App With Question Mark Mac

  1. Question Mark File Mac Startup
  2. Mac App Icon With Question Mark In Launchpad
  3. Flashing Question Mark On Mac
  4. Question Mark Mac Startup
  5. Backward Question Mark On Mac

Jan 17, 2011  The Flashing Question Mark on Mac Remains. If the flashing question mark continues to flash on the screen, you will need to try the following to resolve the issue: Reset the PRAM. To reset the PRAM, press the power button to turn on your computer and immediately press and hold the Command, Option, P and R keys. You should eventually hear the. Mar 05, 2020  Causes of Flashing Mac Folder with Question Mark. There are several reasons why the folder with a question mark appears on your Mac’s screen: Your Mac.

Few things are as frustrating as trying to start your Mac and ending up with the dreaded Mac folder with a question mark. You’ve probably tried using keyboard shortcuts like CTRL+R, CTRL+Option+R, or Shift+CTRL+Option+R, but you still get the flashing folder icon on startup.

While this may strike fear into your heart as a Mac user, there are known causes for it, and tried and tested solutions that will help you get your Mac back to normalcy.

Follow along to find out why you’re getting the folder with the question mark in the middle of the screen, and how you can resolve the problem. While this is issue is more prevalent among older Macs, we shall try to address the same for new Mac models as well.

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Causes of Flashing Mac Folder with Question Mark

There are several reasons why the folder with a question mark appears on your Mac’s screen:

  • Your Mac can’t find a bootable volume. That means it can’t find its startup disk, so it can’t boot or start up. Probably you previously started up your Mac from an external disk and later unplugged it, or its hard drive just failed terribly, so it’s having trouble locating its system folder or boot directory.
  • Corrupt macOS.
  • Corrupt system files.
  • Hard disk drive has failed catastrophically.
  • The external disk you boot from may be off or disconnected.
  • The ribbon cable connecting the drive to the motherboard may be damaged. This cable sits between the bottom case and optical drive, and if the case has indentations in the same area, the cable may be the problem.
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Boot Your Mac From an Install DVD (For Older Macs)

This process forces your Mac to boot from the install DVD placed in the optical drive. For that, you must follow these steps:

Step 1: Place the install DVD that came with your Mac in the optical drive and reboot. You can use that disc, or if you have a later macOS version, use a newer disc for the same purpose.

Step 2: Once you hear the boot chime, hold down C key on your keyboard or the Option key until you see the Install Disk or Apple logo show up.

Note: Boot from the recovery partition if you’re on 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion or 10.9 Mavericks, and then repair the OS 10.7 or 10.8 partition using Disk Utility.

Step 3: When your Mac starts up, choose the language you’ll use, press Return on your keyboard, and an Installation window will open. Ignore this window and click Utilities and then click Disk Utility.

Step 4: If you see your hard disk on the list, click your macOS partition for the hard drive, and then select First Aid tab.

Step 5: Next, run Repair Disk. To enable this button, click on your hard drive’s macOS partition. If this fixes any issues, run it all over again until you see the green OK, and then run Repair Permissions.

Step 6: Finally, use the Startup Disk to select your hard drive to restart your Mac from the hard drive. If it’s not recognized under Disk Utility, it’s probably dead.

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Put Your Mac in Recovery Mode

If you’re trying to boot from your Mac’s internal drive, you need to shut down the computer and then start it up while holding down Command+R keys until the globe or Apple logo appears. That will put your Mac in Recovery Mode, and then you can change the startup disk by selecting the option from the Apple Menu.

Recovery Mode comes handy when your Mac won’t boot normally because the startup disk is damaged or corrupted.

Question Mark File Mac Startup

That could be caused by corrupt files or mild power surges you’re not aware of, but it fixes the issue without you having to go to extreme lengths, such as performing a reinstall of your macOS.

Note: You can boot using an external Mac startup disk or bootable installer if macOS Recovery doesn’t work.

Replace the Disk

If the Mac folder with a question mark appears because of your disk has failed, the only thing you can do is to replace the disk and use the time capsule or another backup device you’ve been using to recover your data to the new disk.

Backup Data and Reinstall macOS

If Disk Utility can’t repair your startup disk, you may have to reformat it. Before doing that, take a backup of any important data from the disk before erasing everything stored on it. You can take the steps below to take a backup of your data to an external drive if you don’t have a recent data backup for your startup disk:

Step 1: Connect an external drive that’s similar in size or larger than your startup disk. Erase the external drive using macOS Recovery and then install macOS to it. Select the external disk that you want to erase, not your startup disk.

