Every operating system can crash at one time or another. While it's safe to say that macOS is more stable than Windows, it can still be affected by issues that prevent your computer from booting up. In such cases, you might need to boot your Mac from a USB flash drive to fix the problem. This article shows you two ways to boot Mac from external USB stick, as well as some troubleshooting tips in case Mac won't boot from the target USB.
Boot Mac from USB Option l: Startup Manager
Macally USB Wired Mouse with 3 Button, Scroll Wheel, & 5 Foot Long Cord, Compatible with Apple Macbook Pro / Air, iMac, Mac Mini, Laptops, Desktop Computer, & Windows PC (TURBO) by Macally. Apple Magic Mouse 2. Apple Magic Mouse 2 is one of the best mouse for MacBook Pro. It's our pick for the best compact mouse for Macs, and connects via Bluetooth, so you can quickly hook it up to your MacBook even if you don't have any free ports. There's also an included USB receiver, which can be inserted into another Mac, or even a Windows PC or laptop, and you can easily switch between the two computers without having to. You can connect a wireless mouse to your Mac in a few different ways, the two most common being via Bluetooth or via a USB dongle. Depending on the type of mouse you have, you may need to sync your.
If your Mac won't boot up normally, you can set it to boot from a different drive, such as a USB stick containing macOS installation files in bootable format. The drive will have to contain a version of the OS that is compatible with the Mac. As long as you have the bootable installation USB, you can start your Mac from the USB by accessing the Startup Manager. Here are the steps to be followed:
Step 1: Insert the bootable USB into Mac and power it on.
Step 2: As soon as the startup process begins, hold down the Option (alt) key and keep it depressed until you see the Startup Manager on your screen. If there is a firmware password on your Mac, hold down the Option key until you're asked to enter that password.
Step 3: You will now see the various startup disk options, and your USB will be listed there. If you click on the Up arrow right below the icon for the USB, the computer will only startup once using this disk. If you press and hold down the Control key while making your selection, it will be saved, and your computer will boot from the USB every time, as long as it is left in the computer.
At this point, you can also use the Mac installation disk to boot your Mac from. It will appear as EFI Boot, and it works on all computers running macOS 10.9 or higher.
Boot Mac from USB Option 2: Safe Mode/Recovery Mode
As an alternative, you can start your Mac in Safe Mode (Recovery Mode). This will allow the system to automatically detect and repair directory issues. Safe Mode will only allow required kernel extensions to load, preventing login items and startup items to load automatically. It can also help you isolate the issue depending on whether or not the issue goes away in Safe Mode. If the issues you have during normal startup don't show up in safe mode, they are most likely fixed. That means you can reboot normally and your system should be back to normal.
Step 1: Start your Mac and hold down the Shift key. You will see the Apple logo on your screen.
Step 2: When you see the login screen, you can release the Shift key and login to your Mac.
Step 3: To check whether your Mac has booted into Safe Mode, click on the Apple logo on the top left and then on About this Mac. In the window that opens, click on System Report… You should be able to see this:
How to Fix Mac Won't Boot from USB Drive
Sometimes Mac won't boot from USB as expected. If you are unable to select a different startup disk, it's possible that your disk is not showing up in Startup Manager. If you try Method 1 above but don't see your USB drive listed there, it could mean one of the following problems:
Compatibility: It is possible that the version of macOS or Mac OS X that you have on the USB drive is not compatible with the hardware. That means you won't be able to see it in the Startup Manager so, of course, you won't be able to boot from it. In such cases, you may need to burn a compatible macOS version on USB drive in order to be able to boot Mac from it.
Startup Security Utility: In certain cases where your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip (2018 and later devices), it may be your Startup Security Utility settings that are preventing you from booting from USB. In this situation, restart your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys when you see the Apple logo. This will put your Mac into Recovery mode. In macOS Utilities, go to Utilities >Startup Security Utility and sign in as admin. Under External Boot, select the second option - Allow Booting from External Media.
Option ROM Firmware: Another known issue is that Option ROM firmware will not load in Startup Manager until you press certain keys manually. To do this, use Method 1 to access Startup Manager. Once you are there, press Option-Shift-Command-Period. You should now be able to see the USB drive. This is not exactly a problem as much as a feature. If the USB contains Option ROM firmware, you will need to press those keys everytime to boot from your pen drive.
These two methods and the troubleshooting tips should allow you to boot from USB or in Safe Mode so you can then isolate the problem that's preventing your Mac from booting up normally.
Your device isn't recognized by your Mac
Follow these steps if your mouse, keyboard, or trackpad isn't recognized by your Mac.
