How to fix a Mac with a flashing question mark

Few issues scare Mac customers as a lot because the dreaded, blinking question mark folder in the course of the display screen on startup. That is a sign that your Mac can not find its startup disk and thus can not begin up.

The causes for this vary from the comparatively benign (you beforehand booted from an exterior drive and disconnected it) to the more critical ones (your Mac’s arduous drive has failed catastrophically). Whatever the trigger, the next article supplies recommendation and options to provide help to. Read subsequent: Fix a Mac that will not activate

We even have a full guide on how to fix among the commonest Mac issues and how to begin a Mac in protected mode.

Put your Mac into restoration mode

Assuming you are making an attempt to boot out of your Mac’s inner drive, first shut down the Mac by urgent and holding the ability button after which booting whereas holding the Command and R keys till you see an Apple emblem or globe. This places your Mac into restoration mode.

From right here you may change the startup disk by choosing Startup Disk from the Apple menu.

Repair the disk

If you may’t see your startup disk, open Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities window. Click in your startup disk and click on on the First Aid tab. Click Run.

When the restore is full, you may choose the disk in Startup Disk within the Apple menu and restart.

If the restore fails or you do not see your startup disk in Disk Utilities, you want to erase the disk and reinstall macOS.

Back up your files

If you could have a latest Time Machine backup, choose Restore from Time Machine backup within the macOS Utilities window.

If you could have created a latest bootable clone utilizing, for instance, Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper, you may plug it in, choose it because the startup disk and restart and watch for the Setup Assistant.

If you do not have a backup, make 1.

Connect an extra exterior drive and open Disk Utility. Click the Erase tab and erase the exterior drive. When it is completed, choose reinstall macOS within the Utilities window and ensure to choose the exterior drive you simply erased.

Follow the directions and wait on your Mac to restart. When you see the Setup Assistant, select the choice to migrate files from 1 other disk and choose your Mac’s common startup disk.

Complete the set up course of and wait on your Mac to end. When it is completed, verify that your files is on the exterior drive.

Erase your startup disk and reinstall macOS

You can now erase your Mac’s regular startup disk in Disk Utility. Restart in restoration mode from the exterior drive and select reinstall macOS, this time choosing your Mac’s authentic startup disk. Once it is completed and your Mac has restarted, select the info migration choice once more and this time select the exterior drive because the supply for the info you need to transfer.

When that’s completed, it’s best to have a recent install of macOS in your startup disk with all of your files intact.

If all else fails, seek the advice of a Genius

If not 1 of the above work, your disk might have a {hardware} error. The finest plan of action is to make an appointment with a Genius on the nearest Apple Store and ask for assist.