How to fix flashing folder question mark issue on Mac OS?

by Julie Splinters - -


Issue: How to fix flashing folder question mark issue on Mac OS?

A flashing folder with a question marks appears every time I try to start up to Mac OS. Rebooting the device and reinstalling hard drives did not help. Any ideas how to solve this?

Solved Answer


The issue of flashing question folder mark might take different forms. Some users report the problem to take only several seconds; other complain of not being able to enter the operating system at all. Though there are different speculations about the main reason for such behavior, there is a prevailing opinion that the problem is related with the inefficiencies of bootable drives. The majority of users who encounter this problem cannot proceed further since this bug prevents from loading the screen permanently. Solve the problem by using one or several solutions provided below. Alternatively, startup disk might be at fault for this recurrence. Proceed further by reviewing one of these options.

Option 1. Reselecting startup disk on the system

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  1. Opt for System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Click on the Startup Disk icon.
  3. Select the icon of the volume you normally use to start up the device.
  4. Exit the System Preferences window.
  5. Reboot the system. Afterward, the device should start normally without any disturbances.

Option 2. If you cannot find an installed bootable drive

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Boot the computer from a bootable USB flash drive. Press and hold down the option key while restarting the device. In te newly opened list, locate all available drives for rebooting. If this method is ineffective, then the USB drive might be configured incorrectly. We also suggest running MacKeeper MacKeeper to check the system for cyber infections which might cause such phenomenon.

Option 3. Mac fails to startup, flashing question mark remains

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  1. Turn off the device by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds.
  2. Press the power button once to turn your Mac back on. After hearing the startup sound, immediately press and hold the Command and R keys to initiate Mac OS X Recovery. Keep holding the two keys held until you notice an Apple logo.
  3. Choose a wi-fi network to connect to the Internet as part of a startup.
  4. When the recovery screen emerges, navigate to the Apple menu and click Startup Disk.
  5. Choose the one you would prefer and initiate the process with clicking Restart.

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About the author
Julie Splinters - Computer optimization specialist

When it comes to computer optimization, Julie Splinters is the expert. Whether it is a slow smartphone, Windows, Mac or Linux operating system, she will find a solution within minutes.

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