MacBook Pro owners have complained about the laptop frozen on the login screen. The Pro model owners shared that the MacBook stopped responding after they entered the login screen password. The system remains frozen after entering the password. The login screen password input is not recognized, and the system doesn’t respond to the action.
Why is MacBook Pro Stuck on Login Screen?
There are many reasons why the Pro model is stuck at the login screen. Let us understand why the login screen problems are in the macOS operating system. The manufacturer has an in-house developer team. The developers address the issues in upcoming software updates. Beforehand, I want to give you a few justifications for why the software is not letting you inside the system.
macOS Bugs or Glitches:
Apple announces a new macOS version each year. The in-house developers have to optimize the next-gen software for stability and performance. No one can deny that one year span is a limited time for a company to release 100% software. I have suggested a well-known solution to counter the bugs and glitches in the system.
macOS Launch Services:
The desktop-class operating system loads drivers, macOS system files, programs, and more during the boot. A file must be missing or corrupted. The problematic file could be the prime suspect and cause login screen issues.
macOS has many controllers in the system, and they save the customized settings. The controller’s store information like volume, brightness level, network preferences, etc. The system controller data file must be corrupted or missing from the partition. You don’t have a lot of options considering that the macOS is not allowing you access to the desktop.
macOS System Files Corruption:
Software corrupts due to many factors. Apple’s desktop-class OS is no exception. Fortunately, Apple added enough built-in tools to diagnose the software files and learn the truth. You can find the corrupted system files in the Pro model and rectify them immediately. Of course, the diagnosis will take some time, but it’s worth the shot.
There’s a rumor that macOS doesn’t get infected by the virus or malware. Nope, it’s not true at all. Apple desktop OS is a popular product, and many privacy invaders have created malware to infect the Pro models. We haven’t found any specific malware that could be preventing the login sequence. We don’t know if malware infected the system, but it’s a good measure to run an anti-virus check on the machine.
FIX: MacBook Pro Stuck on Login Screen
We will use the disk utility to diagnose the system and charge the Pro model to maximum capacity. Don’t fall for the third-party programs or tools that promise to resolve the login screen issues. Carry a USB flash drive with 16GB storage capacity. Also, secure a spare laptop or desktop to create a macOS bootable drive.
Reboot MacBook Pro
The Pro model is a powerful machine with a high-end processor and integrated graphics card. The operating system runs many services, processes, drivers, and boot files during the startup. One software glitch ruins the experience, and you can resolve the issue by rebooting the system.
1. Wake up the Pro model.
2. Find “Shut Down” or “Restart” at the bottom.
3. Click on “Restart” to reboot the system.
However, I recommend that first-time users turn off their laptops for a few minutes.
4. Let the system reboot.
5. Enter the login screen password in the section.
Turn off the Apple laptop for a few minutes and log in later. You should repeat the process until the Pro model accepts the command. Of course, I have shown you other solutions below, so apply the mentioned solutions in order.
The Pro model owners come from a content creation background. I have connected an external monitor, USB dongle, wireless mouse/keyboard, etc. The macOS has privacy-oriented features, and one of the peripherals could be causing the login screen issue. Remove all peripherals from the Pro model.
A. Remove USB devices.
B. Remove hub.
C. Remove mouse and keyboard.
D. Remove external monitor.
E. Remove the external monitor cable.
F. Remove charger.
Turn off the laptop after removing all peripherals and give a few minutes of sleep time. Give a minimum of ten minutes of sleep time for the MacBook to cool off the internal components. Many third-party hubs have created hardware-level problems in the MacBook Air (M1). Inspect the removable devices before connecting them back to the machine.
Boot into Safe Mode
Safe mode is considered a life savior feature in the software department. The operating system loads barebones and excludes unnecessary drivers, services, and processes. Startup the Pro model in safe mode and find out the truth.
Pro model with Apple Silicon SoC:
1. Turn off the Pro machine.
Let the laptop turn off and wait until the Touch Bar or the lights goes off.
2. Press and hold the MacBook Power button.
3. Release the Power button when “Loading startup options” appears on the screen.\
4. Press and hold the Shift key.
5. Click on the “Safe Mode” while holding the Shift key.
6. Release the Shift key after the MacBook turns off automatically.
The macOS loads the operating system in safe mode in the next boot.
Pro model with Intel SoC:
You have to follow a different set of instructions for the Intel-based machines. Read the entire tutorial, then implement the solution step-by-step.
1. Turn off the Pro model.
Give the machine a few seconds to turn off.
