How to fix Macintosh HD greyed out in Disk Utility?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on January 18th, 2019

Hello everyone, after I manually closed my MacBook Pro for 5secs due to an application crash, my computer doesn't seem to be able to boot anymore. It executes the progress bar under the apple icon on the screen and after it completes the process, it shuts down. When I press CMD+R, I can see from Disk Utility the Macintosh HD greyed out. What should I do? How can I back up my system or some files?

In general, a Mac with a stable Macintosh HD will boot in as normal, and the Macintosh HD will be available in Disk Utility. Then you are able to access the Operating System and make further operations. However, it's possible that your MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini or MacBook Air won't turn on and its Macintosh HD is greyed out in Recovery Mode.

If you are suffering from this issue, remain calm – the Macintosh at least doesn't have any hardware error, as your Mac can still recognize it. That means you have chances to repair it and get all lost data back. In this article, you will learn about how to fix Macintosh HD greyed out in Disk Utility.

How to fix Macintosh HD greyed out in Disk Utility?

As your Mac won't boot, all the solutions below are finished in Recovery Mode. The first thing is to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode: start your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys simultaneously until you see an Apple logo or spinning globe. Then release the keys.

Solution 1: Mount the Macintosh HD

Sometimes, the Macintosh HD greyed out in Disk Utility just because it can't be mounted. In this case, you can try mounting the drive manually. After booting into Recovery Mode, select Disk Utility from macOS Utilities and click Continue. Right click the Macintosh HD in Disk Utility and select Mount button.

Solution 2: Repair the Macintosh HD with First Aid

If the Macintosh HD fails to mount manually, you can also check and repair the Macintosh HD with First Aid.

Step 1: Boot into Recovery Mode.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility from macOS utilities and click Continue.

Step 3: Select the unmounted Macintosh HD and click First Aid on the top of the Disk Utility window.

Important: back up your data

Sometimes Disk Utility stopped repairing Macintosh HD, you can then try to reformat to fix Macintosh HD not mounted in Disk Utility. But this process will erase all data stored on the drive. If you don't back up important data, please perform data recovery firstly.

While recovering your data on an unbootable Mac may be difficult, it is not impossible with a professional data recovery software. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is a free Mac hard drive data recovery software that can recover data from unmountable Macintosh HDs,recover data from failed internal hard drives on macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Method 1: If you have only one Mac computer

If you have only one Mac computer, please directly run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery in recovery mode and recover lost data from the unmountable Macintosh HD.

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on the healthy Mac computer.

Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on this Mac computer.

Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on the menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Insert a USB drive into this healthy Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive on the USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: When the creation process completes, you can insert the USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the Mac up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 7: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Step 8: Follow the wizard to scan for the lost data on the unmounted Macintosh HD.

Step 9: Choose the files you want to get back, and then click Recover button.

Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can recover data from formatted drives, recover data from unreadable drives, and recover data from inaccessible drives, etc. It supports documents, pictures, audios, videos, emails, etc. and different storage devices such as hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.

Solution 3: Erase the Macintosh HD and reinstall macOS

After recovering data from the Macintosh HD that's greyed out in Disk Utility, you can follow the following steps to fix this issue.

Step 1: Boot your Mac to Recovery Mode and select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu.

Step 2: Select the unmountable Macintosh HD from the side bar.

Step 3: Click Erase from the top.

Step 4: Setup the required information (i.e. Name, Scheme, Format, etc.) to reformat the disk and click Done when finished.

Step 5: Go back to macOS Utilities screen, select Reinstall macOS and follow the wizard.

Still have questions?