Question Mark Folder Fix in Detail – Why? And How to fix on any Apple Mac!


This video guide explains in rich detail how to fix the question mark folder on any Mac. This fix will work on any Macbook, iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro.

Transcript:

Hi guys, if you are facing a question mark folder like this on your Mac, then you came to the right place:

So just a little background on this… apple uses UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) to connect the internal parts of the Mac with the Operating System. The very beginning of this process is stored inside of what Apple calls NVRAM non volatile random access memory.

So what does that mean?

In short, the question mark folder is a default animation for a Missing Operating System. The mac has looked at the last used boot up record and can’t find it. The mac then has looked in all places and has found nothing that is bootable by the UEFI.

Why does this happen? For three main reasons.

· A failed update or corrupt NVRAM settings file that points to the drive

· Hard Drive Cable is loose or is bad (Very common in Older Macbook Pros)

· The hard Drive is bad or is on it’s way out (common with mechanical drives)

Now how do we fix it?

The first thing you can do to determine if this can be a quick fix is to shut down the Mac, and as soon as you press the power button, press and hold the Option key. Keep holding it until you see the mouse and some drives. If you don’t see any drives but you see the mouse that means the drive cable or the drive it self is bad and needs replacement.

If you see two drives click the drive that is labeled Macintosh HD/SSD or Untitiled, not the drive labeled Recovery.

If the unit boots up, great! You can now restart the unit and perform a NVRAM reset, and everything should be back to normal.

If the unit is stuck on the loading screen for longer then 5 minutes and will not boot, restart the Mac and select the recovery partition and boot into that.

On newer Macs 2013 to current, press and hold down Option + Command + R keys after pressing the power button to launch the hidden APFS recovery partition. Once in the recovery gui, open disk utility, select your main drive and perform Permission Repair, and Disk repair, one after the other.

Restart the unit and try to boot into your main drive again.

If this doesn’t work and you can’t get any drive to boot, it’s time to replace the drive.

If it’s an older macbook then replace the hard drive cable at the same time.

When replacing the drive completely you will need to watch a video on how to restore your mac to an empty drive.

Replacing a failed drive should be the choice to make when fixing the question mark issue. Reformatting the failed drive will cause the same issue to happen over time.

Reinstall a new Operating System onto a New Hard Drive without using the recovery partition from the failed drive.

You can find the video on how to do that on our website appledollars.com

Thank you for watching.

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48 comments

  1. OMG! You’re awesome!! I just had this problem and my first instinct was to go on google and follow steps from one of the websites but it was very difficult to understand and I put my MacBook into recovery mode until I came across this video, I ended up pressing the power button again and followed your steps and I got my MacBook working within a minute, thank you so much!

  2. I'm sorry i know this is stupid question but i really need you to help me.how do i boot into the main drive after restart the unit ? Restart the units means that I should restart the mac right ?

  3. Rubbish Rubbish oh did I say this is Rubbish

  4. Hey mate. I've just reinstalled my OS week ago.. after that everything was working. The iMac wasn't used one two days. Then, when I tried to run it, I got this folder with question mark.

  5. Will doing the command alt r thing reset my mac data

  6. I hope this works for me 🥺. Let me get on it!

  7. why does internet recovery keep showing up when i hold down option alt?

  8. My drive cable is bad 😭

  9. Having all my memories back again is a big shoutout to you 24.7spy, keep it up

  10. Respect to ACCUNETS no one does better like he do he’s a pro

  11. Got back my PC all thanks to 100ETHICS I love you man..

  12. Got back my PC all thanks to 100ETHICS I love you man..

  13. I was literally about to cry, thank you!

  14. Why does it not connect to my wifi?

  15. Will this delete my current files?

  16. Ok so I basically sold a lemon 💻.

  17. mine isn’t showing any drives at all when i boot up, it only shows me the option to enter the wifi 🙁

  18. If faced with this issue does this mean all my files are lost ?

  19. Thank you! I’m dealing with this right now.

  20. My Mac does this and then about half an hour if on and off it will just restart

  21. My iMac getting flickering and if I connect with another monitor from the thunderbolt port it's working fine in another monitor. could you please let me know the solution?

  22. Thank you so much,You saved my day.

  23. F#&K I just paid a computer shop $120 to fix this on mine

  24. mac mini a1176 i have similar issues. I want to do internet recovery is it possible? if I have a Windows USB keyboard please let me know how I will be able to restore OS.

  25. I am trying to reinstall after deleting it previously for a new owner for my laptop. Now I want to reinstall the OS Sierra on my MBP 2017. It keeps on giving me error saying "an error occurred when preparing the installation". It was fine last week.

    Changed the date and time still nothing.

    So I am trying to start from the beginning by erasing everything again. APFS is greyed out. When I choose Mac OS extended journaled, it gives me an error.

  26. I got it fixed to normal but it freezes when I’m just doing something random so I shut it down then it come back to the folder with the ? In it can I have some help?

  27. its not workin dont know if its spoiled from inside

  28. I like your hair it is very fluffy can I call it Mr flufy

  29. When i do that i see a lock 🔒 and it ask for a password.. i type everything i could think of and dont work

  30. Mine was recovered by CROWT3CH

  31. Mine was recovered by CROWT3CH

  32. Am very confident in giving vict.ech to solve my problems

  33. any of this way could not help me, i did all ways of solution, i replaced cable hard drive as well, but nothing. this is question mark folder error pissed me off. im so angry about that. how is possible. any videos on youtube could not explain to me why still exist this error.

  34. I owe everything to vict.ech. they solved this same issue in space of seconds. You should try vict.ech n Instagram

  35. Vict.ech are the most reliable tech company i have experience with. And extremely fast. You should try vict.ech on Instagram….

  36. All i did was restart my before even watching how but still tho thanks you

  37. Thanks it worked! You got to love Youtube when you are in need of this short of information.

  38. Well looks like I came to the wrong place. Internal SATA and USB ports will not detect any hard drive or usb boot drive, internet recovery disk utility shows no drives except DVD and SD card.

  39. Thank you for this quick solution. I have saved the day. Thank you again 😊

  40. yall can just send it in for repair to apple

  41. Omg Thank u I thought imma lose all my stuffs