Mac Won’t Turn On? Here’s the 5 Best Solutions!

What to Know

  • If your Mac won't turn on, the solution might be a simple charging issue or a faulty screen. 
  • If there's an issue with your startup sequence, performing a power cycle can resolve underlying issues.

It's scary when your Mac won't turn on, but the underlying solution is often very simple. Hidden charging issues, accessory malfunctions, and faulty screens are common (and often overlooked) culprits. Below, we'll walk through how to test or fix these common issues to see if you can resolve the problem on your own. 

Initial Steps to Fix a Mac That Won't Turn On

First things first! Before starting in on the other solutions below, check to make sure your Mac or MacBook is properly charging. Hidden charging issues are often the cause of your Mac not turning on. 

  • Inspect your power cord and adapter for any sign of damage. Sometimes things like fraying cable insulation or crushed wiring can cause your power adapter to stop charging. 
  • Make sure that your power adapter is clean and plugged securely into your Mac. If there is dirt or grime on the end of the cord or in the port, that may prevent a connection, so make sure they are clean and properly connected. 
  • Test your power adapter. To test that your charger is working, plug it in to another device to see if the other device charges.
  • Test your electrical outlet. To test the outlet, plug a lamp or another device into the same outlet to make sure it is working. 

Note: If your Mac has no built-in display screen, the problem may not actually be with your Mac but with your external monitor, so perform these same checks for the monitor.

If you were able to identify a potential charging issue, you likely just need to wait a few minutes for your computer to charge. However, if you've found that your Mac is charging but not turning on, proceed to the next section to continue troubleshooting the issue.

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.

How to Fix a Mac That Won’t Turn On but Is Charging

To learn more about your Mac's hidden features, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter. If your MacBook is charging but you still can't turn it on, continue working through the sections below to resolve issues and check for faulty components.

1. Disconnect all accessories, then try to turn your Mac on. 

Unplug mice, external keyboards, printers, monitors, and any accessory connected to your Mac. This seems like a simple step, but sometimes these devices can malfunction and cause issues with your Mac's startup sequence. Try turning on your Mac again. If this works, the issue is with a malfunctioning accessory. If your Mac still doesn't work, continue working through the other solutions below. 

2. Check for a faulty screen making it appear that your Mac isn't turning on. 

This one is pretty straightforward: try to turn on your Mac and listen for any sounds and check for lights turning on. Do you hear the fan or the startup chime when you press the power button? Do the keys on your MacBook keyboard light up? If this is the case, your Mac might be starting up and the issue is with your screen. 

3. Perform a Power Cycle to fix MacBook not turning on.

A power cycle is a specific way of turning of your Mac or MacBook that cuts all power to the components. It's the equivalent of removing the battery and can help resolve issues that are causing your Mac not to turn on. To perform a power cycle: 

  1. Press and hold the power button on your Mac for a minimum of 10 seconds. 
  2. Wait a few seconds, then press the power button again to restart your Mac as you usually do. 

4. Reset the SMC or T2 chip to fix your Mac that's not starting.

The System Management Controller (on older Macs) and the T2 chip (for newer Macs) are responsible for handling functions like battery management and the startup process when you press the power button. For this reason, it's useful to try resetting the SMC or T2 chip to see if your Mac will then turn on. This method of switching your Mac on and off will not cause you to lose any data on your hard drive. 

For a MacBook older than 2018, reset the SMC:

  1. Press and hold the Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button simultaneously for 10 seconds.

    Perform a Power Cycle to fix your Mac not starting up.
  2. Release all four keys, then press the power button again to turn on your Mac. 

For MacBook models newer than 2018, reset the T2 chip:

  1. Press and hold the Control+Option+Shift keys for seven seconds.

    Press the keys to perform a power cycle.
  2. Then press and hold the power button as well. Keep holding all four keys for another seven seconds, and then release all four keys at the same time.

    Perform a Power Cycle to fix your Mac not starting up.
  3. Wait a few seconds, and then press the power button to turn on your Mac.

Unfortunately, if your Mac or MacBook is still not turning on, it's time to bring in the professionals. 

5. When all else fails, contact Apple Support.

If you've tried the solutions above, and your Mac still won't turn on, it may have a hardware failure. At this point, your best chance to get your device working is to locate the nearest Apple Store or contact Apple Support for help and instructions. 


  • Help! Where is the power button on my MacBook Pro? If your MacBook Pro has a keyboard with a touchpad for the top row of keys, your power button is the unmarked key in the top-right corner of your keyboard. 
  • Will Apple still help me if my Mac warranty is expired? Yes! If your warranty is expired, Apple technicians will still work with you to resolve the issue. The only difference is that if your warranty is expired, you might have to pay to replace broken components. 

We hope this article has helped you to resolve the issue with your Mac not turning on. Also, if your Mac is older, you might want to learn more about the average lifespan of a MacBook Pro and Air to see if it is time for a replacement!

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Devala Rees's picture

Author Details

Devala Rees

Devala Rees has been a writer since the age of eleven, and a loyal user of Apple products for even longer. His writing background is quite eclectic, from freelance professional articles to Hindu religious scholarship to fantasy novels. Much of his writing on various topics can be found on