What to Do When M1 Mac Won't Turn on

By Connie | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on February 20th, 2021 | User rating:

Although the Apple Silicon M1 chip is powerful, the new M1 Macs like the M1 Mac mini, also appear issues like won't turn on.

Your M1 Mac may not respond to the power button, fail to wake up from sleep, or cannot turn on though it is charged. No matter what situations you've run into, this post is here to help you fix your M1 Mac that won't turn on.

How to prevent excessive SSD wear of your M1 Mac?

As the reasons of your M1 Mac that cannot boot are various and hard-to-find, you have to try to fix it with all possible solutions.

How to fix M1 Mac won't turn on

Necessary checkings for the M1 Mac hardware

Sometimes, your M1 Mac, like the new M1 Mac mini, won't boot is due to hardware issues. If you can't hear a chime from your M1 Mac or only see a black screen of your M1 Mac after you pressed the power button, try the following quick fixes:

Disconnect all peripheral devices

Unplug the peripheral devices and reboot your M1 Mac to check if the issues of your external devices make your M1 Mac won't startup or not.

Check the power connection

Try another power cable and adapter that came with the system, or use a different power outlet. If it is an M1 MacBook, check the battery's health and charge the battery for a while. In a word, ensure the power connection of your M1 Mac is okay.

Do a power cycle

No power connection problems but there are still no signs of a startup? Get down to perform a power cycle. A power cycle is used to force your Mac to reboot from an unresponsive state.

Press the Power button and hold it down for ten seconds. Next, unplug the power cable for 10 seconds and replug it. Finally, restart your M1 Mac as usual.

Check the display of your M1 Mac

If your M1 Mac keeps showing a black screen after pressing the power button, you can press the F1 and F2 keys to adjust the display's brightness. If the M1 Mac doesn't become brighter, the display of your Mac may have something wrong.

For an M1 Mac mini, try to use another monitor. For an M1 MacBook, go to use an external display via Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to have a check.

Connect your M1 Mac to another external display

How to fix your M1 Mac that won't boot

If the above attempts are effortless to reboot your M1 Mac but you can hear a chime, your M1 Mac may have other issues. Software incompatibility, startup disk corruption, firmware incompatibility, and so on are all possible causes.

Boot your M1 Mac into Safe Mode

Software incompatibility refers to that the system doesn't allow certain software to run. If the software doesn't obey the ban from the system and is forced to run, then heavy issues may happen like Mac not turning on.

According to the system extension on M1 Mac, only Apple trusted software is allowed to run on M1 Mac. And some software hasn't been updated to support M1 Mac till now.

Hence, to fix your M1 Mac that won't startup, you can try to boot your M1 Mac in Safe Mode and uninstall the recently installed third-party software.

In Safe Mode, macOS only boot with a minimum of required software and drivers without third-party software.

To boot into Safe Mode on M1 Mac:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait for 10 seconds.
  • Press and hold the power button until seeing the startup disks and Options on the screen.
  • M1 Mac Recovery mode
  • Continue pressing and holding the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode.

Note: You'll see the words "Safe Boot" on the top right of the screen if you boot into Safe Mode successfully.

If your M1 Mac can boot up into Safe Mode, go to uninstall the recently installed third-party software. Then, restart your M1 Mac.

Check the startup disk with First Aid

If your M1 Mac failed to boot into Safe Mode, go on checking if the unbootable M1 Mac has resulted from the startup disk corruption.

Here you need to use the built-in disk repair software in macOS - First Aid. It can check and repair the minor errors in file system and partition structure on the startup disk.

Since your M1 Mac won't boot, you need to boot into macOS Recovery mode first. Then, run First Aid in Disk Utility to repair the startup disk.

Once again, note that First Aid can only help repair some small disk errors.

Use Configurator 2 to update the firmware

Still no use after running First Aid? Your startup disk may have serious errors. Apart from that, don't forget the firmware problem will also bring about your M1 Mac that won't turn on.

Firmware is a software program or set of instructions programmed on a hardware device. With firmware updates, improvements will be made to the functionality of the hardware devices and may help you reboot your M1 Mac.

To update the firmware, you need to reset your unbootable M1 Mac, which also means reviving your M1 Mac.

  • Revive M1 Mac
  • Reinstall macOS to fix your M1 Mac that won't boot

    If your M1 Mac still won't boot after you tried the above solutions, the system is probably heavily corrupted. You have to recover the data from the unbootable M1 Mac, and then reinstall macOS.

    To recover data from your M1 Mac that won't boot, iBoysoft Data Recovery Software for Mac is a nice choice. It can help you recover lost files, photos, documents, videos, etc.

    Alternatively, you can use the Target Disk Mode to transfer data from the unbootable M1 Mac to another Mac. This way requires another healthy Mac and is a little bit complicated.

    Then, you can feel relax to reinstall macOS on your M1 Mac.

    Send your M1 Mac to have a repair

    If your M1 Mac still cannot work after trying the mentioned solutions, it may have some other serious issues. According to most Mac users' feedbacks, the real culprit is usually the bug of the feature of macOS Big Sur, called Optimised Battery Charging.

    You need to send your M1 Mac to the Apple Authorized Service store for a repair.

    M1 Mac won't turn on is an intractable issue due to the complex and unseen causes. And data loss happens once you cannot turn on M1 MacBook or M1 Mac mini. This post offers you a complete guide to help you fix your unbootable M1 Mac. Moreover, it also supplies some tricks to avoid data loss in such a situation.

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