Overview & Installation: rEFIt – an OS X boot manager

rEFIt is a boot menu and maintenance toolkit for EFI-based computers like the Intel Macs. You can use it to boot multiple operating systems easily, including triple-boot setups with Boot Camp. It allows you to avoid having to hold down the option key in order to select the OS you want to boot into as your Mac starts up, and provides a nice graphical interface instead.

refit boot manager

Please note: rEFIt is no longer in development and may not work in modern versions of macOS. As such, we have asked Google to remove this article from search results, though it will remain online for archival purposes. You may wish to investigate rEFInd which is based on the rEFIt code but is still actively maintained.

  1. Head over to the rEFIt home page and download the “Mac disk image” version.
  2. Open the DMG and run the rEFIt.mpkg installer file.
  3. install rEFIt
    click to enlarge

  4. The installation is very straight forward, mostly you’ll click Continue a couple of times, and you’ll be prompted to enter your password. Note: select your Mac OS X installation volume as the destination volume for the install – not an external drive etc.
  5. Restart your Mac. As it boots, you should be presented with the rEFIt boot screen.
  6. install rEFIt
    click to enlarge

  7. If you were not, and OS X just booted normally (as was the case for me), have no fear. Copy the efi folder from the rEFIt DMG file to the root level of your Mac OS X volume. Open Terminal and enter the following commands:

    cd /efi/refit
    <enter password when prompted>

  8. terminal installation method for installing refit
    click to enlarge

  9. Now reboot again. This time you should have no problems using the rEFIt boot manager
  10. If you ever decide to uninstall rEFIT, it’s quite simple. Open the Startup Disk preference pane from your System Preferences and select Mac OS X as the operating system to boot. This will re-bless your Mac OS X volume and instruct the firmware to boot from it. Then rename or delete the efi folder.

    In case your Mac OS X installation on the hard disk no longer boots, you can boot from the Mac OS X Install Disc (hold down the C key while booting) and run Startup Disk from the Utilities menu.

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