Press the power button once to turn your Mac back on. Keep these two keys held down until you see an Apple logo or globe. If prompted, select a Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet as part of startup. Select your startup disk, then click Restart.
What You should Do When you Meet a Flashing Question Mark on Mac
In the Disk Utility window, select your startup disk usually named "Macintosh HD" from the left side of the window. Click the First Aid tab.
Click the Repair Disk button to verify and repair any issues with your startup disk. After your disk is successfully repaired, quit Disk Utility. Choose Startup Disk from the Apple menu. If Disk Utility can't repair your startup disk If Disk Utility finds issues with your startup disk that it can't repair, you might need to reformat it.
The drive needs to be the same size or larger than your current startup disk. It also needs to be a drive that you can erase. Make sure that you select the external disk as the one you want to erase. The flipside of that is, of course, that when things do go wrong, such as your Mac not starting up, we're more likely to be caught out.
But that doesn't have to be the case; there's almost nothing that can go wrong that hasn't gone wrong for several other people at some point in the past — and, in most cases, has been fixed without too much trauma. In some extreme cases, of course, you might have to call for help. There are plenty of authorised service centres ready and able to provide it, as well as the Genius Bars at Apple Stores. But mostly, you can fix the problem yourself.
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Here's some common fixes to try if your Mac refuses to start or boot. The flashing question mark folder is a sign that your Mac is having trouble locating its system folder.
I See a Flashing Question Mark on the Screen When Booting From My SSD (Mac) | United States
If you boot from an external disk, check it's powered on and connected. If you boot from your Mac's internal drive, power it down and on again while holding down the Options key on the keyboard.
When the startup manager appears, if you see your startup disk in the options, select it. If that doesn't work, repeat the process but this time select Recovery HD from the startup manager. Your Mac should now boot from its recovery partition.
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Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. When it opens, choose your startup disk and then click the First Aid tab. Click Repair to verify and repair the disk and then try and start up normally. Still no joy?
Persistent blue or grey screens when you boot up your Mac tend to be caused by a peripheral. Power off the Mac.
The startup drive is always the root or start of the file system in the Mac OS. In the Disk Utility Sidebar, select a volume , and then check the Mount Point listed in the volume information area in the bottom center of the window.
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If you see the forward slash symbol, that volume is being used as the startup drive. Continue selecting volumes in the Disk Utility sidebar until you find the startup volume. Now that you know which volume is being used as the startup disk, you can return to the Startup Disk preference pane and set the correct volume as the startup disk. Safe Boot is a special startup method that forces your Mac to load only the minimum information it needs to run.
Safe Boot also checks the startup drive for disk issues and attempts to repair any problems it encounters. Give Safe Boot a try.
How to fix a Mac that won't start
Once your Mac has booted using Safe Boot, go ahead and restart your Mac to see if the original question mark issue has been resolved. It contains helpful guides to getting your Mac up and running. If you're still having startup issues, try starting from another device. Remember, Time Machine doesn't produce backups you can boot from.
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