Tips For When Your Mac Loading Bar is Frozen


The inability to start up Mac that’s stuck on the loading screen is a serious problem for some folks. If you have important data inside your computer, chances are, you won’t easily get it back unless the problem is fixed or you’ve already backed-up those files on other devices.

Sometimes, after you update the OS, the boot time after restart is slower than a snail. Naturally, what you need to do is wait for it since it is normal for macOS to have a long boot time following an update. However, after hours of waiting with no progress at the loading bar, you can’t help but feel agitated—no choice but to take action.

Here are a few troubleshooting methods you can try to fix the problem of the frozen loading bar when starting up Mac.

1.Restart your computer

Any difficult situation that may come up when using a computer is often fixable by simply rebooting the system. Granted, it won’t work all the time, but still worth to do so give it a shot.

To restart your Mac when the OS is frozen, simply hold down the power button for up to 10 seconds or until your computer turns off. Then, power it back up again. To be more certain, you may also need to unplug all peripherals, including USB drives, printers, and any non-essential devices, to make sure the problem doesn’t come from an outside source.

2.Enter Safe Mode

If directly restarting the computer doesn’t do anything, you can opt to enter the Safe Mode. By using Safe Mode, you can prevent Mac to load applications or services that are not required for the system to start. Furthermore, it also does a fundamental check on your startup disk as well as deleting some caches.

In summary, Safe Mode is a handy feature that can be used to determine the trouble behind an OS that failed to start.

To get into Safe Mode, here’s how:

  1. Turn on your Mac then immediately hold the Shift key on your keyboard. Keep doing this until you see the login window.
  2. When the sign-in window appears, log into your Mac if necessary.
  3. You should see a “Safe Boot” on the top-right corner of the screen if the computer successfully enters the Safe Mode.

Successfully entering the Safe Mode despite unable to go into the normal mode means that there’s something wrong with your software (assuming you already disconnected any non-essential peripherals). To find out which program that causes the issue, follow these steps:

  1. Reboot the computer then instantly hold the Command and key during startup.
  2. To be safe, hold both keys until you see the login window. This will make you enter the Verbose Mode.

The Verbose Mode is an option available for macOS that offers additional details to what the computer is doing, giving you the breakdown of what drivers and software are loading.

With this mode, you can relatively easily detect the software that preventing Mac from starting up. If you found the problematic software, get into Safe Mode again and either remove or reinstall the updated version of it.

3.Reset NVRAM

NVRAM stands for non-volatile random access memory. It basically is a type of RAM that retains data without needing the power to be on, unlike normal & volatile RAM that would erase any temporary data stored in it once the computer is shut down.

By not relying on power, NVRAM is able to keep data regardless if your computer is on or off.

While NVRAM is useful, it may also cause problems if some stored data in it is potentially messing up the OS. To reset NVRAM, hold the Command + Option + P + R keys all at the same time when starting up your Mac. Should the problem is solved by doing this, congratulations. If not, read on.

4. Use the macOS Recovery Mode

This method would be useful if your system startup disk is corrupted. macOS can attempt to repair your disk using First Aid—a built-in tool. With First Aid, you can potentially fix minor errors in the internal drive. To use First Aid, you need to:

  1. Hold the Command and keys while powering up your computer. This will prompt your system to enter Recovery Mode.
  2. Afterward, you’ll be taken to the macOS Utilities menu containing a few recovery options. Select Disk Utility.
  3. Choose the disk partition you install the macOS with and click on First Aid at the top of the window.
  4. Follow through the process until it has done.

If First Aid is successful in finding errors, then you can safely restart your Mac and expect a result. Otherwise, you can also use the Time Machine backup option available on the Disk Utility menu to restore the system to its previous state, though you need to have a backup file ready beforehand.

If none of them worked, a more drastic measure might be needed.

5.Reformat startup disk and reinstall macOS

This is a last resort fix if you are running out of options. By reformatting your disk, you are effectively initializing a new start for your system. Keep in mind that reformatting also means erasing all of the data inside your startup drive.

If you have any important files that you want to fetch before reinstalling macOS, you can use a third-party service such as iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery that you can use from macOS Recovery Mode, meaning it’s okay even if you can’t get past the frozen loading bar.

Once any data loss inside your system drive is not a worry anymore, do the following steps:

  1. From the macOS Utilities menu, choose the Disk utility option again.
  2. Pick the drive you install the macOS in, then click Erase. Remember, this option will delete any data stored in that selected disk or partition. Wait for the operation to complete.
  3. Next, you can proceed to reinstall macOS. Go back to the macOS Utilities menu.
  4. Select Reinstall macOS. Follow the onscreen process until it’s done.

This particular method is almost guaranteed to get your Mac up and running again. If not, then the problem may lie within the hardware. You may have to go to the service center if these troubleshooting methods don’t work.