Fix OS X Hanging Startup Safe Mode
What is Safe Mode?
Like Safe Mode on Windows, OS X’s Safe booting mode was designed for troubleshooting purposes. Not only does starting up in Safe Mode help isolate software issues from hardware failures, but is a recommended way of diagnosing problems should you encounter problems that cannot be fixed any other way.
How to boot in Safe Mode
Step 1: If your Mac is awake, shut it down by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu. Otherwise, just power it on and proceed to step 3.
Step 2: After your Mac shuts down, power it on again.
Step 3: Immediately after you hear the startup tone, press and hold the Shift key. Do not press the Shift key before you hear the startup chime. You would ideally hit Shift as soon as possible after you hear the startup tone.
Tip: If you use OS X’s FileVault feature to encrypt the entire startup disk, release the key when your Mac prompts you to unlock the disk, type in your password and press Enter.
Step 4: Release the Shift key when the desktop or OS X’s login screen appears.
How to leave Safe Mode
To exit Safe Mode, restart your Mac like you normally would (choose Apple menu > Shut Down) but don’t hold down any keys during startup. You should be back to your desktop in normal mode.
Keep in mind that leaving Safe Mode might take longer than it does to boot in normal mode. Just be patient and by no means don’t interrupt the process or hold down the power button to hard-reset your Mac.
Things your Mac does in Safe Mode
Starting up a Mac in Safe Mode does the following:
Verifies your startup disk and attempts to repair directory issues, if needed.
Loads only required kernel extensions.
Prevents Startup Items and Login Items from opening automatically.
Disables user-installed fonts.
Deletes font caches, Kernel cache and other system cache files.
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