I can't start my MacBook Pro 2017 using controlR, controloptionR, or shiftcontroloptionR.

For all combinations I only get the folder with a question mark shown.

What can it mean and how can I fix it?

  • did you try this Press and hold the Option key immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac. Release the Option key when you see the Startup Manager window.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 20:06
  • 1
    In addition to @Buscar웃 's question, do you mean the command key instead of the Control key you're asking about?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 4:17

2 Answers 2


This is pretty easy - the folder with a question mark means no bootable volume is connected to the computer despite what disk used to be the startup disk was in the past.

You'll want to connect to a WiFi or wired network and try booting to internet recovery or bring a known good bootable OS to this machine so you can boot to disk utility and see if the internal drive needs first aid or a wipe and erase.

To manually start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet, hold down Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R at startup.

Barring that, you'll need to seek hardware service if you don't have internet boot or a way to bring a bootable OS to this Mac.

The only one thing to try is resetting the NVRAM one time. Hold Command - Option - P - R at boot and make sure you hear the startup chime twice before letting go.

Apple support image showing option + command + P + R All the other commands won't help get you past the folder with a question mark.


My way out was to erase and reinstall macOS:

  1. Burn a USB key with MacOS Catalina or Mojave on it (follow instructions on internet: https://support.apple.com/sl-si/HT201372)
  2. Plug the USB with your future MacOS on your Mac, restart the mac and hold the Alt button down (if it doesn't work with the Alt use the cmd).
  3. Now you will see the option to boot from that USB, choose that option, erase the HD where you want to install your MacOS and you are good to go

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