Apple makes Mac recovery easier with Apple Silicon. In macOS 14 aka Sonoma, which will probably be released in October, there is a new function that simplifies working with the so-called DFU mode (“Device Firmware Update”). It is thus possible to restore or revive a computer directly in the file manager Finder; there is no need to go to the Apple Configurator (and install it if necessary).
DFU mode without detours
As the developer and Apple leak expert @aaronp613 discovered in the current Sonoma beta, the “Revice Mac” and “Restore Mac” functions (“Repair” and “Restore” respectively) are visible as soon as a Mac is in DFU mode hanging on the computer. (This premise remains the same: you always need a second Mac.) “If you’re having trouble with your Mac, you can try to fix it while preserving your media and data,” Apple writes in the new Finder window. If this is not possible, however, the only option is to reset to the factory settings, in which all information is deleted.
To initiate repair or recovery, the affected Mac is connected with a USB-C cable – the counterpart must also be a machine with Apple Silicon. It is also a requirement that both Macs are running macOS 14 aka Sonoma – otherwise the Apple Configurator remains mandatory. Regular users should not actually be confronted with DFU mode – but it can also occur during normal operation, for example if there is a power failure when updating macOS on a desktop computer and the update cannot be completed.
Mode necessary due to system nailing
For years, Apple users only knew DFU mode from the iPhone or iPad, but with Apple’s switch to ARM processors, the technology also landed on Macs that previously worked with Intel chips. Apple silicon machines are much more isolated than Intel machines, so you have to use the appropriate Apple tools.
Until macOS 14 is released, you should take a look at working with the Apple Configurator in this case. A corresponding support document explains how to connect the computers to each other and which functions are available. For example, you need to find the correct USB-C port that supports DFU mode.
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