I set Windows 7 to my Boot Camp. Windows 7 starts now by default in the normal boot. However, I want that OSX boots by default and Windows 7 only as I press ALT and then select it.

How can you set OSX to boot by default?

  • While this is usually easy, per the other answers here, it may not be possible if you use BitLocker and also virtualize your Boot Camp install. I successfully turned on BitLocker on my Windows 10 Pro Boot Camp partition, and got it to successfully boot in both VMWare fusion and on bare metal, with the caveat that setting default boot to Mac OS would disable booting from Windows. After setting up Boot Camp normally, I had to manually edit the hybrid partition map to launch BitLocker. Now I hold down the option key when I want to boot Mac OS, which is most times. For me, it's been worth it.
    – VizJS
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:30

2 Answers 2


You can set the default boot disk in System Preferences>Startup Disk. System Prefs startup disk icon
System Prefs>Startup Disk

  • You can also do this from the Boot Camp control panel thingy. I'd get some screens and edit but I don't have Windows on my machine either!
    – Robin
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 3:25
  • @Robin Yes, I assumed you could do it from the Windows side.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 3:26
  • in some circumstances, such as [dualbooting Ubuntu without REFind], there won't be a second icon in the Startup Disk preferences. In that case, this answer doesn't work, and only the other answer here, Ctrl-Click the up arrow button in the default Mac boot system, does.
    – xdavidliu
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 16:49
  • This doen't seem to work in OS 10.14. The ahswer below from Pinter did work though.
    – Guy Lowe
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 23:01

You don't need to boot into OSX to change the default boot system ...

  1. Hold down the Option key when booting, and when you see the system choices
  2. Select your desired default boot device, then hover mouse over the up-arrow
  3. Hold down the Ctrl key and you should see the icon change to a "power on" icon
  4. Left click on that "power icon" and that system will boot and that system will also be your default boot system.

Older versions of Boot Camp are similar, but I don't remember if the icon changes.

Official documentation here:

If you press and hold the Control key during this step, your selection is saved in Startup Disk preferences, so it persists until you change it.

  • 4
    Great trick! Never knew about that one :)
    – JoshP
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 21:08
  • 7
    This should be the accepted answer!
    – mjuarez
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 7:22
  • 2
    I second that this should be the accepted answer. It works in more situations than the Startup Disk preferences method.
    – xdavidliu
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 16:50
  • Thanks a lot! I could only find the other tip, that's not the case when you have a dual boot in the same disk. Your answer should be the accepted, for sure.
    – Dan Heller
    Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 22:32
  • By the way, this works also regarding a super old iMac 5,1 computer from 2006. Note, on those early x86 Apple systems the "up-arrow" icon will not change into a "power-on" one. But nevertheless the switch of the default boot device works as expected.
    – Clemens
    Commented Mar 2 at 12:38

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