How to fix Mac not turning on after macOS Big Sur update?

Posted by Tim to Mac Data Recovery Tips on April 8th, 2021

I have a 5 year old MacBook Pro with Retina display that was previously running Sierra. Last night I started the update to Big Sur before I went to bed, and woke up to a computer that seems completely dead. The screen is black, it won't turn on, and I get no lights or sound from it whatsoever when I press or press and hold the power button. The computer is charged, and when plugged in the power cord indicator light is green. But it is showing no signs of life whatsoever. Can anyone help?

Fix Mac won't turn on after macOS Big Sur update

If your Mac won't boot after macOS Big Sur update, or Mac stuck on loading or login screen, you can follow this tutorial to fix the unbootable MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or other Macs. You can also learn how to recover data from unbootable Macs after macOS Big Sur update.

Solution 1: Force restart your Mac

Press and hold the power button till your Mac turns off, then release it. A few seconds later, press it again to turn on your Mac. This might be able to fix the unbootable Mac after installing macOS Big Sur update.

Solution 2: Reset NVRAM or PRAM

If your Mac won't turn on after updating to macOS Big Sur, you can try to reset NVRAM and PRAM to fix the unbootable Mac. Restart your Mac and simultaneously press "Command+Option+P+R"" keys. Check if your Mac can successfully boot into macOS Big Sur after macOS update.

Solution 3: Disable the 3rd party drivers

Disabling the 3rd party drivers may solve your Mac not booting up problem after macOS Big Sur update.

To disable the 3rd party drivers, you need to do:

1. Please press Command + R to start your Mac into macOS recovery mode.

2. Enter Disk Utility.

3. Confirm if your "Macintosh HD - Data" is mounted. If yes, exit Disk Utility and then enter Terminal.

4. Run the command: cd '/Volumes/Macintosh HD – Data/Library/Extensions'>

5. Run the command: ls -al to list the drivers.

6. Enter the command: rm -Rf filename delete the driver file.

7. Restart your Mac and see if your Mac can be booted normally.

Solution 4: Run First Aid

If the only way that you can start up Mac is from macOS Recovery mode, the operating system on your startup volume is not usable again. In this situation, Disk Utility built-in macOS recovery mode is a chance to repair the startup volume.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into macOS recovery mode.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility from macOS Utilities in macOS recovery mode.

Mac recovery mode

Step 3: Select the Macintosh HD from the left panel of Disk Utility.

Step 4: Click First Aid button on the top of Disk Utility window.

Run First Aid in disk utility

First Aid is a utility built-in the Macintosh operating system for checking and repairing file system errors on Mactintosh HD, external hard drive, flash drive, SD card, memory card, USB drive, etc,.

Step 5: Click Run button to start the repair on the Macintosh HD.

If Mac Disk Utility fails to repair the problematic Macintosh HD, you need to recover data from Macintosh HD and then reinstall macOS or restore from a Time Machine backup.

Solution 5: Recover data from Mac that won't turn on

After your Mac won't turn on, the important thing is the data stored in Macintosh HD. If Mac not burning up issue cannot be solved, you have to recover data from unbootable Mac.

After data recovery is successfully done, you can erase the Macintosh HD and reinstall macOS on it.

Solution 6: Restore Mac from a Time Machine backup

If you have a backup of your macOS system, you can restore your macOS system from Time Machine backup with following method:

Step 1: Make sure that your Time Machine backup disk is connected to your Mac computer.

Step 2: Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 3: From the macOS Utilities menu, select "Restore From Time Machine Backup" and click Continue.

Step 4: Select your Time Machine backup disk as the restore source and then click Continue.

Step 5: Select a backup and then click Continue.

Step 6: Select the hard disk as the restore destination and then click Restore to continue.

Step 7: Select the hard disk as the restore destination and then click Restore to continue.

Step 8: Restart your Mac computer when the restore is done.

Solution 7: Erase the drive and then reinstall macOS

The last chance is to erase the drive and then reinstall macOS, but before that, please make sure you have recovered all data from unbootable Mac.

Step 1: Boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode.

Step 2: From the macOS Utilities menu, select "Disk Utility" and click Continue.

Step 3: Select the unbootable Mac hard disk.

Step 4: Choose Erase, complete name, format, scheme, and then click Erase to reformat it.

Step 5: Return to macOS Utilities window in macOS Recovery mode, and select "Reinstall macOS".

Step 6: Choose the erased Mac hard disk and follow the wizard to complete the installation.

Step 7: Reboot your Mac and then check if your Mac can boot.