When you boot your Mac, the macOS will setup all necessary things to run your computer. However, sometimes you will face problems like slow starting, some apps not working properly and even you might have forgotten the login password. Fortunately, macOS offers useful startup commands that you can use while booting the computer. These Mac startup commands are useful so that you can access the desktop and do further troubleshooting or start doing your routines.
macOS Startup Commands
There are lot of Mac commands that you can run from Terminal app. However, startup commands are different than Terminal commands. These are basically keyboard shortcuts which you can use to revoke certain function when the system is booting. Here are the top 5 useful macOS startup command that can save your life when you are in trouble.
1. Start Mac in Safe Mode
When booting your Mac, you can choose to boot with safe mode. As the name indicates, safe mode will disable all kernel extensions and fonts used by third-party apps. System will also check the hard disk similar to First Aid option in Disk Utility app and repair the found errors. You can simply hold the shift key while booting your Mac to start the safe mode. However, the process is little bit different in Apple silicon chip based Mac. You can check this article on how to boot Mac in safe mode and confirm whether it is working in safe mode.
2. Using Verbose Mode
When you start the Mac, it will show a progress bar and then you will directly land on the desktop. Did you ever wonder what exactly happens in the background like the processes running during booting? This is something like booting your Windows PC with a command line only interface. You can monitor the processes running while booting for understanding as well as troubleshooting purposes.
- Confirm your Mac is turned off.
- Press and hold command and V keys on your keyboard.
- Now press the power key to boot the system.
This will start your Mac in verbose mode.
3. Booting with Recovery Partition
Mac uses a separate recovery partition in your hard drive. This function comes by default and is super useful for resetting primary password. You can also boot into the recovery partition and restore Time Machine backup or check disk errors. To access recovery partition, press command and R keys together and then press the power key. When you are logged in, use the resetpassword command in Terminal app to reset your password.
Note that you can always check the recovery partition by using diskutil list command in Terminal app. This command will list all partitions available on your disk including the portion reserved for recovery.
4. Reset SMC
The next start command in macOS is to reset your System Management Controller or SMC. This SMC controls low level functions like fan speed, ambient sensors and battery. You can reset SMC to fix momentary glitches with these functions. When booting the Mac, press and hold control, option and shift keys. After that press and release the power button to reset SMC.
5. Reset NVRAM
NVRAM is a non-volatile RAM used to store system settings like sound, screen resolution, startup disk, etc. If you find any problems related to system settings, then resetting your NVRAM could help to fix the issue.
- Press and hold command, option, R and P keys together.
- Now press and release the power button.
When you are stuck with login screen, use the above Mac startup commands. These commands will help to reset things or boot in safe/verbose mode. In most cases, this will automatically resolve any momentary issues on your Mac.