I do not know how to check if Firmware Password which prevents changing the OS Startup Disk options is enabled on my Macbook Air 2013-mid with El Capitan 10.11.4.

How to check if Firmware Password is enabled from OS X and Mac Hardware?

1 Answer 1


Apple uses their own boot loader, which only boots OS X, so I am not entirely sure what you mean by secure boot.

However, I assume you are asking how you can tell if a Mac has been secured with a firmware password. To find out, simply try to boot the Mac into anything but the normal OS X boot process. Try using an external boot volume, recovery mode, single user mode, verbose mode, target disk mode, resetting the PRAM or any other alternative booting approach. They will all trigger the firmware password window.

Failing to enter the correct password won't do anything. The machine just wont boot. Even if failed, it will probably still boot into your normal OS X install, but I havent tried that.

Please note: The term "firmware password" on Macs can also be referred to as "Open Firmware" or "EFI passwords".

  • Note that on Macs with RAM that is both accessible and removable, OpenFirmware can be disabled by removing RAM and booting the machine.
    – IconDaemon
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:58
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    The comment by IconDaemon is true, but not a concern for most as it applies only to pre-Intel Macs. Apr 28, 2016 at 16:56
  • The Mac Minis released in 2006 was the earliest Intel Mac. These early Intel Macs' OpenFirmware passwords could be changed this way, but the method was disabled in 2011, so we're both wrong and right, simultaneously. Imagine that.
    – IconDaemon
    Apr 28, 2016 at 18:16
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    Secure Boot is a feature on Macs with the T2 Security Chip. It is a separate feature from setting a firmware password - that is the next generation of secure boot for newer hardware going forward. support.apple.com/en-us/HT208330 Jul 12, 2019 at 15:17

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