This blog will help you troubleshoot startup issues on macOS Mojave 10.14. It also shares effective methods to recover data in case of any data loss during the troubleshooting process.
Some of these common Mojave startup issues and the respective troubleshooting steps are as follows.
Issue 1: Mac Does Not Power On
Desktop Users: Check the power connection, switch, and the power cord. Replace the faulty cord if required, then press the power button.
Laptop Users: Connect the charger to your Mac and press the power button.
Issue 2: macOS Mojave Stops Responding at the Startup
Hard Restart: If your Mac stops responding, then press and hold the power button until the device is forced shut down. Wait for a few seconds, and then press the power button to turn on the Mac.
Issue 3: macOS Mojave Does Not Start/Boot
Reset Non-Volatile RAM & Parameter RAM: Hard restart the Mac and instantly press and hold Option + Command + P + R keys until you hear the second chime. Wait for macOS Mojave to reset NVRAM and PRAM.
Reset System Management Controller (SMC): On iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro, disconnect power cable then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds to reset SMC. Reconnect the power cable and press the power button again to turn on the Mac.
On MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a non-removable battery, force shut down the Mac, press and hold Shift + Control + Option + Power Button for 10 seconds, then release all the keys to reset SMC. Turn on the Mac.
On Mac with a removable battery, remove the battery then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds to reset SMC. Connect the battery and press the power button again to turn on the Mac.
Issue 4: macOS Mojave Does Not Show Desktop after Startup
Boot from Recovery Drive: Hard restart the Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys; release them once the Mac chimes or the Apple logo appears.
Use Disk Utility: On the macOS Utilities window, select Disk Utility and then the startup drive. Click FirstAid and then Run to check the drive for errors. Click Done and close Disk Utility. From the Apple menu, restart the Mac.
Issue 5: macOS Mojave Crashes or Fails to Start
Enter Safe Mode: Restart the Mac and immediately press and hold the Shift key; release the key, once the login screen appears.
Remove Recent Apps: Login once or twice if FileVault in on; disable/remove the latest applications that are causing the startup issue. Start up the Mac in normal mode.
Note Safe boot checks and repairs the startup drive issues.
Issue 6: macOS Mojave Stuck in the Gray Screen during Startup
Remove All External Peripherals: Force shut down the Mac, and then remove all external peripherals such as a printer, headset, Ethernet cable, and so forth. Turn on the Mac.
Replace the Bad Peripheral: Connect the peripheral one at a time and turn on the Mac. If the Mac does not boot, then replace the bad peripheral.
Issue 7: macOS Mojave Stuck in the Flashing Question Mark
Select Startup Disk in Recovery Mode: Hard restart the Mac and straight away press and hold Command + R keys; release the keys when Mac chimes or the Apple logo appears. Select Startup Disk from Apple menu and restart Mac.
If Startup Disk is not visible, then repair the disk by using Disk Utility > First Aid > Run. Subsequently, select the Startup Disk from Apple menu and restart Mac.
Alternatively, When Mac Boots: Select System Preferences from Dock or the Apple menu and click Startup Disk. Click the lock icon and provide the administrator password. Finally, select the drive from the list of available drives as the startup disk to eliminate the Startup Disk search process. Restart the Mac.
Issue 8: macOS Mojave Always Has Startup Issue
Reinstall macOS Mojave in Recovery Mode: On macOS Utilities window, select Reinstall macOS and click Continue; follow the onscreen instructions to finish the reinstallation process.
Alternatively, Erase the Startup Drive and Reinstall macOS Mojave in Recovery Mode: On macOS Utilities window, select Disk Utility. Select the startup drive and click the Erase button. Provide the details and then click Erase. Reinstall macOS Mojave in recovery mode after selecting the erased startup drive as above.
WARNING: Back up the drive before performing the erase/reinstall operation to avoid data loss.
Recovery in Case of Data Loss
While using the above troubleshooting methods, you must backup vital data to an external storage drive to ensure there is no data loss. If you fail to backup and lose data during critical troubleshooting process, then the only way to get back your lost data is by using a data recovery software for Mac.
Data Recovery on macOS Mojave
Leverage Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to regain files & folders accidentally lost or deleted while troubleshooting macOS Mojave start-up issues. Free download this D-I-Y application and learn to operate this tool by using the steps and videos presented below.
Home Screen: Select the types of files you would like to regain from Mojave
Location: Chose the start-up disk of the Mac which by default is the ‘Macintosh HD’. Toggle on the Deep Scan and press the Scan button. (You require disabling the system integrity protection. Watch the below video to know more.)
Scan: Allow the scan to get complete successfully
Preview: Analyze the files listed under Classic, File and Deleted List
Recover: Activate the application and save all the data to another destination
Watch the video to recover your lost data on macOS Mojave or High Sierra.
The blog presented various methods — from basic power connectivity checks to hard reset and more advanced methods — to help you troubleshoot startup issues on macOS Mojave-based Mac devices.
The blog also advised backing up the critical files –before troubleshooting – to an external storage drive by using Time Machine. Data backup is critical to minimize potential data loss due to inadvertent mistakes while performing the troubleshooting steps. However, do not worry, in case you performed an incorrect troubleshooting action and do not have the backup. In such cases, it’s recommended to immediately stop using the Mac until you recover the lost data by using a Mac data recovery software.
Vishal is a data recovery expert @Stellar. He addresses data loss scenarios on a Mac. He intends to help people solve their macOS problems. Besides, Vishal prefers to read autobiographies, and his personal favorite is of Steve Jobs.