Mac Stuck on Login Screen after Entering Password: 8 Fixes!

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Connie Wisley
August 02, 2023 Preview 87.5K Preview 2
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Mac stuck on login screen after entering password or Sonoma/Ventura/Monterey update? This is a tough call for Mac users, but relax, in this post, we will introduce several proven troubleshooting ideas to fix “Mac stuck on loading screen after login” or “Mac stuck on login screen after entering password”, no matter what causes these issues.

Why Mac Stuck on Login Screen after Entering Password?

Mac login screen is the interface that Mac users put in a pin and log on to their account that they have created to store files and apps. Mac stuck on the loading screen after login is one of the most common problems Mac users are prone to face, especially after switching to a new macOS. And there are some other reasons to result in such a issue.

  • The update of macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or Catalina brings certain incompatibility problem (between Apple default apps and the OS) or unsolved bugs
  • Not enough hard drive space
  • Corrupted SSD or HDD
  • Too many boot items opening at login
  • Malware or virus deleted the crucial system files
  • File system corruption of Mac partition
  • Power issues
  • Motherboard Failure

It can be easily solved by simply pressing the Power button, or might go through a long process as we need to find out the possible reasons and try all the solutions in this post to get it fixed. It is a random event, and the solution is more a matter of luck.

How to Fix Mac Stuck on Login Screen after Entering Password?

Fix 1. Reset the Mac

Mac stuck on loading screen after login is not necessarily a severe problem or will definitely repeats on your Mac, it is stuck just because your Mac is currently in the middle of solving glitches or conflicts. It may survive in the fighting after hours of whirling, but if you don’t have the patience, you can lend it a hand to reset and get everything back to normal.

  1. Disconnect all the unnecessary peripherals from your Mac.
  2. Press and hold Power button or Touch ID button for 10 to 15 seconds to force shut it off, then press Power or Touch ID button again to restart.
  3. Now enter the password to check if this works.

Fix 2. Restart and Login without Password

A lengthy or endless boot process may be caused by  many startup applications, they chew up resources and drag down your Mac. We can find and disable all the unnecessary apps to stop them loading automatically at login.

  1. Press and hold Power button to shut off your Mac.
  2. Find the login items on Mac.
    For users using macOS Monterey or earlier: open System Preferences > Users & Groups, click the lock to make changes, select the user account you want to login but failed to, go to Login Itmes, select the items and click "-" to remove.remove login item 01For users using macOS Ventura or later: open System Settings > General > Login Items, click "-" to remove unnecessary items.remove login item 02
  3. Then shut down your Mac, restart and login again to see if the problem is solved or not.

Fix 3. Reboot Your Mac in Safe Mode

Safe Boot feature is included since Mac OS X 10.2. It minimizes the apps on your Mac to help identify the issue that causes your macOS stuck at login, or any issue correlated with your startup disk. So not only will it restrict your applications, but also check through startup drive.

  1. Restart your Mac computer.
  2. Press the Power button while holding down the Shift key immediately.
  3. Hold it until you see the Apple logo.boot mac in safe mode

Matters need attention:

  • It’s slower to boot Mac in Safe Mode.
  • Not all the OS X functions and programs will work when performing Safe Boot (only for troubleshooting).
  • Confirm that your Mac hard drive possesses at least 10 GB of free space. If not, empty your Trash bin or move some of largest files & folders to another drive.

Fix 4. Reboot Your Mac in Single User Mode

Just like booting in Safe Mode, the Single User Mode assists to isolate and fix the common problems that can keep your MacBook stuck on login screen from starting up properly. This method is suitable for advanced users who are comfortable with UNIX or has comprehensive knowledge of the command line.

  1. Turn on your Mac while holding Command + S key simultaneously.
  2. When you see the white text on a black background, release the keys.
  3. Enter the administrator password to access to Mac Big Sur or Catalina Single User Mode.

Fix 5. Reset System Management Controller (SMC)

SMC controls a host of important functions in a Mac. It deals with many amusing things, from keyboard backlight, charging, fans, etc. to system performance. That resetting the SMC to original factory settings is an all-in-one solution, which can also fix your iMac, MacBook Air or MacBook stuck on login screen after update.

For desktop Mac, iMac or MacBook:

  1. Unplug the power cord.
  2. Wait for 15 or 20 seconds, and plug the power cord in.
  3. Wait for 5 or 10 seconds, and power on the system again.
  4. Restart your Mac.

