How to start a Mac in safe mode
Safe mode is a simplified version of the Mac operating system that can be useful if you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your Mac: it may be running slowly, an app may be having issues, you may be experiencing crashes or app issues. . , or worse yet, your Mac may not start at all. In this tutorial, we’ll cover how to boot into safe mode, why you’d want to use safe mode, including what it does and doesn’t do, how you know you’re in safe mode, and what to do if your Mac automatically starts up in safe mode.
Observation: the way to enter safe mode is different on the M1 Macs — the first Macs to use Apple silicon introduced by Apple in November 2020. All future Macs with Apple chips are likely to adopt the new method. Safe mode on a Mac M1.
Why use safe mode
Using safe mode can help resolve issues that prevent your Mac from starting up or any problems with your startup disk.
Within the power user community, there is some mythology related to booting into safe mode on Mac. Some people recommend it as a first step if your Mac encounters any kind of problem. can be corrupted.
Here are some of the reasons why you might want to use safe mode:
- If your Mac stopped on startup
- If you think an app is causing problems
- Also, if your Mac is running very slowly (booting into safe mode will clear the cache and might speed things up)
Note that clearing caches using either method can slow down your Mac during the first few reboots after launch. After all, the purpose of caches is to make your Mac faster.
Some people use safe mode to uninstall apps that would otherwise be “sticky,” meaning impossible to remove in safe mode. Normal operation because they are related to a system service that will not terminate. In safe mode, all non-essential services are not loaded, thus overcoming this hurdle.
If the problem does not occur when you boot into safe mode, it may indicate one of the following:
- You may have incompatible login items.
- If after using safe mode you reboot and the problem does not recur, then the problem is probably related to a cache or directory issue that was resolved when you ran safe mode.
Do not try to do any real work in safe mode. Some apps just won’t work and the whole system will be slow and unresponsive. Troubleshooting There is no doubt that safe mode has its uses.
How to start a Mac in safe mode
Follow these steps to safely boot your Intel Mac:
- Start your Mac.
- Hold down the Shift key.
- The Apple logo should appear.
- When the login window appears, release the Shift key and login.
- You may need to sign in twice if FileVault is enabled.
Follow these steps to safely boot your M1 or a newer Mac:
- Hold down the power button until the boot options appear.
- Choose your startup disk.
- Hold down the Shift key and click Continue in safe mode.
- Release the Shift key.
What safe mode does/does not do
Safe Mode performs certain checks and prevents certain software from loading or opening automatically when you start your Mac. When you start in Safe Mode:
- Only essential kernel extensions (also known as ketxs, or hardware and software drivers) are loaded.
- Startup applications and login applications/services do not load.
- Fonts you installed manually are not loaded.
In addition, the system and font caches are automatically cleaned, and as part of the boot procedure, the hard drive is checked and any problems with the directories are attempted to be repaired, much like the FDISK command line application in Windows, although what happens is the same thing that would happen. will happen if you click the Repair Disk button located in macOS Disk Utility.
So what can you do in safe mode? Not much! In addition to the fixes mentioned above, Safe Mode is designed to allow you to test your Mac. If a problem you’re experiencing doesn’t occur when you boot into Safe Mode, it’s likely related to a problematic kernel extension (perhaps a hardware device), faulty hardware that the kernel extension is accessing) or, more likely, is related to a third-party application or service configured to boot with macOS.
How to Prune Your Startup Apps List
- Open System Preferences and click the Users & Groups icon.
- Select your username on the left.
- Click the Login Items tab.
- Select an item, then click the minus (-) button below it to remove it.
However, some applications and services hide in system folders and removing them is only for advanced users. Kernel module removal is again for experts, although in modern versions of macOS it is quite difficult for developers and hardware vendors to install. third-party modules thanks to the requirement that they be digitally signed, so c is much less likely to be the cause of any problems.
How do you know you are in safe mode?
Once you’re in Safe Mode, you’ll see the words Safe Mode in the menu at the top right of your screen, at least on recent versions of macOS.
Other clues will also indicate that you are in safe mode, for example the system may seem slow to respond and animations may appear choppy.
To check if you are in safe mode, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple logo in the menu (top left).
- Click About This Mac.
- Click System Report.
- Click Software and check which Boot Mode is listed; it will say Secure if you are in secure mode; otherwise it will say Normal.
Other ways to know that you are in safe mode:
- Your screen may flicker when the login screen appears on startup.
- Depending on the version of the Mac operating system you are using, the screen may be gray and a progress bar may appear below the Apple logo upon startup. In newer versions of macOS, the start will appear normally, except that you must sign in twice.
- Your Mac will be slow.
While in safe mode, you cannot:
- Capture videos on some video apps.
- Audio devices may not work.
- Some USB or Thunderbolt devices may not be available.
- Wi-Fi network may not be available.
- File sharing will be disabled.
- Some graphical elements will not appear, for example the dock (shown below) may appear gray instead of transparent.
What to do if your Mac automatically starts in safe mode
If it detects a problem that Safe Mode could fix, your Mac can automatically start up in Safe Mode and try to fix it. I’m sure this will fix the problem, but if it doesn’t, your Mac keeps restarting in Safe Mode. Otherwise, you must contact Apple Support, an authorized service provider. é Apple or visit an Apple store for help.
Another possibility is that the Shift key is stuck and Safe Mode is implemented when the Mac starts up.
How to disable safe mode on Mac?
To get out of safe mode, simply shut down your Mac and restart it (this time without pressing Shift).
Shutting down in safe mode may take a little longer than normal. Please be patient and do not interrupt the process or use the power button to shut down your Mac.
In this guide, you learned how to start a Mac in safe mode. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Also check out this guide if you want to learn how to enable Do Not Disturb mode on your Mac.