Restarting in safe mode mac

If you have Apple's FileVault disk encryption technology enabled, or if you have a firmware password set on your system, then the computer will not boot to Safe Mode.

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To enter Safe Mode, you must first disable these options. FileVault can be disabled in the Security system preferences using the FileVault tab, but the firmware password must be disabled using the Firmware Password utility that is available in the Utilities menu in the OS X installer You can get to this in OS X Lion and later by holding Command-R at startup. Wireless keyboards A second potential issue that prevents Safe Mode from working is if you have a wireless keyboard.

While many instructions suggest that you hold the Shift key at startup to get to Safe Mode, the system's Bluetooth controllers will only activate after the startup chimes sound, so if the key is held before this, the key press will not be recognized.

What to do when a Mac won't boot to Safe Mode

Instead, if you have a wireless keyboard be sure to press and hold the Shift key after the boot chimes sound. In addition to the timing of the key press, be sure to check your keyboard's battery level and replace the batteries if they are low.

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File system errors A final issue that may prevent booting to Safe Mode is if there are problems with the boot drive's file system structure. When you run a file system check with Disk Utility, you will see them listed as the Catalog file, the Extents file, and Extended Attributes file, among others.

Mac always booting into Safe Mode? Here are ways to troubleshoot it

When the system boots to Safe Mode it will show a gray progress bar that indicates various maintenance tasks are being run at startup. Unfortunately it is a bit difficult to see if this is the case when the system is only displaying a gray progress bar; however, you can force the system to show you what is going on by having it boot to both Safe and Verbose modes at the same time.

To do so, open the Terminal utility and run the following command. How do I boot my Mac into Safe Mode?

How to Repair Your Mac's Disk Using Safe Mode, fsck, and More

Safe mode can be a useful tool when troubleshooting issues on your Mac. It disables any third-party drivers like scanner drivers.


If a behavior in a program is reproducible in a regular boot but not in safe mode, the behavior might be related to one of the following: Device Drivers, like scanner drivers. Third-party services or extensions that automate tasks or enhance user experience in Mac OS.

Troubleshooting a Mac That Always Boots Into Safe Mode

Keep holding as your Mac boots, which may take a few moments depending on its specific configuration. You can let go of the keys when you see a screen similar to the screenshot below.

Most Mac users will probably only ever use the single drive that came with their system. Apple KB HT