How To Fix It When MacBook Screen Goes Black (7 Steps)

MacBook Screen Goes Black

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It can be frustrating when your MacBook screen suddenly goes black, especially when you’re in the middle of an important task. This article will walk you through the process of fixing it when your MacBook Screen turns black.

Key Takeaways:

  • Using CleanMyMac to clear your cache helps fix the black screen issues caused by corrupt cache files. It scans and removes unncessary system files. 
  • You can check the power settings and battery cycle count to see if poor battery health causes black screens, and replace the battery accordingly if its condition is subpar.
  • Forcing a restart, resetting NVRAM/PRAM, safe mode, and SMC reset can resolve minor software issues that cause the screen to black out.
  • You can run Apple Diagnostics to detect hardware problems or reinstall macOS to fix software issues, but it’s best to contact Apple Support if the issue persists.

Why Did Your MacBook Pro Go Black: Possible Causes

Here are some possible causes of a black screen on your MacBook Pro:

  • Battery Issues: If your MacBook Pro battery is faulty, it may not be able to power your device and can become black.
  • Software Issues: MacOS glitches, incompatibility, and bugs can cause your MacBook Pro Black Screen. 
  • Overheating: If your MacBook Pro overheats, it may shut down to prevent damage to its hardware, causing the MacBook Pro Black Screen.
  • Hardware Failure: Hardware failures such as a faulty logic board, RAM, or hard drive can also cause your MacBook Pro screen to turn black.
  • Screen Damage: Damage to your MacBook Pro screen, such as cracks or water damage, can cause it to go black. You’ll have to replace your MacBook’s screen in this case.

These are just some possible causes of a black screen on your MacBook Pro.

Fix MacBook Pro Screen Goes Black But Still Running [2 Best Practice]

With these two helpful practices, you can troubleshoot the issue and get your MacBook back up and running quickly.

1. Clear Cache Using CleanMyMac

A common cause of a black screen on Mac is a corrupt cache. CleanMyMac has a feature to clear cache files and other temporary files that may be causing the issue.

  1. Open the CleanMyMac application on your MacBook.
  2. Click on the System Junk tab located in the left sidebar.
System Junk
  1. Click on the Scan button.
Scan System Junk
  1. Once the scan is complete, you will receive a list of files to remove.
Scan Completed
  1. Click on the Clean button to remove these files.
Clean junk
  1. Wait for the cleaning process to complete.
Cleaning your system
  1. Once done, restart your MacBook to allow the system to rebuild the necessary cache files.
Cleanup complete - restart your mac

That’s it! CleanMyMac makes clearing cache files a simple process, allowing you to optimize your MacBook’s performance and fix issues like a black screen.

2. Check Power Settings

One best practice to fix the issue of a Mac screen going black but still running is to check power settings. The following steps can help check power settings and fix any issues causing the black screen.

  1. Restart your Mac.
Restart your Mac
  1. Go to the Apple menu in your screen’s upper left-hand corner and click About This Mac.
About This Mac
  1. Now click on More Info.
More Info
  1. Once the report opens, click System Report.
System Report
  1. Click on Power in the left-hand column.
  1. Locate your Mac’s Cycle Count and Condition. If the Condition reads Poor, you have found the answer to the black screen issue.
Mac Cycle Count

How To Fix Unresponsive Black Screen On MacBook Pro

In this section, we’ll take it from the top and show you how to change an unresponsive black MacBook Pro screen to normal, whether you are using a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

1. Force Restart

A forced restart is a simple way to resolve most minor software glitches on your MacBook. This method is especially useful when your MacBook is unresponsive, including when the MacBook Pro screen is black.

  1. Press and hold down the power button.
  2. Wait for your MacBook to turn off completely.
  3. Press the power button again to turn on your MacBook.


Resetting the PRAM and NVRAM can sometimes help resolve display-related issues, including a MacBook black screen.

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the power button to turn it on.
  3. Immediately press and hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys.
  4. Continue holding down the keys until you hear the startup sound twice.
  5. Release the keys and wait for your MacBook to restart.

Your Mac should boot normally now. However,  you may have lost some settings, so you must check System Settings to see if your display, date/time, and disk options are all in order.

3. Boot In Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a troubleshooting or recovery mode that starts your MacBook with only the essential system processes and drivers. It can help you identify if third-party software or extensions are causing display issues.

  1. Press the power button to turn on your MacBook.
  2. Immediately press and hold the Shift key.
  3. Release the Shift key when you see the login window.

