By default, macOS will show the Apple logo with black background when booting up your system and during macOS software update. You will see a progress bar showing the status of booting or installing macOS. Though booting typically takes few seconds, software update may take longer time depending on the download file size. Other than these normal situations, sometimes your desktop or laptop may stuck at Apple logo without any progress. If you frequently face such problem, here are some suggestions to fix the issue.
- Check External Devices – Your Mac may stuck at Apple logo screen trying to reach the connected devices. So, if you are connected to an external hard drive or USB, make sure the device is connected properly. Similarly, check the default accessories like wireless mouse, keyboard and printer are connected. You can disconnect the device and restart Mac to check if that helps.
- Software Update – Major macOS versions are generally 10+ GB in size and you should have 20+ GB to run the download and installation. When the storage space is not sufficient, Mac may stuck at Apple logo though the process is started. So, make sure you have 25+ GB available storage (in an average) before starting the OS update.
- Intel Vs Apple Silicon – We have iMac with Apple silicon and MacBook Pro with Intel processor. Mac with Intel Core processors are already out of date and some apps will not work properly on these devices. So, it is common for the system taking longer time to bootup or stuck when updating. You can’t do much in this case other than upgrading to a new Mac.
If you have latest Mac and still facing problem, then check out the followings.
1. Force Shutdown Your Mac
To get out of the Apple logo screen, you can force restart the Mac. In most cases, this will solve the problem and you should be seeing the desktop screen without stuck at Apple logo screen.
Most MacBooks come with a power button on the keyboard’s top right corner. If you are using Magic Keyboard with iMac, then the power button is located on the backside of the monitor screen (bottom left corner from your view). Simply press and hold the power key/button to see a prompt asking you to choose the action like restart, sleep or shutdown. Check “Reopen windows when logging back in” option and click “Restart” button.
If you do not see the prompt, continue holding the power key to force shutdown your Mac. After shutting down, press the power key again to restart your Mac. You will see a notification that the system was shutdown forcibly and whether you want to open all previous apps. You can reopen all previously opened apps or ignore the prompt and continue with your work.
2. Boot in Safe Mode
If any third-party apps affecting the booting process, then you can try to boot your Mac in Safe mode. Follow the below steps after force shutdown your Mac as explained above.
- Intel Processor – Reboot your system by holding down the Shift key and then login with your details.
- Apple Silicon – press the power key/button till you see startup options. Select startup disk and hold the Shift key. After that, select “Continue in Safe Mode” to login with safe mode.
If everything is working fine, you can focus on third-party apps that you are using on the system. Learn more about using safe mode in Mac.
3. Run Apple Diagnostics
Windows comes with a troubleshooter for checking various system issues. Though Mac has a similar diagnostics tool, you need to access it before booting (not from Settings app). It needs your wireless password, so make sure you have it before trying. First, force shutdown your system and then follow the below steps.
- Intel Processor – Press the power button and then hold the D key. You will be prompted to select the wireless network name. Select your network and enter the password.
- Apple Silicon – Press and hold the power button till you see startup options and select your system disk.
System will start the recovery process and you will see two options to run the diagnostics. Click “I agree” to run the tool online which will send your data to Apple. Alternatively, you can run the tool offline by clicking the “Run Offline” link.
Now the diagnostics tool will check your system for problems. You will see a progress bar showing the status and wait till it completes. If there are any errors found, note down the error code and click “Restart” button. If you can login, check the error code on Apple’s support page and find how to fix that. If you are not able to pass through the Apple logo, then you may need to another device for understanding the error code.
4. Use Disk Utility to Fix Disk Errors
To avoid the disk errors causing the system to frequently stuck at Apple logo, you can scan your hard disk and fix the issue.
- Press “Command + Space” to open Spotlight Search.
- Type “disk utility” and open Disk Utility app.
- Select your disk and click “First Aid” button.
- Click the “Run” button to start scanning your hard drive for errors.
You can also run the First Aid from recovery mode.
- Press and hold “Command + R” keys and press the power key to enter recovery mode.
- Login with your username and password and then select “Disk Utility” option.
- Select your disk and click on “First Aid” to run the scan.
After fixing drive errors, check whether it helped to fix your Mac stuck at the Apple logo issue.
5. Reset NVRAM
NVRAM or Non-Volatile RAM in Mac stores information related to settings like startup disk, resolution, etc. Though it may not cause severe issue like holding your Mac on the Apple logo screen, you can try to reset NVRAM and check if that helps to fix the issue.
- After shutting down your Mac, press the power key/button to boot.
- Immediately press and hold “Command + Option + P + R” keys for some time (like 10 seconds).
- Now release all the keys and your Mac will start like normal.
6. Reset SMC
SMC or System Management Controller controls battery, fans and other functions in Mac. You can try to reset SMC and check the issue is resolved with that.
- Press power key/button to start your Mac.
- Press and hold the “Control + Option + Shift” keys for around ten seconds.
- Release the keys and your SMC is reset.
- Mac will boot normally and check if everything looks fine.
7. Reinstall macOS
You can try this as a last resort as reinstalling is a big process. First, make sure to take a backup if you can login to the system then follow the below steps.
- Press the power button to boot your Mac.
- Immediately press “Command + R” keys to enter into recovery mode.
- Select your username and enter the password to login.
- You will see a list of options and select “Reinstall macOS” option.
- Check the macOS version and click “Continue” button.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to download and reinstall the macOS.
After finishing the installation, login and check the issue does not occur again.
Mac will stuck on Apple logo screen when installing major macOS versions and sometimes when booting the system. You can follow the above steps and also disable login items to fix the issue. If none of the suggestions helped, then you may need to contact Apple support to fix the issue and recover your data from the system.