How to Turn on Your MacBook Pro – Detailed Guide

How to Turn on Your MacBook Pro

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Sometimes the simplest of tasks can be more difficult than expected. While turning on a MacBook Pro is a straightforward process, there are a few nuances and alternative methods to be aware of.

To turn on your MacBook Pro, firmly press and release the power button in the top right corner of your keyboard.

Hello, I’m Andrew Gilmore, a former Apple Certified Macintosh Technician, and I’ll show you the ins and outs of the power mechanism on MacBook Pros.

We’ll look at how to turn on your MacBook Pro without using the power button–yes, it is possible on some models. We’ll also look at what to do if your MacBook Pro won’t power on.

Let’s get started.

How to Turn on Your MacBook Pro

To turn on your MacBook Pro from a powered-off state:

1. Locate the Mac’s power button.

Locate the Mac’s power button

Every MacBook Pro has a power button, but the button may not have a clear label on some models. This power-button ambiguity isn’t just for design points; Apple has a good reason for withholding the label.

MacBook Pros with Touch ID–Pros starting with the Late 2016 13” and 15” models–use the same button for power and fingerprint authentication. As a result, the power button is not labeled with the power icon as on older models because the button must be clear to read fingerprints properly.

Whether your MacBook Pro has Touch ID or not, the button will be in the top right corner of your keyboard.

On Touch ID MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar, the button is to the right of the Touch Bar. Otherwise, the button is to the right of the f12 key on the keyboard.

For MacBook Pros without Touch ID, the power button is much easier to locate because the button will display the power icon. The symbol will be some variation of a circle with a vertical line running through the top half, as pictured below:

2. Press and release the button.

Press and release the button

Press firmly, but don’t hold the button down for more than a second, or you might enter the startup options menu.

On most MacBook Pros, you’ll hear a startup chime to indicate the computer is powering on.

How to Turn on MacBook Pro Without Power Button

If you have a MacBook Pro with an Apple Silicon chip, there are several ways to turn on the computer without using the power button. Here are some of the ways:

  • Pressing any key on the keyboard.
  • Pressing down on the trackpad.
  • Plugging the MacBook Pro into power with the lid open.
  • Opening the lid of a shutdown MacBook.

If you use your MacBook Pro with a docking situation, you’re limited on options. You can, of course, open the lid, but doing so can be inconvenient.

Another option is to schedule an automatic startup. To do so:

  • Open System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above) from the Apple menu.
Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  • Click on Battery.
Click on Battery
  • Click on Schedule in the bottom left corner of the window.
Click on Schedule
  • Select the Start up or wake option and select the time you want your computer to turn on.
  • Click Apply.
Select the Start up or wake

Note: your MacBook must be connected to power for auto-start to work.

Also Read: What to Do When MacBook Pro Turns off When Unplugged

What to Do When Your MacBook Pro Won’t Turn on

Have you tried everything above, but the MacBook still won’t turn on? Here are a few possible causes and things to try.

Cause: Your battery is dead.

Your battery is dead

Solution: Plug in your MacBook Pro. Apple Silicon MacBooks will start up automatically. On Intel MacBooks, wait a few minutes and then press and release the power button.

Cause: Screen brightness is turned all the way down.

Screen brightness turned low

Solution: Your Mac is already on; you just need to turn up the brightness. Use the Touch Bar if your MacBook has one. Otherwise, use the hotkeys at the top of your keyboard.

Cause: Your Mac is locked up.

Solution: It’s rare, but your Mac may be stuck between on and shut down. In this case, as with screen brightness, your MacBook Pro is on, but your screen is black. Press and hold the power button for about ten seconds to force the computer to shut down, let go, and then press the power button again.

Cause: Hardware damage.

Solution: If none of the other options work, you might have hardware damage. If you spilled any liquid on the device, follow our guide here.

Another thing you can try is an SMC reset on the MacBook.

To reset the SMC on a MacBook with Apple Silicon (e.g. the M1 or M2 chip), the procedure is to restart the MacBook. So if the computer won’t power on at all, this is not an option.

If your Intel-based MacBook Pro has a T2 chip (MacBook Pro models from 2018 to 2020), press and hold the control and option keys on the left side of the keyboard and the shift key on the ride side for seven seconds.

While still holding down these three keys, press and hold the power button for another seven seconds.

Release all four keys and then press and release the power button.

If your Intel MacBook Pro does not have a T2 chip, press and hold the shift, control, and option keys on the left side of the keyboard as well as the power button. Hold all four down for ten seconds.

Release the keys, then press and release the power button.

If you can get the MacBook to come on, it’s probably a good idea to run diagnostics, just to be safe. Contact Apple support if you can’t get the computer to power on.

Also Read: 3 Quick Ways to Shut Down a MacBook


Turning on the MacBook Pro is usually simple, but you never know when you might run into trouble.

Use this guide, and your computer will be back up and running before you can say Craig Federighi.

Do you have any tips or tricks for turning on your MacBook Pro?

About Andrew Gilmore
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Based in Norman, Oklahoma, Andrew is an ex-certified Apple technician with over fifteen years of experience in the IT world specializing in macOS and iOS. When he's not writing, he enjoys video games, reading, and really bad movies.

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