If your Mac suddenly started behaving strangely, then you can try reinstalling macOS to improve the situation. But there may be other reasons why you want to do this. The process of reinstalling the operating system is a rather drastic measure. And if some do not worry about the possibility of losing all their data, then for many this issue is critical. The issue of losing files, documents, links, notes when reinstalling the system is frankly disturbing.
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How to reinstall macOS without losing data?
If you reinstall macOS from recovery mode, you won’t lose your data unless you clean up your main drive. The reinstallation will only affect system files and settings, while keeping all your data safe.
Attention! Before starting the process, we strongly recommend that you first backup the necessary files to an external drive. For example, using Time Machine.
1. Reboot your Mac into recovery mode by pressing the keys ⌘Command+R during the start of the download.
2. You will see a macOS Utilities window with several options. Select “Reinstall macOS” and press “Continue”to start reinstallation.
3. Select the main drive on your Mac (usually Macintosh HD) when asked where you want to reinstall macOS.
The utility will now start reinstalling macOS on your Mac and won’t delete any files or personal data from your drive. As we said at the beginning, only system files and settings will be replaced. The process itself may take some time, and your Mac will restart several times before the long-awaited login window appears. You can also restore data from a Time Machine backup.
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As you can see, reinstalling macOS is quite simple, and you don’t have to worry about the safety of files, data, or documents. However, we still recommend that you back up using an external drive and use the Time Machine backup feature. This way, even if something goes wrong during the reinstallation process, you will still have all your data. Please note that the reinstallation process requires a constant Internet connection, so make sure you have a stable network connection at home.
If the problem persists, try reinstalling macOS with formatting (erase) the drive. This was discussed in detail in this article.