If your Mac won’t boot, try this

If your Mac computer does not show its start screen, here are some solutions that can be very useful for you. They are very simple keyboard commands, but at the same time they can get us out of a good bind. That is why we encourage you to try some of them, since they may be the solution to the problem.

Why won’t my Mac turn on the system?

The causes for which your computer does not start can have different origins, with different problems to solve. In this first section we will see the commands that we can execute if, when we turn on the computer, the screen goes black, or an icon of a folder with a question mark appears (a little later we will see what this symbol means).

Before we start, there is a little nuance to make: these keyboard commands that we are going to teach you are only for Mac computers with Intel. Mac computers with Apple Silicon have a different set of settings that we will see later.

Boot commands for a Mac with Intel

The first option that we show you is used to select the disk, or the partition from which our operating system is going to be executed. When we partition the hard drive through Disk Utility, or install Windows through Bootcamp, our Mac may not automatically find that partition where we have macOS.

To select the disk or partition, hold down the ALT or OPTION key nothing else turns on the computer. If we do this, we will see on the screen the hard drives or partitions that we have available to boot the operating system.

The second command that we present to you is used to reinstall macOS from the internet. In this way, our computer will ask us to connect to a Wi-Fi network to download a new version of macOS. But it will not necessarily be an update, but it will be the same system that you already had, but completely new and without data. If by any chance we have deleted the operating system from our computer if we wanted to, yes we keep the COMMAND and R keys pressed as soon as the computer is turned onit will open this recovery mode.

Another option that can come in handy is trying to start macOS in safe mode. This option makes the macOS system only load those elements that are essential to function, leaving aside all the resources that are not necessary, such as application software, some system extensions, etc. In addition, it performs a verification scanner on our hard drive and eliminates stored cache memories. To activate this safe mode you have to press the SHIFT key o Capital letter, and keep it as soon as the computer has been turned on.

If you have Apple Silicon

Key commands do not work on Macs with an Apple processor. In this case, if your computer does not boot, you will have to hold down the power button, even after you hear the boot sound. At that moment an options icon will appear that we will have to press. Here we will see how A list with options appears.

mac apple silicon recover

  • macOS recovery: reinstall the system again
  • Time Machine System Restore: restore a previous version of your data, saved in Time Machine
  • Install macOS Ventura
  • Safari: we have the browser available to connect to the Internet and make quick queries on the Apple support website
  • Disk Utility, to repair or erase the hard drive
  • Startup Security Utility: to configure Mac security settings
  • command terminal
  • Drive Sharing: To transfer files between multiple Macs.
  • Boot Disk: Select the hard drive partition where macOS is installed.

As you can see, there are many more options here that go beyond starting your computer in different modes, or applying certain options. With the start button pressed, the menu appears with each and every one of the tasks that we can carry out.