When you start your Mac, among others, the following screens may appear.
Startup screens may vary depending on the Mac computer model, operating system version (macOS), and other settings. Some screens, such as a prohibition or question mark, indicate that you need to resolve the problem before your Mac can complete startup. On all Mac models, upon completion of startup, the Finder menu bar, desktop, and Dock are displayed.
A circle with a slash indicates that the boot disk you select contains the Mac operating system, but it is not compatible with this Mac. You must reinstall macOS on this drive.
A question mark folder indicates that the selected boot disk is not available or does not contain a Mac operating system. Find out what to do when a blinking question mark appears.
The appearance of a blank screen one or more times during startup is normal. It can be black, gray, blue or a desktop image. If after a few seconds the image does not appear, make sure that the display is turned on, connected and the brightness is not set to zero on it.
The Mac displays the Apple logo when it finds a local boot disk that is built-in or directly connected to it. If you cannot find the local boot disk, the computer searches for a network boot disk. As you continue to run, you will see a progress bar or indicator with or without the Apple logo. This screen can be replaced several times by a blank screen.
If you upgrade or reinstall macOS, this step may take longer. During installation, the progress bar may move more slowly and pause for a longer time. Find out what to do if you feel your Mac is frozen on this screen during installation or immediately after it is completed.
Video: Macbook Pro Power-On Password
When using a network boot disk, your Mac displays a spinning globe instead of the Apple logo. A spinning globe is also displayed when launched from the macOS recovery section over the Internet. As you continue to run, you will see a screen with a progress bar or indicator, which can be replaced several times by a blank screen.
Globe with alert symbol.
A globe with an exclamation mark may appear when your Mac unsuccessfully tries to start using macOS Internet Recovery. Your Mac may not be able to connect to the Internet, or your network configuration is not working with the macOS recovery partition. Try the following solutions.
- Hold down the Command-R keys at startup to try using the built-in macOS recovery system instead of the macOS online recovery feature.
- Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet, or vice versa.
- Connect to the Internet through another network.
- Please try again later, as the problem may be temporary.
If your Mac uses a firmware password, a lock icon appears when you try to start from another drive or volume, such as an external drive or macOS recovery partition. To continue, enter the firmware password.
System Lock PIN
Your Mac asks for a PIN if it has been remotely blocked using the Find feature. Enter a four- or six-digit password to continue.
In the login window, enter your user account password to log in to your Mac. If FileVault is enabled, the drive will also be unlocked. As a background, the default desktop image can be displayed, which, when you select your account, can be replaced by the image you selected.
Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire Symbol
A large Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire symbol on the screen indicates that your Mac is in external drive mode.