vital role in managing daily schedules. In this troubleshooting guide, we have listed some of the best fixes to fix the Calendar app not working issue on Windows.

How to Fix Downloads Folder Not Responding on Windows

By CleanerBestComputer / August 5, 2023

Introduction: The Downloads folder on our Windows computers serves as a crucial hub for storing all the files we acquired from the web. Whether it’s important documents, entertaining videos, or software installations, this folder plays a vital role in organizing and accessing our digital content. However, encountering the downloads folder not responding issue can be […]

How to Fix Your IP Has Been Temporarily Blocked

By CleanerBestComputer / July 23, 2023

Introduction: Encountering the “Your IP has been temporarily blocked” on your PC can be frustrating as it hinders your browsing experience. Whether you are trying to access a website, send an important email, or stream your favorite content, receiving the dreaded message can leave you feeling helpless and disconnected from the online world. The good […]

How to Print Text Messages From Android Phone (3 Methods)

By CleanerBestComputer / July 16, 2023

Introduction: Text messaging has become deeply ingrained in our daily lives. Whether it’s a heartfelt conversation, important information, or cherished memories, our Android phones store a treasure trove of valuable messages. But what happens when you need a hard copy of those messages? Fear not, for we have the solution. In this comprehensive guide, we […]

How to Upload Videos on YouTube: A Step-By-Step Guide!

By CleanerBestComputer / July 9, 2023

Introduction: Gone are the days when video creation and sharing were reserved for a privileged few. In today’s age, YouTube has become the ultimate hub for video content and entertainment that draws countless viewers from all corners of the world. Whether you’re a budding filmmaker, a passionate vlogger, or a business owner seeking to expand […]

How to Use ChatGPT on iOS and Android Mobile

By CleanerBestComputer / July 3, 2023

Introduction: Agree or not but ChatGPT is an extraordinary AI marvel that has taken the digital world by storm. With the help of this intuitive platform, you can have endless human-like conversations and get answers to almost anything. Powered by the latest breakthroughs in natural language processing, ChatGPT has revolutionized the way we interact, learn, […]

How to Fix the “Windows Can’t Connect to This Network” Error in Windows 11

By CleanerBestComputer / June 24, 2023

Introduction Windows losing its network connection without warning may be very upsetting. Whatever the connection to your Wi-Fi is steady, you could still see the error message “Windows can’t connect to this network.” Fortunately, you may attempt a variety of options. This article will examine five solutions to a Windows computer’s inability to link to […]