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

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

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

Sometimes your MacBook Pro might not turn on due to simple reasons that we will look at below.

I’ve made a quick troubleshooting guide here to help you figure out what might be wrong with your MacBook and how to get it turned back on if you are having difficulties in this regard.

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

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.

You are going to want to try and eliminate possible problems and figure out exactly what is going on with your laptop.

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 oftentimes fix a glitch or other reason for this problem. It’s a good first place to start and might end up being the only fix you really need.

  • 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).

2. Check the Battery and the Power Source

The very first thing to check is if your computer 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. A light should illuminate on the charging cord and your Mac to indicate that your Mac is charging.

If these lights turn on that indicates that your computer’s battery might be dead and is now charging and should turn on.

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 is functioning.

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.

Try These Other Options Afterward

If the above options didn’t work, there are a few more steps you can take to try and get your MacBook Pro to turn on. Follow the further 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 button down at the same time.
  • The Apple logo should appear on the screen and 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 computer into a shop for repairs.

  • Press and Hold Command R and the Power button.
  • Release 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.

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, all you need to do is 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. 

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 in getting your MacBook Pro to turn on, it’s probably time to take your Mac into someone who knows more about repairs than you do or than this guide can help you with.

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

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 any or all of the steps above.

If these don’t work, however, you are going to need to take your Mac into a professional service location to get the problem resolved.

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

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