Macbook Won’t Wake Up? Here’s what to do

Usually, you can wake your Macbook up by simply tapping the touchpad, or clicking the Magic mouse if you’re connected to one.

A Macbook that won’t wake up can be a frustrating issue, but it’s not an uncommon one. And fortunately, you can usually resolve things by doing a few simple tasks to get it working again.

Check Your Power Source

Firstly, ensure your MacBook is adequately charged, as a drained battery is the most common reason for a Mac not waking up. Even if you think your Mac has battery, make sure to plug it in and leave it for a few minutes to let it charge.

Perform a Force Restart

If the power source isn’t the issue, try a force restart. This can often resolve the problem if your MacBook is unresponsive.

The easiest way to do this is press the Power button at the same time you’re pressing the Command and Control keys. This should force restart your Macbook.

Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for various low-level functions on your MacBook.

Resetting the SMC can sometimes fix wake-up issues – this is only relevant for Macbooks that use an Intel processor, as Apple Mac Chip Macbooks (M1, M2 etc) do not have an SMC.

Here’s how to reset the SMC for Intel Macbooks:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press and hold Shift + Control + Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button at the same time. Hold these keys and the power button for 10 seconds.
  3. Release all keys and the power button.
  4. Press the power button again to turn on your MacBook.


NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) or PRAM (Parameter RAM) stores certain settings in a location that macOS can access quickly.

Resetting NVRAM/PRAM might help if your MacBook won’t wake up, but again, it’s only relevant for Intel Macbooks. Here’s how:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Turn it on and immediately press and hold Option + Command + P + R.
  3. Hold these keys for about 20 seconds. Your Mac might appear to restart.
  4. Release the keys.

Boot in Safe Mode

Booting in Safe Mode can help you troubleshoot if a software issue is causing your MacBook to not wake up.

To boot in Safe Mode:

  1. Turn off your MacBook.
  2. Turn it on and immediately press and hold the Shift key.
  3. Release the Shift key when you see the login window.

Seek Professional Help

If none of these steps work, it’s time to consult with an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Hardware issues, such as a faulty motherboard or screen, might be the cause, and these require professional attention.

Remember, regular maintenance and updates can prevent many issues with your MacBook. Stay proactive to minimize the chances of encountering such problems in the future.


Mac Issues

At Mac Issues, we're dedicated to helping you learn how to use your Macbook properly. With tutorials, how-to troubleshooting guides & real reviews, hopefully we can make your day that little bit easier.

Read more from Mac Issues