Power or Start Up Quick Assist
Apple's famous “ease of use” with its products starts with a simple touch of a finger. That's all you need to turn on any iPod, iMac, Power Mac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iBook, PowerBook, Mac mini, Apple display, and other products. Only the iPod shuffle needs a little nudge up or down.
If you need help powering up your Apple product, we're here to help. Not only will we show you where the power button is located on various products, we'll show you what you can do if your product won't turn on.
What do you need help with?
- Show me how to turn on my Apple product
- My Mac won't turn on or won't fully start up
- My iPod (any model) won't turn on or won't fully start up
1) Locate the Power Button
If the object in question is an Apple computer or display, look for a round button on its surface that resembles the icon pictured in the title graphic above. If you have an iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini, pressing any button will power on your player. If you have an iPod shuffle, scope out the switch on its backside. See the image below for the power button locations on some Apple products.
2) Press and Start
Once you've found the button, simply press it to power up your product. To tell you that it's got power, you should hear a start up sound from a Mac or see video displayed on an Apple display.
1) Make Sure That You Have a Working Power Source
Make sure that your Mac and display is plugged in to a working electrical outlet. To check if the wall socket is working, plug in a lamp or other electrical device that you know works and turn it on. If your Mac is connected to a power strip, make sure that the strip is powered on and working by plugging in the lamp or other electrical device that you know works and turn it on.
2) Make Sure That the Battery Holds a Charge
If you can't turn on your Mac portable, its battery may not have enough charge to power up the computer. Connect your MacBook, MacBook Pro, PowerBook, or iBook to its power adapter, plug that into a working electrical outlet, and try turning on your computer. Note that some batteries have a battery test button with corresponding battery LEDs to indicate the charge level.
3) Check Your Connections
Make sure that all power cords are properly and securely attached to your Mac, display, and to the power source. If you're using a display, make sure that its cable is securely attached to your computer. Try unplugging your cable or cord and then plugging it back in again on both ends. Then try turning on your product again.
4) Try a Different Cord or Power Adapter
To find out if you have a faulty cord or power adapter, swap your power cord or power adapter for another if you have a working one available. If your replacement power cord or power adapter resolves the issue, you may want to replace the original. For portable products, make sure the power adapter you try is compatible.
5) Make Sure That Your Display Is On
If you're using an external computer display and it isn't powered on, it may look like your computer isn't starting up. Make sure that your display is powered on, that it's properly connected to your computer, and that the graphics card to which your display is connected hasn't come loose inside your computer (the card should be securely connected—if your video card feels loose, open up your computer and reseat the card.
6) Make Sure That It's Not a Video Issue
When you try to start up your computer, do you hear the startup sound, hard drive noise, and fan noise? If so, your computer may have a video issue instead. Check your display to make sure that it's working properly. Try turning up the brightness on the display itself (for portable computers press and hold F2 for 3-4 seconds). If you stick your eyeball up close to it and can just make out your desktop image, you may need to get your display serviced. Try connecting a different display to see if that solves the issue, if you have one available. For more information about video issues and some troubleshooting steps, see this article.
7) Check New Installations
If you just installed more memory or a new AirPort card, an improper installation can cause your computer not to start up properly. Unplug your computer and make sure that your memory chip or AirPort card is fully seated in its slot. Try removing it and then reseating it just to make sure. For more information, consult the documentation that came with your product or choose your computer from the pop-up menu under “Installing DIY Parts” on the Do It Yourself Parts & Service page to find instructions (in PDF format) for installing AirPort cards and memory into your computer. If you still can't turn on your computer, remove your new addition (and replace it with the original if needed) to see if your computer starts up. If it does, contact the device's manufacturer for assistance.
8) Disconnect Your Devices
There could be a conflict between one of your devices and your Mac. To rule out a device conflict, disconnect all of your external devices and then try turning on your computer again. If your Mac powers up, isolate which device is causing the issue by connecting a device, restarting your computer, and testing it before connecting the next device. If your computer won't start up after connecting a device, that device is likely the cause of the issue. Contact the device manufacturer for assistance.
