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 and/or perform an EFI and SMC firmware upgrade to enable Internet Recovery.

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

    • If you're installing MacOS to a new drive with Internet Recovery, you can skip this step.

    I thought this guide is for a completely new SSD, but in this example MacOS appears to already be running. Is the target SSD connected internally via SATA or is this guide for a USB based second SSD that will also run the OS?

    In the latter case, is the intent to run internet recovery on the new SSD and then open the machine up and connect it directly, replacing the old disk?

    orun bhuiyan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Sorry for the confusion, Orun! The new SSD guide shares a few steps with the general “boot to internet recovery mode” guide. If you’re installing MacOS to a new drive, you can skip this step. :)

    Taylor Dixon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Just to clarify, I have a late 2009 MacBook 6,1 running El Capitan and will be upgrading to a new SSD. Will Internet recovery work with this computer? The article states “after 2009”. Also I want to upgrade to High Sierra at the same time is there an option to select which OS or how does it decide?

    nathan davis - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    My current hard drive won’t read. I don’t care about saving anything on the computer at all and had planned on starting fresh. Can i just install the drive then do internet recovery mode or do i still have to have a backup usb with the os preinstaled?

    J H - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  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.

    Does this option still work if using a Bluetooth keyboard?

    Chad Neumann - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Chad, this option should still work if using a bluetooth keyboard. If you’ve paired the keyboard to the computer already, then it should connect quickly enough to register the keypresses. That said, it’s definitely less reliable than using a wired keyboard! And every bluetooth keyboard is different—one might work, and another might not. Good luck!

    Taylor Dixon -

    In my case, the SSD was completely new, and the only way I got internet recovery to work was to press Cmd+Opt+Shift+R, which installs the macOS version which came with my Mac (a Late 2012 21.5’’ iMac).

    Adrià - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    If you have a PC/Windows keyboard plugged in, then use Window+Alt+R for youngest compatible Mac-OS download.

    Ian Kjos - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Thanks for the tips! The BT keyboard didn’t work so I used a handy Windows one.

    lucas -

    MacBook 2009 A1342 DOES NOT WORK, it always shows the ‘folder’ with a ? inside and there is nothing i can do. +, i already bought a copy of Lion 10.7 on app store but cant access it either HELP PLEASE ;-)

    Simon Saint-Pierre - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Mine shows the same thing a folder with a ?, I couldn’t copy my hard drive as it crashed and the computer wouldn’t boot up. Now I’m starting with a brand new ssd I need to know how to or what to do.

    sweetbrandigirl2004 -

    On my MBP mid-2012, the Cmd+Opt+Shift+R worked for me too with a brand new SSD. Thx Adria!

    cat. - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Oui pour moi aussi, avec mon MBP 13" mi 2012...

    Mickael Cambray -

    I have the A1224 and i can’t get to that back screen, I’ve tried com+opt+R and also opt+com+shift+R. It just go straight to log in screen. Any ideas that might help me get there?

    Art - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I have MacBook A1280, I have tried all the keys combination but none is working. Keyboard perfectly working on pc but can't access Mac os partition.

    Michael Deborn - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  3. 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.

    when i want to input wifi password the keyboard is not working

    pika - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Mine just gets stuck at WiFi connection…

    Kelly Cairns - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


    In this step choosing the network I can't type my password to get my connexion.

    It shows me locked.



    Francisco Hernandez - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


    In this step after connecting to WIFI it will be there forever no progress. If I click on another network it’s getting error’ed out with a globe and exclamation mark in it and error is “ -1005 F”.

    Please assist me with some information on how to overcome this phase.


    raghuvaran45.rv - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


    did you fixed it?

    i had same problume can you help me

    thank you

    vazisda -

    -3511 F Eror , whats does it means?

    Shuhrat Safarov - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Mine is stuck flashing a folder with a question mark on it. Now what?

    lauren borkowski - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    cant get passed folder with ? mark inside PLS HELPà

    Simon Saint-Pierre - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Even if your keyboard is AZERTY, write your password as using a QWERTY one. Just did it now.

    You're welcome ;)

    Nicolas Vaché - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    thank you sooooo much

    Geraldine Portal -

    I can’t get passed this… entered WiFi password and it just spins forever trying to login…

    Tom Baker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Cela ne se connecte pas alors que le code est bon, comment faire ???

    coraline.mauna - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Bonjour, je rentre mon mot de passe wifi, mais cela me refuse l’accès ?