The Mac will now start into safe mode and might take a little longer than expected as it runs diagnostics on your startup disk. Once it boots up completely, you can restart to enter into a normal startup and see if the black screen issue is resolved.

4. Reset The SMC (System Management Controller)

The System Management Controller (SMC) manages your MacBook’s power, battery, and other hardware settings. Resetting the SMC (system management controller) can help resolve power-related display issues.

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Unplug your MacBook from the power source if it is plugged in.
  3. Press and hold down the Shift + Control + Option + Power button for 10 seconds.
  4. Release all the keys and buttons.
  5. Turn your MacBook back on.

5. Run Apple Diagnostics

Apple Diagnostics is a built-in tool that helps diagnose hardware issues on your MacBook. It can also help in finding other issues. You can run the Apple Diagnostics test following these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the power button and immediately hold down the D key until Apple Diagnostics starts up.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to diagnose any hardware issues.

6. Reinstall macOS

Reinstalling macOS can help resolve persistent software issues on your MacBook. However, be sure to backup your data before attempting this method, as it will erase all data on your MacBook.

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the power button and immediately hold down the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears.
  3. Select Reinstall macOS from the disk utility window and follow the on-screen instructions.

7. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above methods work, or if you suspect a hardware issue with your MacBook, it’s best to contact Apple Support for further assistance. They can provide more advanced troubleshooting steps or advise on repairs or replacements. 

Experiencing a black screen on your MacBook? Learn how to troubleshoot it, and discover how ‘Connecting a Dell Monitor to Your MacBook Pro‘ can help resolve this situation.

Sometimes, when your laptop goes to sleep, it might seem like it’s not working. If that happens, you might want to learn how to keep your MacBook Pro awake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a black MacBook screen be fixed without professional help?

Yes, sometimes a black MacBook screen can be fixed without professional help by performing basic troubleshooting steps, such as restarting your MacBook, resetting the SMC or PRAM, updating your software, or checking the power source.

How can I prevent my MacBook screen from going black in the future?

To prevent your MacBook’s screen from going black in the future, keep your MacBook updated with the latest software updates, avoid overheating by keeping your MacBook in a well-ventilated area, use an external monitors if needed, and handle your MacBook with care to avoid any physical damage to the screen or other hardware components.

How can I reset the SMC or PRAM on my MacBook?

To reset your MacBook’s SMC (system management controller), shut down your MacBook, press and hold the shift key + Control + Option keys and the Power button simultaneously for about 10 seconds, and then release all the keys and turn on your MacBook. To reset the PRAM, shut down your MacBook, press and hold the Command + Option + P + R keys simultaneously, and then turn on your MacBook and release the keys after hearing the startup sound twice.

Final Words

Congratulations, you did it! You successfully navigated through the frustrating maze of a black Mac screen. Always stay up-to-date with software updates and take care of your MacBook to prevent future issues. Now, go and conquer the digital world with your newly restored MacBook!

About Lorena
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Lorena holds a 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip. Her role involves editorial management from writing to editing and ensuring that the articles are informative, useful, and relevant to readers who are new to Mac.

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  • James

    To reset the PRAM, switch off your MacBook, then switch it back on by pressing the power button and the Command + Option + P + R keys. Hold those keys down until you hear the startup sound twice. Release the keys, and your MacBook will restart.

  • Jin Taylor

    Some of the common causes of a black screen are battery problems, overheating, hardware failures, and software glitches. Other causes include a faulty RAM or logic board, and even physical damage caused by water exposure or cracks.

  • Hannah M

    So, none of these steps seemed to work for me. I’m able to see the login screen, and put my password in- but as soon as I do, I get the black screen every time. I can see the cursor and the screen is clearly on, but I’m not able to do or hear anything. I’m not sure what caused it as I didn’t put my computer in sleep mode. Does anyone have a situation similar to mine and are able to help?

  • Student

    I’m replying to my previous comment*
    Okay so I was able to fix the light problem while being in the black screen of death. I simply put my password to login to my MacBook and the light turned on lol. I will reply again once I am able to fix the issue to help others

  • Student

    I have MacBook Air and my screen turned black and keyboard light is off except my caps lock key light shows when I turn it off or on.
    I was working on some schoolwork and put my Mac on sleep mode with the lid not closed, but open. When I came back from a 5 minute break, that’s when tat issue began. My laptop can turn on and off and makes noise while doing so which is normal. However, I am concerned my Mac has other technical issues even though it is new and has not been damaged before. Can anyone help me? Nothing on YouTube and websites is working for me. I hope my situation is not out of the ordinary and may still be able to be fixed with little tips and tricks.

