How to fix Mac that won’t turn on?

By George
9 Min Read
Source: Pexels

Mac systems are known for their reliability, and in a normal situation, when you switch on your Mac, it boots up within seconds.

However, there are instances that sometimes things go south, and you find your Mac with a startup issue.

Your Mac system, be it the MacBook, iMac, or any other Mac machine, won’t turn on even after multiple attempts.

You don’t need to be worried, as this blog will provide you with effective hacks to get over this problem and fix your Mac.

1. Check the Power supply on Mac.

We generally tend to ignore the basic fixes when facing an issue like the one in hand. There are fair chances that your MacBook won’t turn on due to the lack of power.

Check the power cable and battery (if available) for any issues. To ensure everything is ok with the cable, try connecting your Mac with another power cable and see if it turns on. Also, check the power light on Mac and see if it’s on or blinking.

Similarly, to check the battery status and health, click the battery icon and check if it’s showing service recommended or replace battery warnings. Finally, remove the battery and re-attach it carefully if you have a Mac with a detachable battery.

This might resolve any problems related to the power supply to your Mac.

2. Power-cycle your Mac.

When the brief pressing of the power button doesn’t work, you need to drain the power on Mac and restart it to power-cycle the machine. Here is how to do it.

  • For a MacBook with a non-detachable battery, press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds and leave the system idle for at least 10 more seconds. Now, turn on your Mac normally.
  • For Mac with a removable battery, detach the battery from your Mac and let it be for 10-15 seconds. Now, connect the battery and boot your Mac.
  • For desktop Mac, disconnect it from the power source and wait for 10-15 seconds. Now, connect the power supply and turn on your Mac as usual.

3. Use Apple Diagnostics to check the hardware on Mac.

If you are suspicious that something might be wrong with your Mac’s hardware, you can check your Mac’s hardware components using Apple Diagnostics and resolve the issue due to which your Mac won’t turn on.

You need to determine what type of Mac you are using by clicking Apple Menu > About this Mac and choosing the appropriate method given below.

Before you apply the methods, you need first to prepare your Mac.

  • Shut down your Mac and disconnect all the externally attached devices except the keyboard, mouse, display screen, internet connection, and power connection.
  • Ensure that your Mac is placed on a hard flat surface and is properly ventilated.

For Apple Silicon Mac:

  • Boot up your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button while it starts up.
  • Release the button when the startup options window appears.
  • Press Command + D on your Mac keypad.
  • You will see a progress bar that shows the Diagnosis status of your Mac.
  • Let the process complete. Apple Diagnostics will show the results with reference codes.

For Intel Mac:

  • Boot up your Mac and immediately press and hold the D key on your keyboard.
  • Release the D key when either the progress bar appears, or you are prompted to choose a language.
  • Let the process complete. Apple Diagnostics will show the results with reference codes.

You can easily determine if there is an issue with the hardware component on Mac and, if so, which component it is by understanding the meaning of the reference code. Once you have found the culprit get it repaired or replaced by an authorized apple repair center.

4. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC).

The resetting SMC option is available only for Intel Mac, as the new M1 Macs automatically reset the SMC when you shut down your Mac and turn it back on. Here is how you can reset SMC.

  • Hold the keys and power button for 10-15 seconds, then release them.
  • Now, press the Power button to turn on your Mac.

To know more about the resetting SMC process, check out Apple’s guide to reset SMC.

5. Reset NVRAM/PRAM.

As in the case of SMC, you don’t need to reset NVRAM on M1 Mac. The advanced M1 chip takes care of it automatically. However, for an Intel Mac, you need to perform a reset of NVRAM/PRAM by following the steps below.

  • Restart your Mac. Press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys until the Mac restarts and you hear the startup chime for the second time.
  • Release all the keys.

If Mac starts up after this, your problem is resolved. However, if your Mac won’t turn on, move to the next method.

6. Boot Mac into Safe Mode.

If none of the above methods has got your Mac fixed, there might be an issue with one of your Mac’s third-party software or drivers. Booting Mac into safe mode allows your Mac to start without initializing any third-party app and unnecessary programs. Instead, only the most essential programs are started in Safe Mode. Here are the methods to boot your Mac into Safe Mode.

7. Reinstall macOS.

Now that you have tried every possible step to fix your Mac and the issue persists, it leaves us with the only option to reinstall your macOS. However, reinstalling macOS may cause data loss, and you need to be prepared with a backup or data recovery solution. To install macOS on your device, follow the under mentioned instructions.

  • Boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.
  • Choose Disk Utility and select your Startup Disk from the list.
  • Click Once the disk is erased, quit Disk Utility and select the Reinstall macOS option in the startup menu.
  • Click Continue and follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: Erasing the disk will erase the data stored on it and cause data loss. You can use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to get back your data. It’s a DIY data recovery tool to facilitate data recovery without any expert assistance or need for any specialized skill.

To wrap it up

Any issue in Mac immediately embarks you on a pointless ordeal if you are not using the right resource to find fixes. This blog is designed to help you avoid any unnecessary troubles and get your Mac fixed immediately. Each of the methods listed above effectively resolves the Mac won’t turn on issue, and you will be able to get rid of this problem without any external help.

By George
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George is a passionate writer and technical lead in a reputed company, he is contributing since 1997 to the web, and he has worked in the top 500 fortune companies and made his remark.