How to Fix a Mac Not Starting Up – 2024 Guide

A Mac not booting up can be because of some underlying error in the laptop. It can be because of software malware or a hardware problem. Either way, your important data is a priority to you. Fixing your Mac that is not starting up can be quite a difficult task. With a combination of stepwise recommendations, you could get your Mac working once again.

Troubleshooting your Mac to understand why it is not starting up is the first thing to do. This will allow you to understand the root cause and apply a lasting solution to the problem. In most cases, the error might be something that needs little attention before you get a lasting solution. In some rare cases, you might have to use data recovery software to get your important data off your faulty Mac. This article outlines how to go about troubleshooting your Mac and steps on how to fix a Mac not booting up. For more details, please click here.

Steps on How to Fix a Mac Not Starting up

Below are some of the recommendations on how to fix a Mac that is not starting up.

1. Focus on the Power Supply


The first place to start troubleshooting is the power supply to your Mac. On pressing the power button, you should get feedback. This feedback can be a chime sound, the rolling cooling fan, and display on the laptop screen or no feedback at all. In a scenario where there is no feedback at all, the power supply to your Mac is the first culprit that comes to mind.

To proceed, check your power adaptor to confirm if it is connected to a power supply and the wall socket is on. If you still do not get feedback after confirming the functional power supply, you might need to test with a different power adaptor. To be sure, you can test your Mac’s power adaptor with another Mac to confirm that your power adaptor is working.

2. Disconnect Third-Party Peripherals


The other external devices you use with your Mac might be the reason your Mac is not starting up. This can be because of the different programs on a specific peripheral that is an obstruction to your Mac. If you recently added a new RAM or external hard drive to your Mac, it could be the root cause of your Mac not starting up. This is because of incompatibility and missing file issues on the hard drive or RAM.

Removing the recent peripheral connections to your Mac and internal additions like RAM or hard drive is useful for streamlining down the problem.

3. Conduct a Power Cycle


Force restarting your Mac is a useful way of correcting any process or program that might be causing your Mac not to start up. In this case, shutting down the Mac closes all programs and terminates all processes. In the scenario where a program or process is encountering an error while starting up, a force restart will signal for all processes to restart.

To perform a power cycle, click and hold down the power button for 10 seconds. This action should shut down your Mac and end all ongoing processes.

4. Enter Safe Mode


Safe Boot mode provides the option of bypassing certain checks and start-up processes. It is a useful system tool for diagnosing and troubleshooting system issues. To boot into safe mode, the first step is to force shut down your Mac. After some seconds, restart your Mac while clicking and holding down the shift button. However, you could also use the ‘Command’ and ‘V’ command to enter verbose mode. This gives feedback into what is going on while you are trying to boot in safe mode.

If you are successful in entering safe mode, the issue will be something related to the startup disk or operating system file. You can look around to figure out recent files that could be the root cause of these errors from safe boot mode.

5. Reset System Management Controller


The system management controller is in charge of managing and controlling different hardware functions. The hardware includes the keyboard, sensor, mouse, LED indicators, power, battery, and so much more. This system management controller is an important factor in Mac system composition as it controls and regulates the hardware function and response.

Restarting the system management controller helps to restart conflicting processes and return system settings to compatible settings. This reset makes sure that all the processes under the system management control function according to the system specification.

To proceed with the system management controller reset, first shut down the MacBook. Press the Power, Shift, Command, and ‘Option’ buttons at the same time. You should get a slight flicker on the screen as feedback to indicate your action was successful. Proceed to restart your Mac.

6. Use Disk Utility Option


With the disk utility option in recovery mode, using the ‘First Aid’ option to fix the startup disk can get the Mac working again. Through the disk utility option, disks containing the startup files can be fixed in situations where they might be unstable or contain corrupt files.

In some cases, it may contain incompatible files for starting up the Mac. Luckily, fixing it with the ‘First Aid’ feature is a possibility in the disk utility option.

The first step is to boot the Mac into recovery mode. After clicking on the power button to start up the Mac, immediately click on the ‘Command’, ‘Option’ and ‘R’ key combination to enter recovery mode for a Mac with an Intel chip. Keep holding this combination until you can see the macOS Utilities option. Select ‘Disk Utility’, locate your startup disk, which is usually the first disk option and apply the ‘First Aid’ fix.

Final Verdict

Encountering the unbootable Mac problem is always disturbing, especially when you want to access important files stored on your Mac. When you need some fixes, just follow the above steps to quickly fix such a troublesome issue.

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