How to reinstall macOS from macOS Recovery

Learn how to use macOS Recovery to reinstall the Mac operating system on your built-in drive or an external drive.

macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar. This menu is also available in macOS Recovery.

1. Start up from macOS Recovery

To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following combinations on your keyboard. Command-R is generally recommended, especially if you never installed macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later.

Command (⌘)-R

Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac.

Option-⌘-R

Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Shift-Option-⌘-R

Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

Release the keys when you see the Apple logo, a spinning globe, or a prompt for a firmware password. When you see the Utilities window, you’ve started up from macOS Recovery.