Are you aggravated because your MacBook will not work after the update? 😤
It has been relatively common for a while that there has been this ongoing issue with MacBook, where they will not start up after a macOS update is done installing.
So if you find your MacBook will not start up after a macOS update? Then don’t worry. There have been several reports on this issue, and after testing out a few different methods suggested below, we’ve managed to provide a fix in the end.
We’ve written this 2500-word post in such a way; we go over every facet to solve this issue in a way we go from the simplest to the more complex solutions, step-by-step.
Without wasting any more time, let’s get this issue fixed.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Startup using Safe Mode
- Run Disk Utility
- Reset the NVRAM
- Reinstall the macOS
- Use Disk Utility to Create Disk Image
- Verify for Any Indication of Power
- Inspect the Power Peripheral and Source
- Check for Hardware Conflict
- Try a Force Startup
- Reset System Management Controller
- Reach Out to Apple.
How to Fix MacBook Will Not Start Up After macOS Update: 11 Ways.
1. Startup using Safe Mode.
Now before we proceed, this method is applicable when you are stuck in the white screen with an Apple logo on your MacBook. If you don’t see it, you may want to skip this method and proceed to Method 6.
You will also want to make sure that you remove any peripheral devices connected to your MacBook, such as your USB devices, network cables, and extended monitors, if applicable.
One of the reasons why your macOS won’t startup is because of corrupt startup system files. To restore these files, you may need to start up the essential core files using Safe Mode.
To do this, here are the steps:
- Firstly, turn on your MacBook by pressing the Power button.
- Now immediately press and hold the Shift ⇧ key until the Apple logo appears, then release it.
- Once you have started-up in safe mode successfully, make sure you empty your Trash. Check if you have more than 10 GB of available space in your system hard drive. If not, try to move your large files such as videos and images into a backup drive to free up some space. This is one of the minimum requirements of your macOS so that it can boot up successfully.
- After that, shut down your MacBook and startup the macOS normally.
Try to connect back the peripheral devices one by one and check if any of the peripherals are causing any startup conflicts. If a device hinders you to startup your macOS successfully, then do not connect it back to your MacBook.
2. Run Disk Utility.
It’s likely that your hard drive has errors and is causing your MacBook not to successfully startup the system. Thankfully, Apple has a built-in software utility to check and repair the hard drive where your macOS is installed.
Here’s how you can use this built-in utility:
- First and foremost, turn off your MacBook that is stuck on the Apple white screen by pressing down the Power button until the display turns black.
- Next, give it a few seconds and press the Power button again while pressing and holding the Command (⌘) + R keys.
- Now on the Mac OS Utilities window, click on the Disk Utility option.
- Then, click on your macOS hard drive and click on the Verify disk and Repair disk options to verify and repair the disk.
Wait for the repair process to finish. But if the repair prompts that your hard drive is unrepairable, you will need to replace your hard drive with a new one.
On the other hand, if this is the first time that an error like this has occurred within your hard drive, then you can opt to erase the volume and restore from backup. Although, do understand that this will not fix if the hard drive itself is already defective.
Now that you have repaired your hard drive try once again to start up your MacBook and see if it boots up successfully. But if you are still experiencing issues or you still see the white screen error, proceed to the next method.
3. Reset the NVRAM.
Another reason why you may be experiencing boot issues with your MacBook could be the fact that the settings of your macOS are corrupted.
These settings are stored in small memory storage called NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) and are heavily used in the startup process of the macOS. Moreover, if you ever experience issues relating to your MacBook’s sound volume, display resolution, startup disk selection, time zone, or any recent kernel panic, then resetting the NVRAM is the way to go.
It’s a good, useful solution to keep in mind.
Now take note that when you reset the NVRAM, this will also reset all the settings that you had preset — screen resolutions, time zones, and other application settings. Meaning you will set those settings up again, that is, if you ever changed them.
Here’s how you can reset your NVRAM on MacBook:
- First, press and hold the Power button of your MacBook until the screen turns black.
- Now turn it back on and immediately press and hold the Option (or Alt) + Command (⌘), ⌥ + P + R keys in your keyboard. If you’re on a MacBook that plays a startup chime, then release the keys after the second startup sound. If you’re on a Macbook that comes with the T2 Chip, then you can release the keys after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.
- Finally, once your MacBook resets, you can go ahead and adjust the settings back to how it was before. You can now test once again by restarting your MacBook and see if it boots up as it should.
Help! How do I know if my MacBook plays a startup sound or has a T2 chip?
