How to Fix Your Mac Wonâ€™t Turn On or Boot Up.
Apple Macs are usually solid when it comes to reliability, but sometimes you hit the power button and get nothing but a black screen! Your Mac may be turning on but you can’t get it to boot into the OS. If you can’t get your Mac to turn on or boot into macOS, here are a few steps you can follow to get back to work.
1. Perform a Forced Power Cycle
Macs do not have a physical power switch that turns the power on or off. It’s just a button that sends a command to the computer to turn off, turn on or go to sleep.
Sometimes Macs can get stuck in a situation where this power-up signal is ignored, but in most cases there is a built-in fail-safe mechanism that should turn the system on (or off). All you have to do is press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds, after which the Mac will be forcefully turned off or on depending on its current state.
Let’s say you see the Apple logo. Congratulations! Your Mac is now on, but you may still experience additional startup issues.
2. Learn the Startup Error Icons
If your Mac turns on but won’t boot to the macOS login screen, you might be experiencing some kind of problem. You will be shown an error icon, which in most cases refers to specific problems.
You are looking at the prohibition symbol if you see a circle with a line through it. All this means is that the version of macOS on the hard drive your Mac is trying to boot from has a version of macOS that is not compatible with the Mac in question. This usually happens when you’ve replaced hard drives or installed a second drive that your Mac is trying to boot from by mistake.
The question mark means that you don’t have macOS on your hard drive, or that your Mac just can’t see it. Make sure your hard drive is properly connected (if applicable), or review your boot drive settings, which we’ll cover below.
If you see a lock icon, it means this Mac has a firmware password set. You will only see this if you are trying to boot from an external drive. You will have to ask whoever set the password to enter it for you or tell you what it is. Similarly, you may see a system lock PIN, which means the Mac has been locked remotely and needs a password.
3. Try to Start the Mac in Safe Mode
There is a special macOS Safe Mode that you can boot into if your Mac turns on but doesn’t finish starting up before logging in or desktop. Safe Mode is a restricted mode in macOS that only loads the essentials. It’s useful to use Mac utilities to troubleshoot your system or restore a Time Machine backup to a point where your computer was working properly. You can also uninstall any apps that might be causing problems.
Activating Safe Mode also automatically clears macOS caches, so you might not have to do anything to fix the problem. Just restart your Mac after entering Safe Mode and if the problem is cache related, everything should work again.
Booting in safe mode depends on whether you have one of the new Apple Silicon Macs or not.
For Intel Mac computers:
Turn on your Mac.Hold down the Shift key. The Apple logo should appear. Keep holding the key.
When you see the login screen, you can release the Shift key.
For Apple Silicon Mac:
Turn on your Mac and hold down the Shift key.
Keep holding the Shift key until the boot disk selection menu appears.
Select the correct startup drive and hold Shift.Now select Continue in Safe Mode.
You will know that you are in safe mode because it will be indicated in the upper right corner of the screen in the menu bar.
4. Use Disk Utility to Repair Your Startup Disk
Many startup issues can be resolved simply by using the macOS recovery feature. Press and hold the power button to turn off your Mac to access the recovery menu.
Then turn on your Intel Mac and immediately press and hold Command and the R key to boot into the recovery menu. If you are using an Apple Silicon Mac, simply press and hold the power button while the laptop is off until the menu appears.
Then select the “Use Disk Utility” option to repair your boot drive. The utility will attempt to fix any errors it finds using the First Aid feature, and then after a reboot, everything should be back to normal. If this fails, you can reinstall macOS.
5. Ensure the Correct Boot Disk is Selected in Startup Disk Preferences
If your Mac is trying to boot from the wrong drive, you need to open the Startup Drive Settings menu and double-check that the settings are correct.
Make sure your Mac is turned off.On an Intel Mac, hold down the Options key when starting your Mac.Hold down the power button on an Apple Silicon Mac until you see Loading Startup Options.
Look at the selection of possible boot drives and choose the right one.
This is also useful when booting macOS from an external drive.
6. Charge Your Battery!
1 -If you’re having this issue on a MacBook, you’ll first need to connect it to a power source and make sure the battery has enough power to start the system.2- If your Macbook hasn’t been charged for a very long time, the battery voltage may have dropped so much that it can’t start.
3. – If you see the charging symbol pop up when you plug in the power, then you’re done. Just give it some time and try again. If nothing appears on the screen, don’t despair. Give it half an hour or so to be online and if you still don’t get any response from the system, move on to other troubleshooting steps.
7. Inspect and Test Your Charger and Power Cable
With MacBooks like the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, charging is done using a USB-C cable and charger. We’ve had problems with Apple cables before showing worn and broken connectors, so check your power cable to make sure it’s not damaged.
