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How to Fix a MacBook Pro That Won’t Turn On

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This is what you need to do if your MacBook Pro won’t turn on, and the steps to take if it won’t charge.

I’ll walk you through how to fix these issues that I deal with when my MacBook Pro won’t turn on. You can also use this if your MacBook won’t turn on. Once you get it back up and running, you may want to check to see if you need a MacBook Pro battery.

Dealing with a MacBook that won’t turn on is a major hassle, and it never happens when you have time to deal with the issue. I’ll help you try the easy steps you can do on your own to fix your MacBook or MacBook Pro, and what to do next if this doesn’t work.

You don’t need to be an expert or understand computers to fix this problem.

How I Fix My MacBook Pro not Turning On in 10 Seconds

This is how to fix a MacBook Pro that won't turn on.

This is how to fix a MacBook Pro that won’t turn on.

With the new MacBook Pro I often find that my MacBook Pro won’t turn on after I put it to sleep and it is connected to a dock. Here’s what to try before any more complicated tasks.

  1. Unplug all accessories from your MacBook Pro – Everything.
  2. Hold the power button for 10 seconds. You should here the notebook turn off with a small click or whirr.
  3. Press the power button again.
  4. Wait for the MacBook Pro to turn on.

This doesn’t always work, but it is the fastest way to fix a MacBook not turning on. It works for small hiccups that happen on macOS when the notebook won’t turn on after being put to sleep or being left in a bag overnight.

First Things to Check When Your MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your MacBook Pro isn’t turning on. It may look like this is the problem, but it could also be a display issue or a charging issue.

When you press the power button do you observe any of the following;

  • Hear a startup chime.
  • Hear a fan turning on.
  • Feel or hear a hard drive making noise.
  • Is the keyboard backlighting on?
  • Does the Caps lock indicator light up when you press it.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, the good news is that your MacBook Pro is turning on. The bad news is that something is wrong with the display.

To fix this temporarily, try plugging your MacBook Pro into a monitor or to your TV with a HDMI cable or similar cord. If you own a 2016 or newer MacBook, you will need an adapter or a USB C to HDMI cable to test this.

In cases where your display isn’t working, but your MacBook Pro still shows on a connected monitor you can use it that way until you can visit an Apple Store or a repair shop to get your screen fixed.

Test Your MacBook Pro Charging and Power

Check your charger. This can be a part of the reason your MacBook Pro won't turn on.

Check your charger. This can be a part of the reason your MacBook Pro won’t turn on.

If you didn’t solve your problem in the section above, you should now check the charging and power for your MacBook Pro. Yes, you may think it is all working and nothing is wrong, but I fixed an older MacBook Pro not turning on by switching to another charger.

  • Check the connections to the wall, to your computer and where the charger connects to the cord in the middle.
  • Borrow a second charger from a friend or coworker to see if that works.
  • Make sure you are using the right charger for your MacBook Pro. The 13-inch and 15-inch notebooks require different chargers for the best results.
  • Use a charger instead of a dock. The last time my MacBook Pro wouldn’t turn on there was a problem with the dock I was testing and once I switched to a standard MacBook pro charger the computer charged up and turned on.

Many times the problem is related to power. It’s easy to dismiss this, but the charging cables can go bad, and the chargers can go bad. This is especially true if you have the charger in a bag often and are winding and unwinding it all the time.

MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On? Try Safe Mode

Apple includes a special stripped down version of Mac OS that will boot up when your computer isn’t working right. If you can get your MacBook Pro to turn on in Safe Mode you are halfway to solving the problem on your own.

  1. Start with your Mac off, which it likely already is since it isn’t booting.
  2. Press the power button and immediately press and hold the shift button.
  3. The Apple logo should appear on your screen.
  4. Keep holding the key until you see a login screen.

If this works, you are now in Safe Mode and you can start troubleshooting. If your MacBook stopped turning on right after you installed something or made a major change, try uninstalling the app you installed.

In some cases simply getting into safe mode will fixes the problem. Try restarting normally and see if your MacBook Pro turns on like it should.

Reset the SMC to Fix your MacBook Pro

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Another step you can try to fix your MacBook Pro is to reset the SMC. This is the System Management Controller, and it handles a lot of tasks for your Mac including the power button, waking the MacBook Pro when you open the lid and much more.

If your MacBook Pro is new enough that you cannot remove the battery, these are the directions to reset the SMC.

  1. Make sure your Mac is off, which isn’t an issue if it won’t turn on.
  2. Hold Shift + Control + Option and Hold the power button for 10 seconds.
  3. After 10 seconds release the keys, wait a second and press the power button to see if it turns on.

On the 2018 MacBook Pro, the process is different. You need to shut down the computer. Then, hold the power button for 8 seconds. Wait a few seconds and then press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

This won’t fix every problem, but it is an easy step that you can try to fix your laptop.

Uninstall RAM or a Secondary Drive

If you opened up your Macbook Pro to upgrade the RAM or add a new hard drive, that may be the problem. It may even be the problem several months later.

I had to uninstall RAM on a 2015 MacBook Pro because the RAM stopped working right. Putting the old RAM in solved the issue.

You may need to do the same thing if you just upgraded a hard drive or SSD. It’s an annoying step, but it’s a good way to rule out something simple.

Try Recovery Mode

This is a longshot, since your MacBook Pro needs to turn on for it to work, but it’s worth a try before you look for professional help.

  1. Hold Command + R and press the power button on your Mac.
  2. Release the power button, but hold Command and R until you see the Apple logo.
  3. If this works you will see a macOS Utilities Menu.

From there you can restore from a Time Machine Backup or reinstall macOS. There is a good chance this will not work, but it is worth trying if you aren’t near a repair shop.

Take Your MacBook Pro to Apple

If none of the above options helped, you will either need to take your Mac to an Apple Store, a local repair shop or you will need to start working on a DIY solution to fix your MacBook Pro that won’t turn on.

For most users, the next step is to schedule a Genius Appointment at the closest Apple Store. If you have AppleCare or AppleCare+ for your MacBook Pro, which covers three years, you can get repairs at an Apple Store for no extra charge. This is your best bet if you have a warranty.

If you don’t have AppleCare, you may still be able to get a free repair or replacement. Check this Apple Exchange and Repair Extension programs list to see if your MacBook Pro is covered.

You can also go to an Apple Store to get a free diagnosis. If you are out of warranty, Apple will still test the MacBook Pro to see what can be done. Sometimes they can fix something for free in a few minutes. In other cases they may be able to tell you what is wrong so you can decide if you want to fix it yourself or if you want to pay them to fix it. You will get an estimate before any repairs are made.

Another option is to go to a local computer or Apple repair shop to find out what is wrong and what they will charge to fix it. This may be cheaper, but it is a good idea to check reviews and find out what kind of warranty the work comes with.

Finally, you can opt for a DIY repair if you know what is wrong and you are comfortable ordering new parts online and replacing them on your own. You can use tools from iFixit and guides on iFixit to teardown your MacBook Pro and replace the parts so that it will turn on.

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