How to Fix a Mac that Won’t Turn On

Just as it is with any other electronic device, your Mac can fail to perform as expected. Some issues are minor and only require a little bit of tinkering to fix. But sometimes you can encounter a problem on your Mac of epic proportions and not have a clue what to do about it. One of these epic problems is when the Mac juts simply won’t turn on. The reason this problem can be so debilitating is because you can’t even use the device and hence most troubleshooting solutions are out the window.

That doesn’t however mean that there are no solutions to the problem. In fact, this article shows you 6 possible solutions to the problem. Try each one in turn to find the one that works best for you.

6 Tips to Fix a Mac That Won’t Turn On

The following 6 tips should help you get to the bottom of the issues and hopefully fix the Mac.

    1. Check to Make Sure It Won’t Start

It is very easy to mistake a Mac that won’t turn on with one that won’t start up. These two seem like the same thing but they are not. If you press the power button and you don’t hear a startup sound or hear the fan noise, there are no images or anything on the display, your device is not turning on. In this case, you may want to check to ensure that the problem is not the power connection. If it’s a laptop, check to ensure that the battery is charged. It may also help to try a different cable, just in case.


    2. Perform a Power Cycle

Performing a power cycle is where you force the Mac to restart after killing the power to it. If your Mac simply won’t start, you can try a power cycle. To do this, hold down the power key for 10 seconds and you should hear a small sound. If it’s a desktop, unplug it before forcing it to restart. After a power cycle, things should get back to normal, if they don’t, you may need more invasive solutions.


    3. Safe Reboot the Mac

A safe reboot for a Mac will often involve disk checking and repair. To do it, shut down the Mac and then turn it on by pressing the power Key while holding down the shift key. Release the shift key when you see the Apple logo and when the Mac fully starts, restart the Mac normally.

Once you’re logged in in safe mode, you want to make sure that your main drive has at least 10GB of space. That’s the hard drive marked Macintosh HD. If you don’t have 10GB, delete or move files to other drives until that drive has adequate space.


    4. Run Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

If the Mac is booting but it won’t load the operating system, it is very likely that you have a corrupted drive. This can be fixed in recovery mode. The first thing to do is to run Disk Utility. Make sure that the Mac is turned off and then follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Hold down the Command and R keys and power up the Mac. Keep pressing the keys while the Mac boots up.

Step 2: Once it is in Recovery Mode, you will have access to Utilities. Click on “Disk Utility” and find the icon for your Mac’s drove and then select “Verify Disk.”

Step 3: The process should find any errors in the system and ask that you repair them. Click “Repair Disk”


    5. Check the File System

Checking the file system is another one of the things you can do to try and fix the issue. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Turn off the Mac and start it up gain while holding the Command and “S” keys. This will launch the “Single User Mode.”

Step 2: Release the keys when the black screen with white text appears.

Step 3: Wait for the command prompt to appear and then type “fsck-fy” and hit Return.

Step 4: Wait for a few minutes and you should see one of two messages. Either “The Volume (your Mac’s Name) appears to be OK” or THE FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED”

Step 5: If you see the first message, type “reboot” and press enter. If you see the second one, type (fsck-fy) and hit return again.


    6. Reset the PRAM/ NVRAM

PRAM or on newer models NVRAM refers to the special memory sections on the mac that store data that will stay active even when the Mac is turned off. These include volume settings, screen resolution and the like.

It is not particularly effective but it has been known to work. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Hold down the following keys at the same time. Command, Option, P and R and then turn on the Mac.

Step 2: Keep holding down the buttons until the machine restarts and then release the keys.

After doing this, the Mac should restart normally or you may see a progress bar on startup. When the progress bar fills up, the Mac will restart.

If none of the above work, it may be time to seek professional help. Get your device to a specialist with relevant experience or to an Apple store if the warranty is still valid.

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