7 solutions to Mac stuck on loading bar/screen, Mac progress bar stuck 100%

By Molly | Posted to Mac Data Recovery, updated on Sep.26, 2019 |

Summary: This article will show you 7 useful solutions to fix Mac stuck on loading bar/screen error while starting up or after macOS update. Besides, you can also learn how to recover data from slow or unbootable Macs through 2 different methods with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Many users have encountered such a severe problem: their Macs, such as iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro/Air, got stuck on loading bar, or Mac progress bar stuck at 100% while booting into macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra. Just some examples:

  • My iMac progress bar stuck at 100% after installing macOS High Sierra. How to fix?
  • Macbook progress bar gets stuck at 100% when booting (running Mojave).
  • Macbook Pro is stuck at full loading bar; won't open.
  • My MacBook Air won't load! It's stuck on loading bar for one hour! Any help is appreciated!
  • MacBook stuck on Apple logo with loading bar. Any suggestions?
  • iMac stuck on black loading screen. What to do?

At first, you may wondering why is your Mac so slow to start up. However, after waiting for hours without any change on the screen, you know it is not just slow performance but absolutely stuck on booting.

In this article, we will show you why and how to fix Mac stuck on on loading bar issue in detail. Besides, we'll also show you how to recover data when your Mac being stuck on loading bar in macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra.

Table of contents
1. Why is my MacBook stuck on the loading screen on Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra?
2. How do I fix Mac stuck on the loading screen issue?
3. Conclusion

Why is my MacBook stuck on the loading screen on Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra?

Generally, a stuck progress bar usually appears after unforeseen shutdown during booting your Mac. Besides, your Mac may also be stuck on loading bar after macOS update. For example, it is one of the mostly reported problems of macOS Catalina since WWDC 2019.

No matter what the reason is, this issue will prevent you booting up your Mac and accessing data stored on it.

How do I fix Mac is stuck on the loading screen issue?

The fact is, even though your Mac stuck on loading/login screen and you were unable to access the data on the unbootable Mac, it doesn't mean the loss of data. However, your any attempts to troubleshoot the stuck Mac may write new data to the computer, which overwrites the original data. If you have no data backup and want to avoid unnecessary data loss, you'd better follow the tutorial in Solution 7 to recover data from the unbootable Mac.

Now let's try to fix the Mac stuck on loading bar, or Mac progress bar stuck at 100% issue through the 7 solutions.

Solution 1: Restart your Mac

Whenever we encounter the boot problem, we can try rebooting the computer. Though not always work, it won't hurt.

When you see that your Mac is stuck on loading screen, you cannot shut it down from the Apple menu. All you can do is pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds until the computer is off. Then disconnect all peripheral devices from your Mac and wait for a few minutes (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Finally, press the power button of your Mac again and turn it. What happens?

Solution 2: Boot your Mac in Safe Mode

You can try Safe Mode to help resolve issues that might keep your Mac from completely starting up, including Mac was stuck on startup screen with status bar in macOS High Sierra/Mojave/Catalina.

Press and hold the Shift key while tapping the power button to start your computer. Release the Shift key till you see the Apple logo and loading bar. If your Mac loads successfully in Safe Mode, try restarting without pressing any keys.

Solution 3: Reset NVRAM/PRAM

PRAM or NVRAM is a non-volatile random access memory which is used to store system settings on Mac, including sound volume, display resolution, startup disk selection.

If the Mac progress bar still stuck at 100% when loading macOS, or Mac won't boot after macOS update, you can try to reset NVRAM/PRAM. Restart your Mac and simultaneously press Command+Option+P+R keys, and then restart it again.

Solution 4: Reset the SMC

SMC, short for System Management Controller, is incorporated into the Mac's motherboard. It is used to control a number of Mac core functions, including battery management, sudden motion sensor, keyboard backlighting, thermal management, etc. Typically, SMC reset helps to resolve many power and hardware related issues that are otherwise unresponsive to troubleshooting techniques.

To reset the SMC on a Mac computer, you need to at first determine whether the battery is removable or not. That's because the process of resetting SMC of a non-removable battery is quite different.

1. Reset SMC on MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air

If the battery is removable:

  • Step 1: Turn off your Mac.
  • Step 2: Remove the battery.
  • Step 3: Press the power button and hold it for a few seconds.
  • Step 4: Reinstall the battery.
  • Step 5: Press the power button to turn on your Mac.

If the battery is non-removable:

  • Step 1: Shut down your Mac.
  • Step 2: Press Shift+Control+Option on your keyboard and press the power button at the same time.
  • Step 3: Hold these keys for 10 seconds.
  • Step 4: Release the keys.
  • Step 5: Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

2. Reset SMC on iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini

  • Step 1: Shut down your Mac.
  • Step 2: Unplug a power cord.
  • Step 3: Wait 15 seconds.
  • Step 4: Plug the power cord in.
  • Step 5: Wait several seconds and turn on your computer by pressing a power button.

