Problems That Prevent You from Using Your MacBook Pro
If your MacBook Pro doesn’t respond or the pointer doesn’t move
On rare occasions, an application might “freeze” on the screen. Mac OS X provides a way
to quit a frozen application without restarting your computer.
To force an application to quit:
Press Command (x)-Option-Esc or choose Apple () > Force Quit from the menu bar.
The Force Quit Applications dialog appears with the application selected.
Click Force Quit.
The application quits, leaving all other applications open.
If you need to, you can also restart the Finder from this dialog.
Next, restart the computer to make sure the problem is entirely cleared up.
If the problem occurs frequently, choose Help > Help Center from the menu bar at the
top of the screen. Search for the word “freeze” to get help for times when the computer
freezes or doesn’t respond.
If the problem occurs only when you use a particular application, check with the
application’s manufacturer to see if it’s compatible with your computer. To get support
and contact information for the software that comes with your MacBook Pro, go to
If you know an application is compatible, you might need to reinstall your computer’s
system software. See “Repairing, Restoring, or Reinstalling Mac OS X Software” on
Problem, Meet Solution
If your MacBook Pro freezes during startup, or you see a flashing question mark,
or the screen is dark and the sleep indicator light is glowing steadily (not in sleep)
The flashing question mark usually means that the computer can’t find the system
software on the hard disk or any disks attached to the computer.
Wait a few seconds. If the computer doesn’t soon start up, shut it down by pressing
and holding the power (®) button for about 8 to 10 seconds. Disconnect all external
peripherals and try restarting by pressing the power (®) button while holding down
the Option key. When your computer starts up, click the hard disk icon, and then
click the right arrow. After the computer starts up, open System Preferences and click
Startup Disk. Select a local Mac OS X System folder.
If the problem occurs frequently, you might need to reinstall your computer’s system
software. See “Repairing, Restoring, or Reinstalling Mac OS X Software” on page 56.
If your MacBook Pro doesn’t turn on or start up
Try the following suggestions in order until your computer turns on:
Make sure the power adapter is plugged into the computer and into a functioning
power outlet. Be sure to use the 85W MagSafe Power Adapter that came with your
MacBook Pro. If the power adapter stops charging and you don’t see the indicator
light on the MagSafe connector turn on when you plug in the power cord, try
unplugging and replugging the power cord to reseat it, or try another power outlet.
Check whether the battery needs to be recharged. Press the small button on the left
side of your computer. You should see one to eight lights indicating the battery’s
level of charge. If a single indicator light is on, connect your power adapter to
recharge. For more information about battery indicator lights, see page 56.
Problem, Meet Solution
If the problem persists, close all open documents and quit all applications. Return
the computer to its factory settings (while still preserving your files) by pressing
the left Shift key, left Option (alt) key, left Control key, and the power (®) button
simultaneously for five seconds until the computer restarts.
If you recently installed additional memory, make sure that it is correctly installed and
is compatible with your computer. See whether removing and reinstalling the old
memory allows the computer to start up (see page 45).
Press the power (®) button and immediately hold down the Command (x), Option,
P, and R keys simultaneously until you hear the startup sound a second time to reset
the parameter RAM (PRAM).
If you still can’t start up your MacBook Pro, see “Learning More, Service, and Support”
on page 66 for information about contacting Apple for service.
If the screen suddenly goes black or your MacBook Pro freezes
Try restarting your MacBook Pro.
Unplug any devices that are connected to your MacBook Pro, except the power adapter.
Press the power (®) button to restart the system.
Let the battery charge to at least 10 percent before plugging in any external devices
and resuming your work.
To see how much the battery has charged, click the Battery (
) status icon in the
menu bar or check the battery indicator lights on the left side of your MacBook Pro.
The screen might also darken if you have energy saver features set for the battery.
Problem, Meet Solution
If you press the battery button, and all battery indicator lights flash five
Your battery needs to be replaced. Contact an Apple Retail Store or an Apple
Authorized Service Provider.
If you press the battery button, and the battery indicator lights flash from left to
right and then from right to left, five times in a row
Your battery is not recognized. Contact an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized
If you have trouble ejecting a disc
Quit any applications that might be using the disc and try again. If that doesn’t work,
restart the computer and then immediately press and hold the trackpad.