“BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” – What to Do When Catalina Keeps Freezing All the Time

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So, after every 30 minutes of use, you notice your Mac freezing. You have decided to just reformat your computer and reinstall Catalina in hopes that the problem will go away. After hours of waiting for the reinstallation process to complete, you boot up your computer. And to your surprise, the problem persists! And what is worse is that macOS Catalina shows the “BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” error.

At this point, we suggest that you relax and take a deep breath. When you are greeted with the “BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” error in Catalina, keep your composure and read on. You might find relevant information that might just resolve the annoying Catalina error.

What Is the BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) Error All About?

As of this writing, Apple hasn’t said a word about this error message. Thus, we cannot really come up with a concise and clear explanation of what the BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) error is all about.

However, based on experience, many macOS Catalina users have thought that the BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) error isn’t always caused by problematic third-party software. Rather, it is caused by any of the following:

  • A damaged or corrupted Catalina OS installation
  • A corrupted NVRAM
  • An unknown bug in Catalina
  • Unoptimized RAM
  • Problematic library extensions
  • Hardware problems

Sure, dealing with these causes might be a headache. However, with patience and a bit of understanding of what you’re dealing with, you can potentially eliminate the problem.

How to Fix the BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) Catalina Error?

Now, if the frequent crashes are becoming a nightmare, we suggest that you try the solutions we have listed down below.

Solution #1: Restart your Mac

Believe us, many macOS Catalina users have successfully gotten rid of the error message by simply restarting their Macs. While it’s not really a Band-Aid solution, it’s worth a shot. You won’t lose anything after all.

Solution #2: Update Catalina

Restarted your Mac already but the error message still keeps popping up? It is likely that your Catalina version is outdated. So before you take any next steps, be sure that the macOS Catalina version you are running is up to date.

Here’s how to check whether your macOS Catalina is updated or not:

  1. Click the Apple icon.
  2. Choose App Store and navigate to the Updates tab.
  3. If you see any pending software updates, install them.

Installing the latest security updates and performance improvements already goes a long way when it comes to keeping your Mac running error-free.

Solution #3: Move the contents of the Library Extensions folder

As confirmed and tested by many users, another way to resolve the BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) error is to move the library extensions to a backup folder.

To move the library extensions, do this:

  1. Click Launchpad and select Terminal.
  2. Into the text field, paste the following commands followed by Enter:
    mkdir ~/Extensions-Backup
    sudo mv /Library/Extensions/*

These commands allow you to relocate your library extensions to a new folder named Extensions Backup.

Solution #4: Fix a corrupted NVRAM

There are two ways to check if you have a problematic NVRAM. First, if you have recently upgraded the NVRAM, try to reinstall the original and figure out what happens. The BAD MAGIC! (Flag Set in iBoot Panic Header) error might be showing because what you have currently installed is not compatible with your Mac.

Another option is to reset the NVRAM itself. You will know if there is a need to reset the NVRAM because you will see a question mark icon upon starting up from a different disk.

Here’s how you can reset the NVRAM:

  1. Make sure that your Mac is turned on.
  2. Press down the CMD + Option + R + P combination as well as the Power button.
  3. After about 20 seconds, release the keys and the button.

It is worth noting that the entire NVRAM reset process may affect your system settings. But you need not freak out because you only have to adjust a few settings, including the sound volume, time zone, display resolution, and startup disk selection.

Solution #5: Reinstall macOS Catalina

You can conveniently reinstall macOS Catalina via macOS Recovery. For a detailed guide on how to reinstall macOS Catalina using the macOS Recovery utility, follow the steps below:

  1. Switch on your Mac.
  2. Press down the CMD + Option + R combo.
  3. Once the Apple logo appears, release the keys.
  4. At this point, the macOS Utilities should appear. From here, click Reinstall macOS.
  5. Hit Continue to proceed with the reinstallation of macOS.
  6. Choose a destination for your OS and click Restore to begin the reinstallation process. After the installation, your Mac will restart automatically.

Solution #6: Optimize your Mac

Has your Mac been running a bit slow these past few days? Does it take forever to boot up? Then it is likely that unnecessary processes and apps have taken up your memory, triggering Catalina to show the “BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” error.

To resolve the problem, optimize your RAM to give room to more important apps and processes. One effective tool you can count on when it comes to optimizing your Mac is Outbyte MacRepair.

With this tool, you can make the RAM available for processes that have more value, helping your Mac run faster and work more efficiently. Plus, you get to delete junk and unwanted files in just a few clicks!

Solution #7: Visit the nearest Apple Authorized Service Center

Regardless of whether or not your Mac is covered by Apple Care, schedule a visit to the Apple Store or to the nearest Apple Authorized Service Center. Have your Mac checked by an expert so you will know whether the problem is caused by problematic software, hardware, or firmware. Because these places have more tools and equipment at their disposal than you, it’s safe to assume that paying them a visit might just fix the “BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” error.

If you are not tech-savvy, then this solution might be the perfect option. Entrusting your Mac to an accredited service center may save you from unnecessary repair costs.


The next time you come across the “BAD MAGIC! (flag set in iBoot panic header)” error, we expect that you already know what to do. Begin with a quick restart and then slowly move your way down the list. Now, if you are not that confident in your troubleshooting skills, we highly advise doing solution number 7.

Let us know your reactions to this in the comments!

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