How to Fix It When MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On

macbook pro wont turn on

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If your MacBook Pro doesn’t turn on, don’t panic. I know it can be upsetting when your Mac does not work correctly, but there are some easy steps to try and get it powered back on. 

Your MacBook Pro might not turn on due to the battery being dead or hardware and software problems. You can fix your MacBook Pro that won’t power on with a hard reset, booting in Safe Mode, loading Recovery Mode, or a few other methods.  

I’m Eric, a Mac expert. I own many Mac computers, and I put together this troubleshooting guide to help you determine why your MacBook Pro won’t turn on and some possible solutions.

If you follow all of these steps and your MacBook Pro will still not turn on, it’s time to take it to a professional for further investigation.

Let’s dive into the troubleshooting!

Quick Fixes to Macbook Pro Won’t Turn On Issues

There are a few simple things to check if your MacBook Pro is not turning on that only takes a matter of minutes. It’s good to start with these small steps because if the problem is due to one of these issues, you can quickly and easily get your Mac to turn back on.

But there is always the possibility that something more serious is wrong with your MacBook, and in that case, you might need to take it to a professional or get your Mac replaced, unfortunately.

However, you should eliminate any possible problems to figure out precisely what is going on with your MacBook Pro. Here’s how.

1. Possible Quick Fix Method

Regardless of if your MacBook Pro has signs of power or is not coming on at all, here is an easy quick-fix method that can get your MacBook Pro to turn on. 

This is an excellent first place to start and might be the only thing you need to do to get your MacBook Pro back up and running. 

  • Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds, release, and press the power button again.
  • Unplug all accessories and cables from your MacBook, and then repeat the step above.
  • Reset the System Management Controller (SMC).

If this does not work, move on to step 2. 

2. Check the Battery and the Power Source

Check that your MacBook Pro has enough battery power to turn on. It sounds simple, but I’ve done this before – thinking there was something really wrong with my Mac when it really just had a dead battery.

Plug your charger into the charging port on your Mac and into a working electrical outlet. If you have a MacBook Pro with a MagSafe charging cable, a light should illuminate the cord to your Mac to indicate that your Mac is charging.

If this LED light turns orange, your computer’s battery might be dead and is now charging and should turn on after charging for a couple of minutes. If the LED is green, charging is complete.

Note: not all MacBook Pros use a MagSafe charger. For example, the 2019 MacBook Pros charge via thunderbolt/USB-C, so you will have no indication it is charging when it is dead.

If the charger is not working, check for signs of damage and wear on your charging cord. The cord could be bad, and this could be the issue. You will also want to check that the electrical outlet you are using is functional. 

If you don’t have power, try switching your charger to another outlet to see if that works. Plug in another appliance, like a lamp, into the outlet to see if it functions.

3. Listen for Mechanical Noises, Look for Lights

Check the Battery and the Power Source

Press the power button on your Mac, and then listen closely for any noises. You might hear a fan spinning, mechanical clicks or hums, the startup noise, or any other noise coming from your computer. If you hear noises, that is a good sign.

It means that your computer is indeed turning on in some capacity but that your display is not turning on.

Also, check for any lights that might come on when you hit the power button. Look at your keyboard and see if the backlighting comes on. Hit your caps lock key and see if that lights up. If you see any lights, it is a sign that your Mac is on, but there’s an issue with the display.

Connect an external monitor to your MacBook Pro and see if anything pops up. If a desktop appears on the external display, there is undoubtedly an issue with your MacBook’s built-in display. 

Try These Other Options Afterward

If the above options don’t work, you can take a few more steps to get your MacBook Pro to turn on. Follow the steps listed below to see if that fixes the power on problem.

Safe Mode

safe mode

Safe mode is a feature that Apple includes on computers which is basically a bare-bones version of the operating system that can be used when your MacBook is not operating correctly. Here is how to enter Safe Mode:

  • With the Mac off, press the power button and hold the shift key down simultaneously.
  • The Apple logo should appear on the screen. Keep holding the shift key until a login screen appears.

Once in safe mode, you can uninstall any recent applications or make other changes that might have caused your Mac to not turn on. Sometimes just entering safe mode and then restarting your computer can also fix the problem.

Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode

This might not work because your computer needs to be turned on to go into recovery mode, but it’s worth a shot before bringing your MacBook Pro into a shop for repairs.

  • Press and hold Command + R and the Power button.
  • Release the Power button and continue to hold Command + R.
  • You will see a Utilities menu if this worked, and from there, you might be able to restart the computer to a TimeMachine backup. (You make routine backups, right?)

Perform a Power Cycle (non-M1 Macs)

A power cycle will force your Mac to restart and solve issues related to a MacBook not starting up. The process mentioned below is for Macs that don’t have the newer M1 chip. If you have a newer MacBook, the process is slightly different. 

To perform a non-M1 MacBook Pro power cycle, you need to hold down the power button for about 10 seconds. You will hear some noises coming from inside the laptop as the cycle works. Your computer will restart, and this might fix the issue. 

Perform a Power Cycle (non-M1 Macs)

For M1 Macbook Pros, hold down the Touch ID (power button) until the screen turns black. Release, then press and hold the Touch ID button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. 

Reset the PRAM / NVRAM

Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM is another way to fix a MacBook that won’t turn on. This works by resetting sections of memory that work on the computer all of the time – whether you are using it or not. Sometimes this interferes with normal operations, and a reset will resolve things. 

To reset the PRACM/NVRAM, follow these steps:

  1. Press Command, Option, P, R, and Power keys
  2. Keep holding these keys until the computer restarts.
  3. Once the computer reboots a second time, you can release the keys. 

This process resets both the PRAM and NVRAM at the same time.  

Take Your MacBook Pro in for Professional Repairs

Sometimes you just need professional help to get things repaired. If none of the above steps worked to get your MacBook Pro to turn on, it’s time to take your Mac to a computer repair shop specializing in Macs or the Apple store.

In most cases, a third-party repair shop is less expensive. But, if the issue is covered under warranty, taking it back to the Apple store for repair is the best choice. 

It might cost some money, but it will no doubt be cheaper than purchasing a brand new computer if they can fix it.

Final Thoughts

A MacBook Pro that won’t turn on is a headache. There is a good chance that the reason for your MacBook Pro not powering on is simple, and it’s easy to fix the issue that can be addressed by following our tips above.

If these don’t work, however, you will need to take your Mac to a repair shop or the Apple Store.

Has your MacBook Pro ever not turned on correctly? How did you fix the issue?

About Eric
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Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

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