Home > Mac administration, macOS, macOS Recovery > Running recoverydiagnose in macOS Recovery

Running recoverydiagnose in macOS Recovery

Most Mac admins, especially those who file bug reports or who work with AppleCare Enterprise, are familiar with running the sysdiagnose tool to gather diagnostic information about a Mac they’re working on. Running sysdiagnose will trigger a large number of macOS’s performance and problem tracing tools and use their reports to assemble what amounts to a snapshot of your Mac’s complete state at the time you ran the sysdiagnose tool, which can be very useful to developers trying to trace down why a particular problem is occurring.

However, this tool only applies to a Mac’s regular OS. What if the problem you’re seeing is in the macOS Recovery environment? In that case, you can run the recoverydiagnose tool in macOS Recovery to gather similar data specifically for macOS Recovery-related problems. For more details, please see below the jump.

Note: macOS Recovery uses read-only storage and you won’t be able to save anything to it. As a consequence, you will need to have writable storage available to store the data which is being assembled and stored by the recoverydiagnose tool. This can be an external USB or Thunderbolt drive or even network storage, depending on what’s available.

Running recoverydiagnose

1. Boot to macOS Recovery

Screen Shot 2020 08 06 at 4 32 47 PM

2. Connect storage that you can read and write to.

3. Open Terminal.

Screen Shot 2020 08 06 at 4 32 58 PM

4. Run the recoverydiagnose tool and specify where you want to store the assembled data.

Normally, you would run a command similar to the one below:

recoverydiagnose -f /path/to/logging/directory

For example, if you have an attached USB drive named Data and want to store the data there, the command would look like this:

recoverydiagnose -f /Volumes/Data

Information about what data is being gathered will be displayed and give you the chance to opt out.

Screen Shot 2020 08 06 at 4 29 21 PM


If you choose to continue, recoverydiagnose will gather its data and store it in the specified destination.

Screen Shot 2020 08 06 at 4 30 04 PM


For more information about this tool, run the recoverydiagnose command without specifying any options. This will trigger the recoverydiagnose documentation to be displayed.

Screen Shot 2020 08 06 at 4 28 12 PM

  1. The Audience
    August 6, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Control-Option-Shift-Command-Period will also trigger a graphical Recovery diagnose. It will take a second to collect, then display a dialog allowing you to chose which directory/drive (such as an internal volume you mounted in Disk Utility or an externally attached USB drive) to Open and save the Recovery sysdiagnose to.

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