Issue logging in to iMac

I am hoping the community might be able to help.

I have a late 2014 (?) iMac. Recently I have noticed some odd bits and bobs happening. The camera would fail in the middle of video call, programs would take a long time to open. This afternoon the whole system froze. I could move the mouse, but nothing else. It would restart/sleep etc, even after leaving it for more than 30 mins. I shut the thing down by pressing the on/off key (possibly a mistake).

When rebooting I get to the login screen, and while I can move the mouse around I can not get the login password box to reveal itself. I have tried zapping the PRAM, and safe booting but it hasn’t helped.

Any thoughts as to how to process would be really helpful.

Thanks you


What os version?

Have you run Disk Utility, or any RAM utilities?


It is running 10.14.6

I have previously run disk utility, which didn’t find any problems. At the moment I can not get beyond the login screen.



So you cannot get into Safe Mode now? How about Recovery Mode?

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Thank you for helping. I will give that a go.


I know this is not what you are looking for, but given how much of iCloud services no long run on my mid-2011 27" iMac, I have long played with the possibility of putting a more current OS on it like Xubuntu. Since I am frozen at High Sierra, this would at least give me more up to date security.

Having said that, would booting up from a bootable USB with Xubuntu or Fedora return your functionality (ie: troubleshoot/identify whether you have a hardware issue or not)?

I’m curious as to what brings you to this conclusion.

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What brings me to that conclusion is that an OS that does not get updated for security patches to its OS or core web browser can leave it vulnerable to exploits.

OK, thanks for your reply. I don’t want to hijack @Nick‘s thread, so I’m going to leave this where it lies.


Of course! Happy to be of help.

Hold the d key during startup to run the build inn diagnostics.

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@bowline A quick update.

I think it was a mouse problem. I found a workaround to login in. I then rebooted (properly) several times. The mouse eventually loaded properly after I moved to a wired microsoft mouse. I reinstalled the bluetooth mouse and things seem to be okay again.

Many many thanks for spending time to help me out.

What I can take away - learn your keyboard shortcuts.


Interesting. This mac is beginning to struggle. I am getting quite a lot of beachballs, programmes slow to open and what not. I was thinking of either putting in more RAM, going to my local mac man and get an SSD put in…or wait until new iMacs are released and saving up for a new one.

I did look into putting linux on, but it seemed pretty complicated - I had put ubuntu on an old netbook (remember those?) and that went very smoothly. I just have to consider my options. I will need MacOS at some point as I am pretty invested in software…oh and I love them!


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Agreed. I love the macOS and upgraded the RAM and HD years ago. But because my iMac is a 27" with a 3 TB hard drive, replacing all of what I need is really problematic. Security, speed and up-to-date features (the case for Linux) is one consideration. Balancing that against mac apps I love, and my Photos library is something else. I may ultimately buy a mac mini and either run that, while warehousing the overflow onto an external hard drive - Or I may jury-rig the iMac as an external monitor to the mac mini. We’ll see.

Fedora, creates a pretty easy USB-live writer, if you’re ever interested in booting up from a “live disk” to give it a try.

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