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What to do if your MacBook won't turn on

Posted By Volodymyr Chubei | 28 Mar 2023

Table of Contents


Sometimes there are situations when the MacBook is not turning on, although there were no problems in its operation before. There can be many reasons and most of them can be eliminated on your own. In this article we will talk about the most common problems with the MacBook and the ways to solve them.

Why is MacBook not turning on

Among the most common reasons why the MacBook is not turning on are:

  • failed power supply;

  • non-working battery;

  • firmware problems;

  • damaged power port;

  • failed trackpad;

  • problems with the Wi-Fi card;

  • failed SSD or HDD drives;

  • motherboard problems.

Further in the article we will describe what needs to be done to fix the problem that prevents the MacBook from turning on.

Also: How to check battery health on MacBook

How to turn on MacBook

Before looking for the reasons why the MacBook won't turn on on and fixing them, we recommend that you take a few simple steps:

  • press the power button and hold it for 15 seconds for a hard reset, which will help if the device freezes during boot;

  • disconnect all external devices and try to turn on the MacBook;

  • reset SMC – disconnect the cable or remove the removable battery for 15 seconds, hold the power button down, connect the cable or insert the battery back and turn on the MacBook;

  • reset the memory that is responsible for system settings – press the power button, then immediately hold down the P, R, option and command keys for 20 seconds until the device boots twice;

  • check if the power comes to the MacBook (backlight, sound when the charger is connected, touchpad response, trackpad clicks) – if it does, the problem is most likely in the display.

In cases when none of the above helps and the MacBook does not turn on, you need to move on to other ways to solve this problem.

Failed power supply

The problem why MacBook is not turning on may be the improper operation of the outlet or charger. Test the outlet by plugging in any electrical appliance. If it works, connect another charger to your MacBook (if available).

  • If it's a MagSafe charger, plug it in and see if the light is on. If not, go to the next step.

  • Flip the connector to the other side and try to plug it in that position. Sometimes problems occur only on one side of the plug.

  • If the charger is with USB C, try to connect another cable and start the MacBook.

Non-working battery

Batteries rarely fail at one moment, usually their capacity decreases gradually. However, there are some problems, such as swelling or physical damage, that affect the boot of the device.

  • Try to turn on your MacBook without a battery by connecting it to the network through a charger. If the gadget turns on, then the problem is in the battery.

  • Inspect the battery for external changes, for example, a swollen battery may put pressure on some components and prevent the MacBook from turning on.

Genuine Top Case with Battery, Space Gray (661-10345) for MacBook Pro A1990

Firmware issues

Macbooks, manufactured starting of 2018, sometimes have problems after updates that you can fix yourself.

  • If the MacBook is in DFU (update) mode, hold down the power button for 20 seconds, release and try to turn on the device.

  • Reinstall the firmware using a second MacBook connected with a USB C cable using Apple Configurator 2.

  • If the restore fails, use the firmware backup. In this case, the data from the MacBook's memory will be erased and it may be necessary for you to reinstall the OS.

  • In case of problems during the firmware recovery process, check the Internet connection and the USB cable.

Damaged power port

If the port where the power supply is connected failed or was damaged, the MacBook may not turn on. What to do if your MacBook won't turn on? To confirm that this is the problem, you need to follow a few recommendations.

  • Inspect the port for damage or corrosion. If there are signs of rust, melting, and others, it is best to replace it with a new one.

  • For MacBook Air models, if the MagSafe card fails, the LED will not turn on.

  • Make sure that there is no damage on both the I / O board and the mother board at the junction.

Failed trackpad

This cause is more common after liquid gets under the trackpad or if the MacBook is used in high humidity conditions for a long time.

  • If the problem occurs after a liquid spill, wipe the trackpad with isopropyl alcohol after unplugging it from the motherboard. Before doing this, be sure to remove the battery and unplug the device from the mains.

  • Check the trackpad connectors, if they come into contact with liquid, they may wear out and need to be replaced.

Problems with Wi-Fi card

Another reason why your MacBook is not turning on. After integrating the Wi-Fi card into the logic board, malfunctions of the MacBook may occasionally occur. The device diagnostics depend on the model and the year of manufacture of the device.

  • For MacBook Air 2017, Pro 2015 and earlier, remove the card and check the power. If the MacBook turns on, then the problem is in it and a replacement is needed.

  • For all Retina MacBooks, Air 2018, Pro 2016 and later, the card is soldered to the motherboard, so the task is a bit more complicated. You need to inspect the condition of the Wi-Fi card by removing the back cover first. If there is damage or rust, it is better to replace the part with a new one.

Failed SSD or HDD drives

If the hard drive or the solid state drive is damaged, the MacBook may also not turn on. For example, if the areas where the operating system or drivers are installed are damaged.

  • For models with a removable HDD, SSD or traditional 2.5-inch drive, disconnect the cables leading to the motherboard and try to turn on the device. If the Macbook shows signs of life, the problem is most probably in the drive.

  • In new models, the memory is integrated into the motherboard, so the master can test it for performance, and if there are problems, replace it with a new one.

Genuine Solid State Drive (SSD / Flash) PCIe 1TB (661-05113) for Apple MacBook Pro A1708

Motherboard problems

If before this step it was not possible to determine the reason why the MacBook does not turn on, the problem is most likely in the motherboard.

  • Inspect the board for obvious damage: corrosion, cracks, burnt elements, etc.

  • Some problems are solved with the help of micro soldering, so it is better to contact the master.

  • Often the only solution is to replace the damaged motherboard with a new one.

If your MacBook needs repair and replacement of components, don't delay it. Remember that when replacing, you must use only original parts, which can be bought on the Appleparts.io website.

Certified and tested components ensure correct operation and performance. When buying cheap fakes or analogues, there are no guarantees of normal functioning and protection against the emergence of various problems.

FAQ

1. Why is my MacBook screen black and not turning on
If your Macbook is not set into sleeping mode, the battery might be dead. Disconnect all external devices from the gadget and try to turn your MacBook on with the power adapter attached.
2. How do you fix a Mac that won't turn on
Check the charger, cables, battery, drives, trackpad and Wi-Fi card, firmware, and motherboard one by one. If you can’t fix the problem yourself and need to replace parts, buy only original components from trusted sellers, for example, on Appleparts.io

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Volodymyr Chubei
Computer Repair Specialist at MacNest.com


Volodymyr was born in Ukraine and has found his passion for electronics from his childhood. At the age of 13, he was capable of soldering some basic elements of a logic board and today he is one of the co-founders of MacNest.com

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