How To Repair a Mac with Disk Utility

Use the First Aid feature for Macs to find and repair disk errors

Prerequisites: Basic Mac/Computer Knowledge

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: ~20 minutes

Expected Outcome: Disk has been repaired 

Tools Required: Mac Computer

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Steps to Perform

  1. Determine if you are using a newer Mac Silicon chip or an Intel Chip in your Mac device. Apple Silicon chips became the standard in the second half of 2020
    1. For Apple Silicon Chip (a Mac made after the second half of 2020): Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window. Click the gear icon labeled Options, then click Continue
    2. For Intel Processor (a Mac made before the second half of 2020): Turn on your Mac, then immediately press and hold Command (⌘) + R until you see an Apple logo or other image
  2. You will then need to select your User and enter the administrator password. If the selected user does not have Administrator privileges, select another user
  3. From the utilities window select “Disk Utility”
  4. Choose View > Show All Devices (if available) from the menu bar or toolbar in Disk Utility
  5. You can use the sidebar of Disk Utility to look at the different volumes and containers inside your Disk
  6. For the selected Disk find the last volume and click the “First Aid” button at the top of the window. The last volume is typically the main hard drive volume, but if you notice that it is instead a recovery volume or something else look for the main volume (usually the largest in size)
  7. From here click the “Run” button to start Disk Repair
    1. If there is no run button click “Repair Disk” instead
    2. If the button is greyed out, that means the current volume can’t be repaired (Likely a recovery volume) and move onto the previous volume in the disk
    3. If it asks for a password, it is the administrator password for the computer
  8. Run Disk Utility for all available volumes in a selected disk