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How to Fix ‘Mac Boot­ing With Black Screen’ Issue

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Are you trying to wake up your Mac from sleep and it wouldn’t succeed? A black screen on your MacBook Pro is all you see, no matter what keys you are pressing. Here are a couple of explanations (mostly based on user stories) to get your Mac back in the spotlight.

Reasons why your Mac screen turns black:

  • Screen expansion by third-party applications
  • Operating system that has been recently updated
  • Damaged power and display settings
  • Cables not connected

Fix MacBook Pro Black Boot Screen

To fix MacBook Pro boot black screen problem, you will start with simple solutions to complex and technical solutions

Note: These solutions also apply to MacBook Air.

Solution n. # 1: check if the power is on

Its on? Is power being transferred from the outlet to your Mac? Check to see if the charger cable is intact and if your Mac is charging. Is the green light on?

To rule out any power issues, listen carefully for any noise from your Mac, from the hard drive or fans.

If your Mac was off due to power, try charging it for no less than ten minutes before trying to turn it back on.

If you still see black screen on Mac, the problem could be something else.

Solution n. # 2: disconnect all peripherals

The only accessories that need to be connected to your Mac when you are trying to solve the black screen issue on Mac should be the charging cable and the adapter.

Disconnect all accessories and devices connected to the Mac. Remove all external devices such as printers, flash drives, telephones, and other external drives.

These peripherals can initiate their own dialogs that could interfere with your Mac’s display settings.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, something else could be the problem.

Solution n. 3: adjust your screen brightness

You may have unknowingly pressed the brightness keys on your keyboard to make the screen dim. Or it could have been your cat.

Use the F1 and F2 buttons to light up the black screen on your Mac.

Solution # 4: Force restart your MacBook Pro

You can force restart your Mac to solve the problem.

If you have established that the black screen issue when starting Mac is on the screen, forcing the device to restart may be a solution. (if you are not sure, skip this process).

Force restarting the Mac can fix bugs and errors.

That’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Power key for about 6 seconds.
  2. Wait for the Mac to shut down
  3. Press the Power key again to start it

Solution n. # 5: reset Mac NVRAM settings

NVRAM stands for Non-volatile RAM.

This is a functionality that stores configurations in memory for hard drives, speakers, display, main startup disk, etc.

NVRAM reset can effectively reset everything connected with the boot process to factory (default) settings, including remotely connected.

To reset Mac NVRAM settings:

  1. Turn off your MacBook Pro.
  2. Press the power key.
  3. Wait for your Mac to start loading.
  4. When you hear a startup sound, hold down Cmd + Option + P + R.
  5. Keep pressing the keys until you hear a second startup sound.

Solution n. # 6: restart the system management controller

Resetting the SMC will dump and reset the settings for anything related to power management. It solves, among others, problems such as heat, sleeping problems, fans, and of course Mac black screen display problems.

To reset SMC on MacBook Pro or MacBook Air (with non-removable battery):

  1. Turn off the Mac
  2. Plug your Mac into power (if not connected). Make sure to use your MagSafe adapter.
  3. While the Mac is off, press the Shift + Control + Option + Power keys at the same time and hold them down for a few seconds
  4. Release all keys at the same time
  5. Boot up the Mac as usual and be careful what happens

When Mac starts up hopefully the Mac black screen will be gone and back to normal.

Solution # 7: Keystroke Sequence (keyboard)

If your Mac starts up, the black screen may disappear and the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air may return to normal; however, if it doesn’t, try a keystroke sequence to get rid of the black screen.

If your Mac turns on but the screen remains black, try the keystroke sequence:

  1. Press the power (OFF) button once, and an invisible dialog box will appear on the black screen of MacBook Pro
  2. Press the ‘S’ button: shortcut to sleep on Mac
  3. Force a complete shutdown by pressing and holding the power button for 4 seconds
  4. wait about 16 seconds
  5. Press the power button (OFF) to turn the MacBook Pro back on

This process is not common but it has worked for many

Solution # 8: Restart the PRAM

If both of the above tricks failed (fix # 6 and fix # 7), a PRAM reset can often be the solution for the MacBook pro home screen.

Mac PRAM is a memory that contains some settings for your Mac.

The PRAM settings are preserved even if you shut down or restart the Mac. If they get corrupted in any way, they can cause problems like black screen on Mac.

This is why resetting the PRAM is a possible solution to black screen on boot. PRAM reset is almost similar to SMC reset. To reset the PRAM:

  1. Restart the Mac
  2. As soon as you hear the boot chime, hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys together
  3. When you hear the boot sound again, the PRAM has restarted
  4. Let the Mac reboot as usual
  5. Up to this point, Mac should restart normally and should no longer have a black screen.

Solution n. # 9: boot into safe mode

Sometimes the black screen on Mac is the result of corrupted information on the startup disk. A simple solution to this is to force your Mac to run diagnostics on the disk by booting it up in safe mode.

To start in safe mode:

  1. Turn on or restart your Mac
  2. Hold down the Shift key until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  3. Release the Shift key and let the system boot.
  4. Boot is likely taking longer than normal because you are running diagnostics during the boot sequence. Let safe mode boot finish to finish.

Once it finishes booting, reboot again to exit safe mode and start normally to see if the Mac black screen issue has been fixed.

Solution # 10: Enter the password, press Return

This is an amazing alternative that works when Mac boot black screen problem persists.

All you need to do is enter your usual login password as usual and hit the Enter / Return key, the Mac starts up as usual and then you’re good to go. Try this, it might work for you:

  1. When the Mac boots to the black screen, enter the password your Mac login password as usual
  2. Press the Enter / Return key
  3. If this works, you’ll know pretty quickly because the black screen will give way to the normal Mac OS desktop.

Solution n. # 11: Turn off automatic graphics switching

This solution works only for black screens on MacBook Pro with dual GPUs.

Some MacBook Pro models have dual graphics cards that switch automatically. Sometimes those models can boot directly to a black screen.

Often times to fix this problem, you simply disable automatic graphics card (GPU) switching on MacBook Pro:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose “System Preferences.”
  2. Go to “Energy Saving”
  3. Move the switch next to ‘Automatic graphics switching’ to turn it off
  4. Restart your Mac normally

Solution n. 12: reinstall macOS

This is the last resort.

If all of these solutions don’t work, there could be a bigger problem than simple hardware and software solutions. Reinstalling macOS can solve the problem once and for all.

You can decide to install the same MacOS product or purchase a new macOS and install it on your Mac.

Final remarks: How to Fix ‘Mac Boot­ing With Black Screen’ Issue

I hope you understand this article, How to Fix ‘Mac Boot­ing With Black Screen’ Issue. If your answer is no, you can ask anything via the contact forum section related to this article. And if your answer is yes, please share this article with your friends and family to give us your support.

James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.


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