iMac Doesn’t Go Past the Loading Screen? Try These Solutions

iMacs are pieces of hardware that are fast, safe, organized, simple to use, and user-friendly. However, they are still machines, which means they may malfunction at times.

While the most common iMac issues have something to do with freezing apps, some users have reportedly experienced startup problems wherein their iMacs don’t go past the loading screen. If an iMac is stuck on the loading screen, then it’s a serious matter that needs an immediate fix.

In this post, we examine and look into this annoying iMac issue.

iMac Startup Problem

A lot of users find their iMacs stuck on the Apple logo. In most cases, they don’t care about it because they are clueless about why it happened. They’d just press and hold the Power button for a few seconds, hoping that the issue won’t surface again when their iMacs restart. Although doing so may work, it may not guarantee that the problem will not happen again in the future.

For tech junkies, startup problems are serious. They are indications that something is wrong with the hardware or the operating system.

If you want to resolve these iMac startup problems, make sure that you back up your data first before trying your available solutions. With a backup handy, you can conveniently restore your machine’s settings in case something comes up.

Back Up Your iMac

When it comes to boot failure issues, the first step you should take is to secure your files and data. There are many ways to back up an iMac that does not boot up. Simply prepare an external hard drive to save your files to and then follow these steps: 

Boot iMac into Recovery Partition

  1. Attempt to boot into your iMac’s Recovery Partition. To do this, press the CMD + R shortcut while pressing the Power If a Time Machine backup is available, press the Option key upon startup.
  2. Once the macOS Utilities screen shows, select Disk Utility.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to create a backup on your external hard disk. 

Target Disk Mode

  1. If you have another iMac and both have Thunderbolt or FireWire ports, connect them so that the other one can be used as an external hard disk. You can do this by choosing the Target Disk Mode.
  2. Next, use the working iMac to copy the data from the problematic iMac.
  3. Take note that the Target Disk mode is supported only by FireWire and Thunderbolt, which means it does not run on Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, or WiFi.

How to Solve iMac Startup Problems

As mentioned, there are many ways to solve problems with iMacs stuck on the loading screen. We’ve listed them down below:

1. Shut Down Your iMac.

One of the easiest solutions for iMac startup problems is to shut down your machine. Disconnect all external peripherals that are connected to it, except those that are required to boot the system. For a detailed guide on how to do this, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your iMac is completely shut off.
  2. Disconnect all unnecessary external peripherals that are currently connected to it.
  3. Try to reboot your iMac now.
  4. If your iMac restarts without any problem, then it is likely that the problem is with the peripherals. Connect them one by one to find out which one is causing the problem.

2. Use the Startup Manager.

Another solution you can try is to use the Startup Manager. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Option and Power keys together. This will start up your iMac with the Startup Manager.
  2. Select which startup disk you would like your iMac to boot from.
  3. If prompted for a firmware password, enter it first.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts.

3. Run Your iMac in Safe Mode.

If the first two solutions don’t work, you might need to get a bit technical with your iMac. You may have to start by booting your iMac in Safe Mode.

Running your iMac in Safe mode may require patience because it is a bit slower than the normal mode. In addition, some features might not even work at all. It is for that reason that it is called “Safe” mode.

To run your iMac in Safe Mode, simply turn off your iMac if it is stuck on the loading screen. Next, power it on again by pressing and holding the Power and Shift keys together.

If your iMac successfully boots in Safe mode, the next thing you need to do is check if your boot volume has around 9 GB or more space available. If there isn’t that much space, get rid of unnecessary files by using third-party Mac repair tools that help remove unwanted files from your iMac.

4. Use Apple Hardware Diagnostics.

To get past the startup screen, you may run and use the Apple Hardware Diagnostics. Here’s how:

  1. Disconnect all external peripheral devices connected to your iMac, except the display, mouse, keyboard, and Ethernet connection. If you don’t disconnect them, you might encounter error messages while running the test.
  2. Shut down your iMac.
  3. Switch it on again by pressing and holding the Power and D Release the keys once you see the Apple Hardware Test icon.
  4. Select your preferred language.
  5. Hit the Return key.
  6. To start the test, hit the Test button.
  7. Choose Perform Extended Testing to run a thorough test. This may take time to complete, so be patient.
  8. When the test is complete, the results will show in the lower-right portion of your screen.
  9. Close the Apple Hardware Test and restart your iMac.

5. Repair Your iMac’s Disk Using Recovery Mode.

Is your iMac still stuck on the loading screen? Try repairing your iMac’s disk. It is possible that something is wrong with its hardware, particularly the hard drive.

To force your iMac to resolve fixable problems with the hard drive, boot it into Recovery mode. To do that, shut it down first. And then, press and hold the CMD and R keys while pressing the Power button.

Final Thoughts

If your iMac is stuck at startup, try any of the five solutions above. However, if none of them works, your last resort is to schedule an appointment with an Apple Genius. Though this may mean you need to pay more, it will guarantee a fix for your iMac problems.

Have you tried the solutions above? Let us know which of them worked. Comment on your experience below.

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