Command R not working on Mac- 8 Methods to Fix It

Command R not working on Mac- 8 Methods to Fix It

Command R not working on Mac: Command or R keys could fail working on Mac to bring up the recovery mode. This is due to wireless keyboard issues, incorrect combinations of keys/power button presses. The corrupted NVRAM could also be responsible for the error Command R not working on Mac.

When the user attempts to use the recovery mode on his Mac, but it fails, the system will default back to the normal mode. This issue does not only affect a specific model or year of Mac.

Command + R not working on mac

Before you begin the troubleshooting process to force Mac to enter the recovery mode, ensure that there is no firmware pass. If it is, then delete it. You won’t be able use the recovery options if this firmware password is still in place. The recovery options are available only to Lion macOS and above. If you don’t have Lino macOS, then perform a clean installation of macOS using a DVD/USB drive.

It is also a good idea to use a Mac keyboard while troubleshooting. To determine if the problem is temporary, turn off your computer and then turn it on (not just a simple restart). Make sure that the keyboard is working properly . You can factory reset your Mac using a Windows keyboard. If the Windows + R keys do not work, you can try other keys.

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Why should you enter the Recovery Mode?

As the name implies, Recovery mode is a startup window that can’recover’ your computer. You can access it while your computer is starting up.

This mode is used primarily by Mac users to restore their Time Machine backups or reinstall macOS completely. You also have the option of accessing your browser to receive help from Apple servers and to enter Disk Utility in order to repair any corrupted hard drives.

My Computer Is Not Entering Recovery Mode

You might have many reasons your Command + R button configuration does not work on your device. These are the reasons your computer isn’t able to enter the recovery window, in addition to the ones mentioned.

  • Incorrect way to enter the recovery window
  • A malfunctioning keyboard
  • Data from NVRAMs that have been corrupted
  • Problems with hard disks

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How do I fix Command R not working on mac/windows?

We’ve now covered why Command + R may not work on your system. The fixes are listed below with a few other workarounds.

1. Try again, but in a correct way

If you cannot access the recovery window, the first thing you should do is try again. This time, press Command + R correctly.

  1. Your computer should be turned off.
  2. To turn on your computer, press Powerbutton
  3. Hold Command +R as soon as the system boots up.
  4. These keys should be left behind after you have seen the recovery window.

    It might take some time, so keep your fingers crossed and hold on tight!

2. Switch to a wired keyboard

Most Mac users use Bluetooth or a wireless keyboard that is compatible with macOS. Sometimes, the wireless/Bluetooth keyboard light comes on too late in the boot process. This may cause the error discussed. This situation may be solved by switching to a wired keyboard.

Turn off your Mac and Disconnect your wireless keyboard from it.

Now connect to the wired keyboard, and power to Mac. MacBook Pro Keyboard

Wait until the system powers on completely , and then shut it down

Now turn on your system and see if you are able to boot into recovery mode by using the Command & R keys.

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3. Ensure that your Keyboard is working properly

Your keyboard might have malfunctioned, which could explain why you are unable to access the recovery window. You might have some keys gone bad. Try a different keyboard and hold Command + R while you start your computer.

Make sure your keyboard is securely plugged into an iMac. If your keyboard is wirelessly paired with the system, disconnect it and re-pair. This is how to do it.

  1. Open System Preferences in the Apple menu.
  2. Click on the Bluetooth button.
  3. Now , Turn Bluetooth On.
  4. To unpair a keyboard that is not on the list of paired peripherals click x>.
  5. Next, turn on the keyboard.
  6. To repair the keyboard, click Connect when it is visible in the window.

4. Try different combinations of Power On Buttons or Command + R Keys

If the sequence of the keys and power-on buttons to enter the recovery mode are different from the one you’re using, this could cause the problem. The following combinations may help you solve the problem.

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Multiple taps on the Keys

To check if the problem is solved, power on your Mac and double tap the Command+R keys (when you hear the startup sound). Command + R Keys on Mac Keyboard

If you don’t, power down your Mac.

Now turn on your system and continue to pressing the necessary keys until the system boots into recovery mode.

Hold the Command + R keys and press the key.

Power Off Your Mac.

To turn it off, press the switch on your wireless keyboard. Turn off the Mac Keyboard

Now power is on the keyboard, and then instantly power the Mac.

