My "Notes" app was non-responsive and lagging so I manually shut down my MacBook Pro by pressing down the off button for several seconds (It's from 2013 or older and I think I have OS X Mavericks or maybe a newer operating system). When I turned it back on it was in "macOS Recovery" mode. How do I get it back to normal and keep all my files and everything?
There are a few things you can try.
1. Use the SDM to try booting from your usual Startup Disk
Use Startup Disk Manager to see if your usual startup disk is available. Follow these steps:
- Shut down your MBP
- Switch it on and immediately press and hold the option key
- Release the key when your bootable disks start appearing
- If you see your usual startup disk, try booting from it
2. Try running Disk Utility from macOS Recovery
- Boot into macOS Recovery
- When the macOS Utilities window appears, select the Disk Utility option
- Check to see if Disk Utility can see your usual startup disk
- If so, use Disk Utility to repair your startup disk
- Assuming it completes okay, try again to boot up your MBP
3. Run Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics
It's unclear from your question the exact model of MBP you have, so it's not clear whether your Mac used Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics (Apple switched to the latter in June 2013)
While the process of using these is slightly different, how to access them is the same:
- Shut down your MacBook Pro
- Restart your MacBook Pro
- Press and hold the D key before the gray startup screen appears
- Wait for either AHT or AD to load
- If it's AD it'll automatically run the diagnostics - just wait for it to finish and report back
- If it's AHT, select your language and click the right arrow to access your test options. I suggest you select the "Perform extended testing" checkbox before you click the Test button.
Assuming this finds no hardware problems, it may be time to consider reinstalling macOS.
4. Reinstalling macOS without deleting applications, data, etc
Prior to following this process, you need to ensure:
- you have a known good backup of all your data (be it via Time Machine or another process) just in case something goes wrong
- your MacBook Pro is able to connect to the internet during the installation process
- you have already confirmed that your usual startup disk can be seen by Disk Utility (see 2 above) and that the repair process itself completed without problems
Assuming you have the above sorted, follow these steps to reinstall macOS without deleting your apps, data, etc.
- Shutdown your MBP
- Power up your MBP and immediately press and hold the commandR keys
- Let go of the keys when it's clear you're booting into Recovery mode
- Soon the macOS Utilities window will appear
- Make sure your iMac is connected to the internet
- Now choose the Reinstall macOS option
- Click the Continue button
- Follow the prompts (to select your disk, etc)
- Click the Install button
Once completed, your MBP will restart as normal. This process does not erase your drive and therefore all your apps and data should still be in place. In other words, this process does nothing but reinstall macOS over the previous version on your drive.
IMPORTANT: - Once again, things can go wrong and you should have a backup regime in place. Proceeding without a backup is done at your own risk.