Safe Mode not working on Mac? Follow these steps to fix it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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  • If your Safe Mode doesn't work on Mac, this can cause a lot of issues if you need to access it, but we have the solution.
  • To fix this problem, you should hold the Option key while your system boots, check security settings, and also reset the SMC.
  • Find below safe step-by-step guides that will help you access Safe Mode.
Safe mode doesn't work macbook

Safe Mode is a great way to troubleshoot issues on MacBook, but what if Safe Mode isn’t working on your Mac? This can be a big problem, but there might be a way to fix that.

What can I do if my Mac will not boot in Safe Mode?

1. Hold the Option key while your system boots

If Safe Mode isn’t working on your MacBook, you can fix the issue simply by holding the option key while your system boots. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your MacBook completely.
  2. Hold the Option key and press the Power button.
  3. The list of drives should appear on the screen. Select your drive and press Enter.

After doing that, the issue should be resolved.

2. Check your security settings

In some instances, this issue can be caused by your security settings. It seems that FileVault and Firmware password can block access to the Safe Mode. To fix this problem, it’s advised that you disable these two features.

You can disable FileVault from the System Preferences and FileVault tab. As for firmware password, you need to do the following:

  1. Restart your MacBook and hold Command + R during the boot.
  2. Enter your firmware password.
  3. Select your language and go to Utilities > Startup Security Utility.
  4. Now click on Turn Off Firmware Password.
  5. Enter your firmware password once again to disable it.
    firmware password safe mode not working on macbook

After doing that, try to access Safe Mode again.

3. Reset the SMC

In some instances, resetting the SMC might help. To do that on models with the T2 chip, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your MacBook.
  2. After turning it off, press and hold the left Control, left Option (Alt), and right Shift.
  3. Keep the keys pressed for 7 seconds. Without releasing the keys, press and hold the Power
  4. Keep all the four keys pressed for 7 seconds.
  5. Release the keys and start your MacBook again.

Models that have no T2 chip require a slightly different approach:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Hold left Shift, left Control, and left Option (Alt).
  3. Without releasing these keys, press and hold the Power
  4. Keep all four keys pressed for 10 seconds.
  5. Release the keys and start your MacBook.

These are some solutions that might help you if Safe Mode isn’t working on your MacBook. If you’re still having this issue, perhaps you should try restoring your macOS or reinstalling it.

FAQ: Learn more about Safe Mode on MacBook

  • How do you reboot a Mac in Safe Mode?

To reboot a Mac in Safe Mode, you need to simply restart your laptop, and keep the Shift key pressed until you see the Apple logo on your screen.

  • How do you know if your Mac is in Safe Mode?

To find out if your Mac is in Safe Mode, you will need to click the Apple logo from the top menu, select the option About this Mac, and then System Report. You can check the Boot Mode under the Software tab.

  • How do I turn Safe Mode off?

To turn Safe Mode off on your Mac, you will need to restart your laptop, and simply avoid pressing the Shift key until the restart is completed.

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