  • JoAnne Gonnella

    If battery has power, go into the battery icon, upper right hand corner, go into battery preferences, and slide “turn display off after” to keep display on.

  • John Green

    The screen on my 2019 MacBook pro (OS 10.14.6) will suddenly go black in the middle of working. I think this is most often a minute or so after waking it up. Plugging in the power supply and waiting a minute or two seems to restore things, but it is not a low power issue – usually it is over 50% charged when it happens. Any suggestions – it’s annoying and I’m worried that one day it won’t resolve itself!

  • Flat Earth

    Shine a flashlight thru the back of the macbook apple logo and look at the front side of the screen. You may see the login box or a loading indicator. If you see the login box, enter your login and press enter. If you see the loading indicator, watch it to see if it is stuck.. This may help.

  • Kaycee

    After trying everything, step 4 worked for me too! Thank you!

  • Mooncat

    My daughter’s early 2013 MacBook Pro 13″ screen suddenly went black. I tried all the tricks listed and no result. I connected an external monitor and the desktop shows up without icons. Turned it off by holding the power button down until it shut down, disconnected the charger and removed the back cover. I disconnected the battery for about 15 seconds and reconnected it. Be sure to put the back cover back on before turning the computer on. It will not start without it. Turned it on and the screen worked normally. This may not be a permanent fix. It worked though for now.

  • JE Boyce

    I can’t make Step 4 work. I’m pretty fast at hitting the 4 keys, but the computer starts up before I can get them OR it just goes on anyway with no second chime.

  • VC

    so, did anyone found a solution to this? as mine is not responding to Cmd+shift+R+P, or any other options suggested. please advise

  • Ju ju

    Number 3 Just worked For me!! Thanks a million

  • A person on MacBook Pro

    Bruh, i think you just saved my computer 😀 at least i know its not a virus :/ just a open-the-lid/awake-from/sleep problem

  • Kevin

    None of these worked. Thankfully I have a new Mac Mini and I can share the screen of my MacBook Pro. som I can see it but on the laptop it is black. I tried plugging in external monitor and it was black. It’s as if the video connections are not working but I guess the graphics card is because I can screen share??

  • Narayan

    I tried all the steps and it’s not working for me, please help.
    Did anyone face the same issue as me?
    I have Macbook Pro 2017, when i open my screen like half (less than 40 degrees) screen is working and it goes black when i make it perpendicular.
    Thanks !!

  • JaVonneha

    I have a MacBook Air 2013 13”
    Step 3 worked for me!
    Power button once & the letter S once & she came right on! Thanks

  • Your mother

    So the topic is “black screen” & you provide us with solutions that can only work if you don’t have a black screen?? Are you some kind of emotional psychopath?? Since when did modern MacBooks (or any modern laptop) have an EJECT button? What would they be ejecting? Thank you for stealing 30 minutes of my life that I will never get back

  • Stephen

    Believe it or not, step 3 worked for me. Thanks.

  • MarceloCampusano

    it worked for me :
    Shut down your Mac and connect it to your MagSafe adapter and a wall outlet as usual.
    Hold down the Shift+Control+Option+Power button at the same time for a few seconds.
    Release all keys at the same time, then boot the Mac as usual.

  • MGT

    Thank you for this information. I am now able to continue my work. It really was helpful finding this site.

  • Bob

    More than half of your suggestions require a working screen. So they are useless if I have a black screen. Am I the only one to notice this or am I missing something?

  • Jerry

    I had no trouble with my MacBook had it for years then updated it shortly after black screen now I cannot turn on my MacBook always a black screen what is it deliberately done so I had to purchase a new MacBook Pro yes I believe so. best way to fix this. Is to buy a Dell it a HP.

  • Darryl S Paden

    Step 3 worked for me!

  • Roselie Louissaint

    Step 4 fixed it for me! God Bless you! Thank you.

    If you are not saved, please turn to Jesus before it is too late!!!

  • Eduard

    NONE of the proposed steps worked for me. HOWEVER I managed to solve it by doing the following:

    1-Shut down the Mac
    2-Press the ON button and IMMEDIATELY after, CLOSE the lid bringing the computer to Sleep.
    3-Open the lid (which wakes up the computer into the starting screen)

    After spending hours I just could not believe it was so simple.

