Boot Keys for Mac OS X System Start

Apr 26, 2010 - 4 Comments

Here’s a list of system startup hot keys to press while Mac OS X is booting, and their various effects:

  • C – Boot from a CD/DVD
  • T – Boot in Target Disk mode (FireWire only)
  • N – Boot from an attached network server (NetBoot mode)
  • X – Attempt to force Mac OS X to boot
  • Shift – Boot up in ‘Safe Mode’ which has limited functionality
  • Command+V – Boot into Verbose mode
  • Command+S – Boot in Single user mode

I find myself using target disk mode, boot from cd, and verbose mode all relatively frequently in Mac centric IT work.

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Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Juava says:

    Option key (alt) : Boot on USB device

  2. James says:

    @Juava: Actually, Alt-boot scans *all* buses (SATA, USB and Firewire on Intel Macs, IDE and Firewire on PPC Macs) and displays all bootable volumes for you to choose from. I probably use this the most.

  3. William says:

    Don’t forget Command-Option-P-R: resets the parameter ramp.

  4. last born says:

    thanks it worked for me

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