Reboot Macbook Air In Safe Mode


This wikiHow teaches you how to restart your Mac into Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a diagnostic tool that disables non-essential programs and services on your Mac, thus allowing you to remove troublesome programs or change persistent settings. On Macs with Apple co-processors including the MacBook Air (M1, 2020): it is actually a little bit easier to put the machine into recovery mode. On these machines, turn off your computer.

  1. Macbook Safe Mode Reboot
  2. How To Reboot Macbook Air In Safe Mode

These key combinations apply only to Mac computers with an Intel processor, not Mac computers with Apple silicon.

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.
Boot mac in safe mode

Remember that some key combinations are disabled when your Mac is using a firmware password.


Learn more

  • Keyboard shortcuts that you can use after your Mac has started up.

What should you do if your MacBook Air cannot recover from Recovery Mode?

Recovery is a set of tools that you can rely on in the case of an emergency. This can include a drastic situation where you cannot get into OS X. Although it looks a great deal like OS X proper, Recovery’s capabilities are confined to essential maintenance tools to help you recover from a critical issue.

However, you may find that your MacBook Air or any Mac computer stuck in Recovery Mode. Here are some expert tips and advice on what to do if Mac is stuck on Recovery Mode.

What Is Recovery Mode?

macOS Recovery belongs to the built-in recovery system of your MacBook or computer. The different utilities in macOS Recovery help you:

Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.

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  • Get help online
  • Reinstall macOS
  • Restore stuff from Time Machine, and
  • Repair or erase a hard disk

Without much difficulty, you can start up from it and use its utilities to recover from software issues or take other actions.

To use Recovery, just turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R. You may also use one of the other designated key combinations on your keyboard. Continue to hold until the Apple logo or a spinning globe appears.

Once you have started up successfully from Recovery, choose from the different utilities and then click Continue:

  • Reinstall macOS or OS X – Download and then reinstall the Mac operating system.
  • Restore from Time Machine – Restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup of your computer.
  • Disk Utility – Repair or erase your startup disk or another hard disk.
  • Get Help Online – Using Safari, you can browse the web to find help for your computer, including Apple Support. The system, though, disables browser plugins and extensions.
  • Other Available Utilities – Firmware Password Utility, Network Utility, and Terminal are also available from the Utilities menu in the menu bar.

If you want to quit Recovery, you simply need to hit Restart or Shut Down from the Apple menu.

How to Get Out of Recovery Mode

There are times, however, when you get stuck in Recovery Mode for an unclear reason.

Newer Macs and certain older ones automatically attempt to start up from macOS Recovery over the internet when they fail to start up from the built-in recovery system. In this instance, a spinning globe shows up instead of an Apple logo when it’s startup time.

Some MacBook and Mac users have reported that they got stuck in Recovery Mode. One was in the process of installing macOS High Sierra on his MacBook Air. Suddenly, his computer restarted and couldn’t boot up. He was then trapped on the Recovery page and couldn’t reinstall any operating system at all.

Macbook Safe Mode Reboot

According to the system, there isn’t enough storage on his hard drive. To make matters worse, he didn’t have any Time Machine saved OS either.

The main problem here is when you are stuck, you cannot re-download an operating system. Relax, though, because we just might have an expansive list of potential solutions for you.

Before getting to work with these solutions, make sure to always clean up your Mac using a reliable Mac optimizer tool. This will help avoid junk files and other space hogs from getting in the way of your Mac’s processes and causing errors.

Try the fixes we listed below to get out of the Recovery rut:

Restart Your Mac

Shut down your machine, wait 30 seconds, and then restart it. You may also start your computer in Safe Mode, and then restart normally afterwards. Note that this is slower than your standard computer startup.

Create a New User Account

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Users & Groups Preferences.
  2. Click on the lock icon. Afterwards, enter your Admin password once prompted.
  3. On the left side under Current User, you’ll find an Add [+] button under Login Options. Click on it.
  4. Create a new Admin user account.
  5. Once done, log out of your current account and log into the new one.

If the problem stops, you might want to try migrating to the new account, transferring your files there.

Reset Your PRAM and NVRAM

Nonvolatile random access memory (NVRAM) is a small amount of memory. Macs use it to store settings and access them right away. Settings stored in NVRAM include sound volume, time zone, display resolution, and startup-disk selection.

Parameter RAM (PRAM) stores similar information. Take note that you need to follow the same steps to reset both.

Here are steps to reset your NVRAM properly:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. While turning it on, immediately press and hold the Option, Command, P and R keys together. Release these keys after 20 seconds. During these times, your computer might appear to restart.
  3. Once your Mac has started up, open System Preferences. Adjust any settings that have been reset, such as sound volume and display resolution.

Reset the System Management Controller

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for a number of functions on Intel-based Macs. These functions include responding to power button presses, battery management, thermal management, and ambient light sensing. They also include keyboard backlighting, battery status indicator lights, and Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS).

There are several indicators that it’s time to consider resetting the SMC. These include your Mac not responding when you press the power button. A reset is also potentially helpful in certain situations, such as when your Mac:

  • Sleeps or shuts down unexpectedly
  • Performs unusually slowly
  • Gets stuck in Recovery

On a Mac notebook with a removable battery, restart the SMC with these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the power button for some five seconds.
  4. Reinstall the battery.
  5. Press the power button again to turn on your machine.
Reboot Macbook Air In Safe Mode

On a MacBook with a non-removable battery:

  1. Select Apple menu > Shut Down.
  2. Once your machine is off, press Shift-Ctrl-Option on the left side on the built-in keyboard. Press the power button simultaneously. For 10 seconds, hold the keys along with the power button. If you’re using a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, Touch ID also serves as the power button.
  3. Release the keys.
  4. Press the power button once more to switch on your Mac.

Find other instructions for resetting the SMC here.


How To Reboot Macbook Air In Safe Mode

Erase and Install OS X

Here are steps you should follow:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Immediately after the chime, hold down the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo.
  3. Once the Utility Menu appears, select Disk Utility. Click Continue.
  4. When Disk Utility loads, choose the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  5. In Disk Utility’s toolbar, click on the Erase icon. You will see a drop down panel.
  6. Set the Format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  7. Click Apply, and then wait for the Done button to activate. Click on it.
  8. Quit Disk Utility.
  9. Return to the Utility Menu.
  10. Choose Reinstall OS X. Click Continue.

If you find the compelling need to reinstall macOS, you may also use a bootable installer. Here, you can use an external drive or secondary volume as a startup disk from which you can install the operating system. Follow the steps straight from Apple Support.

Final Notes

Recovery is a set of tools that aids you through an emergency. These dire situations include a critical problem that you need to recover from. MacBooks and other Mac machines, however, can get stuck in Recovery Mode and encounter boot-up problems. Use the solutions above to find the best fix for your specific case.

Have you ever come across this fairly common issue with Recovery Mode? Let us know more about your experience!

If you’re running into errors and your system is suspiciously slow, your computer needs some maintenance work. Download Outbyte PC Repair for Windows, Outbyte Antivirus for Windows, or Outbyte MacRepair for macOS to resolve common computer performance issues.Fix computer troubles by downloading the compatible tool for your device.
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