  • Stephen Lucas

    I don’t have a black screen after logging in, but I do get a load of white error text on a black background that starts with Panic (cpu 2 caller… etc)
    I tried step 4 but no joy
    Any other thoughts would be most welcome please?

  • Darrick

    Shit don’t work

    • John +2348062088132

      This really works for me.
      Thank you

  • Jane

    This post didn’t help as my computer will not start/ re boot to take next steps. Can anyone help? My MacBook Pro is only 2 years old. Could it be the battery? Cheers jane

  • Bridget Malone

    How are you supposed to check any of the above listed if the screen is black and unresponsive????

  • Karen

    Nothing worked for me..keys are lit so I know it is on, but can’t get rid of that black screen. Why do these things happen when you need your laptop the most. Trying not to let this ruin my day.

  • Xia

    I have a MacBook Pro early 2013, one day the screen went blank while using it, rebooting did not fix, just brings up a black screen. Tried the options here and nothing worked, the Mac boots fine but the screen remains black. If I wait a few days and boot it up I sometimes get a screen for a few minutes then it goes black again without warning. Will have to take it in for repairs as none of the solutions mentioned worked.

  • Debbie Self

    Just bought a second hand Mac Pro 11. Plugged in all charged up. Keyboard lights as does apple logo but no screen. Have tried steps. . No success

  • Maher

    I have been able to solve my screen problem temporarily after resetting the SMC. But if i leave my mac off for a few minutes, its the same problem again. How to stop this permanently?

  • Bob

    Still trying to resurrect my workhorse (early 2013 15″ Retina). Desperately needing a couple of files, I bought a new Macbook Air to use as I operated on my old one. I removed the hard drive and used adapter to transfer my files:
    That part worked, so I’m breathing A LOT easier regarding the much-needed file, and now I’m back to trying to get the old one going. Tried all the steps listed (at least the steps I didn’t need to see the screen), to no avail. I’m going to keep trying and will report back if successful.
    Note: check the pins on your hard drive – that part is super important!
    And yes, I’m backing up that super important file on a cloud.

  • RC

    Waking computer from dead sleep ..
    installed a cd
    lets it try to boot
    turned off computer
    turn back on to eject…..walla ….screen back on .

  • Habiba

    None of this worked for me.

  • George Camacho

    My sons’s 2016 MB pro is just starting to have black screen issues when he tilts the screen 90 degrees. Did those steps it came back on yet slowly. Yet my2015 aluminum case Mb pro runs like a charm maybe I’ll buy one of those used as it seems to be a solution?

  • madeline

    none of this is working please help. i was in the middle of work and there were no problems it just went black out of nowhere

    • Kathie

      Same thing happened to me. I hope one of the solutions work for me.

  • Huia

    great tips, i got mine working from a black screen using the Command+R and then a restart. I was panicking that I broke it.

  • Jane

    Thanks so much . I kept trying and eventually it restarted . Hurrah

  • Aaliyah

    So I have tried logging into my laptop multiple times and it doesn’t work when I log in it loads halfway across the bar the screen turns black and turns off, I went and bought a new charger because the old one was broken and tried everything I could find but it still won’t turn on. Any ideas on what’s wrong?

  • Naughty Nymph

    What kind of idiot are you?
    Black screen……so how are you getting into the on screen dialogue windows?
    A complete waste of pixels.

    • Polo

      Using an external monitor.

  • Jet

    Do nothing.

    The problem comes when it falls to sleep then wakes but won’t turn on the screen.

    Letting the system fall back to sleep on its own resolves the problem.

    • rc

      Sounds hopeful makes a bit of sense
      mine hasn’t woken yet ,Ill give it a few more shakes
      I tried the codes nothing worked
      ..starting to think theres a conspiracy …,,,to MAC users …..
      new wave screen black outs…..who the EF know …today what can be done
      …………..this should not be happening all of a sudden ,,,time line observation

  • Heidi

    Thanks so much! My macbook was suffering from ‘black screen synsrome’. The “Try a known sequence” fix worked.

  • Geri

    Step 3 worked like a charm. Thank you! I have a 2013 MacBook Air.

  • Tyra Hill

    Thanks for sharing this amazing and helpful information, that will really help in fixing the screens. I really appreciate your work, keep it up.

  • Yadidiah

    My Mac book pro opens only half, the screen of my Mac book only works when I put my half open and it goes black when it’s fully opened. The keyboard light is still there so I guess the Mac book is still working. Can anyone help me know my problem and how to solve them.

