macOS: How to Boot into Recovery Mode on an M1 Mac

2021 MacBook Pro front

Entering Recovery Mode on an M1 Mac is a different process than on an Intel Mac. Apple made it even easier to do.

Recovery Mode on M1 Mac

Here’s how it works. You’ll have to be connected to the internet to access Recovery Mode.

  1. Restart or shut down your Mac. You can do this by clicking on the Apple icon in the menu bar.
  2. When the screen goes black, press and hold the power button. You’ll eventually see a message that says Loading startup options.
  3. After a few seconds you’ll see two icons: A hard disk and a gear. Click on the gear with Options underneath.
  4. If asked, enter the password for an administrator account.

Once you’re in Recovery Mode on your M1 Mac you’ll be able to perform a variety of tasks.

  • Recovery – Gives you access to more apps in macOS Recovery
  • Restore from Time Machine – Restore your data from a Time Machine backup.
  • Reinstall the current version of macOS
  • Safari – Browse the web if you need information from the Apple Support website
  • Disk Utility – Lets you perform various tasks with your hard drive, such as repairing or erasing
  • Startup Security Utility – Set the security procedures for your Mac
  • Terminal – Carry out various tasks from the command line
  • Share Disk – Share the disk of a Mac that has booted into Recovery Mode
  • Startup Disk – Set the startup disk for the Mac

As you can see, Recovery Mode on an M1 Mac gives you the many of the same options as an Intel Mac. The process for an Intel Mac was to press Command (⌘) + R for recovery.

Why?

Booting into Recovery Mode can be useful for a range of issues:

  • Your Mac won’t or fails to start
  • You want to reinstall macOS
  • You want to repair a disk with Disk Utility
  • You want to restore deleted files on Mac from Time Machine backup
  • You want to wipe your Mac and give/sell to a new person

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