You can check if your Mac has a T2 chip, by going pressing your Option key and then selecting the Apple menu > System Information > Controller/iBridge. You should see here on this page whether a T2 chip is stated.
Currently, only the MacBook Air units introduced in 2018 or later and the MacBook Pro units that were introduced in 2018 or later do come with a T2 chip
4. Reinstall the macOS.
What if it is to say the macOS update itself is the issue? Well, that too is another probable cause and can be induced by a hardware failure, driver conflict, bugs, or simply that the machine has reached its end of the life cycle.
To be sure if your MacBook can still be capable of running the macOS, try to reinstall the macOS update once again, and see if it fixes the second time around. Now this will not erase your data, as Apple states, but you do have the option to do so, which comes in handy if you’re deciding to resell or trade-in your MacBook, and you do not want to share your data stored on your Mac.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Go ahead and connect your MacBook to the internet using a network cable.
- Then, press and hold the Power button of your MacBook until the screen turns black.
- Next, turn back on your MacBook while holding down the Command (⌘)+ R keys. This will reinstall the latest copy of the macOS that was installed on your machine.
- After that, when you see the Apple logo, release the keys, and the internet startup completes when the Utilities Window appears.
- Finally, click on Reinstall macOS option and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.
There is an option to re-install the operating system using your recovery partition. But there is a possibility that your recovery file might also be corrupted. We advise that you re-install using the internet.
5. Use Disk Utility to Create Disk Image.
If the previous method did not work, then there is a possibility that you will need to replace your disk drive. But before you do, make sure you have backup all the necessary files on your MacBook.
Here’s how you can create a disk image (as stated by Apple):
- Go ahead and turn off your MacBook by pressing down the power button until the display turns black.
- Next, give it a few seconds and press the power button again while pressing and holding the Command (⌘) + R keys.
- Now on the Mac OS Utilities window, click on the Disk Utility option.
- Then, choose your system partition from the sidebar, then click on File, then New Image, and then Image from your Hard Drive’s name.
- Choose a name for your Disk Image and select where you want to save it. It could be an external drive or flash disk.
- Then, click on the Format option and then click on Read/Write option. You can opt to encrypt your data, but the image creation may take some time.
- Finally, click on Save option and click Done to finalize the process.
Now you that you have created a Disk Image of your hard drive, you will be able to access your data using other Mac computer. From there, you copy and transfer your important files to a new hard drive. If you need a hard drive replacement, you will need to proceed to the last method. However, if you continue to see a black screen on the display of your MacBook, move to the next method.
6. Verify for Any Indication of Power.
You may not see your MacBook power up because the display screen could most likely be not working. This can happen when the peripheral hardware of your display screen fails.
Here’s a list on how to verify that your MacBook is turned on:
- Check for the LED Light indicators of your MacBook. What do you see? Comment down below.
- Check for chimes and sounds when powering on the device. This may vary depending on which MacBook model you have as not all MacBook have a startup chime. Mac models from late 2016 and newer don’t have a startup chime, except for the MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
- Check for the sound of the fan if it’s working. Is the fan too loud or making weird sounds?
- Press the trackpad during the startup. If it clicks on something, then most likely, your display is not working. Meaning that your MacBook is working and has already started up, but the screen is faulty and not projecting what’s happening.
If you find any of the above checks out, then refer to Method 11 on the steps to reach out to Apple and send in your MacBook for inspection. However, if there is no indication of power, as in your MacBook does not power on at all, then try out the next method to further troubleshoot the issue.
7. Inspect the Power Peripheral and Source.
To rule out whether the issue is from the power source, you will need to have the battery of your MacBook checked as well as try using a different power outlet. Now take note that not all MacBooks have removable batteries. Even if yours does, it is best to head over to your nearest Apple and then ask them to check it out for you.
On the contrary, what you can do at this moment is to check the power outlet and try testing by plugging in other devices and see if it is the cause of problems.
If the power outlet works, check the power adapter you’re using and see if it is the original one that came in with your MacBook. There have been instances where sellers on eBay and Amazon have deceived customers with selling an original MacBook only to sell faulty or counterfeit power adapters that do more harm than good.
Additionally, you will also have to check if the power adapter that you have, has damages on both the cable and adapter. If possible, try to borrow a similar power adapter and see if your laptop will turn on. If it works, that means your power adapter needs replacement.
Most likely, the issue will be from your MacBook’s battery, in which case we go over all the possible avenues below (Method 11) on how you can approach to getting it replaced by Apple for a low cost.
8. Check for Hardware Conflict.
The most common hardware conflict that users face is one where when your MacBook is configured to boot up from a USB device, and you have a flash disk presently connected. This is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster and can result in boot up issues for your MacBook.