9) Reset Your Computer's SMU or PMU
Important: Please note, for most situations, a restart is sufficient. If the computer has stopped responding, try these steps, in order, until the computer responds:
- Force Quit (Option-Command-Escape)
- Restart (Control-Command-Power)
- Force Shut Down (press the power button for 10 seconds)
Only perform a reset on the computer if none of the above steps resolved the situation.
To reset your computer's System Management Controller (SMC), System Management Unit (SMU) or Power Management Unit (PMU), select the appropriate article below for instructions:
- Resetting the SMU on an iMac
- Resetting the SMU on a Power Mac G5
- Resetting the SMC on a MacBook or MacBook Pro
- Resetting the PMU on a PowerBook or iBook
- Resetting the PMU on Mac mini
10) Read Our Other Articles for More Troubleshooting Steps
If you're having trouble turning on or starting up your computer, select one of the following articles for more troubleshooting steps:
If the tips above don't resolve your issue, here are some other things to try:
1) Make Sure That the Battery Holds a Charge
If you can't turn on your iPod, iPod nano, iPod mini, or iPod shuffle, or your computer doesn't recognize your player when you connect it, your iPod battery may be completely depleted. Connect your iPod to a high-power port on your computer (or to an optional power adapter) and allow it to charge for at least 30 minutes. Then try turning it on again.
2) Check the Hold Switch
Make sure that your iPod isn't on “hold.” Check the Hold switch on your iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini and make sure that it's in the off position (you shouldn't see any bright orange next to the switch). Try turning the switch on and then off again to see if that helps. If you're using an iPod shuffle, take a look at the front status light when you try to turn on the player. If it glows orange, your iPod is on hold; press the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds to turn off Hold (the front status light will quickly blink green three times when Hold is disengaged).
3) Reset Your iPod
If your iPod won't turn on, won't start up fully, or stops responding (it appears to be frozen), reset it. Resetting your iPod will not affect any of your music or files on your iPod, however, you may need to reconfigure some customized settings. To learn how to reset an iPod, iPod nano, iPod mini, or iPod shuffle, see this article.
4) Let the Battery Drain
If your iPod won't turn on after you reset it, in rare cases you may need to let the battery fully drain first. Disconnect your iPod from your computer or power supply and leave it disconnected for about 24 hours. Then reconnect your iPod to your computer or power adapter and reset your iPod.
5) Check Your Connections
If you're now charging an iPod because it wouldn't turn on, make sure that your cable connections are secure if it looks like your iPod isn't charging (again, wait for the battery to charge for at least 30 minutes before you try to turn on your iPod). Try completely disconnecting your cable from your iPod and computer, plugging it back in again on both ends, and then waiting a few minutes for the charging indicator to display. For more help with iPod charging issues, please see this article.
6) Try a Different Cable or Power Adapter
If your iPod still won't charge, try swapping your iPod cable for another if you have a working one available. If your replacement cable resolves the issue, you may want to replace the original. If you're using a power adapter to charge your iPod, try connecting your iPod to a high-power port on your computer instead.
7) Try a Different USB or FireWire Port
If your iPod still won't turn on and you're still having trouble charging it, try connecting your iPod to a different USB port that's located directly on your computer (or another FireWire port, if you're connecting your iPod through FireWire).
8) Update Your iPod Software
Some iPods require a minimum version of iPod Software to work. If you have an iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini and see a folder with an exclamation point icon on its screen, download the latest version of iPod Updater and then update the software on your iPod. For more information about the minimum iPod Software requirements for all iPod models (and to get the latest iPod Updater), see this article.
9) Restore Your iPod
If your iPod still won't turn on or charge, restore it back to its factory settings. Please note that this will completely erase everything on your iPod so back up your files if you can. For instructions about how to reset your iPod, see this article.
10) Read These Articles for More iPod Troubleshooting Steps
If you're having trouble turning on your iPod, iPod nano, iPod mini, or iPod shuffle, check out the following articles for more troubleshooting steps: