Macbook Air Won’t Turn On

What do you do if your Macbook Air won’t turn on? The ultra-sleek form factor of the Macbook Air is sexy. Unfortunately, the design makes it difficult to fix problems should they arise. If your Macbook Air won’t turn on, these tips can help you find and resolve issues and get your laptop working again. Symptoms could include no video, no power, no fans or no hard drive sounds. Try the following Macbook Air troubleshooting tips before taking the laptop in for repair.

Macbook Air Won't Turn On

Try The Following If Macbook Air Won’t Turn On Or Boot Up

As always, do not do anything that will void your warranty if your Macbook is still under agreement. Generally, Macbook Air computers have very few consumer-serviceable parts, so do not open the case or you will likely void that warranty. Instead, follow these tips if your Macbook Air won’t boot up:

  • Disconnect any external devices, such as mice, external hard drives, printers, hubs, etc and see if the Macbook Air powers on after that. If it does, try to isolate the device that was causing the issue and remove it from use.
  • Unplug the power adapter from the wall and the Macbook. Wait a few minutes, then plug it back into the wall, then back into the computer. Confirm the connection is seated properly and there is no debris in the power port to prevent a good connection.
  • Try restarting the laptop by pressing the control key, the command key, and the power button simultaneously and hold for three seconds.
  • Reset the PRAM (parameter random access memory). Turn on the computer and then press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys until you hear a second start-up chime.
  • Reset the SMC (System Management Controller). Press the left Shift key, along with the Control, Option and power button one time.

Macbook Air Won’t Turn On – Get It Serviced

If your Macbook air won’t turn on, and if none of these techniques work, you’ll need to make an appointment with Apple. Look for a local Apple Store near you.

Category: Mac

About the Author ()

David is a tech professional with over fifteen years of experience in the IT fields of hardware, software and system administration.

Comments (25)

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  1. Maria says:

    My brand new Macbook Air would not turn on and I took it to a mac store and they claim it has liquid damage! They offer to fix the logic card for 11,000 pesos and I paid 15,000 for the machine 3 weeks ago!! I cannot believe this is happening! I have had several apple products including my previous macbook (which lasted 4 years) and have ALWAYS had excellent results and customer service. UNTIL NOW! I have NEVER put any liquids near my mac air and I just do not know what to do??
    Please leave a comment if anyone out there has information on how to go about getting a different answer/response from apple.
    Thank You!

  2. Rodolfo C. Nerez Jr. says:

    Last saturday march 14, i used my mac air 11″ for just a regular internet…and when few hours it said that it is using the battery reserved…i think i just have forgotten to shut it down or sleep it…i just suddenly close it right after the warning….monday march 16 that i charged it again but didnt turn on the screen…tried pressing the power on button few times but i can only hear a hissing sound of the unit and i can feel the unit is heating up so i press again the power button and the heating stopped…what should i do?pls help me…

    • Dave says:

      Your tried all of the options in the article and none of them worked?

      • Taylor M. Winters says:

        Hey Dave, I was reading some of your posts regarding problems with a macbook air. I’m looking at purchasing one on craigslist and I don’t want to buy a machine that is inoperable or beyond repair. Maybe you could e-mail me and we can discuss it if you have time, I’d greatly appreciate it.

  3. ak says:

    Thanks for this information! It helped me get my MBA up and running again. I have a question though: what worked was resetting the SMC. Does the fact that I had to do that maybe point to a larger (possible) problem with the computer?

  4. ali says:

    i was trying to change the admin password on my mac book air
    i turned on n pressed cmd+s
    i tried through commands to remove the password, mistakenly i pressed different keys
    now im trying to turn it on, its not
    i tried all the above mentioned options, but no luck
    what should i do????

  5. Lucia says:

    OMG thank you sooo much for your advise, my macbook just turned on perfectly ! thank you thank you !

  6. Jess says:

    Dave.. Just wanted to say thank you… My MacBook Air that is only a couple months old wouldn’t start up… Your advice was the only legit information I found.. You are very much appreciated!

  7. deb says:

    Darn. None of this worked for me. It will only go as far as showing a spinning circle when I try these different methods of turning it on. It has not been dropped or gotten wet. I have no idea what is wrong with this thing.

  8. Dave says:

    Deb, if you have an install disk try booting to the install disk and run the disk utility. That might fix it. Repairing permissions is a good place to start in this case.

  9. AJ says:

    Have Macbook Air 2008; barely used – grand daughter killed it – nobody will admit to anything.

    Opened it up and while fiddling, noticed the Magsafe board was seated a little crooked, adjusted it and thing charged and then lit up. Updated the software, left it running and it worked for about 2 weeks, then died again. That was 3 months ago – had not tried since then. Last night charged it up (selling for scrap) it took a charge, but still no power. Now, magsafe is lit green, but still no power, so sounds, no lights.

  10. Karan says:

    The command, control and power key hit simultaneously and held down worked for me! (They had to be initially pressed down simultaneously, though, and i got it only after a few tries) Thanks so much, was totally freaking out cos its a one week old company laptop! Lol :))

  11. Mary S says:

    My MacBook Air will not power on . When I press power I hear a noise like a hesitant engine for a better lack of words. Please help

  12. TC says:

    Control, option, command worked for me! Thanks so much for your advice!

  13. Renee says:

    Thank you so much for having these instructions readily available! I have two sons-in-law we ask questions of regularly, but I hate to if I can figure it out myself. My MBA was acting strangely (icons along the bottom just “bounced” rather than opening the desired application. When I tried shutting down, it said I had to Force Quit, so I did, but the screen just went gray and stayed on.

    That’s when I came to this site via another computer. The Control-Command-Power got my MBA to shut off completely and, after a few minutes, it came back on just fine. We recently added a new wireless printer. Could that have caused the problem? I just used it to print a document and it did fine.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Renee. I don’t think the wireless printer caused this. These things just happen. If the problem comes back, then you’ll need to start troubleshooting more in depth.

  14. Wendy says:

    I put my MacBook Air is sleep mode by shutting the top. When I went back to use it, it would not turn on. I left it for a few days. Came back, tried all of the above suggestions. It did not work. Then I tried the control, command, power, it came on. It said I had 55% battery. I plugged in the charger to charge over night. It stayed on only about 5 min. The charger light turned green. I know it is not charged and again will not turn on. Could it be a power plug issue?

  15. curt says:

    Had to press and hold down the command, control, and power keys simultaneously. It worked. Thanks and GBU

  16. VS says:

    Hi guys, no key combination works for me. MacBook Air is dead and not booting. Black screen, no sign if any activity inside, no sound. Battery is fully charged, the charger light green. Any advise?

  17. sam says:

    I have had my mac book air for 6 months now and yesterday after listening to some music outside before going out I put it in my friends car till I came home. I came home got it out and went to bed, the next morning it would nit turn on, so I charged it, still doesn’t turn on, what should I do ?

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