Fix a Mac that won't turn on: follow these steps!

mac won't start 2
mac won't start 2

Dernière mise à jour: 30 mai 2024

A Mac that won't start is certainly the nightmare of all users of Apple machines, and it's easy to find yourself helpless when it happens to you, especially for the first time.

The problem is that it is often quite complicated to see where the fault could come from. So in this article, we invite you to see the most common cases one by one, as well as what you will have to do to try to restart your Mac or, in the worst case, save what can be saved as much as possible!

Does your Mac that won't boot still have battery, is the cable still working?

It may seem silly, but it's a situation that happens quite often and is often quite benign. Your Mac that won't start may simply be out of battery, for several reasons.

Often, if you forgot to plug it in, it shows. What appears much less obvious, however, is if the cable is defective. We will therefore always advise you to test a second one to see if that resolves the situation.

Likewise, the plug/power strip you are using may be defective. So test it with another or test them with another device to confirm this. If so, there is definitely a problem, but rest assured, your Mac is fine!

Attempt a forced restart

If it's not a battery problem or even just a portable Mac, try a forced restart procedure. Let's start with laptops.

To do this, press the power button on your Mac for 10 seconds, which does not start. You should then hear a small sound, as if everything suddenly shut off, this is completely normal. Then press the start button again to launch it.

If you have a desktop computer, the first thing to do will be to unplug it. Then, keep the start button pressed again for about ten seconds. Then plug in the Mac that won't start and try turning it back on.

If your Mac won't start at all, you probably have a hardware problem.

If these first two techniques did not succeed in at least mechanically restarting your computer, then there is a good chance that the failure is mechanical!

In this case, you will not have 540 solutions available to you, you will have to go to an approved center that repairs Macs. Remember to take your proof of purchase for the warranty if it is still valid.

Moreover, if the problem came from the charging cable, do not hesitate to go to the store so that it can be exchanged free of charge under the guarantee that we have just told you about.

Launch your Mac in Safe Mode

If you are still here, it is because you have a Mac that does not start its system, even though your machine is mechanically launching. The first thing to do will be to try to force boot into safe mode.

The latter removes a lot of features, focusing on the launch. However, this can allow you, for example, to recover your data in order to avoid losing it in the process!

If you have a Mac with an Apple chip:

  • Turn off your Mac by going to the Apple menu and choosing Switch off.
  • Wait a minute. Your Mac must be completely turned off.
  • Long press the power button until you see a message saying Loading boot options.
  • Choose where you want to boot your Mac by selecting a volume.
  • Press the key Shift and at the same time click Continue in Safe Mode.
  • Let the Mac restart on its own. When you see the screen to connect, a message Start without extensions should appear at the top.

If you have an Intel-based Mac:

  • Turn on your Mac or restart it, then immediately press the key May and keep it pressed.
  • Don't let go of the button May until you get to the login screen.
  • Log in on your Mac. You may need to log in a second time.
  • Look at the top of the screen. You should see the message Start without extensions, either on the first or the second connection window.

Fix a Mac that won't start with Time Machine

If you manage to launch your Mac which does not start in safe mode, we advise you to go through Time Machine Next. This feature will allow you to make backups of your computer.

So, if you ever have to reinstall MacOS or worse, you would at least have the guarantee of being able to recover your data once everything is reinstalled without having lost everything in the process.


Therefore, if you have not yet done so, we encourage you to use this functionality to avoid any unpleasant surprises and thus never lose your data again, even in the event of a problem.

Attempt a reboot in Recovery mode

Unfortunately if everything doesn't work, your last attempt will be to either reinstall MacOS or to go through a Time Machine backup as we told you previously.

We advise you to try both and first Time Machine. But for this, you will have to launch your Mac which does not start in mode Recovery. To do this, make sure it is turned off.

On a Mac with an Intel chip, turn it on, while holding down the keys Command and R Press and hold until the Apple logo appears on the screen. For Apple chips, simply hold down the start button until an option screen appears. There, select the mode Recovery.

Once it's done, try repairing with Time Machine and reinstalling as we advised you previously. If these two techniques do not work, the failure is surely quite severe.

It may even be a mechanical breakdown that is the cause of all these problems. In this case, unless you are a computer expert, what we will advise you is to go to an Apple authorized repairer.

If you have the guarantee, don't forget to bring it. If the repairer is approved, he will be able to carry out the repairs and have them covered by the warranty at the same time. Otherwise, don't hesitate to ask for a quote beforehand to avoid unpleasant financial surprises!