MacOS won’t load or freeze when the Mac boots up, the apple is on and nothing happens. What to do?

Mac computers with the macOS operating system on board are the benchmark for reliability and performance, but even despite this, no one is immune from force majeure circumstances, due to which the operating system may not load (apple on the screen) or freeze at startup. In this article, we will talk about typical faults and how to fix them.

♥ BY TOPIC: How to automatically empty Trash on Mac (macOS).

Macs fail to boot or freeze while starting macOS can be due to three main reasons:

  • a problem with the software or its update;
  • a technical problem (SSD, HDD, RAM, processor, motherboard memory, controller, etc.);
  • new equipment (must be disconnected). Even an ordinary USB stick or USB key could be the reason.

First of all, MacBook owners are advised to check whether the battery is dead and whether the charger is working.

If the process of launching and loading macOS has begun, but freezes at certain stages, for example, on an “apple”, then you need to go through all the points below the given algorithm of actions in order.

♥ BY TOPIC: How to hide files and folders on Mac (macOS) from strangers: 3 ways.

1. If MacBook, iMac won’t start due to (after) installing an update

Any Mac user updates the operating system on a computer from time to time. First of all, it’s free, and besides, the next releases of macOS provide new features, speed up the device and better unleash its potential. But sometimes users, after trying to update their operating system, face the same problem – the classic “apple” burns on the Macbook (iMac or other Apple computers) screen, and the operating system does not start. This is a known problem, but fortunately it is not hard to fix.

1. Shut down or restart your Mac.

2. Immediately after turning on or restarting, hold down the key combination on the keyboard Command (⌘) + R

3. In the menu that appears, select the desired language.

4. Log in Disk Utility

How to reinstall macOS or restore Mac to factory settings

5. A disk appears on the left side of the active window. It is usually called Macintosh HD. If we fix the problem, the disk will not be mounted. Its name will be displayed in light gray.

6. To mount the disk in the upper panel of the disk utility there is a button “To plug“. Click it and enter your password.

7. The name of the disc will be shown in the lower right corner, remember it. By default it is – disk2s1

8. Close Disk Utility and in the top menu bar open the tab “Utilities“. Select an application from the list of utilities Terminal

9. In the Terminal window, enter the following command:

ls -aOl “/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Recovered Items”

and press the Return (Enter) key.

instead of Macintosh HD, you must specify the name of your disk, if it is different.

10. The line “No such file or directory“.

11. Now you need to enter the second command:

diskutil apfs updatePreboot disk2s1

and press the Return (Enter) key.

parameter disk2s1 Is the default disc name. In your case, it may be different.

12. It remains to wait for the command to complete. After that, reboot your Mac, it should boot normally.

♥ BY TOPIC: How to enable translator in Safari on macOS Big Sur.

2. Disconnect all devices connected to your Mac and try restarting your computer

We covered how to force restart any Mac in this article.

♥ BY TOPIC: Continuity: How to get started on an iPhone or iPad and continue on a Mac, and vice versa.

3. Boot macOS in Safe Boot or Verbose mode

Safe Boot or simply “Safe Mode” allows you to run macOS with limited checks and functionality. That is, only the minimum is launched that allows the system to function. We perform all actions from a turned off Mac. To turn it off, just hold down the power button for 2-3 seconds.

MacOS in mode Safe Boot starts a little slower (if it starts at all), so do not rush to the next step until you are convinced that this is not working. To start your Mac in Safe Boot mode, just turn on the computer while holding down the key ⇧Shift

There is also an analogue of the Safe Boot mode – Verbose mode… The difference is that the latter allows you to display all the detailed information about the loaded processes, software and drivers. To start the Mac in Verbose mode, start the Mac with the keys held down Shift + Command + V (⇧ + ⌘ + V)

If the Mac starts up in Safe Boot or Verbose mode, then you need to click on the menu  and restart the machine in normal mode. A successful download means we’re in luck.

If the Mac won’t boot, then smoothly proceed to the next step.

♥ BY TOPIC: How to remove a USB flash drive, removable disk (drive), etc. on macOS (7 ways).

4. Using Disk Utility

Our guide is built on first weeding out the most common and easy-to-fix causes of Mac failure. At this stage, you need to make sure that the malfunction of the hard disk or SSD is not the cause of the malfunction, but a standard tool in the person of Disk Utility will help us with this.

Shut down your Mac from any frozen state. Running Disk Utilities performed by turning on the Mac with the keys held down Command + R (⌘ + R)… Here you will be taken to recovery mode.

In the appeared list “MacOS utilities“Select”Disk utility“And press the button”Proceed“.

How to reinstall macOS or restore Mac to factory settings

In the disk utility, select the hard disk in the left side menu and start the scan mode by clicking on the “First aid»At the top of the window.

After completing the check, if any faults are found, the utility will immediately offer to fix them or fix them automatically. Then restart your Mac. If it doesn’t help, then proceed to the next step.

♥ BY TOPIC: Hotkeys for macOS Everyone Should Know.

5. How to save data from a Mac that won’t boot macOS

If you do not care about the data stored on the hard disk, then feel free to skip this step and proceed to the next step.

If you are not using the most useful Time Machine feature, then before reinstalling macOS, you need to take care of transferring data from the disk. Developers from Cupertino have come up with a special External Disk Mode (detailed), with which you can access data stored on a Mac’s hard drive to copy it to another Mac. The disadvantage of this method is obvious – the need for a second Mac and a Thunderbolt cable.


To activate the Target Disk Mode:

1… Connect both Macs using a Thunderbolt cable.

2… Turn off the problematic Mac and turn on the working Mac.

3… Start an unhealthy Mac with the button held down T and hold until the Thunderbolt icon appears on the display with a blue background, which indicates that the Mac successfully starts up in Target Disk Mode.

On a working computer, an external hard drive should appear in Finder, from which we will copy important data. After completing the procedure, safely remove the disc and turn off the computer by long pressing the power button.

♥ BY TOPIC: How to schedule your Mac to sleep and turn it on automatically.

6. Reinstall macOS

How to reinstall macOS or restore Mac to factory settings

The final stage of all actions that each user can perform at home will be the reinstallation of the system. Turn on your Mac with the keys held down Command + R (⌘ + R), wait for loading “MacOS utilities“And select the item”Reinstall macOS“And press the button”Proceed“. Then follow all the actions suggested by the system.

We talked in more detail about the correct reinstallation of macOS in this article.

♥ BY TOPIC: FileVault encryption on Mac: what is it and should you enable it?

7. Today is just not your day.

If the above steps did not help, then most likely you have something more serious. The problem may lie both in the newly installed equipment, and in the inoperability of the standard hardware. For further diagnostics, contact the specialists from the service center for help.

See also:

Rate article
( No ratings yet )
Share to friends
Leave a Reply