There are many – literally dozens – of ways to start your Mac. Put options like safe mode boot, CD / DVD / pendrive / SD card, to perform a hardware test / diagnosis and some more famous ones, such as example, the macOS recovery.
Each of these forms requires you to turn on your Mac with a different keystroke combination. And, if you’re not a shortcut freak, you’re unlikely to remember them all when you need them.
However, on future Macs equipped with Apple chips, all of these boot combinations will be thrown in the trash for the sake of one – and it couldn’t be simpler! Whether to recover macOS or to access target disk mode (target disk mode – more about it, below), you’ll have to remember just one thing: press the power button on your Mac for a few seconds longer than normal.
In doing so, you will come across the screen above. In it, you will choose exactly what you want to do. And here is an important change.
The destination disk mode, which turns your Mac into an “external hard drive” giving access to its data, will also be replaced by Mac sharing mode (Mac sharing). In practice, instead of sharing the disk as a mountable local volume that needs to be connected directly to another Mac, this option sets up an SMB network file share – which requires user authentication, making it more secure.
Data protection mode (which was born with iOS devices) will also be available on Macs running Apple chips, thanks to support for hardware accelerated encryption built into Apple SoCs. This feature allows complete encryption of the data volume by default, preventing stolen devices from being hacked to gain access to user information.
It is worth noting that it will still be possible to activate FileVault to link this encryption to a specific account – a feature that is already supported on Macs with Intel chips, as long as they also have Apple’s T2 security chip.
The WWDC20 session on the subject also reported that Macs with (so far called) Apple Silicon will include a hidden system recovery partition, which can be used to reinstall macOS and the system recovery itself, if those volumes damaged.
Good news, isn’t it?