By David Price 30 Apr Generally speaking, you don't need to create a recovery partition for your Mac: since the launch of Lion when Apple stopped selling boxed copies of its operating systems, so it knew buyers wouldn't have backup install disks , macOS has offered a built-in recovery partition that is created automatically for you during installation and stored in a hidden section of the hard drive. Sometimes, however, for one reason or another, the partition is not created during the installation process. In these cases you can create your own. And we show you how to do this in the following article, for every version of macOS.
There are also occasions when a recovery partition won't help.
One is when the hard drive itself - where the recovery partition is stored - fails catastrophically. In that case you'll need a recovery disk stored on a removable storage medium. We've got a separate article showing how to create a Mac recovery disk. Generally the best and simplest method is to reinstall macOS entirely. This is a neat way of triggering for a second time the process whereby the recovery partition is created. It's quite a drastic and time-consuming approach, however.
Here's how to do a clean install of High Sierra. You'll need an 8GB or larger removable drive that hasn't got anything on it you need, and admin privileges. Back up.
How to Recreate Recovery Partition in Mac OS X
Full instructions here: How to back up a Mac. For recommendations of suitable software to use for this process, take a look at our roundup of the Best Mac backup software. We're going to erase it, so make sure it doesn't contain any valuable data. Select the drive and click Erase.
The name of the disk needs to be "Untitled", if the Terminal commands below are to work, so rename it if necessary. Click Erase.
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Click Download. Since we've already got OS X Enter your Apple ID and password. The installer is about 5GB, so downloading can take a while.
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Find the installer file which should have appeared in the Applications folder and save it to an external flash drive. We've got full instructions on how to do that here - How to make a bootable Mac OS X install drive - but we'll run through the basics again. Tip: To access the Recovery Partition, press and hold Command-R or hold Option immediately after the start-up chime just a few seconds after you turn on your Mac.
These are represented by icons of internal hard drives with the name of the respective bootable volume beneath them. You will also have the option to connect to a local wi-fi network to access a Time Capsule or the Internet in recovery mode. There is also an option to choose a network, later, once you have booted into recovery mode.
Alternatively, just ensure that you have an ethernet cable connecting your Mac to your network or direct to your router. Regardless of which method you used, you will arrive at an OS X Utilities screen which gives you four options:. The first three options will require a connection, either wired or wireless, to a local network or router. The second and third options will require your network or router have an Internet connection.
In the case of the second option, the OS X Utilities on the Recovery Partition allows your Mac to connect to the Apple servers to download the appropriate disc image, for your machine, to boot your Mac into recovery mode. The Recovery Partition essentially takes the place of the DVD installation disc that was previously shipped with new Macs. Instead of a physical DVD, the data is now on a hidden partition on your hard drive.
This has immediate benefits. It also has drawbacks. This would enable them with a little more knowledge to potentially access your user accounts and personal data. It is also possible for tech-savvy children to bypass any parental controls that you have set on your Mac.
About macOS Recovery
A physical DVD can be stored separately from the Mac, thereby reducing the potential for password resets on the system. This is not the case with a Recovery Partition. If you are really paranoid about security then you may wish to consider deleting the recovery partition on your Lion or Mountain Lion Mac, but not before you have created a USB Recovery drive. If your Mac originally shipped with OS X This is essential if you are selling your Mac or passing it on to a friend or family member.
Alternatively, to install a fresh copy of Snow Leopard, use OS X Utilities to erase the hard drive before reinstalling the operating system. Be aware that this will not delete the Recovery Partition, for which you will need to follow the procedure below. If you do not have a Recovery Partition, then there is nothing to remove. Then press the return key. This command enables the normally hidden Debug menu item in Disk Utility, which we are going to need for the rest of the procedure. Open the Disk Utility app. This leaves us with a MB partition with nothing in it, so it makes sense to remove the partition and free up the space for the main only partition on your internal drive.
To do this, select the Partition tab, towards the top of the Disk Utility window, and click to select the small Recovery HD partition. Then click on the minus symbol, beneath, to remove it. You will get a confirmation dialogue box which summarizes the action that you are about to perform. Read it carefully. Read it twice to ensure that you are performing the action correctly to remove only the Recovery HD partition. When you have confirmed the action is correct, click the box marked Remove. If you wish, you can confirm that the Recovery Partition has been removed, return to Terminal.
If you have followed the instructions correctly, you should now see that the Recovery Partition has been erased. If you take a look at Disk Utility, you will see that there is now only one large partition on your internal hard drive.
- How to Delete (or Repair) Your Mac's Recovery Partition.
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We have also examined the reasons why you might want to remove it. Finally, we saw a step-by-step procedure to remove the Recovery Partition. If your Mac came pre-installed with OS X You are fairly safe to leave it as is. Save Now.