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Tom Nelson

Startup Keyboard Shortcuts for the Mac

By December 28, 2011

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How do you start up your Mac? I usually just hit the power button and then get to work. Once in a while, however, I need to start my Mac using special shortcut keys that force the Mac to modify its startup behavior.

For instance, you can hold down the option key and the OS X startup manager will let you select which disk to boot from. (This assumes you have multiple drives, each with an OS X system installed, or a Lion Recovery HD partition.)

There are quite a few more keyboard shortcuts that affect the Mac's startup process. For a list of these secret shortcuts, take a look at:

Mac OS X Startup Keyboard Shortcuts

December 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm
(1) JD says:

Hey Tom, I think there is one more. I think it applies to Lion.
Hold Command + r during startup to boot into Disk Utility and Internet recovery. Tom “Thank You” for your Great articles, I am a newbie so to speak after being away from the Mac for 12 years. Wow so many things have changed and I am having a great time re-learning the Mac and your articles have been a godsend. Have a Happy New Year!!!

December 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm
(2) Tom Nelson says:

Hi JD,

You’re absolutely right. OS X Lion did add the command + r startup shortcut you describe. I’ll update the list to include that information.
Welcome back to the Mac. Hope you have a grand new year!


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