Step 2: Once macOS is installed, your Mac will restart automatically from the external drive. When you see the Setup Assistant, choose the option you want to use to move data from another disk, and select the startup disk on your Mac as the source from which to migrate data.

Step 3: After migration, follow the setup assistant instructions to the end, and when you see your desktop, confirm that all your data is present on the external drive.

Step 4: Erase your startup disk using macOS Recovery and reinstall macOS (don’t select your external drive). After erasing the disk and installing macOS, your Mac will restart automatically, and the setup assistant will appear. Copy your data to your startup disk by selecting the option to migrate data from a Time Machine backup or another disk, in this case your external drive.

Note: If you can’t erase the startup disk or reinstall macOS, take your Mac for repair to an Apple Genius or authorized service provider.

Get Your Mac Back

We hope you now know what to do when you find the flashing Mac folder with a question mark on your screen. Try the fixes above and let us know what worked for you.

Next up:Want to reduce boot time for your Windows PC? Our next article shows you how to do that using Quick Startup.

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.Read NextHow to Use Quick Startup to Reduce Windows Boot Time

Mac App Icon With Question Mark In Launchpad

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When your Mac is having a hard time finding a bootable operating system, what it usually does is it displays the flashing question mark on your screen. It’s your Mac’s way of crying out for help.

Flashing Question Mark On Mac

In most cases, your Mac boots quickly enough that you will never notice the flashing question mark. Then again, there are instances when you find the dreaded icon, either for a short time before finishing the startup process or it just appears stuck, waiting for you to do something.

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Here’s what you should know to find a solution to the problem: While the icon is flashing on your screen, your Mac is actually checking your system for any available disk it can use to boot your OS. If it finds one, the startup process is completed. That’s it. Otherwise, you should take action.

Don’t worry because we’ll teach you how to fix a Mac with the dreaded flashing question mark. Although there are many ways on how to get rid of the flashing folder with the question mark, we’ve only listed the easiest methods. Check them out:

1. Use your Mac in Recovery mode.

Question Mark Mac Startup

If you are trying to boot your Mac using its internal drive, you need to shut it down first by holding down the Power button. When you start it up, hold the CMD and R keys until the Apple logo appears. This should start your Mac in recovery mode.

After this, go to the Apple menu and select a new startup disk from the Startup Disk option. Once you have selected a new disk, restart your Mac so that the changes will take effect.

Backward Question Mark On Mac

2. Repair your Mac’s startup disk.

If your Mac cannot detect your startup drive, go to the macOS Utilities window and open Disk Utility. Select your startup drive and navigate to the First Aid tab. Click Run.

Once the repair is successful, go back to the Apple menu and select the newly repaired disk under Startup Disk. Finally, restart your Mac.

In the event that your Mac fails to repair the disk, you have to erase the disk and reinstall macOS. But before you do that, have a backup of your data. If you already have a Time Machine backup, you can proceed by going to Utilities -> Time Machine Backup. From here, click Restore.

If you don’t have a backup yet, make a new one by following the steps below:

  1. Plug an external drive to your Mac.
  2. Open Disk Utility.
  3. Go to the Erase tab and erase the contents of the external drive.
  4. Next, go to the Utilities window and click Reinstall macOS.
  5. Follow the steps and wait for your Mac to restart.
  6. Once you see the Setup Assistant, click on the migrate data from another Disk
  7. Select the regular startup disk of your Mac.
  8. Wait for the setup process to be completed.
  9. Once it is done, check if your data is already on the external drive.

Now that you already have a backup of your files and data, you may delete your Mac’s regular startup drive under Disk Utility. Boot your Mac in recovery mode. From the external disk, select Reinstall macOS and choose your Mac’s original startup disk. As soon as your Mac has restarted, select the migrate data from another disk option again, but this time, select your new external drive as the data source. You should now have an installation of macOS on your startup drive.

3. Seek help from an Apple Genius.

If the flashing question mark still exists, your best option is to consult an Apple Genius. Chances are, there might be a problem with your hardware. Set an appointment with a Genius as soon as possible and have your hardware fixed.

Wrapping Up

Of course, nobody wants to see that flashing question mark on their screens, especially when there are deadlines to meet. So, the best thing you can do is optimize your Mac for top performance with Tweakbit Mac Repair. This tool can quickly pinpoint issues you can resolve and suggest fixes for them. With all Mac issues resolved, there’s no way that the dreaded flashing question mark will ever bother you in the future.


If you’re running into errors and your system is suspiciously slow, your computer needs some maintenance work. Download Outbyte PC Repair for Windows, Outbyte Antivirus for Windows, or Outbyte MacRepair for macOS to resolve common computer performance issues. Fix computer troubles by downloading the compatible tool for your device.