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Command+R not working: Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read

On a Mac computer, the Command + R keyboard shortcut is used to boot into the built-in macOS recovery system. This allows you to access various recovery options, including restoring from a time machine backup, reinstalling macOS, and using Disk Utility to repair disk errors.

However, some users have faced an issue where Command + R was not working and they had to initiate macOS recovery. If you are such a user or have faced such an issue ever, this article is for you. In this article, we’ll discuss why Command + R isn’t working and will give you a few quick fixes to resolve Command + R not working issue.


Why is Command + R not working on Mac?

There could be several reasons why the Command + R shortcut is not working on Mac:

  • Malfunctioned keyboard: If the keyboard malfunctions or is incompatible, or if the Command or R key is damaged, then Command + R shortcut will not work on your Mac. Furthermore, if you are using a non-US keyboard layout the Command+ R shortcut may not work as expected.
  • Software issues: Occasionally, updating Mac’s operating system or firmware can affect Command + R shortcut.
  • Faulty accessibility settings: In some cases, accessibility settings on your Mac may interfere with the command + R shortcut.
  • Damaged recovery partition: The recovery partition is a hidden section of your hard drive that contains a copy of your operating system and recovery tools, If this partition is damaged or corrupted, it may prevent your Mac from accessing the recovery mode.

Also read: How to fix Could not find the recovery environment error? 


Command + R not working: Quick fixes

Here are some quick fixes you can try to resolve Command + R not working issue:

Try internet recovery

Internet recovery is an in-built feature of macOS that allows you to install the operating system on your Mac over the internet if, by chance, your hard drive or recovery partition is damaged or corrupted.

To start the internet recovery, use the Command + Option + R keyboard shortcut.

Remember, this option will only work if the keyboard is working fine. If it isn’t, move on to the next steps.


Connect a wired keyboard

If you’re using a wireless keyboard, switch to a wired one instead. This can help eliminate any compatibility issues that may be preventing the Command + R shortcut from working.

If connecting the wired keyboard doesn’t work in the first instance, reboot your Mac and try again.


Reset NVRAM

The Non-Volatile Random Access Memory is a small memory that stores various settings for your Mac, including keyboard shortcuts. Resetting the NVRAM can sometimes fix issues with keyboard shortcuts, including Command + R.

To reset the NVRAM, shut down your Mac, then press and hold Command + Option + P + R as you turn it on.

Also read: How to fix iPad unavailable error?


Frequently answered questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs on the topic to help answer your questions:

Why is Command R not working on my Mac?

Command + R may not work if you have issues with your keyboard, hardware, recovery partition drive, and accessibility settings, among others.


How do I reset my Mac when command +R isn’t working?

If Command + R isn’t working, then you can try the internet recovery option. Press Command + Option + R to start the internet recovery tool. Or, you can insert the Mac recovery drive to reinstall the operating system.

Also read: MacBook not turning on: 7 Fixes

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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