Restart The Mac

To complete the reset process, you must restart your Mac. After Resetting the PRAM or NVRAM Once your Mac finishes starting, you can use the System Preferences to set the time zone, set the date and time, select the startup volume, and configure any display options you wish to use. To reset NVRAM/PRAM, you can simply restart your Mac and simultaneously press Command + Option + P + R keys. If you have an M1 Mac, you don't need to reset NVRAM. Because it is automatically run test and reset on startup if needed. Solution 4: Reset the SMC.

You have encountered a severe problem. That is your Mac stuck on the loading screen for a long time, usually after a recent macOS like macOS Big Sur update or macOS reinstallation.

You may regard such a long boot process as a slow startup of your Mac and wait for hours. But the sluggish progress bar still remains on the screen without any change.

In fact, your Mac won't turn on at all and froze on startup. All the documents, photos, videos, etc. on Mac are in danger of loss. Rescuing data from your Mac is a primary task before fixing the issue - Mac stuck on the loading screen with Apple logo on startup.

  • Restart your Mac
  • Boot your Mac in Safe Mode
  • Reset NVRAM/PRAM
  • Reset the SMC
  • Repair the startup disk
  • Reinstall macOS
  • Restore macOS with local APFS snapshot

Rescue data from MacBook/iMac stuck on loading screen

Save your important files now! Watch this video to rescue your data from Mac that can't boot past loading bar:

Tutorial to rescue your files with iBoysoft Data Recovery Software for Mac:

  • Start your Mac and press Option + Command + R key combinations until you see the spinning globe.
  • Make your Mac connected to the Internet all the time. You will see the spinning globe instead of the apple logo.
  • Open Terminal from Utilities drop-down menu.
  • Run the following command and it will launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode.

If the above command doesn't work, try solution 2 at: How to run iBoysoft Data Recovery in macOS recovery mode?

Then, you can use iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery to scan, preview, and recover data from your Mac within a few clicks. If you think the above steps are complicated, why not watch video above instead?

How to fix Mac stuck on loading screen?

Whatever, when your Mac like iMac or MacBook stuck on the loading screen, you can try the 7 available solutions below.

Or you are one of the users as below whose Mac crashes during boot. Even though your Mac stuck on login screen or your Mac won't boot past the Apple logo. These fixes are also applicable.

  • My iMac progress bar stuck at 100% after installing macOS Catalina. How to fix?
  • MacBook Pro stuck on loading screen with Apple logo. Any suggestions? (running macOS Big Sur).
  • MacBook won't load after a macOS update. Help!
  • My MacBook Air stuck on loading screen (fully loaded progress bar) for one hour! Any help is appreciated!

Solution 1: Restart your Mac


Whenever you encounter the boot problem, you can try rebooting Mac. This way is easy and sometimes works.

When your Mac, like MacBook Pro, is stuck on loading screen, you can press and hold the power button for a few seconds to turn off the Mac. Then, disconnect all peripheral devices from your Mac. This will isolate the problem caused by peripheral devices and leave the Mac alone.

After a few minutes, press the power button to restart the Mac again.

Solution 2: Boot your Mac in Safe Mode

Mac stuck on Apple logo with loading bar could be caused by software conflict or incompatibility. So, to confirm it, you can boot the Mac into Safe Mode.

A safe boot will prevent your Mac from launching unnecessary programs and login items at startup. It also does a basic check of your startup disk and may solve the slow startup issue of your Mac.

To boot your Intel-based Mac into Safe Mode:

  • 1. Force your Mac to shut down.
  • 2. Press and hold the Shift key while tapping the power button to start your computer.
  • 3. Release the Shift key until you see the Apple logo and loading screen.

Restart The Mac No Screen With Question Mark

To boot your Apple M1 Mac like M1 iMac into Safe Mode:

  • 1. Shut down your Mac and wait for seconds.
  • 2. Press and hold the power button until the startup disks and Options appear on the screen.
  • 3. Press and hold the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode.

If your Mac boots past the loading bar and enter Safe Mode successfully, it's surely the software or firmware conflict. Find out the conflicting program or software, usually the recently installed third-party software, and then uninstall it.

Next, you can simply reboot your Mac and find that the Mac stuck on the loading bar issue is fixed.

Solution 3: Reset NVRAM/PRAM

PRAM or NVRAM is a non-volatile random access memory. It is used to store system settings on Mac, including startup disk selection and recent kernel panic information. So, when Mac won't boot after macOS update but Mac progress bar stuck at 100%, resetting NVRAM/PRAM might help.

