How to reinstall macOS in recovery mode

You may need to reinstall macOS if your MacBook is having problems due to corrupted or damaged operating system files.

Reinstall macOS in recovery mode

To reinstall macOS, you need to start your MacBook in recovery mode, which provides access to various recovery tools, including the option to reinstall macOS.

The steps to start Mac in recovery mode vary depending on whether your Mac uses an Intel processor, Apple M1 processor and also if it is equipped with Apple T2 chip.

To check the processor type installed on your Mac, click Apple logo in the top menu bar and select About this Mac option in the drop down menu.About this Mac option

To check if the Apple T2 Security Chip is installed on your Mac, click Apple logo > About this Mac > system information.

On the next screen, click controller in the left pane. In the right pane you can see if your Mac has it Apple T2 chip.

Apple T2 chip on Mac

Important installation guidelines for macOS

During the installation process, you may be prompted to enter a password and select the target installation volume or drive (Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD-Data).

Password: Enter the password with which you log on to your computer.

Disk/Volume: Choose Macintosh HDwhen the installer prompts you to select the target installation disc or volume.

Format disk: You may need to format the hard drive when the message “cannot install macOS‘ or if the hard drive doesn’t show up.

Make sure you don’t close the lid, put your Mac to sleep, or interrupt the installation process in any way. You will find that your computer restarts and shows the progress bar several times.

Note: If formatting the hard drive is required, make sure you create a Time Machine backup of your Mac.

1. Reinstall macOS on MacBook with Apple M1 chip

If your MacBook has an Apple M1 processor, you can follow the steps below to reinstall macOS.

1. Close the Mac (when it is open).

2. Hold down the power button Start the Mac and continue to hold the power button while the Mac boots to the Apple logo. Free that power buttonwhen the message “Loading boot options” appears on your computer screen.

3. Wait for all macOS recovery icons to appear on screen and click options to enter recovery mode.

macOS recovery screen on M1 Mac

4. Choose language and click the next arrow. Select on the next screen reinstall macOS option and click Continue.

macOS recovery options on M1 Mac

5. Follow the next one on-screen instructions and wait patiently for the macOS installation process to complete.

2. Reinstall macOS on the Intel-based MacBook

If your MacBook is equipped with an Intel-based processor, you can follow the steps below to reinstall macOS.

1. Close the Mac (when it is open).

2. Press the power button Start Mac and press and hold immediately command + R Key. Keep holding down power buttonuntil the macOS Utilities screen appears.

macOS Utilities screen

3. Choose reinstall macOS Option > Follow Next on-screen instructions and wait for the macOS installation process to finish.

Note: You can update your Mac to the latest version of macOS using possibility + command + R keyboard shortcut. However, it is better to install the same version of macOS that was previously installed on your Mac and upgrade later.

3. Reinstall macOS on MacBook with Apple T2 chip

If your Intel-based Mac doesn’t enter recovery mode when you press the usual Command + R key combination, it’s equipped with the Apple T2 Security Chip.

1. Close the Mac (when it is open).

2. Press the power button Start Mac and press and hold immediately options (old) + command + R Key. Continue holding all keys until the macOS Utilities screen appears.

macOS Utilities screen

3. Choose reinstall macOS Option > Follow Next on-screen instructions and wait for the macOS installation process to finish.

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