Test your MacBook charger and cable with other USB-C devices (or use a different charger and cable with your Mac) to make sure they work properly.
8. Check Your Monitor Connection
If you’re using a Mac without a built-in monitor (such as a Mac Mini), make sure your monitor is turned on, connected, and working properly. Perhaps nothing happened to your Mac at all, just something went wrong between your Mac and the monitor.
Even if you have a MacBook or iMac with a built-in screen, try connecting it to an external display if the real problem is that your built-in display isn’t working!
9. Try a Different Thunderbolt Port
Your MacBook can be charged from any of its Thunderbolt ports. Try a different port that you normally use if there is something wrong with it. If you have a MacBook model with ports on both the right and left sides of the computer, connect the power cord on both sides because each set of ports uses an independent controller.
If one of your ports isn’t working, you’ll still need to send your Mac in for a check and repair, but at least if you can turn it back on, you’ll have the option to backup your data.
10. Remove Your USB-C Dock and Peripherals
If you’re powering your MacBook through a dock or USB-C adapter first, remove the dock from the equation as it could be malfunctioning and preventing power from reaching your Mac. If your Mac still won’t start with the dock removed, this is probably not the problem.
In addition to the dock, remove other peripherals that you do not need to work with your Mac to be 100% sure that the problem is not related to one of the connected gadgets.
11. Reset the PRAM &Â SMC
PRAM or Preferences RAM is a storage area where your Mac stores control settings. PRAM is similar to NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM), which retains information even when turned off. If this information is corrupted or otherwise incorrect, it may prevent your system from starting.
The system management controller is a subsystem of your Mac that controls important systems such as cooling, power management, battery management, video mode switching, and some other important functions. If SMC freezes for some reason, your Mac won’t start or show signs of life.
The good news is that there are ways to reset SMC features and PRAM settings on your Mac. Go to How to reset PRAM and SMC on your Mac for more information.
12. Reinstall macOS Using the Recovery Mode
If your Mac turns on but won’t boot into macOS, you can use the recovery menu to fix problems or reinstall macOS. Just be aware that you will probably lose all your user data stored on your local drive. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep all your most important data in iCloud or other cloud storage. You should also set up your Time Machine drive before you run into problems.
We have several guides to help you restart your Mac to get a fresh and working operating system. First, check out How to reformat a MacBook without a password, especially the Reinstall macOS section. If your Mac is so corrupted that you can’t restore a fresh copy of macOS from an internal drive, learn how to create a macOS installer on a USB drive.
13. Remove The Battery
Some older MacBooks still have removable batteries. If you’re still using one of these Macbooks, you have the option to remove the battery and then hold down the power button to dissipate any residual charge. Then put the battery back in and try turning your Mac back on.
14. Reinstall Your Firmware
In rare cases, when your system lost power during a firmware update or was otherwise interrupted, it could be damaged. This will effectively turn your Mac into a paperweight, but all is not lost!
As long as you have an Apple Silicon Mac (like the M1 Mac) or an Intel Mac with a T2 security chip, you can use a second Mac connected to the internet and the Apple Configurator app to restore the dead Mac’s firmware. Of course, you will need a USB cable to connect the two devices. Thunderbolt 3 cables will not work.
If you cannot access a second Mac, you can restore the firmware at a repair shop, including official Apple stores. The process for Intel and Apple Silicon Macs is slightly different, but the general process works like this:
Apple Configurator is installed on a running Mac.The two computers are connected using a USB cable.The broken computer is rebooted using special key combination. This varies for different Mac models.Apple Configurator is used on a work computer to repair or restore the firmware of a computer that is having problems.
If your Mac turns on and boots normally after this process, you should be home!
15. Itâ€™s Dead Jim: Private Repair or Warranty Replacement
If your laptop or desktop Mac won’t turn on no matter what you do, it’s time to seek professional help. With today’s Macs, if a key component, such as the power supply, fails, it’s not possible to simply replace that component unless you have access to the sophisticated hardware and knowledge required to troubleshoot those components.
If your Mac is still under warranty, your choice is simple. Submit your Mac for evaluation to Apple Support at Genius Bar and Apple will either fix the problem or replace the computer. If your computer is out of warranty, Apple can repair it for a fee. However, Apple’s official repair costs are often so high that it’s cheaper to buy a brand new computer.
The good news is that there are also fantastic private computer repair shops that specialize in repairing Macs, usually for a reasonable fee. You may have to send your Mac away, but it’s worth it to hear that startup beep again!
How to Fix Your Mac Wonâ€™t Turn On or Boot Up
How to Fix Your Mac Wonâ€™t Turn On or Boot Up