Mac OS Startup Key Combination

On a Mac with Apple silicon

Turn on your Mac with Apple silicon and continue to press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window. From there you can start up from a different disk, start up in safe mode, use macOS Recovery, and more. Learn more about these options, including macOS Recovery

On an Intel-based Mac

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.

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. You might need to 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.