These key combinations apply only to Mac computers with an Intel processor, not Mac computers with Apple silicon.
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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.
- 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.
If a key combination doesn't work
If a key combination doesn't work at startup, one of these solutions might help:
- 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.
Remember that some key combinations are disabled when your Mac is using a firmware password.
- Keyboard shortcuts that you can use after your Mac has started up.
Forgot your Mac's login password? How do I reset lost admin password without Mac OS X installer disc? If you can't sign in to another Admin account, here are several approaches you can take for resetting your forgotten MacOS Mojave password, without reinstalling.
Mac doesn't make password recovery as difficult as Windows does. Just boot your Mac into single-user mode or recovery mode, you can either create a new admin account or reset lost password of any existing account. No need to use Mac installer disc or third-party software.
Method 1: Reset Forgotten MacOS Mojave Password in Single-User Mode
Single-user mode under Mac OS X gives you all root privileges without root password. This allows forgetful users to create a new admin account when they're locked out of Mac due to forgetting password.
- Power on or restart your Mac. When you hear the startup chime, hold down the Command and S keys simultaneously to enter into single-user mode.
Your Mac will display the scrolling white text during bootup. When it stops, enter the following commands one by one. Press Enter after each command:
- Your Mac will restart and you need to go through the entire setup process as if it was a brand new Mac. Don't worry, all of your pre-existing data is still available. Just go ahead and it will let you create a new Administrator account.
- Once you're logged in to the new account, you can reset forgotten Mac password of your original account through System Preferences.
Method 2: Reset Forgotten MacOS Mojave Password in Recovery Mode
Mac's Recovery Mode gives users the ability to not only reinstall MacOS, but also to reset forgotten admin password. This should be the easiest approach to restore access to your Mac account.
Restart Mac In Recovery Mode With Windows Keyboard
- Power on your Mac. Immediately hold down the Command and R keys at the same time until you see the loading bar appear under the Apple logo.
- After booting into Recovery Mode, a MacOS Utilities screen will appear. Click the Utilities menu at the top of your screen and then select Terminal.
- At the Terminal window, type resetpassword and hit Enter.
- This launches the Reset Password screen, which asks you to select an admin user you know the password for. Just click on the 'Forgot all password' link.
- The next screen will list all user accounts on your Mac. Just click the Set Password button next to the account you want to reset the password for.
- In the pop-up window, enter the new password, confirm it, and click on Set Password.
- Now you can restart the Mac from the Apple menu, and login with your new password.
Reset Mac From Recovery Mode
The above methods will help you reset forgotten MacOS Mojave password when you're locked out of the Admin account, without losing any files except the login Keychain.