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What to do if a MacBook doesn't boot up

Check the power

First and foremost, you should check, whether the battery is connected correctly. If you work with power cable, make sure that it’s plugged into the outlet in a proper way.

Power Cycle

If you press the power button and your MacBook is not responding to it and won’t charge, when you plug it in, do the following:  

  1. Remove the battery
  2. Unplug the power cable
  3. Press the power button for at least 10 seconds
  4. Without releasing the power button, insert the cable and press for another 10 seconds.
  5. Stop holding down the power button
  6. Switch on the computer as you usually do

Reset SMC and PRAM


  1. The computer’s System Management Controller is responsible for a lot of features and needs resetting from time to time.
  2. Shut down your laptop
  3. Plug in the power cable and then connect it to the device
  4. At the same time press three keys: the left side ‘Shift’ + ‘Control’+ ‘Option’ and the power button.
  5. Release everything
  6. Switch on the computer as you usually do

If you have an older Mac with a removable battery, do the following:

  1. Disconnect the power cable
  2. Remove the battery of your computer
  3. Press the power button. Don’t release it for at least 5 seconds
  4. Release the power button
  5. Connect both the battery and the power cable
  6. Switch on the computer as you usually do


Your computer’s Parameter Random-Access Memory may also need resetting from time to time.

  1. Switch on power as you usually do
  2. As soon as you hear the start-up chime, press the ‘Command’ + ‘Option’ + ‘P’ + ‘R’ keys, and don’t release them until your Mac restarts


It’s rather convenient, that every new MacBook has an installed diagnostic test. With its help you can identify where the problem lies and solve it, even if your operating system is down. You can even connect to the Internet to download this tool when the system is not working.

  1. Switch on the computer as you usually do
  2. As soon as you hear the start-up chime, press the ‘Option’ + ‘D’ keys until a ‘Starting Internet Recovery’ message appears on the screen
  3. Select a Wi-Fi network if it’s necessary
  4. Wait until the system downloads the test
  5. Finish installation
  6. As soon as the diagnostics test is downloaded, open the ‘Hardware Tests’ tab and pick the ‘Test’ option

Your computer’s Random Access Memory and other components will be tested. It may take the system about an hour to complete the diagnostics.

Memory testing

It sometimes happens that the diagnostics test cannot reveal the problem. If it’s your case, try to use Memtest. It is a popular memory testing tool that you can find in the ‘Terminal’. You can choose from a free and paid versions. Your computer must be put in Safe Mode before you start the test.

  1. Switch on the computer as you usually do
  2. Press the ‘Shift’ key as soon as you hear the start-up chime
  3. When you see the Apple logo on the screen, release the ‘Shift’ key
  4. Remove any faulty RAM that the tool discovers

Recovery partition

The OS X operating system is capable of recovering itself. The tool for this is called ‘OS X Recovery.’ If you want to launch the recovery mode:

  1. Press the ‘Command’ + ‘R’ keys As soon as you hear the start-up chime
  2. When you see the Apple logo on the screen, release all the keys. You can now choose from the following options:

    a. Restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup
    b. Verify and repair connected drives using Disk Utility
    c. Check your Internet connection and get help online using Safari
    d. Install or reinstall OS X

Install or reinstall OS X

If nothing helps, try to reinstall your computer’s operating system. But remember that unless you have backed up your data before, you will lose it if you reinstall.

Run Linux

If you have an urgent task to complete and have no time to wait until your computer is fixed, you can run Linux using USB or a disk.

Contact Apple support

Don’t neglect the signs (unusual sounds, lights or messages) that indicate that something is going wrong., For instance, three beeps in a row, a pause and then repeating is a common audio error code.

After you have recorded as many symptoms as you can, get in touch with an Apple Support representative.


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