What To Do If Your MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On

Stuart Williams
By Stuart Williams 13 Min Read

Feeling Frustrated? Your MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On?

We’ve all been there – you’re ready to start working or diving into your studies, and just when you need it the most, your MacBook Pro decides it’s taking a break. Nothing happens when you try to turn it on. It’s like it knows you have an important deadline or a crucial email to send. Isn’t it always in these moments that technology seems to fail us?

Apple’s MacBook Pro has a stellar reputation for reliability, but let’s face it – no gadget is perfect. Every device, no matter how well-made, can run into issues.

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s make one thing clear: this guide is for you if your MacBook Pro was working fine until recently, and you haven’t made any big changes to it. We’re talking no recent upgrades or major hardware changes, like adding new RAM. Now, let’s explore what you can do if your MacBook Pro simply refuses to turn on.

1. Check for Black/Blank Screen

When your MacBook Pro didn’t turn on, what exactly happened? Was it completely dead, or did the screen just remain black? This isn’t just an Apple issue; black screens can plague any laptop.

Before jumping to conclusions, let’s check something simple – the screen brightness. It might sound silly, but sometimes the answer is right in front of us! Look for two keys on your keyboard with little sun icons. One key makes your screen darker, and the other makes it brighter. Try pressing the brighten key a few times. While most laptops won’t completely black out from low brightness, it’s always good to rule out the easy fixes first.

No Luck with Brightness? What’s Next?

If fiddling with the brightness doesn’t bring your screen back to life, it’s time for the next step. First, shut down your MacBook Pro. Remove any external devices like USBs, external hard drives, or even a mouse if you have one connected. Now, power it back on and listen closely.

What do you hear? Any whirring sounds, beeps, or the fan kicking in? If you can hear these things but the screen remains dark, the issue might be with the screen itself, not the whole laptop. If there’s total silence, the problem could be more serious, and we’ll need to investigate further.

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2. Boot to Recovery Mode

If your MacBook Pro is making sounds and responding to some actions but still shows a black screen, it’s time to try booting it in Recovery Mode. This can help fix problems that might be causing the black out.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold down the Command + R keys together.
  2. Keep holding them until you see the macOS utility screen – that’s your cue that you’ve successfully entered Recovery Mode.

If you’ve made it to Recovery Mode and everything looks good, try restarting your MacBook Pro. Hopefully, it will boot up normally. If it doesn’t, don’t worry, we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve.

3. Check Power Connections

When your MacBook Pro won’t turn on, it’s crucial to ensure it’s actually getting power. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Check the Charger and Outlet: Plug in your charger to both your laptop and the wall socket. Make sure the connections are secure and that there’s no damage to the power cord.
  2. Test the Outlet: If there’s no response, try a different outlet or check if the current one works with another device.
  3. Inspect the Power Cord and Adapter: Borrow a charger if possible, and see if your laptop responds to it. Remember, the charger should match the specifications of your original MacBook Pro charger.

A Quick Note on Chargers and Cables

It’s best to use Apple-branded chargers and cables. Why? Because some third-party cables don’t provide the correct power levels. Plus, they might be prone to internal damage. So, using the charger and cable that came with your MacBook Pro could be the key to turning it on.

4. Perform a Power Cycle

Sometimes, the easiest solutions are the most effective. If your MacBook Pro is still not cooperating, performing a power cycle can work like a reset button. This method often solves a variety of issues, so it’s worth a shot!

Here’s How to Do a Power Cycle:

  1. Plug In Your MacBook: Connect your MacBook Pro to its charger.
  2. Hold the Power Button: Press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds. Doing this cuts off all power to the laptop – it’s like virtually taking out the battery. Don’t be surprised if you hear a noise during this process.
  3. Restart: After releasing the power button, give it a few seconds, and then press it again to turn on your MacBook Pro.

Fingers Crossed for a Successful Boot!

If you’re lucky, this will do the trick, and your MacBook Pro will start up as if nothing happened. But if it still refuses to wake up, don’t lose hope – there are more steps to try.

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5. Reset the SMC (Pre-2018)

The System Management Controller (SMC) is like the behind-the-scenes director for your MacBook Pro. It handles all the foundational functions – think power button, display settings, battery management, keyboard, and even those little indicator lights.

Resetting the SMC is a bit like hitting the reset button on your laptop’s basic functions. We save this step for last because it returns many settings to their original state. But, if your MacBook Pro still won’t start, it’s time to try this.

