How to Fix a Mac That Keeps Booting Into Safe Mode

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Quick Fix

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Booting into safe mode usually solves a lot of common Mac issues, including non-responding apps, sluggish system performance, installation or uninstallation failures, and a lot more. It is a special way for your operating system to load when there is an issue that interferes with the normal operation of your Mac. Once you boot into safe mode and you have fixed whatever needs to be fixed, you should then be able to reboot normally and use your computer the same way as before.

But what if Mac always boots into safe mode? Sometimes your Mac gets stuck in Safe Mode even if the problem has been fixed and you have restarted your computer. This is annoying because Safe Mode limits what you can do with your computer. You will only be able to do basic stuff because most of your device drivers won’t load. If your Mac keeps booting into Safe Mode, then there’s something wrong with it and you might want to fix it.

This article will show you how to stop Mac from booting into safe mode time and time again.

How to Stop Mac From Booting Into Safe Mode

There are a few reasons why your computer is always booting into Safe Mode. This guide will discuss each of these reasons and show you the best way to deal with them.

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  1. Fix Stuck Shift Keys and Clean Your Keyboard

The process of booting into Safe Mode requires you to hold down the Shift key when you hear the startup sound. But if your Shift key is stuck, your Mac will probably boot in Safe Mode forever—unless you fix it.

The first thing you have to do when you encounter this problem is to check your keyboard. Sometimes it is not visibly obvious that your Shift key is stuck, so you need to check it manually. Press the Shift key and check if something looks, feels, or sounds weird. You can also try pressing some key combinations and see if it works. If not, then your Shift key might be faulty.

Dirt is the main cause of a faulty keyboard because these small particles accumulate under and in-between the keys. You can use a can of compressed air to blast around the keys to make sure that there is no dirt, lint or dust underneath them. For more keyboard-cleaning tips, you can follow this step-by-step guide on how to fix stuck keys on your Mac.

If you own a Mac that belongs to the 2016-2018 MacBook Pro lineup or the 2015-2017 MacBook line, checking your keyboard regularly is a must. Macs belonging to these groups are equipped with butterfly keyboards, which are famous for being problematic. Butterfly keys are notorious for getting randomly jammed or stuck because of dirt or debris.

Apple has even launched a tutorial on how to properly clean your keyboard, which requires holding it in various tilted positions while blowing the keys with compressed air.

Apple has also initiated the Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro released from 2015 to 2017. The program was designed to service MacBook and MacBook Pro computers that experience keyboard problems such as sticky or unresponsive keys, characters not appearing or repeating unexpectedly. Just bring or send your Mac with a defective keyboard to an Apple Authorized Service Provider, and they will fix it for free.

Cleaning your Mac’s keyboard does not only help fix stuck keys, it also prevents other future problems. So, whether you think your Shift is stuck or not, checking your keyboard should be the first thing you should do if you’re looking for ways on how to stop Mac from booting into Safe Mode.

  1. Clean Up Your Software

If you’ve been using your Mac for quite some time, some files can get corrupted and cause rebooting issues or other problems for your computer. Try to empty your Trash and get rid of all unnecessary files on your computer. You can do this manually—which might take a while, or you can use an app such as Outbyte macAries to get rid of all your junk files in one go.

  1. Reset NVRAM/PRAM

If your Shift key is working just fine, the next thing you have to look at is your Mac’s NVRAM/PRAM. NVRAM or non-volatile random-access memory is a tiny amount of memory that retains information even when the computer’s power is turned off. It is where your computer stores some settings so they can be easily accessed. PRAM or parameter random access memory is the older version of NVRAM. The settings stored in NVRAM remain in place even after you reboot your Mac. Problems, such as continued booting in Safe Mode, happen when one of these settings gets corrupted or changed.

What you need to do is reset the NVRAM/PRAM on your Mac. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Restart your Mac.
  • Hold down this keyboard combination: Cmd + Option + R.
  • Keep holding the keys until you hear the second boot chime, or until you see the Apple logo flicker twice.

That’s it! Your NVRAM/PRAM has been reset, and your Mac should boot up now in normal mode.

  1. Reset SMC

If resetting the NVRAM/PRAM doesn’t work, you should also try resetting your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) to fix your reboot issue. Resetting your SMC helps restore some basic system functionality to your Mac, especially if you’re experiencing power or hardware-related issues.

To reset your SMC, do the following:

  • Shut down your Mac and connect the power adapter.
  • On your keyboard, hold down this combination (Shift + Control + Option) and the Power button at the same time.
  • Release all the keys at the same time when you see the light on your adapter briefly change colors. This means that the SMC has been reset.
  • Boot up your Mac as usual.


Getting stuck in Safe Mode can be pretty annoying because there’s nothing you can do except for basic computer tasks. Hopefully, this guide has helped you in finding the perfect solution for your problem.

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