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Booting into Single-User Mode on a FileVault 2–Encrypted Mac

I met a Mac admin who was concerned about using FileVault 2 in his environment because he didn't want to lose access to tools available in single-user mode. Like a number of Mac admins, he'd found single-user mode valuable in helping to diagnose and fix issues on troublesome Macs.

Fortunately, Apple makes it reasonably easy to boot into single-user mode on a FileVault 2–encrypted system:

  1. Hold down Command-S after powering the system. The Mac will begin booting into single-user mode, and then the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen will appear (see Figure 32).

    Figure 32

    Figure 32 Authenticating at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login as part of booting into single-user mode.

  2. Authenticate at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen by selecting an account and providing the account's password. The Mac will unlock and continue booting into single-user mode (see Figure 33).

    Figure 33

    Figure 33 Booted into single-user mode.

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