What to Do When Your MacBook Pro Screen Goes Black?

You accidentally dropped your MacBook Pro and saw it boot up on a black screen! You might be playing games or turned on your Mac as usual, but instead of seeing the Apple logo and loading bar, you stumbled upon a blank screen.

Take a close look at your Mac. The cursor is movable, the keyboard light is on, and the Apple logo on the back may be on. So apparently it’s on, but why is the screen black?

In this article, we tell you what can cause this black screen problem and how to fix it on your own.

Why is your Mac screen black?

For some users, the Mac or MacBook Pro black screen issue seems to come out of nowhere. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause, we’ve summarized a few possible reasons that might apply to you:

  • Not enough power or rated power.
  • Updated software or hardware is incompatible with the Mac, has unresolved bugs, or consumes too much disk space.
  • The contact between firmware and hardware is broken, loose, or dusty.
  • Disk authorization is faulty.
  • In the startup list, there were applications that prevented the Mac from starting normally.

While each black screen case varies, it’s likely possible to fix it. Let’s see some solutions.

How to fix MacBook Pro black screen?

MacBook Pro black screen is most likely the result of a software issue and/or sometimes a screen connection issue. This guide will start with simple but effective solutions, then move on to more complex solutions.

Before you start, make sure that:

  • Your Mac has enough power to start. It’s hard to know how much battery power you have left because of the black screen, but a charging problem could be the cause. We recommend that you leave your Mac plugged in for at least 15 minutes and restart it again.
  • Once your Mac has enough battery, press the F2 key to increase the brightness of your Mac.

If your Mac has enough battery power and adjusting the brightness isn’t helping, unplug any peripherals connected to your Mac to prevent them from interfering with your Mac’s display settings.fix MacBook pro black screen

Try the solutions below one by one, and with a bit of luck, you can fix your MacBook Pro black screen issue immediately.

Solution 1: Slowly wake up your Mac

This simple trick works great for many users. You just need to slowly lower the screen to put your Mac into sleep mode. Then gently lift it up to wake it up from the black screen. This is a simple first solution but it can solve the black screen problem.

Solution 2: Force restart your Mac

Forcing your Mac to shut down and restart is a universal solution, which helps eliminate errors that slow down your Mac and thus prevent it from working.

To force your Mac to restart:

  • Press and hold the power button or Touch ID button for 6-10 seconds.
  • Wait another 10 seconds after shutting down the computer.
  • Then press the power button to restart your Mac.

Solution 3: NVRAM Reset

NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) is battery-backed memory, which is present in all modern Macs. It stores system information such as boot disk selection, display resolution, time zone, etc.

Resetting NVRAM will help you restore corrupted data to default settings, and potentially fix MacBook Pro black screen issue.

To do an NVRAM reset:

  • Press the power button to turn your Mac off.
  • Press the power button again, then immediately hold down Command + Option + P + R.
  • Hold down all four keys for about 20 seconds. Release when you hear a second startup sound or the Apple logo appears and disappears twice.

Solution 4: Reset the SMC

The SMC (System Management Controller) manages parameters such as the battery, temperature, keyboard, screen lights, and other processes. Resetting the SMC can be useful when your Mac is behaving strangely.

To reset the SMC: (non-removable battery)

  • Shut down your Mac, then unplug the power.
  • Hold down the left Shift + Control + Option + Power buttons for 10 seconds, then release them.
  • Connect the power cable and press the power button to start your Mac.

Solution 5: Boot into Safe Mode

When resetting NVRAM and SMC fails to fix your Mac, the problem is not with system settings. In some scenarios, suspicious apps may have crept into the boot process, preventing your Mac from booting from the selected boot partition.

Starting in safe mode can prevent software from launching during startup, including login items, unnecessary system extensions, and third-party fonts. Therefore, isolate the problematic applications.

To start in safe mode:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait 15 seconds.
  • Press the power button again and immediately hold down the Shift key until you see the login screen.
  • Sign in to your account. You may be asked to log in twice. On the first or second login window, you will see the words “Secure Boot” appear in the upper right corner.

If your Mac is working fine in Safe Mode, you should open System Preferences> Users & Groups and click on the Login Items tab to remove unnecessary apps. Also, remove any recently downloaded third-party software, then restart your Mac.

Solution 6: Reboot / restore your Mac’s firmware

If your Mac goes completely black and cannot turn on or boot from recoveryOS, firmware restart is a reliable solution to restore it to its original state. Blocking the Mac from macOS updates is nothing new; this happened to macOS Big Sur and also happens to macOS Monterey users.

If your Mac has a T1 / T2 / M1 chip, you can restart it in DFU mode.

To restart an unresponsive Mac:

  • Install Apple Configurator 2 on a working Mac from the App Store and launch it. Leave the Mac plugged in.
  • Unplug the unresponsive Mac, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds to shut down your Mac.
  • Connect two computers using a non-Thunderbolt 3 USB C to USB C cable.
  • Start the unresponsive Mac in DFU mode. Hold down the power button; after 1 second, press the left Control + Option key and the right Shift key for 8 seconds.
  • Release all four keys when you see the word “DFU” on the functional Mac.
  • Right-click on the DFU window, select Advanced> Reboot device, then confirm by clicking Relaunch.
  • If the operation is successful, the Apple logo appears on the unresponsive Mac. You can boot into recovery mode to reinstall macOS.

Reactivating your Mac will keep your data intact, update the firmware, and reinstall the latest version of recoveryOS. But if a restart doesn’t fix your Mac’s black screen issue, try to restore it.

Be aware that a restore will erase all data on your Mac. Only do this if you have full backups or if there are no important files stored on your Mac.

To restore a frozen Mac:

Right-click on the DFU window, choose Restore, then click Restore.

Solution 7: Reconnect screen, RAM, battery, and hard drive

If you are computer savvy, turn off your Mac and use a suitable screwdriver to unscrew the cover of your Mac. Then insert a thin piece of plastic around the edge of the hood and carefully move it until it comes off completely.

After that, grab the cover from both sides to open it. You can now disconnect the display strip, battery, RAM, and hard drive and reconnect them after a few seconds. Clean off any dust that has accumulated over the years, then close the cover again to check again if your Mac restarts smoothly.

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