I'm preparing a Mac mini for sale. I have no mouse or trackpad. Using just the wireless keyboard, I managed to reboot in Recovery Mode and erase the drive in Disk Utility. However, the Install macOS utility is poorly designed - there's only one hard drive (shown as an image), it has to be selected before you can continue, and you can't get to it with any kind of normal Full Keyboard Access key combos, arrows, tabs, or whatever.

I once was able to use Mouse Keys in a similar situation, but I can't figure out how to get them on in Recovery Mode. I've tried Cmd+Opt+F5 (including fn on my mini keyboard), tapping Opt 5 times, and some other key combo I found online. I can get Voiceover to come on with Cmd+F5, but that doesn't help select the drive. These accessibility keys are a nightmare.

Just to keep the dream alive, I also tried creating a bootable installer flash drive. The very first screen it comes up with requires a mouse or trackpad to navigate. Still, I could not get mouse keys working.

  • 2
    You don't have access to a single USB mouse, anywhere? A mouse is a mouse is a mouse. Feb 5 at 21:52
  • Unfortunately not. I know it's not a major expense, but there should be a way to get this done without it. Feb 5 at 21:54
  • 1
    I thought there was a way to start the installer from the Terminal application. Feb 6 at 0:49
  • 1
    I vaguely remember there being such a question. Perhaps this one. Feb 6 at 2:19
  • 1
    @DavidAnderson, I didn't see your comment until after posting an answer, but it looks like you were right, and that may well have worked also. Good find! Feb 6 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


Problem solved. I didn't give Voiceover enough of a chance, and didn't realize it has enough capability that Mouse Keys is not needed.

After booting into Recovery Mode, ordinary keyboard access can be used to navigate until you get to the installer screen where you have to choose the drive to install to. Then:

  1. Turn on Voiceover: Cmd+F5 (this also requires holding the Fn key on my keyboard).
  2. Navigate down until the grid of drive choices is surrounded by a rectangle: Ctl+Opt+Down (or right arrow).
  3. To enter and interact with the grid: Ctl+Opt+Shift+Down.
  4. The first grid cell will be selected. If necessary, select desired one: Ctl+Opt+Right (or down arrow).
  5. Exit the grid: Ctl+Opt+Shift+Up.
  6. Navigate to Continue button: Ctl+Opt+Down (or right arrow).
  7. Press spacebar to 'click' on it.
  8. Turn off Voiceover: Cmd+F5.

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