As we suggested in Method 1 above, make sure you remove all the peripheral accessories such as your mouse, dongles, and external keyboard before you boot up your MacBook then check if it can startup successfully. Additionally, you will also want to rule out one-by-one each of your peripherals, particularly those which are made by third-parties (not Apple).
Perhaps, you may have decided to upgrade the RAM of your MacBook at a lower price. The issue of doing this, particularly with Apple Mac models, is that they are strict with the specifications of components integrated with the Mac systems. In which the best option is to make sure you always go for the more authentic Apple Mac parts for replacement.
9. Try a Force Startup.
Another possible cause could be that the power button on your MacBook is not working correctly. In such a case, you can try to press and hold it for about 10 seconds and see if your MacBook will turn on.
Now do not hold it for too long because you might turn it on and back off again. In reference to Method 6, make sure to always check for indicators that your laptop is on. As aforementioned, if there are any indications that the MacBook has turned on, but the display is not showing it, then you know where the issue is.
You can also try doing pressing the Power button together with Function (Fn) + Control (Ctrl) ⌃ + Command (or Cmd) ⌘ keys as you start up your Mac. This has worked for some users over on the Apple Support forums on this exact topic.
10. Reset System Management Controller.
Your MacBook’s System Management Controller or SMC is responsible for low-level functions on Intel-based Mac computers.
If you are experiencing issues with the display, battery indicators, fans speed sounds or LED indicators, then the best resort would be to reset this SMC component on your Mac. By doing this, the hardware can be identified, whether it is defective or not.
Now take note that the steps vary depending on whether your Mac comes with Apple’s T2 Security Chip. Again, as we aforementioned, you can check if your Mac has a T2 chip, by going pressing your Option key and then selecting the Apple menu > System Information > Controller/iBridge. You should see here on this page whether a T2 chip is stated.
Currently, only the MacBook Air units introduced in 2018 or later and the MacBook Pros that were introduced in 2018 or later do come with a T2 chip.
The steps below are divided to guide you on how to reset the SMC on your MacBook depending on whether your machine comes with or without the T2 chip:
- First and foremost, go ahead and shut down your MacBook.
- Now press and hold down the following three keys. You will find that your MacBook will turn on:
- Control (or Ctrl) ⌃ on the left side of your keyboard
- Option (Alt) ⌥ on the left side of your keyboard
- Shift ⇧ on the right side of your keyboard
- Next, keep holding down all three keys for 7 seconds, then press and hold down on the Power button too. You will find that your Mac may turn off if it was already turned on.
- Keep holding down all four keys, then release them.
- Lastly, after 3-5 seconds, try and press on your Power button to turn on your Mac. See if this fixes the issue.
For MacBook with a removable battery (Without T2 Chip)
- Go ahead and remove the battery from your MacBook. We suggest that you ask someone who is experienced or an Apple technician to assist you with the battery removal procedure.
- Then, press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds.
- Finally, re-install the battery and start up the MacBook.
For MacBook with non-removable battery (Without T2 Chip)
- Go ahead and press the power button of your MacBook long enough to power off.
- Then, press the Power button again together with Shift ⇧, Control (or Ctrl) ⌃ and Option (or Alt) ⌥ key for 10 seconds.
- Finally, release the keys and start up the MacBook.
Now that you have restored SMC features, you should be able to know if you are having hardware issues.
11. Reach Out to Apple.
There are advanced procedures to help out troubleshoot this issue. One of the more complicated causes of this issue is due to what they call a Kernel Panic issue. Now the kernel is the building block of an operating system. That means for your Mac’s hardware and the macOS version, which you may have updated to; it is very plausible that it may be having a compatibility issue and maybe what causes the system to crash.
There are several ways to solve this issue, but it is better to leave it in the hands of an expert. You can avail of their service at your nearest Apple Store.
Another helpful utility software that you can use is the Apple Diagnostic Tool. This software will help you determine what hardware is causing this issue. You can run this test by yourself, so you will have an idea of what hardware needs replacement before going to an Apple-certified technician. Also, be sure to check your warranty options as well before you go through with any repairs or replacement, as you could potentially save a lot of unwanted costs.
If you don’t have an Apple Store in your country, you can book an appointment for repair on the Apple website. With this, you will have to send your equipment through a courier so they can fix it in their lab. You don’t have to worry because you can always check the status of repair anytime you want.
And this wraps up our guide on how to fix your MacBook that will not startup after macOS update. If you have questions related to this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we will love to help. ❤
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