Knowledge Base

How to Start Your Mac in Safe Mode

  • 5 August 2014
  • 0 replies

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This information was reviewed and updated by APruneau on March 10th, 2020.


Symptoms Diagnosis Solution

Tech Support sometimes requires a Mac user to start up there Mac in Safe Mode.

To start up in safe mode:

  1. Start or restart your Mac, then immediately press and hold the Shift key. The Apple logo appears on your display. If you don't see the Apple logo, learn what to do.

  2. Release the Shift key when you see the login window. If your startup disk is encrypted with FileVault, you might be asked to log in twice: once to unlock the startup disk, and again to log in to the Finder.


To leave safe mode, restart your Mac without pressing any keys during startup.




  • For the most up to date information on safe mode for Mac click here.
  • Be advised some of your programs may not work in this operating environment, but you can get to all of your files.
  • 10.4 and earlier: Safe Mode will disable your Airport card.
  • You will again be able to access all of your regular programs when you log into your Mac using the normal log in which will require a restart.
  • The only way to exit Safe Mode is to restart the computer.
  • Safe Mode will force the log in screen. If you have "Automatic Log In" turned on you will still be required to enter your password while booting via this method.
  • A full list of OSX Hot-Keys can also be found here.

    Note: If Desktop stalls/hangs you will have to resort to depressing the power button for 5 secs.


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