Part 1: Back Up Your Mac to an External Storage Device

But what happens if you erase the entire drive, including this hidden partition? Start up your Mac from a shut down state or restart it, then immediately hold down Command-R.

How to reinstall Mac OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 on your 2011 or newer Mac

You should then be prompted to connect to a Wi-Fi network, and you enter a password. At this point, the Mac should start to download the recovery files from the internet and show a status bar.

Reinstall Mac Operating System From The Recovery Partition - Sound Support

If your main macOS partition had system files become damaged or missing, your other files will remain intact, as this reinstallation only installs and replaces system files and apps. Dropbox finished syncing?

Power cable attached? Pictures of the kids somewhere safe? Then you may proceed.

Step Two: Securely Wipe Your Hard Drive (Optional)

Click on Disk Utility then Continue first of all to get your Mac's hard drive wiped. Select Erase and then confirm your choice.


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  • Step 2: Sign out of everything.

Follow the instructions that appear on screen, license agreements and all, and choose the hard drive to use in most cases it'll be the only one available. Along the way you can sign in with your Apple credentials to get your apps and iCloud links back again. So if you have to do a reinstallation, realize that this is more or less your last hope this side of the dreaded screwdriver, anyway.

Step 1: Boot Into Recovery Mode

In this article, you discover all you need to know to install or reinstall OS X, if you should have to. And you might have to reinstall drivers for third-party hardware such as mice, keyboards, printers, tablets, and the like. Finally, you might have to reregister or reinstall some of your software.


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That said, reinstalling OS X almost always corrects all but the most horrifying and malignant of problems. The process in El Capitan is compared with root-canal work, income taxes, or previous versions of OS X relatively painless.

Your next big Mac update is here. How to download and install MacOS Catalina

In theory, you should have to install El Capitan only once, or never if your Mac came with El Capitan preinstalled. And in a perfect world, that would be the case. But you might find occasion to install, reinstall, or use it to upgrade, such as. If you have a catastrophic hard-drive crash that requires you to initialize format or replace your boot drive. If you replace your internal hard drive with a larger, faster, or solid state drive.

If any essential OS X files become damaged or corrupted or are deleted or renamed. In other words, these instructions describe the process for installing, reinstalling, or upgrading OS X El Capitan. A sheet drops down, asking whether you agree to the terms of the license agreement.