I had some problems with my work MacBook Air that runs MacOS 10.14.6. I read that it is easy to fix this problem in recovery mode, so I tried to get into recovery mode for the first time.

I restarted my computer, and held down command+R. Now I see that it's asking for a password that I don't have.

I'd like to cancel and go into the normal log in screen. How do I do that? Is it safe to hold down the power button in this state? The only things visible on the screen are a lock icon, password bar, an enter button, and the mouse cursor.

This is a related question: Forgotten recovery mode password. I think that one is focused on getting in to recovery mode without the password, and it doesn't have an accepted answer.

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    If it's a work machine, why are you not asking your IT department rather than risk breaking something? They presumably will also have the firmware password.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 17:55
  • Yes, it is safe to hold down the power button to turn the Mac off, nothing will break.
    – jaume
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 18:35
  • It is also possible your company is managing your laptop remotely, and the ability to run recovery mode has been disabled. As Tetsujin suggests, your IT team should be consulted before moving forward.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 18:46
  • Yeah, I'll go with what my IT department says. It's a four-day weekend here, and I hoped to get a unanimous and confident answer from the Web instead of leaving my computer in a precarious state that long. But you're right that I shouldn't trust randos on the Internet when there are other people who make a living keeping my computer in shape. @jaume, can you post that as an answer? If my IT department recommends that and it works, I'll accept your answer.
    – Jetpack
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 0:21
  • @Jetpack Thank you for coming back to me. I think it makes more sense that you post your IT department's feedback as an answer and mark your answer as accepted.
    – jaume
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


My IT department confirmed what I hoped was true. You can just hold down the power button to restart. Everything's been working fine for days.

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