How to Fix Stuck on Apple Logo or Progress Bar at Startup

Get your Mac back on track with practical solutions for a stuck Apple logo or progress bar.

There’s something reassuring about the sight of the Apple logo lighting up or a progress bar moving forward – it’s a promise that your Mac is gearing up for whatever tasks lay ahead.

macOS stucked at Apple logo

But when that logo freezes or the progress bar stubbornly refuses to advance, it’s more than a little disconcerting. This kind of hiccup usually points to your system having trouble loading or booting up its operating system.

The culprits? They can be many and varied, from pesky software bugs and corrupted system files to incompatible system updates or even hardware issues.

We’ve created this guide to help you navigate these choppy waters. We’ll explore the reasons why your Mac might get stuck in the startup process, and offer practical, effective solutions to get your system back on track.

Fixing Stucked Apple Logo or Progress Bar

When confronted with a stubborn Apple logo or a non-progressing progress bar, there are a series of steps you can undertake to address the issue:

1. Force Restart Your Mac

The first and often simplest step to take when troubleshooting a Mac stuck on the startup screen is to perform a force restart. This involves pressing and holding down the power button on your Mac for up to 10 seconds until the machine turns off. Once the system is off, press the power button again to turn it back on.

This process essentially clears out your computer’s current state and starts it fresh, which can sometimes resolve software glitches and other temporary issues that might be interfering with your Mac’s startup process.

2. Unplug Nonessential Devices

If a force restart doesn’t resolve the issue, the next step is to unplug all nonessential devices from your Mac. Devices such as printers, external drives, USB hubs, and other peripherals can sometimes cause conflicts or other issues during startup.

By disconnecting these devices, you can eliminate the possibility that one of them is causing your Mac to get stuck on the startup screen. After unplugging these devices, try restarting your Mac again to see if the problem persists.

3. Repair Your Startup Disk with Disk Utility

If your Mac is still not starting up correctly after disconnecting nonessential devices, you might have a problem with your startup disk. The "Disk Utility" tool included with macOS can be used to check for and repair problems with your startup disk.

To use "Disk Utility", you’ll need to boot your Mac in "Recovery Mode". To do this, restart your Mac and immediately press and hold the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe.

Once your Mac is in "Recovery Mode", open "Disk Utility" and use it to check your startup disk for problems and repair it if necessary.

macOS disk utility

4. Reinstall macOS

If none of the above solutions work, it may be necessary to reinstall macOS. This is a more drastic solution, but it can often resolve stubborn issues that other methods can’t. Reinstalling macOS can be done from "macOS Recovery", the same mode used to access "Disk Utility".

When you reinstall macOS, the system files are replaced without touching your personal files and settings. However, as a precaution, it’s always a good idea to have a backup of your data before performing this step.

reinstall macOS

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that during a macOS update or upgrade, the Apple logo or progress bar might appear for much longer than usual, and the progress bar might move more slowly or pause for extended periods.

This is typically normal during a software update, especially a large one. If this happens, it’s recommended to let the installation process continue, even if it means leaving your Mac on overnight.