To reset NVRAM/PRAM, you can simply restart your Mac and simultaneously press Command + Option+ P + R keys. If you have an M1 Mac, you don't need to reset NVRAM. Because it is automatically run test and reset on startup if needed.

Solution 4: Reset the SMC

SMC (System Management Controller) is used to control a number of Mac core functions, including sudden motion sensor and thermal management. Typically, when Mac freezes on startup or stuck on loading bar, SMC reset helps to resolve such unresponsive issues related to power and hardware.

To reset the SMC on a Mac computer stops loading halfway, follow the way below. Note that there is no SMC on M1 Mac.

1. Reset SMC when MacBook Air and MacBook Pro stuck on loading screen

  • 1. Force shut down the Mac that is frozen on loading screen.
  • 2. Press Shift + Control + Option on your keyboard and press the power button at the same time.
  • 3. Hold these keys for 10 seconds and then release the keys.
  • 4. Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

2. Reset SMC when Mac Mini, Mac Pro and iMac stuck on loading screen

  • 1. Shut down your Mac and then unplug a power cord.
  • 3. Wait 15 seconds. Then, plug the power cord in.
  • 5. Wait several seconds and turn on your computer by pressing the power button.

Solution 5: Repair startup disk in macOS Recovery mode

Sometimes, the Mac stuck on the progress bar because the startup disk is corrupted. Fortunately, you can use First Aid, a built-in disk repair tool on your Mac, to fix the errors on the startup disk that cause the Mac stuck on the Apple logo with a loading bar.

Firstly, boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode:

  • Press and hold the Command + R keys when rebooting your Mac.
  • Release the keys until you see a spinning globe or Apple logo on screen.

After booting into Mac Recovery mode, choose Disk Utility. Select the startup disk and click First Aid in the Disk Utility window. Next, click Run to check and repair the startup disk.

If First Aid successfully found the errors and repaired them, you can restart your Mac quickly without a slow startup. Disk Utility helps Mac boot up, and your Mac desktop or MacBook won't be frozen on the startup screen this time.

Solution 6: Reformat the startup disk and reinstall macOS

If you can't fix the Mac that stuck on the loading screen with First Aid, the startup disk is critically corrupted. In this case, you need to erase the startup disk in macOS Recovery mode. Disk erasure will reformat the hard drive with a new file system. And then, you can reinstall the macOS.

This usually will fix this issue. However, disk erasure will wipe all your files off the drive. So, if you have important files on this Mac, you should first rescue data from the Mac that stuck on the loading bar. It's necessary especially if you don't have any backup.

After data recovery, you can proceed with reformatting the Mac hard drive.

1. Reformat the corrupted startup drive

  • 1. Restart your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.
  • 2. Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu and click Continue.
  • 3. Select the Mac hard drive (often named Macintosh HD or Apple SSD) from the left sidebar.
  • 4. After clicking Erase on the top, you need to name it as Macintosh HD, and then give it a scheme and format.
  • 5. Click Erase to confirm this operation, and then wait it to complete.

Now, you have an empty but workable Mac hard drive.

2. Reinstall macOS in macOS Recovery mode

After erasing the Mac internal hard drive, you can continue to reinstall a new macOS in macOS Recovery mode. Click the Reinstall macOS utility in macOS Recovery mode and then follow the instructions to reinstall the operating system.

Hopefully, it fixes the Mac that stuck on the progress bar at startup.

Solution 7: Downgrade macOS

It's inevitable that a macOS update is not compatible with your Machine. For example, your Mac stuck on the Apple logo when you proceed or finish the macOS Big Sur update. The updated macOS Big Sur software is not compatible with MacBook Air before 2013.

To make the Mac boot past the progress bar and won't stick on the loading screen anymore, you can revert it to the previous state. In other words, just downgrade the macOS. Downgrading macOS may erase your hard drive, so you also need to back up data on the unbootable Mac first. Largest vacuum seal bags.

• How to downgrade from macOS Catalina to macOS Mojave

• How to downgrade from macOS Big Sur to macOS Catalina

Why is my Mac stuck on loading screen?

Curious about the reasons why your Mac not loading? Go on reading to get the answers.

Normally, Mac would show the Apple logo at startup once it finds your local startup disk. Then, based on if you have encrypted the startup disk, a loading bar appears after or before you log into the Mac.