Hold the Command + keys quickly and verify that the recovery options are displayed.

After the green light flashes, press the keys.

Turn on Your System.

Now turn on your system and press all the keys after the green light flashes. Next, check to see if the recovery mode can be booted. Green Light Flash of Mac

Hold the Power Buttons and Keys

Power Off The Mac

Hold the power button and Command and R keys until you see 6 second.

Now release your power buttons on your system, while holding the keys and checking if the recovery mode is available.

Before you turn on the system, press the keys.

Turn on your Mac. Next, press the Command + keys . Then hit the power button.

To confirm, quickly turn power off your Mac.

After NumLock Flash, press the keys.

Turn off your Mac. Turn on your Mac and wait for NumLock to flash. Next, press the key to check if the recovery options are available.

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5. Clean Install the macOS

You may not be able to enter the recovery mode by pressing the Command + R keys if the recovery partition has not been installed or preset. To wipe the Mac from this situation, you will need to clean-install macOS using an external media such as a DVD or USB drive. To confirm that the recovery partition exists, run the following command in the Terminal to launch the disk utility.

style='font-size:8.0pt;color:#3F3B36'>diskutil list

Disk Utility: Check the Recovery Partition for Mac

If you do not have a recovery partition, follow these steps to install macOS.

Copy the installation disc to the DVD drive.

Now restart the system. Next, press the key during boot. To boot from the DVD, press the C Key.

Next, go to the second page and select the Utilities Menu. You can then repair or reformat your system to resolve the problem. Reinstall macOS

You might find the recovery disc on an older hard drive if you’ve recently switched. If that disk is not available, you can use the disk for the recovery operation.

If you have not had any luck, perform an Internet Recovery (Command + Options + R keys) on your system. Plug your system directly into the router. For more advanced troubleshooting , if the problem persists, go to the Apple store .

6. Perform a First Aid

Your bootable drive is used to access the recovery window. If your hard drive has been damaged, it won’t be able to boot into recovery mode. To overcome this problem, macOS has added the First Aid feature.

First aid is used to examine your disks for errors. It also attempts to correct those errors if it is possible. It is very easy to perform a First Aid Test on your Mac. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. To pull up the Spotlight search, press Command +.
  3. Go to Disk Tool.
  4. From the sidebar, select your bootable volume.
  5. Click on First aid.
  6. Final step: Hit Run first aid.

7. Reset NVRAM

NVRAM is a permanent memory that does not have a volatile component. This means that even if the computer is off, the contents of the NVRAM are not erased. These are typically your system’s data and other core macOS data.

It’s a good idea to reset NVRAM whenever there is a problem with the interface or application software on your computer. This can replace the corrupted files with a new one, and thus fix your problem.

Users with M1 Macs will notice that the NVRAM is reset every time they restart their computer. T2 Mac users have a slightly different process. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your computer must be turned off.
  2. Once it is turned off completely, click Power button.
  3. Once the screen is illuminated, hold and press Command + Option + P + R.
  4. These keys should be held down until the computer starts fully.

8. Access an alternative recovery window

If none of these steps work, it is possible that your recovery partition has become corrupted. You can use an alternate recovery window in such cases.

For T2 and M1 Macs, the alternate recovery window is slightly different. Accessing them is also different. We have provided steps below for both.

On T2 Mac

If the normal recovery window is not loading, T2 Macs can use the Internet Recovery Mode to replace it. There is only one difference between the two modes: the Internet Recovery Mode can be accessed via Apple servers and not your disk drive. Here’s how to get this mode:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Give yourself around 10 seconds to wait before you do anything.
  3. Hold Power + Command + Options + Shift + the R keys.
  4. Continue holding the buttons down until you can see the spinning globe.
  5. Connect to the internet.

M1 Mac

M1 Macs have an alternative mode called the Fallback Recovery Mode. This is a secretly stored copy of the recovery OS that can be used in case you have major boot problems. Apple says it is a “second copy” of the recovery OS that is kept for resilience. Here’s how you can enter the Fallback Recovery mode:

  1. Your computer must be turned off.
  2. Once you press the Power key, quickly release.
  3. Then, grab the Power key immediately.
  4. Continue holding down the key until the Apple icon appears.


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