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iGBHow-toHow to login to safe mode on Mac

How to login to safe mode on Mac

It’s a headache to figure out why your Mac suddenly slows down or shows issues while opening apps. But, the good guys at Apple have seen through these issues and added safe mode, a safer and liter version of macOS that can be used to figure out and fix these issues. However, do you know how to log in to safe mode on Mac?

You don’t need to worry as that’s what I’ll be helping you with here. I will also tell you what safe mode does and what to do if even safe mode can’t fix the issues in your Mac. Read along to know more.

What is safe mode?

As one can assume from the name, the safe mode is a safer and lighter version of macOS that only permits the apps and files required to run the OS. If your Mac is feeling slow suddenly, having app crashes, or similar issues, you should try booting your system to safe mode.

What does macOS Safe mode do? 

macOS prevents running most apps and services in safe mode that start with the system in normal mode. This means your Mac will only allow drivers and apps essential to run macOS. Along with that, in safe mode, macOS will clear the system and font cache, verify the hard disk, and repair the issues, if any.

While there isn’t any proper definition of when to use safe mode, I suggest using it when facing slowdowns or app crashes.

How to use safe mode on Mac

The step to boot macOS to safe mode differs based on which chip your Mac is running on.

  • On Mac’s with Intel chip
    1. Restart your Mac.
    2. Press and hold the Shift key while your Mac boots up.
    3. Release the key once you see the login screen and log in.
    4. Log in again if prompted.

While on the second boot, you will see the safe mode option at the top right, either on the first or second login screen.

  • On Mac’s with Apple Silicon chip  
    1. Shut down and Turn on your Mac. 
    2. Don’t release the power button until you see the startup options window. 
    3. Select your startup disk.
    4. Press and hold the Shift key and click Continue in safe mode
    5. Release the key when you see the login screen. 
    6. Log in to your Mac.
      You may be asked to log in again.

Once you boot, you will see safe mode at the top right. Now, you can check if you can use the OS without any issues and open apps and see if you can do the same.

MacBook safe mode not working?

While booting to safe mode, macOS will take quite some time to boot to safe mode, which may concern you. Don’t worry, as macOS is carrying out checks and verifications in the background, and that’s why the long boot time.

Your Mac may automatically restart one or two times, which is nothing to worry about. But, if it’s a boot loop where the Mac restarts multiple times, you need to either reinstall macOS or contact Apple support for further assistance.

How to get out of the safe boot on Mac

Since you had to follow quite a few steps to boot your Mac to safe mode, you may wonder what all needs to be done to exit from it. All you have to do is restart your Mac, and it will boot to normal macOS. While shutting down, Mac will take a pretty good time to do so, which is natural and nothing to be worried about.

What if the issue continues in safe mode? 

If you face the same issues in safe mode as in Normal mode, it seems like it’s not something that safe mode can fix. Here’s what you can try:

  1. Uninstall recently installed apps and extensions
    When did you begin to face the issues in macOS? If it started after installing some apps or extensions, remove them, and restart your Mac. After that, see if you are still facing the issue.
  2. Update Mac
    An update can fix most of the issues on your Mac, only if it’s some bugs or other issues within macOS.
  3. Backup and reset Mac
    Since none of the methods help you fix the issues in macOS, the only way left is to take a backup of your Mac and reset your Mac. After that, restore files and see if everything is working fine.
  4. Visit Apple Support
    Unable to fix your Mac by any of the above steps? It’s time to contact Apple Support and check what the issue is with the experts.


Q. What to do if Mac automatically starts in safe mode?

If it’s only once or twice, it’s part of the safe mode fixing your system’s issues. But if your Mac is booting more than twice or has entered a boot loop, you should reinstall macOS or contact Apple Support.

Q. How to tell if Mac is in safe mode?

Once you boot your Mac to safe mode, you will see safe mode at the top right. You can also click the Apple logoAbout this MacSystem ReportSoftware Boot mode. Here, you will see safe mode if you are on it or will see Normal mode.

Q. What to do if the issues are not seen in safe mode? 

It means the issues are caused by some apps or extensions you have installed recently. Uninstall them and see if you are still facing the issue.

That’s it!

With safe mode, you can figure out any issues within macOS and fix them. But if you don’t know how to log in to safe mode on Mac, I hope this article has helped you. Were you able to solve the issues in Mac with safe mode? Do let me know in the comments.

To avoid future issues on your Mac, give these a read:

  • Anoop

    Anoop loves to find solutions for all your doubts on Tech. When he's not on his quest, you can find him on Twitter talking about what's in his mind.

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