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MacBook Air is Stuck in a Loop on Startup

If your MacBook Air is stuck in a startup loop, where it keeps restarting without fully booting up, there are several steps you can take to try and resolve the issue. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow:

Before we begin:

  • Back up your data: If possible, try to back up your important data using Time Machine or another backup method before proceeding. This is crucial in case further troubleshooting steps require erasing your disk.
  • Identify your Mac model and macOS version: Knowing your specific model and operating system will help us provide more accurate instructions. You can find this information by clicking the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and selecting “About This Mac.”

Here are some initial troubleshooting steps you can try:

1. Force a restart:

  • Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds until your Mac shuts down completely.
  • Wait a few seconds, then press and hold the power button again to turn it back on.

2. Disconnect external devices:

  • Remove any external devices connected to your Mac, such as printers, hard drives, and USB hubs. Sometimes, these devices can interfere with the startup process.

3. Start in Safe Mode:

  • Press and hold the Shift key while your Mac starts up. This will boot into Safe Mode, which only loads essential software and can help diagnose software-related issues.
  • If your Mac starts up successfully in Safe Mode, you can try restarting normally to see if the issue is resolved.

4. Reset PRAM/NVRAM:

  • This can sometimes clear out corrupted settings that might be causing the loop. The specific steps involved depend on your Mac model. Search online for “reset PRAM/NVRAM + your Mac model” for detailed instructions.

5. Use macOS Recovery:

  • If none of the above steps work, you can try using macOS Recovery to repair your startup disk or reinstall macOS.
  • Shut down your Mac, then press and hold Command + Option + R while powering it on.
  • This will boot into macOS Recovery, where you can choose from various options like Disk Utility, Reinstall macOS, and others.

If you’re uncomfortable with any of these steps, it’s always best to seek help from a professional technician or contact Apple Support. They can provide additional diagnostics and help you determine the best course of action.

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Got any further questions? Walk in for a free diagnostic in NYC:

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Outside NYC? Just mail in your device if in the US.

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