Mac os x disk utility restore function

Disk Utility's Restore Function Lets you Create a Bootable Clone

In the Disk Utility app on your Mac, select the volume that you want to restore in the sidebar, then click the Restore button. To restore a disk image with multiple volumes to a disk, you must partition the destination disk, then restore each volume individually. In the Finder on your Mac, double-click the disk image to open it.


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In the Disk Utility app, select the disk in the sidebar, click the Partition button , then partition the destination disk. See Partition a physical disk using Disk Utility on Mac.

Using the Disk Utility in macOS

In the sidebar, select the volume that you want to restore, then click the Restore button. The Restore function in Disk Utility makes use of a block copy function that can speed up the copy process. It also makes an almost exact copy of the source device. When we say "almost exact," we don't mean to imply that useful data may get left behind, because that's not the case.

What You Need To Know About the Mac Disk Utility

What it means is that a block copy copies everything in a data block from one device to the other. The results are almost an exact copy of the original. A file copy, on the other hand, copies data file by file, and while the file data remains the same, the location of the file on the source and destination devices will likely be very different. Using a block copy is faster, but it does have some limits that affect when it can be used, the most important being that copying block by block requires that both the source and destination devices be first unmounted from your Mac.

This ensures that block data doesn't change during the copy process. But it does mean that neither the source nor the destination can be in use when you use the Restore capabilities. If you need to clone your startup drive, you can make use of either your Mac's Recovery HD volume or any drive that has a bootable copy of OS X installed. We'll provide information about how to use the Recovery HD Volume to clone your startup drive, but first, we'll look at the steps in cloning a non-startup drive attached to your Mac.

The Disk Utility app will open, displaying a single window divided into three spaces: Disk Utility is also a disk repair tool. Using the First Aid option, you can address problems with your hard drive and potentially repair a damaged or corrupted disk. First, you have to start the utility.


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  • Upon opening Disk Utility you are presented with a view of the drives that are currently attached to your system. Internal and external drives are listed separately. The View drop-down in the top left corner lets you view all devices or just the logical volumes. Select a volume or device by clicking on it to obtain information about your selection. You will see the currently used and free space on the disk as well as its capacity, mount point, type of drive, and the file system used on the disk. The options are:. A volume option is also on the top of the menu and allows you to add or delete volumes to a container if available for your selection.

    Care needs to be taken when formatting disks. An inadvertent format of the wrong disk can cause some serious problems and data loss, so proceed with caution. One of the main uses of Disk Utility is to repair a disk. You will want to perform this task if your hard drive is experiencing problems such as slow access time or missing and corrupted files.

    Follow this procedure to repair a disk. Hopefully, after running First Aid, your disk problems will be resolved.

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    If not, you may need to engage in further investigation. Disks that appear in the listing of available devices are normally already mounted. You will be able to Mount or Unmount the disk based on its current state. These options are on the top menu and are only highlighted when the command can be used on your selected disk.

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    Disk Utility can also be used to restore a disk from another connected disk. The restore function destroys all data on the destination disk so should be used with caution. While Disk Utility is a great tool that allows you to better understand your disks and perform many important tasks on them, it does have certain limitations. You may find that running First Aid is not enough to repair your disk and make it fully operational again.