What to do if your MacBook is stuck on the loading screen

apple Macbook stuck on loading screen

If your MacBook has been locked in any loading screen for a prolonged period of time, you’re going to need to start working through the following tips to get your Mac back up and running as it should.

Force quit

If your loading issue is with a particular app or process, force quit the app by pressing command + option + escape. This will bring up a Force Quit Applications window from which you’ll be able to select the program from the list and then click force quit at the bottom right of the window. If you have an issue with an app and this isn’t working. Continue through the steps below.

Force Mac shutdown

If you’re stuck with your Mac turned on, the only option you have is to hold down the power button until it shuts down. Don’t worry! This will not cause any problems with your Mac, any issues you may find later on may have been caused by the freeze depending on what caused it, but never the shutdown.

Reset Mac SMC

Resetting SMC (system management controller) reboots many of your Macs core functions, it may not always work but it’s worth giving it a go if you’ve got to this stage to no avail. To reset your MacBooks SMC follow these instructions:

  1. Shutdown your MacBook or let the power drain.
  2. Connect the charger
  3. Hold Shift+Control+Option and the Power button at the same time for approx. 10 seconds
  4. Release the keys
  5. Reboot your Mac and test the keyboard.

If you cannot get passed the loading screen after this, you can try a very similar process resetting the PRAM.

Reset the PRAM

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Restart your Mac and hold Command+Option+P+R before the gray screen appears.
  3. Once you hear the Mac chime release all keys.
  4. Check keyboard once Mac has booted up

Again, if this doesn’t fix your issue, give the next few software processes a try.

Restore system to an earlier date

If you have Time machine set up on your MacBook with a recent earlier date saved; and of course you don’t mind losing everything you’ve done since that date, you can use a back up to try and get rid of whatever issue has been causing the freeze. To do this, follow these instructions:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Restart your Mac and hold Command + R to open the recovery window.
  3. Click Restore from Time machine Back Up. This should set your MacBook back 24 hrs.

Repair disk

Repairing the disk will sort out any stray code or malfunctions that may be causing the loading bar to freeze, follow the instructions below to get your MacBook to repair its disk. Do not worry, as dangerous as it may seem for you to be in these modes, you can’t do irreversible damage to your data without first having a warning and multiple fail safe boxes come up first. If you follow our instructions carefully, you definitely have no chance.

  1. Turn off your MacBook
  2. Press the power button. Once the Mac start up chime sounds, hold Command and R keys until the MacOS utilities window shows.
  3. Select Disk Utility and click continue.
  4. Click View and then click Show All Devices.
  5. Select the disk from the list on the side.
  6. Select First Aid and then hit done.

Reinstall MacOS

If you’ve completed all the following steps and had no success in getting your MacBook past the loading screen, it’s time to reinstall the operating system your Mac uses to function. Don’t worry, this process is completely separate to where all your data is stored.

  1. Turn off your MacBook
  2. Press the power button. Once the Mac start up chime sounds, hold Command and R keys until the MacOS utilities window shows.
  3. Select reinstall MacOS
  4. Follow on screen instructions

No luck? Get Apple repair advice

If you still haven’t managed to fix your issue, it’s time to seek an Apple repair specialist to take a look for you. At Hero Tech Support we offer free pick up, drop off and diagnosis of your Apple device across Hampshire. Get in touch for free advice by completing our website contact form.


Has your Apple MacBook Keyboard Stopped Working? Try our troubleshooting tips:

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Greg Doulton

Greg is an Apple repair specialist and has wealth of knowledge within the industry. Follow the blog for more news and tips.

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