macOS cannot find system software at startup


  • I get a flashing question mark when turning on my Mac
  • My macOS is having startup issues


  • Computing: macOS
    • Sierra
    • macOS Recovery Utilities
  • Computing: University-owned Computers
  • Computing: Personally-owned Computers


  • Your Mac cannot find its system software at startup


  1. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds to force-quit your Mac
  2. Press the power button once to turn your Mac on
  3. Immediately press and hold the Command+R keys to start your Mac from macOS Recovery
    • Hold the two keys down until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe
  4. If prompted, select a Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet as part of startup
  5. After the macOS Utilities window appears, choose Startup Disk from the Apple menu
  6. Select your startup disk, then click Restart




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Article ID: 35478
Fri 8/18/17 12:32 PM
Thu 3/14/19 11:33 PM
Can you resolve this issue yourself?
Can the end-user resolve the issue using the instructions given?
Or does the end-user need to request assistance from Miami UIT, a client office, or a vendor?
Yes! This is self-service with a smile.