Startup screens can vary by Mac model, operating system (macOS), and more. Some screens, such as the prohibitory symbol or question mark, mean that you need to resolve an issue before your Mac can finish starting up. For all Mac models, startup is complete when you see the Finder menu bar, desktop, and Dock.
Blank (empty) screen
It's normal for a blank screen to appear once or more during startup. It can be black, gray, blue, or a desktop picture. If an image doesn't appear after a few moments, make sure that your display is turned on, connected, and has its brightness turned up.
Your Mac shows an Apple logo when it finds a local startup disk, which is a startup disk built into your Mac or directly connected to your Mac. If it can't find one, it attempts to use a network startup disk, if available. As startup continues, you should see a progress bar or indicator , with or without the Apple logo. This screen might alternate with a blank screen several times.
If you're updating or reinstalling macOS, this stage can take much longer to complete. The progress bar might move more slowly and pause for longer periods as installation progresses. Learn what to do if your Mac seems to be stuck on this screen during or immediately after installation.
When using a network startup disk, your Mac shows a spinning globe instead of an Apple logo. A spinning globe also appears when starting up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. As startup continues, you should see a progress bar or indicator , which might alternate with a blank screen several times.
Globe with alert symbol
You might see a globe with an exclamation point when your Mac is unsuccessfully attempting to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. Your Mac might not be able to connect to the Internet, or it might be using a network configuration that doesn't work with macOS Recovery. Try these solutions:
- Use Command-R at startup to attempt to use the built-in macOS Recovery system instead of macOS Recovery over the Internet.
- Connect to the Internet using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, or vice versa.
- Connect to the Internet from a different network.
- Try again later, because the issue might be temporary.
System lock PIN code
Your Mac asks for a PIN code when it has been remotely locked using Find My. Enter the four-digit or six-digit passcode to continue.
Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire symbol
A large Thunderbolt , USB , or FireWire symbol onscreen means that your Mac is in target disk mode.
- Learn what to do if your Mac doesn't turn on or finish starting up.
- Learn about Mac startup sounds and POST RAM error codes.
- When starting up from Windows using Boot Camp, your Mac doesn't show an Apple logo or the other screens in this article.