Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode

Learn how to start up Mac OS X 10.2 or later in Safe Mode.

To start up into Safe Mode (to “Safe Boot”), do this:

  1. Be sure the computer is shut down.
  2. Press the power button.
  3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key.
    Tip: The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone but not before.
  4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple and progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

During the startup in Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.9, you will see “Safe Boot” on the Mac OS X startup screen.

During the startup in Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you will see “Safe Boot” on the login window, which appears even if you normally log in automatically.

To leave Safe Mode in any version of Mac OS X, restart the computer normally, without holding any keys during startup.

If your computer won’t start up in Mac OS X at all, see “Your Mac won’t start up in Mac OS X“.

Article reprinted from Apple.com.

2 thoughts on “Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode”

  1. OK I have a mac osx.It turns on but wont start up.I Just get a blue screen.So I tried to start up in safe mode.But all it dose is shuts its self off.What do I do now?

  2. Try this, stick in a Mac OS X CD/DVD and launch the CD/DVD by pressing “C” and then running Disk Utility on the Mac’s HDD. It seems like the harddrive *might* be dying…

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