Solution 5: Run Disk Utility's First Aid in Recovery Mode

Disk Utility is a built-in tool dealing with disk errors, including the Mac internal hard disk, so you can give it a try to fix the Mac stuck on apple logo with loading bar issue.

Step 1: Press and hold the Command and R keys while tapping the power button to start your computer.

Step 2: From the macOS Utilities menu, select Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the disk or partition that you installed macOS on.

Step 4: Click on First Aid on the top

Step 5: When the reparation process finishes, restart your Mac.

Solution 6: Reinstall macOS Mojave or other available Mac operating system

If you have tried out all the solutions above but your Mac kept stuck in macOS loading bar, then I'm afraid you have to reinstall macOS High Sierra, Mojave or any other Apple operating system. This may be the final chance to help your Mac boot past the Apple logo.

To complete macOS reinstallation, you need to at first reformat the system drive. This process will wipe all the files on the Mac internal hard drive. Thus, please make sure you have a backup copy.

Have no data backup? Never mind. In this part, we will show you two methods to recover data from the unbootable Mac with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

How to recover data from the stuck Mac computer?

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can recover data from corrupted APFS boot drive, recover data from unmountable APFS boot volume, as well as unreadable, inaccessible APFS external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, Pen drives and much more. It recovers deleted photos, videos, documents, music and emails and recovers lost data after macOS update. It's fully compatible with macOS Catalina/Mojave/High Sierra/Sierra and OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Now, let's move to the two methods about recovering data with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Method 1: If you have only one Mac, and it's unbootable

Calm down. You can recover data in Recovery Mode with the help of this Mac data recovery software. Let's get started. This method is recommended.

Note: Before you follow the steps below, you have to make sure your Mac has Internet connection.

Step 1: Click the Power button to turn on the Mac, and immediately press Command + Option + R keys to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.

Step 2: Open Terminal from the Utilities drop-down menu.

Step 3: Run the following command:

s='/private/var/tmp/boot.sh' && curl -o $s http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh && chmod 777 $s && $s

This will launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery through iBoysoft Server.

Step 4: After launching iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, please select the Mac internal hard drive and click the Next button. This program will start scanning for lost files on the drive.

Recover data from unbootable Mac computer

Step 5: Preview the scanning results, and choose the files you want to get back.

Step 6: Click the Recover button. You need to specify a different location to store the recovered files.

Recover data from unbootable Mac computer

You can also refer to How to run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery in Recovery Mode.

Method 2: If you have two Mac computers

If you fortunately have another healthy Mac computer, or you can borrow one from your friends, you can create a bootable drive and then recover data from it.

Step 1: Create a bootable drive on the healthy Mac computer.

1. Download, install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

2. Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on menu bar and then select Create Boot Drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

3. Insert a USB drive into the healthy Mac, and choose it as the media to create a bootable drive on.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

4. Click Make bootable button. The creation process will start immediately. Wait a while.

Note: This process will erase all data on the USB drive. So please be sure to make a backup if there're important files.

5. When the process completed, you'll see a window showing the next steps to recover data. You can take a note, or take a photo with your phone, of the onscreen information. When everything is ready, click the Close button.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 2: Recovery data from the unbootable Mac computer.

1. Insert iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer.

2. Reboot your Mac computer and hold down the Option key (⌥) at startup.

3. Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Note: If you're running macOS Mojave or earlier, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery will launch immediately when your Mac boots up. But, if your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you need two additional steps to launch this program.

4. Wait for your Mac to boot up, open "Terminal" application from "Utilities" drop-down menu.

Open Terminal

5. Run the following command:

'Volumes/Image Volume/boot.sh'

Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery Command

After iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery launched, you can follow the steps as in Method 1 to recover data.

Video Tutorial: How to recover data from Macs that stuck on loading bar?

How to reformat the Mac drive?

1. Restart your Mac into Recovery Mode.

2. Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu and click Continue.

Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

3. Select the Mac drive from the left sidebar and click "Erase" on the top of Disk Utility window.

4. Wait until the erasure process completes.

How to reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode?

After erasing the Mac internal hard drive in Recovery Mode, you can reinstall a new operating system.

1. Go back to macOS Utilities menu.

2. Select Reinstall macOS and click Continue.

Reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode

3. Follow the onscreen wizard to finish macOS reinstallation.

Hopefully, the Mac stuck on loading bar/Mac progress bar stuck at 100% issue can be fixed.


It's terrible if your Mac freezes on startup. When a Mac is stuck with Apple logo on loading bar or login screen, you have no access to files stored on it. If unfortunately you encountered such issue, please remember: the top most thing you should do is to recover lost data from the Mac computer, and iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery will be a good helper. Then, you can try out the solutions above one by one till you can boot up your Mac as normal.


Molly is an editor @iBoysoft who frequently shares useful tutorials about data recovery for Windows and Mac.

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