OSX startup Keys


This article applies to the following versions of Mac OSX

10.5, 10.6, 10.7

May work but untested on others.



  • X during startup - Force Mac OS X startup
  • option - (eventually) brings up a screen with startup volume choices
  • Option-Command-Shift-Delete - Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)
  • C - Start up from a CD that has a system folder
  • N  - Attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot)
  • T - Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode (very handy for plugging your Mac into another as an external hard drive)
  • Shift - start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items and non-essential kernel extension files (Mac OS X 10.2 and later)
  • Command-V - Start up in Verbose mode.
  • Command-S - Start up in Single-User mode
  • cmd-opt-p-r - Zap PRAM. Hold down until second chime.
  • cmd-opt-n-v - Clear NV RAM. Similar to reset-all in Open Firmware.
  • cmd-opt-o-f - Boot into open firmware
  • hold mouse click - force eject a CD/DVD
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