So you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to figure out “how to fix a Mac with a question mark folder.” Do you know what’s going on here? Let’s get this straight. The flashing folder with a question mark will display whenever you try to start your computer and it fails to detect a startup disc.
This could be difficult for you to handle. However, the good news is that there are a number of quick and simple solutions to this issue. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps of resolving a flashing folder with a question mark on your Mac using the most effective remedies available.
So, what exactly is a Mac folder with a blinking question mark?
Let’s take a closer look at the mistake “how to fix Mac with a question mark folder” before we get into the solutions. When you initially power on your Mac, you won’t see the Apple logo. Instead, a mac with a flashing folder question mark in the centre appears on the screen.
When you initially power on your Mac, you won’t see the Apple logo. Instead, a mac with a flashing folder question mark in the centre appears on the screen. On a Mac prior to 2015, you may hear a chime before seeing the question mark folder.
The same operating system runs on all Apple Mac computers, including the iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Pro (macOS.) As a result, Mac folder question mark issues might occur on any of the company’s Mac computer devices.
The Mac question mark folder symbolises the following in layman’s terms:
- Your starter hard disc or logic board is malfunctioning (problems with the hardware.)
- Because it does not offer a working copy of macOS, the startup drive raises software problems.
Simple and Effective Solutions for a Mac with a Question Mark Folder
1. Force the computer to shut down.
If you can’t go past the flashing folder with a question mark screen, force your Mac to shut down and then reboot your system. This is the first thing you should try. This is what you must do:
- Before continuing, make sure your MacBook’s charging cable is disconnected.
- Keep pressing the power button until the screen goes black.
- Take your time—best it’s if you wait up to ten seconds.
- To finish the repair, restart the laptop by pressing the power button.
You can now check to see if the issue has been addressed. If it doesn’t work, try the second method.
2. In Recovery Mode, run a diagnostic test.
By booting your laptop into recovery mode and launching the Disk Utility, a built-in Mac programme, you can diagnose and try to fix the problem. Here’s how to go about doing it:
- While your screen is stopped in the question mark folder, press and hold the power button until your laptop shuts off. Restart your Mac after that, and press and hold the Command + R keyboard keys for a few seconds. Your Mac should now be in recovery mode.
- Click Disk Utility in the pop-up box that displays on your screen. From the app’s menu, select First Aid.
- From the pop-up box that displays, select your starting disc and launch First Aid to see if the app can detect and repair any damage.
- Even if Disk Utility is unable to locate and rectify the issue that caused your initial disc error, you can take a few additional steps. You can try formatting your startup drive, reinstalling Mac OS, or using Time Machine to recover your disc. When you format and reinstall the operating system, the data on your hard drive will be deleted, and Time Machine will restore your Mac to a previously recorded image. As a result, proceed with caution.
If Disk Utility doesn’t identify your startup disc, your only alternative is to take it to a repair shop.
3. Disconnecting the laptop’s network cables as well as external devices
- Turn off your computer. If you can’t shut down your MAC system the traditional way, hold down the power button for a few seconds until it shuts off.
- Remove all of the laptop’s attached gadgets. These could contain everything from printers to external hard drives to Ethernet connections.
Check if the problem has been fixed by restarting your MAC system.
4. Use the Startup Manager to start the MacBook.
If you’re utilising the internal disc to boot macOS, check the Startup Manager to see if a question mark folder appears. Take the following steps:
- Turn off the MacBook in the same way you always do.
- Then, while holding down the Alt or Option key, wait for the Apple logo to display.
- The MacBook Startup Manager should display a prompt. To begin, select the Start Disk option. Use the left-right arrows to navigate, and the Return key to select.
- This method of restarting the Mac removes the question mark folder, resolving the problem.
5. To fix the Mac’s Flashing Question Mark Folder issue, reinstall Mac OS X.
A reinstall of macOS may also be necessary to resolve the folder with a question mark that appears when a MacBook notebook boots up. Here are a few basic steps you can do to see if it will work:
- If you’re in recovery mode, go to macOS Utilities and select “Reinstall macOS.”
- By hitting the Continue button, you can select the Macintosh HD.
- Make a backup of your data before wiping your Mac’s hard drive. To restore the macOS operating system, follow the on-screen instructions.
- When the installation procedure is finished, the Mac reboots and begins booting from a bootable startup disc.
- Transfer data from a source disc to the internal storage device.
Keep in mind that if the Disk Utility does not recognise or repair the first disc, the storage medium is having hardware issues. Contact your local repair service provider to remedy this issue.
6. Reset the RAM that isn’t volatile (NVRAM)
To rest non-volatile RAM, follow the procedures below.
- Your Mac will need to be turned off and on again.
- Hold down the Option, Command, P, and R buttons at the same time for the next 30 seconds.
- During this time, your Mac will reboot on its own. When your Mac displays the Apple logo or plays the starting sound for the second time, release these keys.
- Your Mac’s appearance, sound, and date/time settings may have changed after you first turned it on. Similar as before, you may set the optimal screen resolution, date and time, and volume.
It’s likely that the Option + Command + P + R key combinations won’t work if your firmware is password-protected. In this case, you’ll need to deactivate the firmware protection mechanism first, which you may do by following these steps:
- Restart your computer.
- For a few seconds, press and hold the Command and R keys at the same time.
- You can release go of the keys when you see a lock symbol on your screen.
- You must enter your firmware password to log in.
- Under the utility menu, you’ll find the Firmware Password Utility.
- To turn off the firmware password, click “Turn Off Firmware Password,” which will prompt you to input your firmware password. Please type in your password.
- To restart your Mac, go to the Apple menu and select Restart from the drop-down menu.
7. When you first start, be sure you’re using the correct disc.
If none of the methods listed above work, go to the Startup Options page while your Mac is booting up and select the correct beginning drive. Depending on whether the computer is an Intel or an Apple Silicon Mac, the procedure differs.
If you’re using an Intel-based Mac, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the power button for a few seconds to shut off the laptop.
- Press and hold the power button a second time, then press and hold the option key to turn it back on. When you go to a screen that shows the startup discs, let go of the option.
- Select the correct boot disc and click the arrow-pointing Continue button.
If you’re using an Apple silicon Mac, follow these steps:
- To switch off your Mac, press and hold the power button.
- You must now push and hold the power button for a couple more seconds. Continue to hold the button down until the Startup Options page appears.
- Press Continue after selecting the appropriate beginning disc from the drop-down selection.
If your device keeps freezing at the folder with a question mark screen or if you have trouble executing any of the recommendations mentioned, you may have faulty or malfunctioning internal storage. In this scenario, you should make an appointment at your local Apple Store to have an Apple Genius inspect your device. However, the solutions provided are most likely to resolve the issue for the majority of people.