How To Use The Safe Boot Option On A Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Use The Safe Boot Option On A Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

BY Dan Manning

Published 5 May 2022


If your Mac is acting up and you’re not sure what to do, the safe boot option may be a good place to start. Safe boot mode starts your Mac up in a very limited state, which can help you determine if a problem is caused by an issue with one of your applications or with the operating system itself. This article will walk you through the steps necessary to use the safe boot option on your Mac.

What Is The Safe Boot Option On A Mac?

The Safe Boot option on a Mac is a special mode that starts up your computer in a limited state. This can be helpful if you’re having problems with your Mac and you’re not sure what’s causing them. Safe boot mode checks for certain issues on your computer and then tries to fix them.

Apple Inc. has released many different versions of the Mac operating system over the years, and each one has had its own Safe Boot option. The Safe Boot option in macOS Sierra is slightly different from the one in earlier versions of the OS.

The Safe Boot option is also referred to as the Safe Mode option by some people. Safe Mode is a similar option that’s available on Windows computers. However, Safe Boot and Safe Mode mean different things on a Mac. Safe Boot pertains to the Mac startup process, while Safe Mode pertains to the way that macOS runs once it’s up and running.

Therefore, if your Mac is freezing or if you’re having problems with startup apps or login items, Safe Boot can help you troubleshoot the issue.

The idea behind Safe Boot is that it can get your Mac running again in instances when your Mac freezes or stops working after problems caused by software installation issues, corrupt preference files, or startup items occur. Safe Boot can also help you resolve issues with certain hardware connected to your Mac.

In some cases, Safe Boot can fix the problem and get your Mac running as usual. In other cases, Safe Boot can help you identify what’s causing the problem so that you can take steps to fix it.

What Happens To My Mac During Safe Boot?

Safe Boot does a few things:

– It checks the directory of your startup disk for any software that might be causing problems.

– It loads only required kernel extensions. Kernel extensions are pieces of software that allow the operating system to communicate with hardware connected to your Mac. By loading only required kernel extensions, Safe Boot can help you identify kernel extensions that might be causing problems.

– It disables user-installed fonts.

– It deletes font caches, which are temporary files used by apps to load fonts quickly. If a font cache is corrupted, it can cause problems with how fonts are displayed.

– It runs a Safe Boot disk check. This checks your startup disk for errors and attempts to repair them. Safe Boot also verifies the directory structure of your startup disk.

What Happens To My Mac If It’s In Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is designed to help you troubleshoot issues on your Mac. When your Mac is in Safe Mode, you can:

– Access all of your files

– Use all of your apps

– Connect to the Internet

However, there are some things that Safe Mode doesn’t allow you to do, such as:

– Play audio or video content

– Use your Mac in Target Display Mode

Safe Mode also disables some features and settings on your Mac. For example, Safe Mode:

– Temporarily disables startup items and login items

– Delays the startup of kernel extensions

– Prevents automatic graphic switching

How To Start Safe Boot And Run On Safe Mode

Follow the steps below to start Safe Boot and run your Mac in Safe Mode:

1. Turn off your Mac.

2. Press and hold the Shift key.

3. Turn on your Mac.

4. Once you see the login window or the desktop, you can release the Shift key.

Once your Mac is already in Safe Mode, you can now proceed with the troubleshooting process. Safe Mode can be quite helpful especially when you’re trying to fix issues with your Mac. It’s also a good way to see if the problem is caused by a third-party software or not.

You can also reinstall macOS in Safe Mode. This can be done by going to the Mac App Store and then downloading and installing the latest version of macOS.

What Is Secure Boot?

Secure Boot is a security feature that’s available on newer Mac models. It’s designed to help make sure that your Mac can only boot up from a legitimate, trusted operating system.

Secure Boot is different from Safe Boot because it checks for changes to the startup process and allows you to change the settings if needed. While Safe Boot is more on the lines of a “safe mode” that you can use to troubleshoot your Mac, Secure Boot is more like a security measure to help protect your Mac from malware.

You should use Secure Boot if you’re worried about your Mac being infected with malware. It’s a good idea to turn on Secure Boot and leave it on all the time.

To use Secure Boot, you first need to turn on the option in your Mac’s System Preferences.

1. Go to System Preferences

2. Next, go to Security & Privacy

3. Click on FileVault

4. Click the padlock icon in the bottom-left corner. Enter your password when prompted.

5. Click the “Turn On Secure Boot” button. Your Mac will reboot and you’ll see a new “Security” tab in System Preferences.

6. Click the “turn on” button under Secure Boot. Your Mac will now only boot from signed operating system software and approved kernel extensions.

If you try to boot from an unsigned piece of software, your Mac will refuse to do so and you’ll see a message saying that “This version of Mac OS X is not supported on this platform.” If you see this message, it means that your Mac is successfully booting in Safe Mode.

While Secure Boot is useful, it is not intended to be made as a replacement for Safe Boot. Remember that you should only use Secure Boot if you’re confident that the software you’re trying to boot is signed and approved. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and use Safe Boot.

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