MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On But Is Charging: 8 Easy Methods

Facing the puzzling scenario where your MacBook Pro won’t turn on but is charging? This common yet perplexing issue has left many MacBook users scratching their heads.

But what if we unravel the mystery behind this technological enigma, share quick fixes, and easy, yet advanced troubleshooting?

It’ll be a smooth ride for you to fix the problem!

In this post, we bring solutions to help you to enhance your experience with your Mac Pro. Let’s bring your trusted MacBook Pro back to life.

MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On But Is Charging : What Does It Mean?

You are charging your MacBook Pro as usual. It’s idle and shows that it’s charging. But when you try to turn it on, it doesn’t.

At first glance, it may look like a minor inconvenience. But it’s a sign that something’s amiss that needs your attention.

What Are The Possible Causes of This Technical Glitch?

There may be lots of reasons behind it, but the below 10 are the most common:

  1. You took your laptop brightness to zero unknowingly.
  2. Insecure power connection that disrupts power flow.
  3. Damaged charging accessories, so power flows through them.
  4. Aging or damaged batteries can fail to power up the laptop.
  5. Temporary software conflicts may hinder startup.
  6. Internal component failures also can prevent booting.
  7. Corrupted essential files can stall the system.
  8. Unexpected electrical spikes can damage internal circuits.
  9. Excessive heat can trigger safety shutdowns.
  10. Incomplete or interrupted updates can cause startup failures.

Initial Quick Fixes When Your MacBook Pro Won’t Turn On But Is Charging

Some of the simplest checks are ok to solve issues, if there’s nothing serious. Let’s see them before going to complex solutions.

Method 1: Check the Blank Screen

Brightness adjustment is the easiest way to fix this issue for keeping accidental zero brightness. It takes only a few seconds, so try it first.

  • Step 1: Use the sun icon keys on the keyboard to adjust your laptop brightness to ensure brightness isn’t set to the lowest.
Use the sun icon keys to adjust laptop brightness
  • Step 2: After adjusting brightness, turn off your MacBook. Disconnect all external devices. Restart to check for any display changes.
Shut Down Your MacBook Pro
  • Step 3:  On restart, listen for fan noise, beeps, or any whirring as a sign of damage.

Decision: If you don’t listen to any sounds, and your MacBook Pro turns on, most probably it was a brightness adjustment issue. But, if you listen to sound without display, it indicates a possible screen issue. In that case, you need professional help.

Method 2: Check Power Connections

A quick review of your MacBook’s power connections can often reveal simple solutions.

  • Step 1: Check the charger and ensure it is firmly connected to both the MacBook and the power outlet.
  • Step 2: When checking, if you find there is dust or debris in the charging port. It can hinder connection. So gently clean with a soft microfiber cloth or a cotton bar.
  • Step 3: Alsolook for damage or wear on both ends of the charging cable.
Check Power Connections

Decision: If your MacBook Pro powers on after checking and adjusting the power connections, the issue was likely with these connections. So next time you charge the laptop, be aware of it.

Method 3: Use a Different Power Outlet or Adapter

Another fast solution is to use a different power outlet than your usual one.

  • Step 1: Sometimes, the issue is with the power source. Test your MacBook Pro with a different electrical outlet.
  • Step 2: If available, use a different charger and cable to rule out adapter issues. Because compatibility and condition of the adapter are key.

Decision: If changing the power outlet or charger and cable solved the issue, the problem was there. So, to prevent future problems, avoid using damaged or unreliable power sources and cables.

Use a Different Power Outlet or Adapter

In that case, we suggest you to immediately buy a new one, and here the reliable shop is Apple. From there you can collect the authentic charging accessories.

Method 4: Check Your MacBook’s Battery Health

Battery health is pivotal in your MacBook Pro’s performance, particularly when you face the issue like not turning on despite charging.

In that case, you should check the battery health following the below steps:

  • Step 1: Go to the Apple menu, select “About This Mac.”
Go to the Apple menu, select About This Mac
  • Step 2: Click “System Report,” then choose “Power” under “Hardware.”
Click System Report then choose Power under Hardware
  • Step 3: Find “Cycle Count” and “Condition” in the “Battery Information” Section.
Find Cycle Count and Condition in the Battery Information Section

After checking, here is what you can interpret from the Data

  • Cycle Count: It reflects the number of charge cycles. A count close to or above 1000 indicates an aging battery that needs possible replacement.
  • Condition: If the status is other than “Normal” (like “Replace Soon,” “Replace Now,” or “Service Battery”), your battery’s health is declining.

Decision: If you find that the battery is getting aged, the best solution is to replace it.

Method 5: Perform a Power Cycle

Power cycling can reset your MacBook’s power consumption system. So often it resolves startup issues.

  • Step 1: Press and hold the power button for at least ten seconds with your MacBook Pro connected to the charger. Because it’ll simulate a battery disconnect.
Perform a Power Cycle
  • Step 2: Then release the power button and wait a few seconds before pressing it again to turn on your MacBook Pro. This process will reset system errors and resolve the startup issue.

Decision: Successfully starting your MacBook Pro after a power cycle indicates a temporary system glitch was the culprit.

However, if the problem persists, it might indicate a more serious hardware or software issue. It needs further investigation or professional assistance.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

If these techniques won’t solve your issue, let’s move into more complex solutions.

Method 6: Booting in Safe Mode

If the issue is related to software, booting your MacBook Pro in safe mode helps you fix the issue.

Step 1: Shut Down Your MacBook Pro

Ensure your device is completely turned off.

