Just upgraded from 10.12.6 to 10.13.3. Everything seemed to go smoothly... except I see I have no Recovery Partition any more - holding down Option at startup just gets me my macOS and BootCamp boot options. Here is the results of mount:

/dev/disk1s1 on / (apfs, local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
/dev/disk1s4 on /private/var/vm (apfs, local, noexec, journaled, noatime, nobrowse)
/dev/disk0s3 on /Volumes/Bootcamp (ntfs, local, read-only, noowners)
map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)

So is no Recovery Partition expected with 10.13?

1 Answer 1


With macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), the recovery partition is moved to inside an APFS container. This container houses your main OS partition (what used to be HFS+ in macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and older) and the recovery partition, as well as a swap partition called VM (Virtual Memory) and a Preboot partition. You can see these by running the command diskutil list:

/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.1 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk1         499.9 GB

/dev/disk1 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +499.0 GB   disk1
                                 Physical Store disk0s2
   1:                APFS Volume macOS                   496.0 GB   disk1s1
   2:                APFS Volume Preboot                 21.9 MB    disk1s2
   3:                APFS Volume Recovery                517.8 MB   disk1s3
   4:                APFS Volume VM                      1.1 GB     disk1s4

You can see it listed here as disk1s3. None of the partitions in the container are automounted other than disk1s1, though you still can mount them (taking the recovery partition as an example) by running diskutil mount disk1s3.

The recovery partition is still accessed the same way as before at startup (holding ⌘R at the startup chime).

  • Thanks - I see the same thing from diskutil list (albeit with BootCamp) - but do you see the Recovery Partition as an option when you hold down the Option key at boot time?
    – Conrad
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:01
  • No, normally that is not the case even before High Sierra. The recovery partition does not possess an entry in the EFI partition.
    – atirit
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:02
  • 2
    That is incorrect - up to and including 10.12 (Sierra), the Recovery Partition was an option at boot time when holding down the Option key.
    – Conrad
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:09
  • Interesting. I must have misremembered; thanks for the correction! :) In that case, I suspect a limitation in displaying multiple boot options from a single APFS container, though I do not know for sure. In any event, it lacks an EFI partition entry in High Sierra.
    – atirit
    Apr 8, 2018 at 2:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .