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How to Boot Mac in Safe Mode | Fix Mac Won’t Start in Safe Mode


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What Is Mac Safe Mode?
Mac Safe Mode is a Mac snap-in mode. It is available on all Mac computers like MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc. It can boot your Mac computer without starting some software like startup programs, system extensions not required by macOS, and fonts that are not installed by macOS. Besides, it can also check your startup disk to find and fix errors like running First Aid in Disk Utility.

Due to these features, it can help you find whether it is a software issue or a system problem that happens to your Mac. Besides, it can delete some system caches like font caches and the kernel cache. Don’t worry, these caches can be automatically created again when necessary.

So, Mac Safe Mode is particularly useful when you want to solve and isolate some issues that don’t seem to be associated with using any particular app on your Mac computer, like iMac won’t boot past the Apple logo, your computer was restarted because of a problem, Mac won’t boot into Recovery Mode, and more.

Perhaps, you don’t know how to boot up your Mac in Safe Mode. For different macOS, the ways to enter Mac Safe Mode are different. On the other hand, for an Intel-based Mac and a Mac with Apple silicon, the methods are also different. We will introduce all of these methods in this post. No matter you want to boot into MacBook Pro Safe Mode, or MacBook Air Safe Mode, or iMac Safe Mode, you can just select a suitable tutorial based on the macOS you are running and the processor you are using.

For macOS Big Sur 11.0
How to Start up an Intel-based Mac in Safe Mode?

If your Mac computer is still running, you need to click the Apple menu (at the top-left corner on the screen) and then select Shut Down.
Wait for about 10 seconds.
Press the Power button to restart your Mac and immediately press & hold the Shift key on the keyboard.
When you see the login window, you can release the Shift key. On the screen, you can see Safe Boot (red font) on the top-right side.
If prompt, you need to type your password to boot your Mac computer into Safe Mode.
How to Start up a Mac with Apple Silicon in Safe Mode?

If your Mac computer is still running, you need to click the Apple menu (at the top-left corner on the screen) and then select Shut Down.
Wait for about 10 seconds.
Press & hold the Power button on your Mac computer. You can release the button when you see the startup options window, showing some available startup disks and Options.
Select a startup disk.
Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard.
Click Continue in Safe Mode.
Release the Shift key.
For macOS Catalina 10.15
If you are running macOS Catalina 10.15, you can follow this tutorial to start up your Mac in Safe Mode:

If you have opened your Mac, you need to shut it down by clicking the Apple menu and then selecting Shut Down.
Wait for about 10 seconds.
Press the Power button.
After your Mac computer starts (on some devices, you can even hear a startup sound), you need to immediately press and hold the Shift key.
When you see the grey Apple logo and progress indicator on the screen, you can release the Shift key.
For macOS Mojave 10.14
If you are running macOS Mojave 10.14, you can follow this tutorial to start up your Mac in Safe Mode:

On your Mac computer, you need to click the Apple menu and then select Shut Down to close your Mac.
After that, you need to wait about 10 seconds.
Press the Power button to continue.
After your Mac computer starts (on some machines, you can even hear a startup sound), you need to immediately press and hold the Shift key.
When you see the grey Apple logo and progress indicator on the screen, you can release the Shift key.

It is very simple to exit Mac Safe Mode and then boot up your Mac as normal:

Click the Apple menu and then select Shut Down.
Press the Power button to restart your Mac. This time, you don’t need to press the Shift key.

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GUOYAWEN's picture
Created by GUOYAWEN 12 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 12 weeks 3 days ago
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