How to Fix the Black and Unresponsive MacBook Screen in 5 Steps

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how to fix black screen in mac

Even if you’ve never used Windows, you’ve probably heard of the “black screen of death” (BSOD) or a term to that effect. You might have also believed, up until today, that Mac had nothing comparable.

The Macbook screen going black when fully opened is not a life-threatening situation, but it is frustrating and interrupts any activities you were doing.

We’ve gathered a few solutions to help you address it because it’s precisely the kind of issue that leaves things grinding to a halt while being annoyingly unpredictable.

Why Did Your MacBook Pro Go Black: Possible Causes

Power Issues

Although it may seem very obvious, the most frequent cause of a blank screen on a Mac is a power problem. This is usually an excellent place to start looking, regardless of whether it’s a bad battery or a malfunctioning charging cord that causes you to fall for the black screen trap.

Waking from Sleep

The majority of black screen problems occur when you wake up your MacBook from sleep. It’s unclear if Apple or the user is at fault for this problem, but it’s typically characterized as happening when you open the lid of your MacBook and the screen won’t come up but the computer is still functioning.

The activity indicator, fans, or other noises may give the impression that your computer has started up, but the screen is still blank. Although its origin is yet unknown, this scenario is well known.

Broken Disk Permissions or Login Items

Broken disc permission problems are sometimes to blame for your Mac’s black screen or even for not letting your laptop boot up normally; other times, the problem is one or more apps that secretly make it onto your MacBook’s auto-starting list and interfere with booting.

Software/App Error

Everyone wants to attribute the problem to a glitch. If you’re booting to a black screen or another frustrating situation, it’s a straightforward solution to an issue that would seem intractable otherwise. However, this is a valid potential cause as there are certain known bugs that could be the problem.

If this applies to you, be sure to check official Apple resources like the security update list or the Apple Community Forum.

Related: 5 Ways of Fixing the “Preparing Automatic Repair” Loop in Windows 10

How to Fix Unresponsive Black Screen on MacBook

In this section, whether you are using a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, we’ll start at the beginning and demonstrate how to restore a non-responsive black screen to normal.

Step 1: Check Your Power

Check to see if somebody tripped over the charging cord or wrenched the plug out of the wall when your MacBook Pro was previously charging. To determine whether your battery needs to be replaced, you should also evaluate its cycle life.

how to fix black screen in mac

To do this, choose About this Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your Mac, then System Report. Select Power from the right-hand side of the report after it has opened.

Look down from the power panel until you see your battery’s cycle count and condition. It’s time to think about getting a new MacBook Pro battery if it indicates “Poor” or “Bad.” Typically, this kind of procedure costs roughly $100 USD.

how to fix black screen in mac

Keeping your MacBook plugged in should offer short-term respite if you don’t have the money to purchase a battery right away or need a solution in the meantime. Although having a laptop lessens your productivity, this is merely a short-term fix.

Step 2: Restarting

Restarting the computer is your next best option if the problem isn’t with the battery (or if you can’t view the system report right now to check). You can accomplish this in a few different ways:

Press the ENTER key even if you can’t see the dialogue box since “Shut Down” is already chosen after pressing the CTRL + EJECT keys to open the dialogue box. Once the computer has finished shutting down, press the power button once more to restart it.

  1. A restart is initiated automatically by pressing CTRL + CMD + EJECT.
  2. To turn it off, hold down the power button for 5 seconds. Press it once more to reboot after waiting 15 seconds.
  3. The black screen problem should be fixed after your MacBook restarts and returns to normal operation.

Failed to work Continuously to the next step on this list to find a unique key pattern that might work.

Step 3: Try a Known Key Sequence

It’s worth a shot to try, as several users have claimed that a certain key combination retrieved from the depths of the MacRumors forum has assisted in resolving their black screen booting troubles.

What you need to do is as follows:

  1. When you press the power button once, a shutdown dialogue box often appears (you won’t be able to view it with a black screen).
  2. Use the hotkey “S” to put your Mac to sleep.
  3. To cause a hard shutdown, press and hold the power button.
  4. Before hitting the power button once more to restart, wait around 15 seconds.

And there you have it, your MacBook should now boot normally rather than to a black screen.

Step 4: Resetting the NVRAM/PRAM

If you’ve tried a variety of solutions without success or the issue keeps coming again, it may be time to take some more extreme action. Here is a guide on how to reset the NVRAM/PRAM on your Mac.

  1. Turn off your Mac (for instructions, see above).
  2. Activate the power switch. Hold down Command + Option + P + R as soon as you hear the startup bell.
  3. Hold these in place until you hear a further startup chime, then let go.

Your Mac should now start normally, but you might have lost some settings along the way, so check system preferences to make sure your disc, display, and date/time settings are all set up correctly.

Step 5: Reset the System Management Controller

Another option for resolving a black screen is to perform an SMC reset. Knowing how to do this can help you fix a variety of other problems with your MacBook, including slowdowns caused by overheating.

Follow these procedures to reset the SMC on your MacBook:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Relate to the power supply
  3. Hold down Shift, Control, and Option while pressing the Power button simultaneously for approximately 10 seconds with the MacBook off.
  4. Set the keys free.
  5. Turn off the computer.
  6. Now you should reset the SMC.

If you have an earlier MacBook, the SMC reset may differ from this; read more here.

Related: Fix: Why Doesn’t My Apple TV Remote Work?

Final Words

Dealing with black screens is never enjoyable. Rebooting and maybe losing your work aren’t exactly pleasurable pastimes, aside from the never-ending frustration. This instruction should have helped you resolve the problem and get back on your feet.

If you know of any alternative solutions for a MacBook’s black screen, please share them with us in the comments section below.

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