Quick Troubleshooting for MacBook with Startup Issues

MacBook Startup Issues - Kernel Panic Error
MacBook Startup Issues - Kernel Panic Error

Image source from mcprice.fr

Intro to Quick Troubleshooting for MacBook with Startup Issues

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on troubleshooting MacBook startup issues. If your MacBook is causing startup difficulties, fear not! We have the solutions you’re looking for. In this post, we will provide you with easy and effective DIY fixes that will get your MacBook back on track quickly.

Scenario Part 1 MacBook Startup Issues: No Display

Where your MacBook shows no display, emits no chime sound and essentially remains unresponsive.

MacBook Startup Issues - Kernel Panic Error
Example of chime sound


Check the power plug connection and that the power adapter and MagSafe are functioning properly because if the battery is completely drained at 0% and your MagSafe adapter is faulty, it becomes impossible to power up the device.

In this situation, there are a couple of options you can consider. Firstly, you can try borrowing a functional MagSafe adapter from a friend to test if it resolves the issue or you can visit an Apple specialist repair centre, where they can provide assistance and potentially replace the faulty adapter.

Second, sometimes a faulty battery can also prevent the MacBook from starting up so before jumping to the conclusion of getting a new battery replacement we suggest you test it out first.

Lastly, problems with the logic board (motherboard) also can prevent the Mac from starting up because internal components are faulty due to wear and tear or the user’s own physical damage, it is advisable to seek the expertise of experienced and specialized technicians to check and repair them.

Scenario Part 2 MacBook Startup Issues: Error Message

MacBook Air or MacBook Pro keeps restarting, or every time you start your Mac this error pops up:

MacBook Startup Issues: Error Message

Image source from Apple Support


First, check for any pending important updates for the macOS version you are using because sometimes updating your macOS can resolve the error you are experiencing.

Next, examine your application folder for any incompatible apps that may be causing conflicts with your system. For example, if you are running the latest macOS Ventura version 13, but still have older versions of applications like Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Microsoft Office Word 2011, they may be contributing to the issue.

If the problem persists, it may be time to perform a clean installation of your macOS system and this process requires you to back up all your data and then utilize the Recovery mode or create a USB bootable installer (guide) to erase your existing macOS installation and reinstall a fresh copy.

Even after a fresh system installation, if the issue continues, there might be a hardware problem. In such cases, we strongly recommend seeking the expertise of experienced and specialized technicians to diagnose any potential hardware issues.

Pro Tip 1

If you are using third-party RAM on MacBook Pro 2012 or earlier models, or iMac 2019 and earlier models, the error you are experiencing could be due to incompatible RAM or the RAM itself having issues.

Scenario Part 3 MacBook Startup Issues: Stuck at Loading Bar

When you start your Mac, you saw a progress bar, with or without the Apple logo but this screen may blink or go blank multiple times and there is no visible progress or loading.

MacBook Startup Issues: Stuck at Loading Bar

Image source from Apple Support


First, disconnect all physical connections such as USB, HDMI and hubs then perform a force shutdown on your MacBook by holding the power button for 5 to 10 seconds. Next, proceed to reset the SMC and PRAM controller by following the guide (here). Once completed, attempt to start up your Mac again and see if it successfully loads and enters the system.

If the issue persists and your Mac remains stuck at the same point, it’s time to attempt repairing your hard drive using Disk Utility. This utility will aim to repair disk permissions and address any software bugs present.

Apple provides a comprehensive guide on how to perform this task, which you can find at the following link: Apple Support – How to repair a Mac disk with Disk Utility.

If you have attempted to repair your Mac using Disk Utility and it still fails to load completely into the macOS system, the next step is to consider installing a fresh copy of macOS. You can follow the guide provided here for detailed instructions on how to perform a fresh macOS installation.

Pro Tip 2

If your macOS system is in the midst of an automatic update and your Mac goes into Sleep mode or shuts down unexpectedly, the failed system update can cause improper loading upon the next startup.

To prevent the Mac from performing automatic updates, you can disable this feature by following the instructions provided below:

Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences” Select the “Software Update” preference panel, then uncheck the following options:

macOS Software Update settings

Then click the “Advanced” button then uncheck all the boxes for

macOS Software Update advance settings

Both image sources from osxdaily

Pro Tip 3

If you are experiencing a startup issue with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and you have not backed up your data, you might be wondering if your files can be saved. The possibility of data recovery depends on whether the Mac can still turn on and if the hard drive is functioning properly. If the answer is yes, you can attempt accessing the data by booting from a USB external drive, provided that you know the user login password and that Mac’s security settings allow for external booting.

Image source from pcmag

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