[2 Plans] Change Mac Startup Disk on Intel/Apple Silicon Mac

Updated by Dany on Dec 29, 2022
  | Computer Instruction
Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Change the Mac Startup Disk with Startup Manager To change the mac startup disk, shut down the mac if it is powered on. Press and hold the...Full steps
Fix 2. Change Mac Startup Disk in System Preferences First, connect the drive to the computer you want to use as a startup disk. After that, select...Full steps
Tip: Recover Data from Mac Startup Disk with Software Changing the startup disk in Macs is a great feature. But, users may encounter some issues...Full steps

When Need to Change Mac Startup Disk

Sometimes, Mac users face Mac no startup disk issues. There are various ways to show the startup disk, but if nothing works, it's time to change the Mac startup disk. Apple allows you to change Mac startup disks and use network volumes, external hard drives, and USB flash drives for this purpose.

Apart from this, the default startup disk can also become corrupted. And in this situation, you can't use it anymore. It is when you need to change the Mac startup disk. There are multiple ways to perform this activity. This article will use Startup Manager and System Preferences to change the Mac startup disk.

But, before that, we will also provide a video to help you understand how to change the startup disk or partition on your Mac device. It will allow you to decide which operating system boots up on your Mac when you turn it on. It's essential to let you know that relatively newer Macs usually have different partitions. On the contrary, some older Macs, such as Unibody Macbook Pro, allows you to have multiple drives in your system.

  • 00:36 Open Startup Disk from System Preferences Menu
  • 00:50 Click the lock icon in the bottom right to make changes
  • 00:58 Enter your password
  • 02:18 Changing the startup disk on your Mac
  • 02:40 Save changes once you're done

Fix 1. Change the Mac Startup Disk with Startup Manager

The method of changing the Mac startup disk with the Startup Manager varies with Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs. This procedure is pretty easy and straightforward, and you can use Mac startup key combinations to enter Startup Manager. Please follow the step-by-step process according to the processor you have inside your Mac.

Apple silicon Macs:

Apple first introduced silicon Macs in later 2020. Since then, it has completely shifted from the older Intel-based chips. It's an upgrade and provides more features and speed than ever. Here's how to change the startup disk in Apple silicon Macs.

Step 1. To change the mac startup disk, shut down the mac if it is powered on. For this purpose, go to the menu bar, click on the Apple symbol and choose the shutdown option.

Step 2. Press and hold the power button until the screen shows the "loading startup option". Mac mini users should wait for the system indicator light to turn amber.

Step 3. After that, select any of the available startup volumes and click the continue button.

change the startup disk on Apple silicon Mac

Intel-based Macs:

Although Apple has completely shifted from the older Intel-based Macs to Apple silicon-based Macs, still millions of users have older Intel-based Macs. Here's how Intel-based Mac users can change the startup disk with ease.

Step 1. For the first step, just go to the menu bar, and click on the Apple symbol to shut down if the Mac is powered on.

Step 2. Then, press and hold like you do while starting up your Mac.

Step 3. Finally, select one startup disk and click the “Up Arrow” from available startup disks.

Fix 2. Change Mac Startup Disk in System Preferences

Changing the Mac startup disk in the system preferences is simple and doesn't vary in the case of Intel or Apple silicon chip. You can apply the same settings for Intel and Apple silicon-based Macs. Following are the steps to change the startup disk using system preferences.

Step 1. First, connect the drive to the computer you want to use as a startup disk.

Step 2. After that, select "System Preferences" from the Apple menu.

Step 3. Now, select "Startup Disk". A new window will appear.

change Mac startup disk in System Preferences

Step 4. Here, select the connected device as a startup disk.

Step 5. In the end, restart your computer, and you can boot Mac from USB flash drive or other drives. Now, if you want to use the previous disk to operate the system, then for this purpose, just repeat all the above-mentioned steps.

Tip: Recover Data from Mac Startup Disk with Software

Changing the startup disk in Macs is a great feature. But, users may encounter some issues. For instance, their startup disk may get corrupted, or the files inside face ransomware attacks. It is a critical situation, and the users may end up losing their critical data. Then you will need to fix corrupted hard drive on Mac and recover lost data.

Luckily, there is a tool to deal with this situation. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a powerful and reliable recovery tool for Mac users. This data recovery tool can recover unlimited lost data after accidental deletion, trash bin emptying, or some other accidents. Moreover, you can also restore the data to the cloud and access it anywhere and anytime.

EaseUS Startup Disk Recovery Tool

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, and emails from the Mac startup disk effectively.
  • Support Mac Trash recovery, memory card recovery, USB flash drive recovery, and other storage device recovery.
  • Support Startup disk data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, and other situations.

Summary

We have shared two ways to change the startup disk on Macs. The changing method of the startup disk using "Startup Manager" is different for Intel and Apple silicon Macs. However, changing the startup disk from "System Preferences" is the same for Intel and Apple silicon Macs.

It's vital to have various options as a startup disk in Mac. But what if the startup disk faces any issues, and you can't use it anymore? You can't risk your essential data inside your startup disk. It is the point where users realize the importance of data recovery software. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a good option to secure your critical data.

Change Mac Startup Disk FAQs

Users may have plenty of questions on their minds while changing the startup disk on Mac. Here are the answers to some common questions users may look for.

How to fix Mac no startup disk issue?

There are multiple ways to fix Mac no startup disk issue. You can fix it by:

  1. 1. Repair it in recovery mode.
  2. 2. Making the startup disk appear in "Disk Utility".
  3. 3. Resetting NVRAM.
  4. 4. Connecting to another startup disk.

Can I boot my Mac from a USB flash drive?

Yes, You can boot your Mac from a USB flash drive. If you want to dual-boot Windows and macOS, boot your dead MacBook or install the latest version of macOS, you will need to boot Mac from a USB flash drive.

Can you use another Mac as a startup disk?

Yes, you can use another Mac as a startup disk with the help of a USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt port. If you connect two Macs successfully, one of your Macs will appear as an external hard disk on the other.

Can I change the startup disk from Windows to macOS?

Yes, you can change the startup disk from Windows to macOS. While using Windows on your Intel-based Mac, click the "Boot Camp" icon on the right side of the Windows taskbar. After that, select "Restart in macOS".

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