  • daniel

    sometimes my Mac screen goes black for 30 seconds or longer. it’s terrifying but it always comes back with nothing lost. i’m worried that one of these times it will simply die on my and i’ll lose my precious data. any chance of that?

  • RobertB

    I was battling this recently as well and then remembered that it also had happened on a Windows laptop I had years ago and the solution for me was to not use the “Sleep” mode at all! Just Lock Screen (if you want) and close lid. Never use Sleep – it is a bug with that feature on many boxes I think!

    • rc

      makes the most sense whats the fix …???

  • kym kanow

    My macbook goes to the black screen while I’m operating it and with no notice to reason it is then unresponsive an i have to restart the computer the above tread i have tried but to no success
    does anyone have any other reason for this?

  • Paul

    Thank You very much.

    Holding the power button on did the trick for this NEW 85-year-old user.

    You’re a lifesaver! Two 2 inch thick Mojave books did not recommend this solution.

  • Hops

    How does one do step 5 if there is only a black/blank screen?

  • CrazyCraftUK

    Nothing I have tried worked. I tried a new video connector, new screen
    The fan spins up and the hard drive makes noise but the screen stays dead.
    What option should I use..?

  • Me

    My macbook pro turns on, keyboard lights up, it makes noise on startup. But as the title says black screen is unresponsive. You can not sign in, or see anything but a black screen. No way to get into actual computer. Because the screen is black. Battery is brand new just bought. Was working perfectly fine. I left for hour came back turned on and all black screen I’ve tried everything I have been reading in other sites nothing works. That whole shift ctrl option power does nothing..I’ve had no problems this just all of a sudden.

  • Ricky

    This is completely stupid!!! My screen won’t turn on!!! How the heck am I supposed to check anything???? I hear noises my keypad lights up but nothing but solid black screen. There is no desktop u can’t sign in u can’t get to anything on the computer at all..

  • David

    Hi, I’m never one to be ungrateful but steps 1 and 5 need a screen that isn’t black….so how does that work? Why suggest something you need a working screen for to fix a black screen….have I misread this? ….this is seriously hurting my brain thinking about it???

  • Will

    How can I perform any of these steps if I cannot see anything on the “black” screen?

    • Amber

      I plugged mine into an hdmi cord into the tv

    • Adam L.

      Connect HDMI to an external Monitor and you will be able to see your desktop if your macbook is working with the exception of the screen

    • Michael

      Pretty obvious if you have NO SCREEN. To work with. You CANT WORK.

  • Kronika

    I tried everything possible that was suggested above and nothing work. The screen is still black and the fan is still Running. What now?

  • Dan

    Tried all of them and still getting the start up page and about half way down the car it goes to a black screen with the spinning wheel and after a few minutes it is just locked up. It’s a 2013 15 inch MacBook Pro. Not one issue until yesterday. Ugh

  • Carol

    Nothing has worked on my 2014 MacBook Air. I was typing and it went black. I plugged it in, but the battery wasn’t low.
    It doesn’t make any sounds. It seems completely dead. Which I hope it isn’t!
    Is there something I can do?
    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • Kalah Outlaw-williams

      Did you ever find a fix? Mine did the same thing!!

  • Tony Payne

    I’ve found with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) that when it happens, if I press (not press and hold) the power key, the screen comes back. However when it happens on mine, the whole system is unresponsive so mine may be a different problem. My system is rather old and the battery condition is “service Battery”.

  • Tarcisio

    Just wanted to share that Step 4 solved my issue. I have a MacBook Pro early 2013.

    Thank you.

    • Ernesto Molina Carrón


      same MacBook Pro here, and also step4 did the trick.


    • Kevin Heiderman

      Same with me, #4 for my 2011 MacBook Pro, thanks!

  • JON

    “Service Battery” Notice with only 304 cycles, from February 2017 – June 2018 (no touch bar). The new battery is not as good by any stretch of the imagination when compared with my 2012 MacBook. Of course the warranty is over, and no word from Apple.

  • Magda

    Yeah, many thanks – my MacBook Pro doesn’t have a POWER button or EJECT. Everything switches on, I can hear little chiming, touch pad lights up showing options – the screen is dead no matter what…

    • Ag Ro

      Yes, I have the same problem and if I put the screen at a certain angle I can barely see what is on my screen but if I turn the lights off I can see nothing