I have a Mac Pro (early 2009) running Yosemite 10.10.2, all up to date. Yosemite is installed on my primary SSD (I have 2 additional magnetic drives). I use Boot Camp, and have Windows 8.1 installed on the same SSD alongside Yosemite.

If I hold down the option key on boot, I see both Mac OS and Windows as options in the boot disk selection screen, plus some recovery options. This works fine, and I can successfully boot into either from there:

enter image description here

My problem is that I want to make the default boot Windows (it is currently defaulting to Mac OS - so every time I restart from Windows I have to remember to hold option and select Windows), but I can't do this from Mac OS -> System Prefs -> Startup Disk, because I only see Mac OS as an option, there is no option for Windows:

startup disk options

I'm guessing something is borked here but I have no idea why or how to solve this, any ideas? As far as I can tell my disk is partitioned fine, everything is healthy. This is the Windows partition in disk utility, I've thought about hitting 'Repair Disk' in disk utility but I have no idea what that will do and I don't want to screw up Windows:

disk utiulity

In Windows I have the boot camp icon in my system tray with an option for Control Panel, but this only shows me keyboard options - which seems weird, are there supposed to be more options there?

windows boot camp control panel

Also, clicking on boot camp from Windows Control Panel does nothing:

enter image description here


  • Did you install Windows using BIOS/MBR or EFI/GPT? What do you see when you open Boot Camp on the Windows Control Panel? Did you try blessing Window from a Terminal Window? Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 10:12
  • I installed Windows after creating a boot camp partition on the Mac side using boot camp assistant, then installed Windows 8.1 from the install DVD (bought from Maplins). I've added more info about the options I get on the Windows side, does this indicate a problem? thanks Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 10:12
  • FWIW I've never had the ability to select Windows as my default startup disk from OS X—System Preferences only shows my OS X partition. However, in Boot Camp Control Panel, I do get a Startup Disk tab next to Keyboard in your screenshot which does let me select Windows as default.
    – grg
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 10:51
  • 1
    Bootcamp Control Panel (in Windows) will only show the Startup Disk options if it is run as administrator. If you run it as a non privileged user, it will only show the function key options you specified.
    – flakshack
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 0:40

3 Answers 3


You can set the default boot partition from the option-boot screen. Press the Control key while clicking the arrow beneath the drive, and that should do the trick.

  • Magic! That worked. I started suspecting some boot camp bits on the windows side are missing or broken somehow (I seem to be missing some options in the boot camp control panel in windows) but this works and I'm sticking with it! Thanks so much :) Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 10:25
  • The Mac's Startup Disk preference pane does this. Just select the Boot Camp partition and off you go. There should be a corresponding preference in Windows, odd that it is not showing up. Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 13:50
  • Except, when it doesn't. See the picture of his system prefs window in the original question.
    – Kent
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 20:30

I found a different way that worked for me. Not only was the Bootcamp showing only the generic name (Windows) of my Windows 7 partition and not its true name (SSD Windows), but the startup preferences menu likewise omitted to list my Windows partition as a startup option.

First I executed the repair function on the Bootcamp drive and partition, which found a few minor errors and repaired them, but this did not solve my problem.

Then I booted to the Windows partition (ensuring I was logged in as an Administrator) and performed the following operation:

  1. Go to Start menu
  2. In the search field search for "cmd.exe"
  3. When it appears in the search results, click on it to open
  4. The command.exe window will open
  5. Enter the command sfc/scannow (this will run the sfc utility to check and repairs system files when possible).
  6. In my case this also found errors and I needed to reboot to fix them.
  7. After the windows reboot, I then rebooted into OS X.

After following the above process, not only did Bootcamp have the true name of my Windows partition, but it was also listed as one of my Startup Disk options!


You could also add some kind of boot manager, as Refind or the defunct RefiT. Thoses will remember the last choise you did, pkus, they are highly configurable.

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