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Introduction

If your Mac isn't connected to a storage drive with macOS installed, or your boot drive is corrupted, the computer will flash a question mark folder icon on startup, and then shut down.

Follow this guide to boot your Mac to Internet Recovery mode and access recovery tools like Disk Utility, Time Machine, and the macOS installer.

Internet Recovery is only available on Apple computers made after 2009. If your computer was released in 2010 or 2011, you may need to update to the latest version of macOS to enable Internet Recovery.

  1. Shut down the computer.
    • Shut down the computer.

  2. Once the computer is completely shut down, press the power button, then immediately press and hold the key combination cmd + option + R.
    • Once the computer is completely shut down, press the power button, then immediately press and hold the key combination cmd + option + R.

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  4. When the spinning globe animation appears, you can release the keys. The globe will spin while Internet Recovery starts up. If you are not using a wired internet connection, a choose network prompt will appear. Use this menu to connect the computer to a WiFi network.
    • When the spinning globe animation appears, you can release the keys.

    • The globe will spin while Internet Recovery starts up. If you are not using a wired internet connection, a choose network prompt will appear. Use this menu to connect the computer to a WiFi network.

  5. Once a network connection has been established, a progress bar will appear underneath the spinning globe.
    • Once a network connection has been established, a progress bar will appear underneath the spinning globe.

  6. When Internet Recovery has loaded, you will see the macOS recovery screen.
    • When Internet Recovery has loaded, you will see the macOS recovery screen.

Conclusion

From the recovery menus, you can restore your data from a Time Machine backup, Reinstall macOS, get help online, and use Disk Utility to format and diagnose problems with any connected storage drives.

One other person completed this guide.

Taylor Dixon

Member since: 06/26/2018

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2 Comments

Apparently PowerBook G4 12” does not work for restoral based upon this exercise?

72Yonatan - Reply

Oh, I’m so sorry! I forgot to specify: internet recovery mode is only available on newer Apple computers. I’ve updated the intro now, sorry for the confusion!

Taylor Dixon -

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