10 Tips to Fix Command + R Not Working on Mac (Sonoma/Ventura)

Cassie Xie
Last updated: Aug 23, 2023
Summary: This post provides some solutions to help you fix Command + R not working or Mac won’t boot into recovery mode issue.

If your Mac has problems like Mac won’t boot, you may boot your Mac into recovery mode by using the Command + R keyboard shortcut to reinstall macOS, etc. You can press the Power button and immediately press Command + R to enter into recovery mode. However, if Command + R is not working on your Mac, you may try the 10 tips below to fix the issue.

command r not working

1. Restart Your Mac and Try to Enter Recovery Mode Again

You can restart your Mac and try to use the Command + R keyboard shortcut to enter recovery mode again.

2. Command + R Is Not Working on Apple Silicon Macs

The Command + R shortcut only works for Intel-based Macs. If you use an Apple M1/M2 Mac, this shortcut won’t work to enter into macOS Recovery.

You can click Apple > About This Mac to check your Mac’s processor, memory, graphics card, etc.

If you are using an Apple silicon Mac, follow the instructions below to start your Mac in Recovery Mode.

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Press and hold the Power button until you see the startup options screen.
  • Select Options > Continue to open the Recovery screen.
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3. Check Your Keyboard

If you are using a wireless keyboard and use Bluetooth to connect it to your Mac, you can check if your keyboard is well connected and works normally. If the keyboard is not connecting, you may try to use another keyboard or change to a wired keyboard to see if it fixes the Command + R not working issue.

4. Update Mac to the Latest Version

If your Mac is running macOS Sierra and older, then it won’t have the Recovery options. You can update your Mac to newer versions to get this feature. System updates may also help fix bugs on your Mac.

To update macOS, you can click Apple > System Settings > General > Software Update.

how to update Mac

For older macOS versions that don’t have the Software Update feature, you can open App Store and click the Updates tab to check for updates for your Mac.

5. Try Another Keyboard Shortcut

If Mac Command + R is not working and your Mac won’t boot into Recovery Mode, you can try another Mac keyboard shortcut.

On Intel Macs, Apple allows you to use different shortcuts to enter into recovery mode based on which version of macOS you want to download and install. Check them below. The latter two shortcuts also let you boot into Internet Recovery Mode.

  • Command + R: Reinstall the Mac OS that you have installed on your Mac.
  • Option + Command + R: Install to the latest macOS compatible with your computer.
  • Shift + Option + Command + R: Install the macOS that came with your Mac computer.

6. Run Disk Utility to Repair Your Mac

Repair Mac

7. Reset NVRAM/PRAM on Your Mac

You may reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac to see if it helps fix the Command + R not working issue.

To rest NVRAM/PRAM, you can shut down your Mac and start it again, and immediately press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keyboard shortcut.

8. Reset SMC on Mac

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Press Control + Shift + Option + Power keys at the same time for about 10 seconds to reset SMC (System Management Controller).
  • Release all keys and press the Power button to turn on your Mac.

9. Reinstall macOS via a Bootable USB

If your Mac can’t boot into Recovery Mode with Command + R, you may try another way to reinstall your macOS. You can create a Mac bootable USB to reinstall macOS.

10. Contact Apple Support or Visit Apple Store

If the above tips don’t help you fix the Command + R not working issue, you may contact Apple Support or visit Apple Store to seek help.

Bottom Line

This post provides 10 solutions to help you fix Command + R is not working for entering recovery mode on Mac. Hope it helps.

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Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 5 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way anyone can understand.