Troubleshooting a Mac that will not turn on

If your Mac will not power on, there are a few things you can try before paying for repair service.

You should need to press your Mac's power button only once in order to turn it on. After doing this, you should hear the boot chimes, then see it load OS X, and drop you to the log-in window. However, what do you do if this doesn't happen, and you neither see nor hear any activity from the system?

If this should happen to you, there are several things you can do before taking your system in for servicing.

First, check for a proper power source. If your system does not have a battery, test the wall outlet by plugging a lamp or other device into the socket into which your Mac was plugged, or try another socket altogether. Or just try using another outlet to see if that will help.

Sometimes a faulty wall socket could power a simple device like a lamp, but fail to run a more complex device like a computer's power supply. One way to test this is to use a socket tester (purchased for a few dollars at your local hardware store) to ensure the socket is properly wired.

If your Mac has a battery and won't start, try letting it stay plugged into a power outlet for a short while. Sometimes if batteries are completely dead, the computer will not start up. Charging the system for 5 to 10 minutes may help.

Finally, the chassis buttons and power of the system are managed by the computer's System Management Controller (SMC), which, if experiencing problems, may result in the system not responding to the pressing of the power button. If this is the case, then a quick reset of the SMC should fix the problem. The process for doing this is specific to different systems, but can be looked up in this Apple Support article.

If none of these options gets your computer to power up, then either the button itself, the power supply, or another component may be broken and will need to be repaired by a technician.



Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.

Tags:
Computers
About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    HOT ON CNET

    Want affordable gadgets for your student?

    Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!