Resetting the SMC – Here’s How:

  1. Disconnect Everything: Unplug your MacBook Pro from its charger and any peripherals.
  2. Key Combo Time: Press and hold these keys together: Shift + Control + Option and the power button. Hold them for 10 seconds.
  3. Reconnect and Restart: Let go of all the keys, plug the charger back in, and press the power button to start your MacBook Pro.

If an SMC issue was the culprit, your MacBook Pro should now boot up normally. You might need to tweak some settings, but that’s a small price for getting your laptop back in action.

Resetting the SMC on MacBook Pros with a T2 Chip (Post-2018 Models)

Starting in 2018, Apple combined the SMC with the T2 security chip, so the reset process is a bit different for these newer MacBook Pros.

Here’s How You Reset the SMC on These Models:

  1. Power Down: Make sure your MacBook is completely off.
  2. Key Combination: Press and hold Control, Option, and Shift for seven seconds.
  3. Add the Power Key: Without releasing the other keys, press and hold the Power button as well. Hold all four keys for another seven seconds.
  4. Release and Restart: Let go of all keys and then press the Power key to turn on your MacBook.

6. Remove the Battery

If you’re using an older MacBook Pro, there’s a chance it has a removable battery. This step can be particularly useful if you’ve tried everything else and your MacBook Pro still won’t start.

How to Check and Remove the Battery:

  1. Look Underneath: Check the bottom of your MacBook Pro. If it’s an older model with a removable battery, you’ll see a small locking clip near the battery.
  2. Unlock and Lift: Undo the locking clip. Then, lift the plastic flap to reveal the battery.
  3. Remove the Battery: You’ll see a small tab connected to the battery. Gently pull this tab to release and remove the battery.
  4. Reinsert or Replace: To put the battery back in, simply reverse the process. If you’re replacing the battery, make sure the new one is compatible with your model.
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If you have a newer MacBook Pro, this step isn’t applicable because these models don’t have a removable battery. So, if your MacBook Pro is a recent model, you can skip this step.

7. Unplug Your Accessories

It might seem a bit odd, but sometimes, the simple act of disconnecting everything from your MacBook Pro can make a difference. Accessories like USB devices, printers, and other external connections could be causing startup issues.

Here’s What to Do:

  1. Unplug Everything: Remove any and all connections from your MacBook Pro. This includes USB devices, external drives, printers, and any other peripherals.
  2. Try to Reboot: Once everything is unplugged, press and hold the power button to try and boot up your MacBook Pro.

If your MacBook Pro still refuses to turn on after all these steps, it’s probably best not to push further, especially if you’re concerned about voiding the warranty. At this point, the wisest course of action is to visit your nearest Apple Store or an authorized Apple service provider. The technicians there have the expertise to diagnose and fix the issue without risking further damage or voiding your warranty.

Remember, It’s Important to Get Expert Help When Needed!

While it can be frustrating not to solve the problem yourself, sometimes it’s better to leave it in the hands of professionals. They’ll work to get your MacBook Pro back up and running, ensuring that your warranty remains intact and your device is handled correctly.

Conclusion: Navigating the Challenge of a Non-Responsive MacBook Pro

It’s understandably frustrating when your high-priced MacBook Pro refuses to power up. Given the investment you’ve made in such a device, encountering power issues can feel particularly disheartening. But don’t lose hope just yet!

Your Next Steps:

  1. Try the Troubleshooting Steps: The methods we’ve discussed – from checking power connections to resetting the SMC – are your first line of defense. Often, these can resolve the issue without needing external help.
  2. Seek Professional Assistance: If your MacBook Pro is still under warranty and the issue persists, it’s time to take it to an Apple Store or a trusted repair shop. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose and fix the problem without risking further damage.

In many cases, a straightforward solution is all it takes to get your MacBook Pro running again. Whether it’s a power cycle, SMC reset, or unplugging accessories, these steps can be surprisingly effective.

Have you faced similar issues with your MacBook Pro not powering up? What worked for you? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below. Your story could be the solution someone else is looking for!

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Hey, I'm Stuart, a tech enthusiast and writing expert. With a passion for technology, I specialize in crafting in-depth articles, reviews, and affiliate content. In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, I've witnessed how the age of the internet has transformed technology journalism. Even in the era of social media and video marketing, reading articles remains crucial for gaining valuable insights and staying informed. Join me as we explore the exciting realm of tech together!
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