Can't boot external, can't access recovery mode - Mac Mini 2018

I have a Mac Mini 2018 that I’m trying to boot from an external SSD. Apparently this requires going into recovery mode to allow the boot from external drives.

The problem is that when I reboot, I can’t get the thing to do recovery mode. I’ve tried command-R, command-option-R, command-option-shift-R, none of it works.

Obviously this is a Mini, so the keyboard is external - and in this case it’s a wired keyboard.

Anybody have any thoughts as to how to get this to recognize the keystrokes on reboot? Or alternatively, if there’s some way I could just tell it via Terminal that I want to reboot into recovery mode, that would be fabulous. :smiley:

Hi. I think you have a T2 security chip. You need to enable booting from external sources.

I think that is exactly what @webwalrus is trying to accomplish. :blush:

In order to do that he has to enter recovery mode.

Maybe, trying a different keyboard is an option. Preferably a keyboard manufactured by Apple.

Is any of the other key combinations working?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. But that has to be done in recovery mode.

I’m kind of short on spare keyboards - and even shorter on spare keyboards from Apple. :smiley: But I’ll see what I can dig up. Thanks!

And…suddenly remembered that my girlfriend has a Logitech Unifying keyboard. Which I would think would be less likely to work, because it’s wireless with a hardware dongle vs. my wired keyboard that I couldn’t get to work…


Plugged in the Unifying receiver, rebooted, did command-R, all is well. :slight_smile:

Thanks everybody!