The Mac progress bar indicates that the system is checking and loading macOS from the startup disk. It involves macOS structure, corn components, file system, etc.

How To Restart The Mac Computer

However, if something is not going well, like the corruption of the startup disk file system, your Mac will stick on startup.


It's terrible if your Mac stucks on the loading screen or shows a folder with question mark at startup.

For the Mac that freezes on startup, you should first check if you have a backup of your data to avoid permanent data loss. If not, iBoysoft Data Recovery software will be a good helper to recover lost data from the unbootable Mac. Then, you can try out the solutions above one by one till your Mac boots up rather than hangs on slow startup.

As we all know, Apple Mac computer is a reliable and user-friendly device. But it doesn't mean that your Mac will never get into trouble and you have to reinstall the whole system. Luckily, to avoid above condition, MacOS is equipped with an emergency repair system, which applies to Mac with OS X 10.7 or later. This emergency repair system is named as OS X Recovery Mode. Once your Mac enters the recovery mode, it can easily restore OS X without any disk installed. In this tutorial, you will learn how to enter Mac recovery mode at startup, and make full use of the built-in recovery functions to reach your Mac at a perfect working condition.

Restart The Mac

Part 1. What Is Recovery Mode on Mac

Recovery Mode on Mac is a special kind of patterns. There is a special partition that saves a recovery image together with a copy of the OS X installer. From this special disk partition, Recovery Mode can load OS X's built-in recovery tools. If your Mac cannot be recovered in any other way, you can start up from Mac Recovery Mode and use its utilities to repair disk problem, restore from Time Machine, reinstall MacOS as well as getting help online on the Mac.

Part 2. Mac recovery mode options

Reinstall MacOS

Download and reinstall an operating system of Mac. Depending on the key combination you used while launching the Mac, the Reinstall MacOS function will install different versions of MacOS.

Restore From a Time Machine Backup

This function aims at recovering the Mac from an external storage or Time Capsule that saves a Time Machine backup of your Mac.

Get Help Online

It supports you to browse the webpage by using Safari when your Mac is in recovery mode, including Apple's support website and get help for your Mac. But you are not allowed to use browser plug-ins and extensions.

Disk Utility

Disk Utility is designed specifically to repair disk error or erase your startup disk when the Mac cannot boot in a normal way and load the desktop.

Part 3. How to Get to Recovery Mode on Mac

How to Enter Recovery Mode on Mac – Get Help Online

Step 1. Choose Restart in the Apple menu or power on the Mac to reboot your computer in advance, which is to prepare for the next steps.

Step 2. Hold down the combination of Command and R quickly as soon as the startup music plays. Hold on until you see the Apple logo. If the login window of OS X appears, it means that you hold down the keyboards too late. So you have to restart the Mac again.

It's suggested that Mac notebook users hold down the build-in keys instead of the combination of Command and R keys to avoid the situation that startup keyboard combinations cannot register on an external keyboard.


Step 3. Choose the Get Help Online and click Continue button. Then connect your Mac with Internet via Ethernet, and now your Mac can use Safari in a recovery mode.

One thing to illustrate, the version of Safari included with OS X Recovery does not allows the plug-ins and extensions added. And you are not supported to play video over the Internet or use a private-browsing mode in Recovery Mode.

How to Enter Recovery Mode on Mac – Reinstall MacOS

Step 1. Click Restart button in the Apple menu. Hold down the Command and R combination upon hearing the Apple startup sound as the Mac restarts. Don't release these two keys until the Apple icon comes out. This step is the same as 'How to Enter Recovery Mode on Mac - Get Help Online', you can refer to it if you have any question.

Step 2. Select Disk Utility and hit Continue button. Then choose the name of the intended volume on the left and click Erase. If you want to see the extra disks, just tap Show ALL Drives tab.

Step 3. Select MacOS Extended from a pop-up window. Entitle your disks and click Erase. Then all of your data in the disk will be deleted, including your personal information. Or you can choose erasing the disk safely by clicking Security Options.

Step 4Quit the Disk Utility. Then choose Reinstall OS X and click Continue. And select the latest formatted partition on the panel. Your Apple ID might be authorized to the Mac. this is all about how to enter recovery mode on Mac and reinstall MacOS. Here you may also want to know how to delete apps on Mac.