Shut Down Your MacBook Pro

Step 2: Power On with Shift Key

Press the power button and immediately hold down the Shift key.

Step 3: Release Shift Key

When you see the login window, release the Shift key.

Step 5: Observe the Boot Process

In Safe Mode, your MacBook will perform checks and repair disk errors. This process may take some time.

Step 6: Check Functionality

Once fully booted, check if your MacBook Pro functions normally.

Step 7: Restart As Usual

Exit Safe Mode by restarting your MacBook Pro without holding any keys.

Decision: If your MacBook Pro starts successfully in Safe Mode, it suggests software issues are likely causing the startup problem. If problems persist even in Safe Mode, maybe the problem is anywhere else.

Method 7: Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

The SMC is integral to many system processes in your MacBook Pro. Resetting it can resolve issues related to power, battery, and other system functionalities.

Step 1: Disconnect Power Source

Unplug your MacBook Pro from its charger and any peripherals.

Step 2: Perform SMC Reset

Simultaneously hold down the Shift+Control+Option+power buttons for ten seconds. This key combination resets the SMC.

Step 3: Release and Reconnect

Let go of all the keys. Reconnect your MacBook Pro to its charger.

Step 4: Power On

Press the power button to start your MacBook Pro.

Decision: If an SMC error was preventing startup, your MacBook Pro should now boot up. Once it starts, you may need to adjust some hardware settings that were reset.

Method 8: Resetting NVRAM or PRAM

Resetting PRAM/NVRAM, which stores your Mac’s key system settings, can often resolve your MacBooks startup issue.

Step 1: Shut Down Your MacBook Pro

Make sure your MacBook Pro is completely turned off.

Step 2: Start with Key Combination

Press the power button and immediately hold down the Command, Option (Alt), P, and R keys simultaneously.

Step 3: Wait for Restarts

Hold these keys until the MacBook Pro restarts. For best results, let it restart twice.

Step 4: Release Keys

After the second restart, release the keys.

Decision: Your MacBook Pro should now boot normally if the problem was related to these settings.

Note for Macs with M1 Silicon Chip:

M1 models handle NVRAM differently. While they have NVRAM, it can’t be reset traditionally. Instead, parameter settings are adjusted using terminal commands.

When To Seek Professional Help If Your MacBook Won’t Turn on or Charge?

Sometimes, despite your best DIY efforts, your MacBook Pro’s issues are a call for the pros.

Knowing when to wave the white flag for expert assistance can save you from headaches and potentially further damage.

Here are the signs you need professional help:

  • Stubborn Power-On Issues: If your MacBook Pro remains unresponsive after all your troubleshooting efforts, it’s time to call in the cavalry.
  • Battery Gone Rogue: A swollen battery isn’t just bad news; it’s a safety hazard. This one needs immediate expert attention.

Options for Professional Support

  • Apple to the Rescue: Reach out to Apple Support. They’re the wizards of all Apple products, so from here you get the best service.
  • Authorized Experts: Apple Stores and authorized service providers are your go-to for trusted repairs with genuine parts.
  • Third-Party Heroes: If your warranty’s a distant memory, you should ask for help from a reputable third-party service. For this, we suggest you do your homework  by checking their reputation. Because it should be as solid as your MacBook.

Prevention Tips Not To Face The Same Issue In Future

To sidestep such future problems with your MacBook Pro, a bit of regular TLC goes a long way. Here’s how to keep it in top shape:

Tips for Maintaining MacBook Pro

  • A soft cloth keeps the keyboard, trackpad, and vents dust-free. So,  regularly clean them and don’t forget to clear out those ports too.
  • Store your MacBook in a cool, dry spot. Avoid storing it under extreme temperatures. It’s a Big no-no.
  • A sturdy case and careful handling save your laptop from physical damage. Be extra careful about the cords, and cables because they’re trip hazards and port stressors.
  • Keep an eye on background apps with Activity Monitor. A cluttered system is a slow system.

Best Practices for Battery Care for your Macbook

  • Let your battery breathe a bit with optimal charging practice. Keep in mind, constant full charges or drains aren’t ideal.
  • Stick to Apple’s gear or trusted third-party chargers. Your battery will thank you.
  • Keep your MacBook cool because excessive heat harms battery life.

Staying Updated with System Updates

  • New macOS versions often mean better performance. So you should be up-to-date.
  • Always backup your data before updates. Better safe than sorry.
  • You shouldn’t immediately major updates at first. Let others test it and then after their feedback you update.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if my MacBook Pro won’t turn on black screen?

First, try a simple reset. Hold down the power button for about 10 seconds to turn off your MacBook, even if it seems off already. Then, press and release the power button to see if it starts up.

If the screen stays black, give that power button another long press for a full shutdown. It’s a quick trick that often does the trick.

How do I know my MacBook won’t turn on but is charging?

Keep an eye on the charger’s indicator light. When you plug in your MacBook, a green light means the battery is fully charged. If it’s amber, your MacBook is still charging.

Same with MagSafe 3, like MacBook Air models from 2022 onwards and the 14-inch MacBook Pro from 2021. This little light is your best clue to what’s happening with your battery.

Final Advice

With the right approach, you can troubleshoot the MacBook Pro won’t turn on, but is charging.

From simple checks to more involved steps, we’ve covered a range of solutions. Follow the steps above to solve the issue.

If it isn’t solved with DIY approaches, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Your MacBook Pro is a valuable tool for your professional life. It’s not wise to ignore its problem.

Once solved, follow the preventive and maintenance tips to avoid it in the future.

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