2. Press the Power button and turn on the machine.
3. Press and hold the Shift key immediately.
4. Release the Shift key after the login screen appears.
5. Enter the login screen.
The macOS software asks the administrator to re-enter the login password.
6. The Safe Mode icon shows up in the menu bar.
You don’t have to take any action, and the software lands on the login screen.
A. Enter the login screen password and access the desktop.
B. Move on to the next solution if the problem persists in the safe mode. C. Restart the MacBook to exit the safe mode.
D. There’s a problem with a driver, program, or infected with malware if you can access the desktop from the safe mode.
Reinstall the macOS operating system if you don’t wish to apply any advanced solution.
Scan for Malware or Virus
Scan the macOS machine while the system is running in safe mode. Do not skip the “Full Scan” option because a full system scan will drag the malware out of hiding. You can use any anti-virus system from Bitdefender, Avast, Malwarebytes, etc.
Reset SMC Controller
The SMC (System Management Controller) is a chip that stores internal hardware information like system performance, status lights, fans, power supply, etc. A corrupted SMC file can create many problems in the Pro model. You can reset the SMC file from the system without logging into the machine. I will show you how to reset SMC in the Apple Silicon and older Intel-based MacBooks.
Reset SMC in M1 or Apple Silicon:
Apple developed Silicon or M1 SoC after recognizing the outdated technology from the competition. The Apple desktop-class processor handles all SMC functions in the MacBook Pro model.
Now, shut down the M1 or later computer for a minute and turn it back on reset the SMC controller.
Reset SMC in MacBook Pro (Apple T2 Security Chip):
1. Press and hold the Shift, left Option key, and left Control key for seven seconds.
2. Press and hold the Power button along with the three keys.
3. Hold all four keys for another seven seconds.
The Pro model turns on and goes dark in a few moments.
4. Release all keys.
Do not press any button for a minute.
5. Press the Power button to turn on the MacBook Pro.
The macOS has reset the SMC controller, and the system creates a new SMC file in the next startup.
Reset SMC in MacBook Pro 2018 or Earlier (non-removable batteries):
1. Turn off the Pro model.
2. Press & hold the Shift, left Control, and left Option key.
3. Press & hold the Power button with Shift, left Control, and left Option keys.
4. Hold all four keys for ten seconds.
5. Release the Power button and the rest of the keys after ten seconds.
The SMC controller was removed from the Pro model. Power on the Pro machine and a new SMC file created during the startup.
Diagnose MacBook Pro Disk with Disk Utility
The macOS disk may have problems, and you can diagnose the system using the built-in tools. Read the tutorial once, then apply them to your Pro laptop. You also have an option to reinstall the macOS from Disk Utility. Reinstall the operating system if none of the solutions work. Learn how to open macOS Recovery options in Intel-based and Apple Silicon laptops.
For Apple Silicon Laptops:
1. Press & hold the Power button until the startup options appear on the screen.
2. Click on the gear icon with Options as the name.
3. Click on “Continue” to load macOS Recovery options.
Follow the above tutorial for M1 or later chips.
For Intel-based Pro Laptops:
1. Turn on your Pro machine.
2. Press & hold Command and R keys immediately.
3. Continue holding the keys until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
Do not panic when another logo appears on the screen. A different logo is used for macOS Recovery mode in older editions.
Diagnose macOS Disk:
Follow the tutorial to diagnose the volumes, disks, and containers. Do not leave any disk from the list.
1. I’m sure your Pro machine is in macOS Recovery mode.
2. Choose the user and enter the login screen password.
3. Select “Disk Utility” from the utility window.
4. Click on the “View” icon, and you can find the option beside the “Disk Utility” logo.
5. Choose the “Show All Devices” option.
6. Select the disk.
7. Click on the “First Aid” button or Tab key.
8. Let the Disk Utility scan the disk.
Repeat the disease process for other volumes, containers, and disks.
9. Click on the “Done” once the process finishes.
Pick up your phone and search for the solutions if there are any errors during the diagnosis.
Reinstall macOS or Update macOS System
Now, you have two choices if none of the above solutions fixes the login screen problems.
A. Reinstall macOS from the Disk Utility.
B. Update the macOS.
The B solution may not work out for you since it requires an active internet connection in the Pro model. You have to login into the Pro machine to update the software. You will lose the stored data in the drive, but iCloud may restore them all.
Contact Apple customer care if none of the solutions fixes the MacBook Pro stuck on the login screen. The authorized service center can fix the problem since they have access to the components and tools. Reinstalling the macOS software may resolve the login screen problem. So I recommend the readers reinstall the operating system.