For Mac laptop:

  1. Make your Mac unplugged, and then turn off the power.
  2. Hold down the Shift + Control + Option key. At the same time, press and hold down the power button. Hold down all of them for 10 seconds.
  3. Re-plug the Mac in and reboot it up.

For old Mac laptop with removable battery:

  1. Shut down your Mac > unplug it > remove the battery.
  2. Hold down the power button for 5 seconds.
  3. Put the battery back in > plug the Mac in > restart Mac.

Fix 6. Reset Nonvolatile Random-access Memory (NVRAM) or Parameter RAM (PRAM)

NVRAM is used to store some settings and access them fleetly. PRAM is similar to NVRAM, and shares the same steps with NVRAM. If you experience issues like Mac stuck on boot screen after update to latest macOS, resetting NVRAM/ PRAM may give you a hand.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Turn your Mac, and hold down Option + Command + P + R key together right away.
  3. Keep holding until your Mac restarts.

Fix 7. Reboot Mac in Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode was offered since OS X Lion in 2011. It shows you 4 options applied to fix connected drives with Disk Utility, restore data from Time Machine, reinstall macOS and get help online. I guess two of them are likely to repair your macOS stuck at login issue.

Option One. Run First Aid from Recovery Partition

  1. Turn off your Mac, and then switch it on.
  2. Immediately hold down Command + R keys till an Apple logo appears.
  3. Wait for a moment, the OS X Utilities window will show up.
  4. Click on "Disk Utility" option.choose disk utility
  5. Locate your Mac drive, and choose it.
  6. Click on "First Aid".

Option Two: Reinstall macOS

If none of the solutions work out to fix the MacBook stuck on login screen issue, then reinstalling macOS will be the last self-assistance option.

  1. Repeat the first three steps of option one.
  2. Select "Reinstall macOS" from the Utilities window.
  3. Click on "Continue" and follow the installation process.

Attentions of reinstallation:

  • Don’t put your Mac to sleep status.
  • Mac would reboot and display a progress bar a couple of times
  • After installation, click on “Shut Down” option from the Apple menu to quit Mac Recovery Mode.

Also, you can check the video tutorial as following:

Fix 8. Go to Local App Store

If you have tried all above methods, but your Mac is still stuck on login screen after entering password, then you need to get your Mac fixed at a local Apple store, where you can get expert advice in person. 

Each Apple store has a dedicated team for technical support, shopping advice and product learning. You can make an appointment and visit the store with your Mac and passwords.

If you don’t know how to back up files before fixes, you are also recommended to bring an external storage device for data backup.

Lost Data after Mac Stuck on Login Screen? Recover It!

Data loss from the hard drive may follow Mac stuck on boot screen. If you didn’t manage to back up your Mac data before, you won’t be able to recover lost files via Time Machine after macOS upgrade.

Fortunately, Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac- an effective and powerful recovery program, allows you to retrieve a wide range of file formats (Keynote, PDF, JPG, PNG, MOV, RTF, etc.) or any types (video, documents, archive, etc.) of deleted, formatted, corrupted data on Mac. It’s absolutely safe and keeps your data private.

  1. Install the software.
    Download the free trial of Cisdem Data Recovery, install it, then open it on Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Select the drive.
    Go to Hardware Disk and choose the drive where you lost the files.recover data after mac stuck 01
  3. Scan the drive.
    Click on Search for lost files button to find files on your drive. You can use the filter tool to quickly search specific lost files.recover data after mac stuck 02
  4. Preview and recover lost files.
    Once the scanning process is done, you can preview them for saving your time on data recovering. Finally, choose the target files and click on "Recover" button. In no time, your files that lost after “Mac stuck on login screen” fixed will be retrieved.recover data after mac stuck 03

Conclusion

It can be troublesome and distraught that your MacBook stuck on login screen after entering password with unknown reason, especially after update to Sonoma , Ventura, Monterey, or Big Sur. Worse still, you may lose files in the meantime. We introduce 8 practical solutions to get macOS stuck at login issue fixed, along with 1 data recovery program to restore lost files after mac update, but the safest plan is to keep backups of all vital files on Mac.

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Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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  • Dana Santiago

    I reboot my iMac in recovery mode, and the problem is gone, no stuck any more, thanks for the tips.

    0 months ago commonReply

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  • Vets Marc

    my macbook pro also got stuck after Catalina update. I start it up holding cmd + R and did reinstall macOs, and everything works now.

    4 years ago commonReply

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