How to Enter Recovery Mode on Mac – Restore From A Time Machine Backup

Step 1. Make sure you have turn on the Time Machine Backup beforehand. Connect the Time Machine to a Wi-Fi. Then restart your Mac by choosing power on the keyboard or clicking Restart tap on the main menu.

Step 2. Press on the Command and R keys at the same time once you hear the startup chime. When the white Apple logo appears, release the keyboard. It is similar to the Step 1 of 'Get Help Online'.

Step 3. Choose Restore button from Time Machine Backup, and hit Continue. Then you will be asked to make a choice between recovering your Mac from an external backup disk, a Time Capsule or a network backup disk. Choose one option and follow the next steps:
From an external backup disk: select the external disk and click Continue.
From a Time Capsule: Connect Time Capsule to Wi-Fi and choose Connect to Remote Disk.
From a network backup disk: choose your device and click Connect to Remote Disk.

Step 4. Choose the date of the backup and operate by following the instructions. It may take some time to restoring the whole system. Now you have restored your Mac in recovery mode successfully.

How to Enter Recovery Mode on Mac – Disk Utility

Step 1. As always, choose the power button on the keyboard or click Restart tap on the Apple menu to restart your Mac.

Step 2. When the startup chime plays, press on the Command and R key simultaneously until the Apple icon shows up. For more detailed information about this step, check the first guide.

Step 3. Choose Disk Utility and tap the Continue button. And select the volume you want to restore in the sidebar section. Then Hit the First Aid button and then click on Repair Disk. Generally speaking, this app will inform you that this disk has been repaired.

Step 4. But it may happen that something is wrong and you need to do the following: If the error is 'overlapped extent allocation': Check each file listed firstly, confirm whether it could be replaced or re-created. If the answer is not, Open the file and check the data, then choose to delete it or not.

If the error is 'The underlying task reported failure': Launch the Disk Utility for the second time and restore the damaged disk or partition once it doesn't work, backup your data in Mac, then get the disk reformatted and reinstall the MacOS. If the disk of your Mac is broken, you may need to change a new one.

Part 4. How to Fix Recovery Mode Not Working

Restore From A Time Machine Backup

Step 1. As soon as you hear the startup chime, restart your Mac and click on the option.

Step 2. Attach the Time Machine drive. This process may take some time and please wait patiently.

Step 3. You may see the connected Time Machine drive turns come out.

Step 4. Then you can choose the recovery drive to boot your Mac.

Get Help Online

Step 1. When the startup music plays, reboot your Mac as soon as possible and tap Option > 'Command + R'.

Restart The Mac

Step 2. Hold down the combination of Command and R keys until a globe photo and progress bar appears.

Step 3. Choose a correct Wi-Fi to connect your Mac with Internet.

Step 4. Take a break and then finish the progress of starting Internet recovery.

Disk Utility

Step 1. Reboot your Mac when you hear the startup music plays, and then tap on Option.

Step 2. Connect the bootable installer drive to your Mac, and select it on a pop-up window.

Step 3. Then you can see the Mac reboot itself, which means that you have fixed it successfully.

Reinstall MacOS

If the others are still working, but this function is not working, please make sure that you have backed up important data already, then reinstall the macOS 11.

Part 5. How to Recover Lost Data on Mac

What if you forget to back up your precious files before reinstalling macOS? Don’t worry! Apeaksoft Data Recovery can help you get them back without any hassles. This recovery tool is able to retrieve deleted/lost data from Mac, Windows, recycle bin, hard drive, flash drive, memory card, mobile phones, etc.

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Get your important data back after reinstalling computer system.

Recover lost files like document, email, image, video, audio, etc. on Mac.

Restart The Mac

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Support Mac OS X 10.6 or above and Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

Step 1. Click the Free Download button above to download Apeaksoft Data Recovery for Mac. Then open the software after the installment.

Step 2. Choose the file type you want to recover and pick the hard disk drive you want to scan. Then start the scan by clicking on the Scan button in the lower right corner.

Step 3. In a few minutes, the default Quick Scan should be done. But if you cannot find the file you need, you should try the Deep Scan instead.

Step 4. After you find the file you want, click the Recover button to retrieve the files to your Mac.


It is important to read the guides of each Mac boot option, to make sure that you have understood how to enter and use Recovery Mode on Mac. However, once you can handle these options proficiently, you can make a handy guide to prevent you from forgetting the specific keys necessary for each option. We hope this passage can help you to some extent.