Need Help Starting Your Mac? Here’s the Fix

Suppose you wake up in the morning, dress up and turn on your Mac while sipping coffee. But, alas! Your device won’t start, and you have a critical Zoom meeting scheduled in a few minutes. What do you do?

When running to the nearest Apple service center or calling your technician is not an option, take matters into your hands. You can implement the following tried and tested fixes to get your Mac working again instantly.

Let’s go.

Check the Power Connection and Ensure Your Device is Fully Charged

It may sound lame, but sometimes the most straightforward solutions are right under the nose. You may have forgotten to charge your Mac last night, and that’s why it’s not turning on.

So plug it in and let your system charge for a few minutes. Then try switching it on. If this works, you have found the culprit. Be careful next time.

Check to see if the Display is Turned on

Another rookie mistake is trying to turn on your Mac while the display is turned off. This typically happens if you are using a Mac desktop.

So if you have pressed the power button and the startup chime is heard, check if the display is turned off. If so, turn it on, and the problem is solved.

Boot in Verbose Mode

If you cannot pinpoint why your Mac is behaving differently or not starting up, boot your Mac in Verbose Mode to diagnose the problems.

In this mode, the Mac screen is replaced with command lines. These command lines show the applications and drivers loading at startup. In addition, it will help you to detect macOS issues like malfunctioning third-party applications or white screen of death.

To enable the Verbose Mode, press the power button and the Command + V keys.

Boot in Safe Mode

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode will ensure that only the essential programs and drivers function. In addition, this helps diagnose macOS issues so you can quickly solve them.

You can enter Safe Mode on your Intel-powered Mac by starting your device while holding the Shift key. On your M1 or later-powered devices, press the power button until you see the startup options, and then select the startup disk. Next, hold the Shift key and click Continue in Safe Mode.

In Safe Mode, you can run checks and make changes to fix your device. For example, you can update their software or reinstall macOS.

If you can start up in Safe Mode without any issues, the problem might be with one of the startup or login items. In this case, head to the System Preferences app > Users & Groups > remove all the items. After a few trials and errors, you can single out the malfunctioning startup items.

Run Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

If your device is booting, but the OS is not loading, the reason might be a corrupt drive. You can fix this in Recovery Mode. Remember that accessing the Recovery Mode is different for different Mac models. You can go to the Apple Support Page to find the steps for your specific model and the OS you are running. But here are the basics.

If you are running Mountain Lion or later, you can run Disk Utility by booting into Recovery Mode.

On an Intel-based Mac, ensure your device is turned off. If your system is unresponsive or stuck on a blue, gray, or white screen, hold the power button until your system shuts down. Next, hold the Command + R keys and the power button. It would be best if you kept pressing the Command + R keys until you saw the Apple logo.

On an M1/M2 Mac, press the power button until your system starts, and then select the startup options. Next, choose Options > Continue to enter Recovery.

In the Recovery Mode, you can access Utilities and click on the Disk Utility option. Next, locate your device’s drive; this will probably be Macintosh HD. Select the drive and choose First Aid. If there are errors with your disk, Disk Utility can find them and repair them. If a prompt comes on the screen asking if you will repair them, click Repair Disk.

In the Recovery Mode, you can reinstall or install macOS, restore your system from an earlier Time Machine backup, etc.

Besides these, consider resetting SMC and NVRAM/PRAM. Call the technician or run to your nearest service center if nothing else works.

The Bottom Line

Macs are robust machines and come equipped with solutions for the problems you might be experiencing with them. Remember to keep the OS and the apps updated so you don’t run into problems, as the updates should take care of most issues. Also, keep deleting files and documents you don’t need to reduce the pressure on the device.

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