How can I get my iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8), to enter Recovery Mode? I've tried:



I've tried while restarting and I've tried after shutting down and then Cmd+R after powering up. System returns to the home screen.

  • 1
    What year/model of iMac?
    – benwiggy
    Jan 24, 2022 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


Mac OS X 10.5 does not have recovery mode. In versions 10.0 through 10.6, you got the equivalent of recovery mode by booting from the installer DVD. 10.7 didn't come on a DVD (it was downloaded via the App Store instead), so recovery mode was added to replace the DVD-boot option.

If you have the installer DVD for your iMac, insert that and hold C while turning on the iMac. If you don't have it... well, if you have another computer with a DVD-R writer, you might be able to find an image of the appropriate DVD (Archive.org has some) and burn it.

Note: depending on the specific model of iMac you have, it might need a model-specific disc... and some of the images available may be model-specific for other models. If you can find your specific model of iMac on everymac.com, it'll list what version of Mac OS X was originally pre-installed on it; if that's 10.4 or earlier, you want a generic installer DVD. If it's 10.5, you may need a model-specific installer.

(BTW, make sure you don't get the server version of Mac OS X. Among other things, it requires a serial number.)

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