Apple’s Silicon Macs to Include New macOS Boot and Recovery Features

Apple’s Silicon Macs will feature a new system for accessing macOS recovery and security options at startup, per a virtual WWDC session on Wednesday.

Currently, Macs offer a number of macOS Recovery options at boot-up that are accessed using various key combinations. Command-R boots a Mac into recovery mode, while Command-Option-P-R resets the NVRAM.

On Apple Silicon Macs, these key combinations are being replaced by an on-screen Startup Manager interface. Users of these Macs will have to hold down their Mac’s power button to access a new startup menu, which features recovery options to reinstall macOS, or to boot as normal, restart, or shutdown.

Target Disk Mode, which is currently used to transfer data between two Macs, will be replaced by a new “Mac Sharing Mode.” The new mode turns the system into an SMB file sharing server, providing another Mac with file-level access to user data. User authentication is required to access the service.

Also new is Startup Disk, which allows users to select different security modes for startup volumes. The default “Full Security” mode provides the same security as provided by Apple’s iOS devices, and allows users to boot from an external disk without risking the system’s security.

Additionally, a Reduced Security mode will allow users to disable System Integrity Protection and run any version of macOS, even those that are no longer signed by Apple.

The WWDC session is worth watching, as it also delves into the performance implications of Apple Silicon as well, using unified memory architecture between the CPU and GPU.

This all serves to make us even more excited to see the new Macs, which will hopefully launch later this year.