Make sure that your wireless mouse, keyboard, or trackpad is turned on
The Magic Mouse and Magic Mouse 2 have a slide switch on the bottom of the device. Slide the switch to turn on the device. On the Magic Mouse, the green LED briefly lights up. On the Magic Mouse 2, green coloring is visible beneath the switch.
The Magic Keyboard, Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, and Magic Trackpad 2 have a slide switch on the back edge of the device. Slide the switch to turn on the device (green coloring becomes visible). Earlier Apple Wireless Keyboard models have a power button on the right side of the device. Press the button and you see a green LED on the top of the device, near the button.
When you turn these devices on, they appear as connected in Bluetooth preferences and in the Bluetooth menu in your menu bar. If a device doesn't appear there, make sure it's charged or replace it batteries, and make sure it's been paired with your Mac.
Make sure that your device has been set up to work with your Mac
Learn how to pair your Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Trackpad 2 and earlier models of Apple wireless devices with your Mac.
Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on
Use your Mac notebook's built-in trackpad or a USB mouse to choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on.
Refer to the table below for more information on determining the Bluetooth status. If the Bluetooth icon doesn't appear, or if the menu bar status continues to indicate that Bluetooth is off, restart your computer and then try to turn Bluetooth on again.
|Bluetooth menu icon||Bluetooth status|
|Bluetooth is on, but no wireless devices are connected to the Mac. See the Make sure that your wireless mouse, keyboard, or trackpad is turned on section of this article.|
|Bluetooth is on and at least one wireless device is connected.|
|When this icon flashes, at least one wireless device has a low battery. Click the Bluetooth icon to identify the affected device, then recharge the device or replace its batteries.|
|Bluetooth is off. Click the Bluetooth icon using a USB mouse or built-in trackpad and select Turn Bluetooth On.|
|Bluetooth is offline or unavailable. Restart your Mac. If the Bluetooth status doesn’t change, disconnect all USB devices and restart your Mac again.|
Make sure that your devices are charged
Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, and Magic Trackpad 2 have built-in rechargeable batteries. You can charge these devices by connecting them to a Mac or a USB power adapter using a Lightning to USB Cable. For the fastest battery charging performance, be sure your device is switched on when connected to the Lightning to USB Cable.
To check the battery level of these devices, click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, then select your device by name. If the battery level of any device is low, recharge the device. If the device isn’t showing, make sure the device is turned using the steps outlined above.
Turn the device off and on
If your Apple wireless mouse, keyboard, or trackpad isn't recognized by your Mac after following the tips above, try turning the wireless device off, waiting a few seconds, and then turning it back on.
Your mouse or keyboard intermittently stops responding
- Click the mouse or trackpad or press a key on the keyboard to reconnect the device to the computer. It might take a moment for the device to respond.
- Check for wireless interference.
Your mouse doesn't scroll up or down or side to side
If you can't use your mouse to scroll through a web page or document, make sure that you're using the correct Multi-Touch gestures and have set up your scrolling speed preferences correctly.
Your mouse or trackpad doesn't track as expected
Apple Wireless Mouse, Magic Mouse, and Magic Mouse 2 can be used on most smooth surfaces. If tracking issues occur, try these options:
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Mouse. Set the ”Tracking speed” slider to adjust how fast the pointer moves as you move the mouse.
- Try using a different surface to see if tracking improves.
- Turn the mouse over and inspect the sensor window. Use compressed air to gently clean the sensor window if dust or debris is present.
- If multiple Bluetooth wireless devices are in use nearby, try turning them off one at a time to see if the issue improves.
Learn more what to do if your trackpad isn't tracking correctly.
Your keyboard has one or more keys that don't respond
Best Wireless Mouse For Mac
Use the Keyboard Viewer to test whether the keyboard keys are responding correctly when they are pressed.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Keyboard.
- Click the Input Sources tab.
- Make sure that the keyboard language that you use is listed on the left side. If it's not, click the add button (+) and choose from the languages that appear.
- Select the ”Show Input menu in menu bar” checkbox.
- Click the Keyboard tab, then select ”Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar” checkbox, if present.
- From the Input menu in the menu bar, choose Show Keyboard Viewer. The Keyboard Viewer showing the keyboard layout appears on your display.
- Type the key on the keyboard that doesn’t respond and see if the corresponding key highlights on the Keyboard Viewer. If it does, that key is functioning correctly.
Usb Mouse For Macbook
If you enable the Mouse Keys feature, many keys might not respond as you expect. To turn off Mouse keys, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility. Choose Mouse & Trackpad from the list on the left side, then then deselect the Enable Mouse Keys checkbox.