When I pressed Command S and tried to enter Single User Mode, my MacBook Air goto the rEFIt shell.

If I click the Apple icon in rEFIt screen, and then press Command S, Mac OS X simple goes straight into the logon screen.

How can I enter Single User Mode when rEFIt is installed?

2 Answers 2


"When you have rEFIt installed and you apply the shortcut to boot in single user mode (+S), you actually land in the EFI shell. In order to avoid that, boot as usual. Then choose the Apple icon and press F2. You will be presented with a series of alternate options to boot Mac OS X (e.g. single user mode, verbose mode, etc.)"


Note: After selecting the Apple icon with the cursor, do not press Enter. Right there, on the rEFIt screen, you hit F2. That will bring you to the alternate options, including "Boot Mac OS X in single user mode."

  • I tried F2 (and also fn-F2) after choosing the Apple icon. Only the default user login shows up.
    – ohho
    Dec 2, 2013 at 8:11
  • I have no idea about this specific efi shell, but you can manually load the OS X loader and specify the boot-args manually.
    – bot47
    May 15, 2014 at 19:02
  • ohho, you move the cursor to the Apple icon (don't hit enter or anything), and with the Apple icon highlighted/selected, you push F2 (or Fn+F2 as necessary). I've done it many times. This is how it's supposed to be done.
    – iynque
    Oct 17, 2014 at 23:56

Hold 'ALT' or 'Option' as the rEFIt Mac is booting up.

In the rEFIt OS selection screen, do this: 1. hold 'Command-S' while you 2. click on the Mac or Mac Backup icon

I got into EFI shell and was able to type 'date' to get system date and time. From here, you should be able to mount the disk and change whatever you want.

You could also try rEFInd because rEFIt is not supported any more. -OwL-

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