I recently bought an iMac Mid 2011, and it has 3 accounts on it, all locked with passwords. I have an external Windows keyboard and external (wireless) mouse.

I don't know the passwords so I thought I'd try to boot into Recovery, which I couldn't do. It just kept starting into the system.

I tried different USB ports for the keyboard, I tried the far right and far left, I've tried literally every key combination, none of them work.

How the hell can I do this? I have a MacBook Pro but I'm not sure if you can turn it into a wired keyboard (sounds quite dumb).

  • To start in Recovery Mode you have press and hold Option-Command-R immediately after starting up your Mac, which key combination are you using with your Windows keyboard?
    – jaume
    Sep 26, 2022 at 12:44
  • Alt + Windows Key + R Sep 26, 2022 at 15:19
  • 1
    Oh I got in! Yay! I had to spam the keys and hold them and then spam them. Sep 26, 2022 at 15:23
  • Great, I'm glad it worked. I'd be great if you could add an answer and mark it as accepted (you will not only help others but be able to collect the reputation).
    – jaume
    Sep 26, 2022 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


I think there is a delay before the keyboard starts, so when it shows you the white/gray screen, just hold Alt + Win Key + R for 2 seconds, then let go and instantly hold it again for 2 seconds.

Just keep doing that until it doesn't boot into the OS and then you know it's doing something.

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