I get a folder with a question mark on my mac

It could mean they can no longer retrieve their personal files. One of the worst problems Mac users encounter is the dreaded flashing question mark that appears during start up.

Flashing Question Mark on Macbook?

This is almost always a sign of a more severe problem that requires MAC hard drive recovery services. This usually occurs during system start up. There are many different potential causes, but the end-result is usually the same: This is only if the question mark appears and then remains on the screen at start up. For some people, the question mark will only appear briefly before leaving the screen.

This is a less severe problem and usually only requires selecting the appropriate start up disk from the Mac system preferences. Solving the second, less-severe problem is quite easy. However, on the other hand, if you attempt to start your Mac and you only get the question mark without the system starting up afterwards, then there is likely some corrupt data.

A corrupted system may seem like an unsolvable problem at first, but there are solutions. Your best course of action would be to contact a professional data recovery service. They can perform a variety of functions, from restoring your lost files to repairing a corrupt hard drive.

What is the Flashing Question Mark on a Macbook or iMac?

You can set up this feature to create backups of your system around the clock. Rach, the folder with the question mark means the computer cannot find the startup system. This could happens because files that are needed to boot the computer are damaged, or the drive's directory is damaged. This can also happen when your computer has a dead drive. Try rebooting your computer while holding the Command R key. This will attempt to restart the computer using the Recovery partition. If it works, you'll know that your drive isn't dead.

Use Disk Utility to repair the main partition. If it then download and install the operating system. If the drive's partition table were damaged but the drive itself is okay, you'll be able to use the Disk Utility program to create a new parition, install the OS, and then restore from your Backup.

You can find plenty of information about this on here and here as well. Help please?! Thanks for the help here.


  • The Dreaded Flashing Question Mark.
  • Your Answer;
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This helped me get my MacBook Air back on the road again. Handy little page! Again, thanks - TH. I have the same problem. I got the computer to start the internet back up process. It recognizes my keyboard and I'm able to move my selection to try to begin the air drive back up. However, The enter button will not start the process and the computer doesn't recognize a mouse tried 2 and the cursor is in the upper left by the apple symbol. Any suggestions? Hello, I am having the same problem oldturkey03 but even when I try to reinstall the OS, it won't detect the drive. I also tried to create a bootable copy of the OS but it won't also read the usb.

Do you have any solution for this? Show 4 more comments. Alec Saunders. I had this problem upwards of 7 or 8 times, and I fixed it by replacing the defective cable. The more times I did this, the shorter the fix held for. I have now found a workaround by using a hard drive caddy. The hard drive is then connected to the computer via different route, bypassing the defective data cable. It does mean you no longer have an optical drive, but that's a small price to pay to have a functional computer! All these solutions are garbage.

I love my mbp 2. I had the same problem. And after trying almost everything I finally find the solution, very simple by the way. By turning off the computer and removing one of the memory ram card, turn on again and it will go straight like nothing, do your settings and turn off again and add again the removed ram. Alex barraclough bouncingbuddha. Literally replace the hard drive cable.

Take off the back the MacBook, remove the HDD, remove the cable from the logic board and any screw that are holding it down.


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  • If the question mark appears for only a few seconds;
  • SOLVED: A flashing question mark in a folder - MacBook Air 13" Mid - iFixit.
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Check serial number on it. Order one from amazon, prime it so you get it the day after and just put it back together the same way it came out. Im probably doing something wrong I need help!! Luis E Martinez. If you have done all this before and the problem continues, it could be that you have a dead drive, and you have to replace it! Nick Balazs nblazes. As soon as I turned it on and tried loading programs like Safari or iTunes, the computer would pinwheel. After thinking for five or ten minutes the program would load.

When searching the internet, the same thing would happen. Click a link and pinwheel, five or ten minutes, page would load. I've partitioned it and formatted it to mac. When I connect it internally to the macbook, and power on the computer, grey file folder with question mark. You guessed it, grey file folder with question mark. I just want to get the computer up and running. Try setting up the OS with the drive inside the Mac. Don't partition it externally then add the drive. ArrDee lasdavis. I looked at the online video for this question mark issue and they all show the cable for a HDD.

If your Mac doesn't start up

Toshiba I believe. I have SSD. What is the solution for that type of drive for the???? The solutions for the? I reviewed several online videos and they all point to cable replacement for HDD. I have a SDD in my Mac.

What to Do When Your Mac Can’t Find an OS to Boot From

What is the solution for that? Kim Ashby kimkay.