    Ebrard Alexis - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    faite attention si vous êtes français ou autre et que votre clavier est en azerty, car moi j’ai finalement compris que dans le ordi c’était en qwerty voilà pourquoi il n’acceptait pas le bon mot de passe

    Marine Leclaire - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    After connecting to the network, globe keeps spinning, no progress bar appears underneath. Please advice how to proceed. Thanks

    miguelcruden - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    After inputting the WiFi password it gets stuck on the revolving globe showing 24:00 for ever. What might be the problem and how to fix this issue? please help!

    Srinivasa Rao Buddha - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. 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.

    Coloco la clave wi fi la reconoce pero no me carga nada, se queda conectado pero sin cargar nada

    federicorabanez - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    de que año es la maquina? Podría ser que la red no tiene conexión? Tal vez pueda probarlo con una conexión por cable.

    Taylor Dixon -

    Coloco la clave wi fi, y la reconoce pero el globo continua rotando hasta que se detiene y muestra error casi que indefinidamente. Algunas veces se congela y muestra error 2002F… no se que hacer

    Luis Hartmann - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hi, what if nothing happens once a connection is established? It just connects to the wifi and then goes back to previous page

    Allie Wilson - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


    I get the spinning globe and progress bar, then it goes to grey screen with apple logo and spinning loading icon then just goes to grey screen :( 2011 macbook pro.

    Plz help.

    morgan phone - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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

    After I entered password and loaded up internet recovery a Question Mark appears and flashing. What do I do next?

    Dennis Fessler - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Never mind. When I tried a second time it went to the Disk Utility. I was able to complete the process.

    Dennis Fessler - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Quanto tempo ci mette di solito a ricaricarsi Internet Recovery ???

    Betty Bi - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Apple und die Time Maschine die alles kaputt macht. Statt Itunes hätten sie lieber die Time Maschine raus nehmen sollen aus Catalina Betriebssystem Apple

    Planet der Giganten - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    mi Mac lleva más de una hora y está hasta la mitad de la barra

    Matías Fonseca५ప - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    A mi me carga hasta la mitad luego se reinicia,mi máquina tiene el problema que se reinicia constantemente pero me deja acceder al modo seguro

    asesino97ful - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Can I backup data from internet recovery to an external drive before reinstalling operating system?

    Sara - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    So, if I have a time machine backup, I chose that? I am replacing my SSD and going from the stock unit to the 1G.

    acm332 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


    Merci pour votre article.

    J’ai une question à laquelle je n’ai trouvé aucune réponse. Comment désactiver la mise en veille lors d’une clean install? Je dois rester constamment rester devant l’écran pour éviter une perte de connexion et un temps d’installation plus long…

    Layanah - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I tried. It it didn’t go beyond globe and I tried for couple of hours. Pls advise

    San D - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Saludos. Al entrar el password pasan unos minutos y se apaga. Que puedo hacer?

    Melissa - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


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.


Taylor Dixon


51,173 crwdns2915208:0crwdne2915208:0



Teardown Team crwdns2886886:0Teardown Teamcrwdne2886886:0





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

72Yonatan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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 -

So a mid 2009 computer won’t have internet recovery mode?

Carlos Perdomo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I bought a Asgard (seems operates from HongKong) 2TB NVME PCIe M.2 SSD that I installed into mackbook pro 15in mid 2015 with sintech adapter for conversion to MacBook AHCI controller. The disk utility does not show this SSD. Later I installed in same way another Sabrent SSD 2TB it worked fine.

What might have gone wrong in the fist SSD. Could that SSD itself faulty or incompatible? any fixes available?

GBish - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Two main reasons:

- You aren’t pushing deep enough your new ssd drive into the slot. Please reopen your mac, unplug the battery connector and push the new ssd to a fashion position.

- Your are missing the Alt/Option key. Please make the full shorcut: Alt+Shift+R.

Orlando Gomez -

Hi there

I recently replaced the HDD in my iMac 2019, 27” Retina 5K with a OWC 1TB SSD which I formatted before installation. After installing the SSD drive my iMac won’t boot up. I’ve tried everything but to no avail. When I turn the power button on nothing happens unless I continuously hold it and then only the fan comes on. Do you have any ideas what could be the problem?


JOSEPH BROWN - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hey Joseph! There are a couple things that could be wrong here. I recommend you follow the steps laid out in this Answers post: iMac will not power on except fans, and when you get to the SDRAM step, instead put back the original HDD to see if that works. (Not that that’s the permanent solution—it’s just a problem solving step.) Hopefully it’s just a loose connector somewhere!

Taylor Dixon -

So I’ve followed these instructions and nothing happens. I reach the screen that shows the spinning globe but then it just stops. The Apple logo appears and sits there inactive. It never updates with the reinstall screen and there no options to update, either via the time machine back up or to reinstall the MAC OS system.

Nicholas Thomas - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Forgot to state, I have a mid 2011 27” iMac.

Nicholas Thomas - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hey Nicholas, since you’re on the tail end of the compatibility list you might need to force your EFI firmware update. You can find the download link here: EFI firmware update list. If you’ve already done that (or you don’t have the ability to boot back into macOS anymore), I would try again with a stable, wired internet connection.

If you can’t get internet recovery to work, you can always create a bootable macOS drive with another macOS machine and use that as a recovery drive in a pinch. Hope this helps!

Taylor Dixon -

help me please, i want to reset my MacBook pro but when i'm click command+R MacBook show like step 3, but i can't input wifi password because my keyboard can't working but the capslock button is working. so what can i do?

pika - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

pika, try plugging in an external keyboard to input the WiFi password!

Taylor Dixon -

I need help please!! I’ve chosen the wifi for the laptop to connect to but it’s just takes me back to the spinning globe and the wifi options. It doesn’t show that it is loading. How do I fix this so I can move forward to the next step?

Gigi - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hey Gigi! It sounds like either your WiFi password isn’t correct, or the computer can’t connect to the internet with that network for some other reason. I would try your password again, and if that doesn’t work you can try to connect using an ethernet cable—or just take it to a friend’s house and try their WiFi!

Taylor Dixon -

Hi! I have followed these steps, the world is spinning and there is a time bar and under the bar is 24:00 and it has been stuck on there for over an hour, it never popped up and asked me to input my wifi information either? Help!!

Danielle Starr - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Danielle, that’s a weird one! Normally the time bar only shows up if you have slow internet, but if it didn’t ask for your wifi information then that’s definitely unexpected behavior. Can you try using an ethernet cable to hardwire internet to the computer? That way you won’t need to use wifi anyway, and hopefully it will be able to boot to internet recovery. Hopefully that workaround will get the job done, keep us posted!

Taylor Dixon -

Time Machine doesn’t work, reinstalling the OS X doesn’t work, and system utility doesn’t show my hd . What do I do?

johnthompson111 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

J’arrive à l’avant dernière étape et après celle là la cinquième étape ne s’affiche pas et m’en remet sur «  saisissez le code pin de verouillage de votre système pour déverrouiller ce Mac «  je n’arrive pas à aller à labo dernière etape

Lou - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

J’arrive jusqu’à la quatrième étape mais après sa me met saisissez le code pin de verouillage de votre système pour déverrouillé ce Mac je ne comprend pas

Lou - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi I have done all of the above steps and the globe remain spining but instead of the progress bar it simply has the new of the WiFi connection under it? Any help? Kinda panicking a little here

Pj Reilly - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

What if it says to select the disk where to install macOS Big Sur, but no disk is showing, it just lets me click back

David Hall - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hello, I have tried the above steps but everything stopped after the bar is fully loaded and shows a “Warning Sign” in the world icon with “", underneath it is -2100F.

Please what can I do next?

David Ebong - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


can you help me please ?

how can I leave this mode?

The combination keys I mean


MacBook Pro 2018

Abdoulaye Cissé - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Utilities does not come up for me only after the spinning globe a page to choose language pops up and then the options to shut down or restart are prompted

moh Visions - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I’ve been trying to get back to the Home Screen but it won’t let me

Sue Burgess - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

recovery stop with error 1008F

H K - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Spinning globe and internet connection but no progress bar. What can I do?

bigolddogman - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi! What’s does that mean:

Earth with triangle with “!” plus that text




Christian Spindler - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

PS: tried it several times and checkt netzwork cable/internet connection - was O.K. but Then it was successful. Happy whis understands that…

Christian Spindler -

I am ok up to step 4 but unfortunately the Mac OS utilities screen doesn’t appear. Only le apple logo

Mps - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I hade this error when going to recover mode -2002f

Prakash Chavan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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