MacBook Air Won’t Turn On?—Here’s What To Do
Unfortunately technology doesn’t always work the way we want it to. Chances are we’ve all experienced a sudden crash or system failure that caused us to reboot our device. But what if that simple reboot isn’t enough? A MacBook Air that isn’t responding is definitely reason for concern, but it’s not the end of the world, either.
Here’s what you can do in the unfortunate event your MacBook Air doesn’t turn on.
(It’s possible your MacBook Air is turning on but not booting correctly. If that’s the case then keep reading, we’ve got you covered!)
Check the power connection
Make sure your MacBook is getting the juice it needs. Even if the battery is fully charged, check that your MacBook is plugged into a reliable power source. If the adapter doesn’t seem to be charging, try plugging it into a different outlet. There may be debris caught in the adapter port that’s preventing the charger’s magnets to connect as well.
If your MacBook’s battery is completely drained, charge it for a few minutes before turning it on.
Disconnect any peripherals
Accessories such as printers and USB hubs can cause problems with the startup sequence. Unplug everything that’s attached to your MacBook Air to ensure the startup process isn’t being interrupted.
Try a power-cycle
This is a common technique for fixing an unresponsive MacBook—especially if the screen is frozen. Simply press and hold the power button for ten seconds. This will force the MacBook to restart.
Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
The system management controller is a chip in Intel-based MacBook Airs that runs various components, such as the keyboard, cooling fans, and power buttons. It’s possible your computer isn’t responding because the SMC needs to be reset.
- Unplug the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter from the MacBook.
- Press Shift-Control-Option then press the power button (or Touch ID button) at the same time. Hold these keys for 10-seconds.
- Release the keys.
- Reconnect the power adapter.
- Press the power button again to turn your MacBook back on.
Perform a factory reset
If your MacBook Air can boot but remains unresponsive, then you can perform a factory reset to return it to its default condition. You’ll need to have an internet connection to complete the recovery process. Note that a factory reset will erase any data stored on the MacBook Air.
- Ensure the power adapter is not plugged in.
- Backup your data. Use an external harddrive or USB thumbstick to move important data off of your MacBook Air.
- Shutdown your MacBook Air. Then plug the power adapter back in.
- Press the power button and hold “Command-R.” Hold both keys until the Apple logo appears. You should be in recovery mode with a “Mac OS X Utilities” menu.
- Connect to the internet. Select “Wi-Fi” from the Utilities menu and enter your Wi-Fi information.
- Under “Utilities” select “Internet Recovery” or “OS X Recovery.”
- Select “Reinstall OS X.” Your MacBook should download the latest OS X installation files.
- Restart your MacBook Air.
Use Disk Utility to repair a damaged disk
If one of your MacBook’s disks is damaged then it will still boot up but it won’t respond properly.
- Follow steps 1-5 from the previous method to activate recovery mode.
- Select “Disk Utility,” then click “Continue.”
- Use the sidebar to select the disk you want to repair.
- Select “First Aid.” If you see a message telling you that your disk is about to fail then you’ll have to replace it. You can’t repair the disk at this point.
- Click “Run.”
You’re either in the clear at this point (hooray!) or you’ll need to take some additional steps.
- If Disk Utility reports “overlapped extent allocation” errors then: at least two files are occupying the same space on your disk. You’ll need to check each file in the provided list. If any of the files can be replaced or re-created, go ahead and delete it.
- If Disk Utility can’t repair your disk, or you receive a message that says “The underlying task reported failure,” then: try to repair the disk again. If you continue to receive the same message then try performing a factory reset (see above).
If none of these solutions work then you might have a hardware problem. In that case, consider taking your MacBook Air to an Apple store to get it fixed. If all else fails, check out Apple’s designated MacBook Pro support page.