ARCHIVED: On a Mac, how do I change my startup volume or boot from an alternative volume, disc, or device?

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

Choose the option below that best fits your situation:

  • Permanently changing your startup volume: While running in Mac OS X, select System Preferences... from the Apple menu, and then choose Startup Disk. Choose your startup volume and then restart. Unlike with the other options in this list, this new volume will be the default until you change it.
  • Accessing the startup manager: Restart your computer and immediately press the Option key. Icons for all available startup volumes will appear. Use your arrow keys to select the one you want to boot from, and then press Return.
  • Booting from the recovery volume: In Mac OS X 10.7 and later, restart your computer and immediately press Command-r. The computer will boot from your Recovery HD volume, which will allow you to perform diagnostics or reinstall the operating system.
  • Booting from a startup CD or DVD: Restart your computer and immediately press the c key. The computer will look for a bootable CD or DVD and, if it finds one, will use it as its startup device.

This is document ages in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 10:34:43.