If you’re a Mac user, you may get a boot issue, or any number of other hardware problems during your normal usage of your Mac. When this rare occasion strikes, don’t head to the Apple Store right away. You follow the troubleshooting options below to find out what’s causing those common Mac problems. Who knows, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself, and this will at least save you the hassle of taking your Mac to the Apple Store.

1. Disconnect Your Accessories

In order to rule out any issues with accessories connected to your Mac, first make sure that all microphones, speakers, external hard drives, and other accessories have been disconnected from your computer. You can leave your keyboard, mouse, and monitor connected before proceeding.

If you verified that your computer works fine without those accessories plugged in, then you can attach your accessories back one at a time, until you find the one that is possibly causing the issue.

2. Run the Apple Hardware Test

Once you have unplugged all your Mac’s accessories, restart your computer while pressing down the [D] key. If you have a newer Mac, you will be immediately launched into the new Apple Diagnostic Tool (older Macs will be booted into the Apple Hardware Test).

If you need assistance on using the Apple Hardware Test, click here.

You will be shown a progress bar and a time estimation while the Apple Diagnostic tests are running. Once the test is finished, you will see a message that will notify you if there were any issues found. If there’s any found, you may want to take note of the reference codes listed. You can give this as reference to AppleCare or Genius Bar members so that they can quickly analyze that part of your computer when you take it in for repair.

Visit the Apple support website for a detailed list of reference codes that can be generated by AHT or Apple Diagnostics. This will give you a better idea of those reference codes as well as their explanations.

3. Apple Diagnostics Keyboard Shortcuts


While your Mac is booting or is within the Apple Diagnostic tool, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to better navigate the system and re-run tests. Be reminded that when using the shutdown or restart keyboard shortcuts, there may be a slight delay before the command takes effect due to the current tests being run.

    • [Option] + [D] – Use this when restarting your Mac to load the Apple Diagnostic test from the Internet
    • [Command] + [G] – Shows the Getting Started guide
    • [Command] + [L] – Displays the language selection screen
    • [Command] + [R] – Re-runs the tests again, often useful to verify a test if issues are found
    • [S] – Shutdown the Mac
    • [R] – Restart the Mac

Perform these steps first, and if you’re still unable to resolve your Mac’s issue, then that’s the time to bring your computer to Apple’s Service Center for a more extensive repair. They will be more than happy that you did.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9:28:05 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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