Connecting to wifi in recovery mode on iMac

macOS & Mac Apps

I'm trying to restore an iMac, and am running into a problem. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to connect it to wifi with Voiceover. I've tried the Vo-M/m but to no avail! I've done it before, so I know there's a way; I just don't remember it! Help, please!



Submitted by Serena on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

don't quote me on this, but i don't think you can connect with the normal recovery. you have to use the internet recovery mode. IE, holding down, if my memory serves, command option r, rather than just command r.
If that is what you have done, than i'm not sure what's going on.

Submitted by Special K on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's possible, but this Mac's a bit too old for Internet Recovery mode. It's a 2009 iMac, still runs Sierra, but at this moment, it's running nothing.

Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Normally, you would connect to wifi by pressing VO M twice to access the status menus, but I believe there is a Voiceover bug that causes this to not work as expected. If you have another Mac around, you can download a copy of macOS and create a bootable install disk from a USB thumb drive or external hard drive and install it locally from that.


Submitted by Brian Giles on Thursday, June 1, 2017

Glad this thread came up. I'm looking to reformat my drive so I can sell my Mac, but am a bit confused with all the research I've done. I gather that I would need to boot from recovery mode with command option R, but Apple's website also lists that keystroke with the shift key included. What does that do? I assume the Internet recovery would work on mine since it's a mid 2012 MBP. Is Internet recovery not accessible with VO?

Submitted by Daniel Angus M… on Thursday, June 1, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

internet recovery does work with VoiceOver, just like a local recovery partition. when you first boot into it though, their is a globe on screen. this part does not work with VoiceOver. you need sited help to get the progress of the recovery. a mac in this mode would first download the recovery image from Apple's servers, after that is complete, VoiceOver works. Internet recovery resets the mac to factory settings. when I ran it on a 2011 MacBook Pro, Mountain Lion was installed even though I upgraded it to ElCapitan. .

Submitted by JDawg on Sunday, June 23, 2019

I need to know this as well. VOM twice gets me into some kind of choose other input screen, and not necessarily the Wi-Fi network screen. Help!

Submitted by Daniel Angus M… on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Club AppleVis Member


in recovery, VO-M works differently. the first press of it brings a utilities menu. then VO-Right arrow wants to wifi. then you'll be able to access it as normal.