Fix: Mac Won’t Start in Safe Mode? [Complete Guide]


The MacBook is quite a handy and versatile product from Apple. One of its most unique features available in Macbooks is the Safe Mode. The most recurring error that a user might face while using it is that your Mac won’t start in safe mode error.


All About Safe Mode

When the PC lags due to the presence of a certain uncleared or outdated cache or corrupted app, the safe-mode prevents the Mac from being too slow or when it stops working at startup.

mac safe mode
mac safe mode

Macs safe mode prevents startup items from appearing on the screen, only loading what is needed for the device to function. In this mode, only the essential files are started. It also checks the startup disk while deleting all the unwanted caches with Surface Pro 3 Stuck. To know if the MacBook is in safe mode, keep in mind these three points:

  • The menu bar will show “Safe Boot.”
  • The overall performance of the device gets a bit slow
  • The status of boot mode in System Information will offer “Safe.”

When To Safe Mode MacBook Pro:

The scenarios in which safe mode is recommended when:

  • The device faces any directory issues.
  • Any app faces problems continuously.
  • The Mac does not start up properly.
  • If the performance of the Mac slows down.
mac book safe mode
mac book safe mode

How To Restart In Safe Mode Mac

Not sure about how to start the safe mode in your MacBook? Well, we have a simple guide ready:

  • Switch on the MacBook if it isn’t
  • Tap on the Shift key when the startup sound is heard
  • Leave the Shift key when the main window is visible. Keep in mind not to hold the key before you hear the ring.
shift key in mac
shift key in mac

Solutions For Mac Won’t Start In Safe Mode.

Sometimes it may happen that your Mac won’t boot in safe mode. If you are also facing this issue, we have a quick guide to solve it!

Using The Option Key

  • Switch off Mac 
  • Hold the Option key and then click the Power button
  • A list with various drivers appears. 
  • Choose the appropriate startup drive for the device and then enter.

The MacBook safe mode not working should be solved.

mac safe mode
mac safe mode

Checking The Startup Security Settings

When the security settings of Mac are not correctly saved, it can cause Mac won’t start in safe mode. 

  • Switch off Mac
  • Next, click the power button and press the Command-R during the startup process.
  • Here, type the password of the firmware
  • Choose the language
  • Next, navigate to utilities and then to System Security Utility
  • Tick the “Turn off Firmware Password”
  • Next, to disable the password, enter it again.

Check if the MacBook Pro won’t boot in safe mode is solved.

firmware password
Firmware password

Try Resetting SMC

The System Management Controller(SMC) manages various settings like battery management which may affect the Mac. If the Mac doesn’t start in safe mode, an error occurs; try using this method. 

Note that different devices with different features have their process of performing this process. Follow the one which suits your device best.

resetting SMC
Resetting the SMC

If The Laptop Has A Removable Battery

  •  Switch off the MacBook
  • Remove it from the power board as well
  • Next, take the battery out of the case
  • For 10s, keep the power button pressed
  • Place the battery back to its original space.
  • Plug it into the power board 
  • Try starting Mac and see if it is solved.
removable mac battery
removable mac battery

If The Laptop Has An Unmovable Battery

  • Switch off the MacBook
  • Plug out the device from the power board
  • Press left Control + left Alt + right Shift and also hold the power button
  • After holding for about 10s, release all the buttons. 
  • Plug the device back into the power board
  • Start the machine again to check if the error is solved.
mac unremovable battery
Mac unremovable battery

If you are a Mac desktop user

  • Switch off the desktop
  • Plug out from the power board
  • After waiting for about 15s, plug in the device
  • Check if the error is solved.
desktop mac
Desktop mac

See also: Best Antiviruses for Mac


Why Does Safe Mode Take So Long?

The device does a force directory checking at the startup during the safe mode process. Hence, it is a longer process than a typical startup.

Why Does The Mac Show A Loading Screen Constantly?

Keep the power button pressed for a reasonable time until it completely switches off the Mac. Next, try using the Disk Utility to check for errors in the startup disk. If no error is visible, reinstall the macOS.

disk utility
Disk utility

Why Is The Mac Restarting Continuously?

This scenario is also known as a kernel panic. It means that some issues are occurring in the device’s operating system, which can be mended by performing a restart. 

See Also: How To Disable Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service?


We hope that this quick guide has helped you solve the Mac won’t start in safe mode error. 

See Also: Internal Hard Drive Not Showing Up On Mac? Here’s How To Fix It