Just as with its Windows counterpart, macOS Safe Mode should be used to help troubleshoot issues that may be caused by corrupt or incompatible software, or to help isolate software issues from hardware failures.
To use it, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard as soon as you see the Apple logo. Keep holding Shift until you see a gray progress bar appear beneath the Apple boot logo.
How to start up your Mac in Recovery Mode
Keep holding the keys until your Mac reboots itself and you see the Apple logo appear and disappear a second time. At this point, you can release the keys and your Mac should boot as normal. This makes booting your Mac a simple and pleasant experience, but can also hamper troubleshooting efforts.
But instead of finishing the boot and bringing you to the default macOS login GUI, it gives you a text terminal that can be used for everything from advanced troubleshooting to hard drive repair. But instead of taking place at the beginning of startup, you enter it after booting your Mac in Safe Mode.
To get started, boot your Mac in Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key at startup. Log in to your Mac normally, and you should see the macOS Utilities app open. Save any files you've been working on and quit the open programs.
Rebooting a Crashed MacBook
While most applications won't quit without prompting you to save any unsaved work, if you're working within a Web browser you may not see such a warning. Choose "Restart" from the MacBook's Apple menu, and either click "Restart" to reboot immediately or allow the timer to count down to delay the restart. You may also restart by quickly pressing and releasing the Power button and clicking "Restart," by pressing "Ctrl" and the eject key in the upper-right corner of the keyboard and clicking "Restart" or by pressing "Cmd-Ctrl" with the eject key.
Each of these methods will reboot your MacBook in the same way.
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Wait until you hear the MacBook's restart chime. Michael Cox writes about lifestyle issues, popular culture, sports and technology.
How to Soft Reboot an Apple MacBook
In a career spanning more than 10 years, he has contributed to dozens of magazines, books and websites, including MSN. Skip to main content. Tip If you're familiar with the Terminal application, you may also restart your MacBook by typing "reboot" in the Terminal window.
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