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Black Screen on MacBook Pro: How to Fix It

Posted By Volodymyr Chubei | 06 Sep 2023

Table of Contents

MacBook Pro is a reliable and long-lasting product, but even a high-tech product can face a problem such as a black screen at boot. From this article, you will learn how you can restore your MacBook. You will learn about the most common causes of a MacBook Pro black screen and possible ways to solve this problem.

Why is my MacBook Pro screen black?

When such a problem occurs, many users try to solve it on their own, so they wonder what to do if a MacBook Pro screen is black. The main causes of a black screen are as follows:

  • the device is unplugged or discharged;
  • extremely low brightness level;
  • MacBook won't start up due to connected devices;
  • system startup failure;
  • incorrect startup of services and applications;
  • problems with non-volatile RAM, RAM parameters, system management controller;
  • an operating system failure.

How to fix a black screen on MacBook Pro

When you try to turn on the device in MacBook Pro black screen, you can refer to the step-by-step instructions to fix the problem. You don't need any special knowledge - just follow the steps described in the manual.

1. Check the power and brightness level

If your MacBook Pro won't turn on (black screen), check the battery, it may be low. Plug the device in and restart it again. Make sure the power indicator light is on to exclude the cable problem.

Sometimes the cause of black screen on MacBook Pro is the most common - low brightness level. This can happen by accident, when, for example, a child or pet presses a key and completely darkens the screen. Try to increase the brightness by using the F12 key.

Also: What to do if your MacBook won't turn on

2. Disconnect all devices from the MacBook

The cause of MacBook Pro black screen on startup may lay in connected peripherals. Disconnect all external gadgets except the power adapter and try to turn on the MacBook.

3. Rebooting the device

Very often, knowing how to restart a MacBook Pro with a black screen is enough to solve the problem. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Press the power button for 5 seconds and release it. Wait 15–20 seconds and turn on the device.
  2. Simultaneously press the three buttons: Control, Command, and Power (depending on the model, Eject or Touch ID may be instead of Power).

If the problem has not been solved, you need to move on to more radical steps.

4. Data reset

The effective and powerful way to fix the MacBook Pro black screen of death is a hard reset.

For models with an Apple chip (from the M1 MacBook Pro 13 to the M2 Pro and M2 Max 2023):

  1. Press the on/off button for 10 seconds.
  2. When the Startup Options window appears, select Options from the menu and then click Continue.
  3. Run Disk Utility, which will diagnose the device and correct errors.
  4. Wait until the test is complete, and the problem is solved.
  5. Reboot the MacBook.

For older Intel chip models, after the first step, press and release the Power button first and then the Command and R combination. Next, follow the steps described for Apple chip models.

5. Key combination

A certain key combination can sometimes help to restore the MacBook Pro screen to normal operation. Press the Power key once, then press the "S" key. Hold down the power key until forced shutdown. Wait 15 seconds and reboot the device.

6. Booting in safe mode

This method will help to resolve a possible conflict of services and applications. To start the device in safe mode:

  1. Turn off the MacBook and wait 20 seconds.
  2. Turn on the device by pressing the Shift button.
  3. Release Shift and select Secure Boot Mode in the window that opens.

The device in this mode will be diagnosed for errors. The subsequent startup may take longer to load the system, but this is normal, just wait a while.

6. Resetting RAM and NVRAM parameters

Many settings are stored in these memory sections, including display settings, so resetting can restore screen functionality.

Follow the instructions to reset the parameters:

  1. Turn off the MacBook and immediately turn it on by pressing the power button.
  2. Immediately press and hold the combination of Option, Command, R, and P keys.
  3. When you hear the characteristic sound of the device start up, release the buttons.

Some settings such as time, date, time zone may be lost, so check them and set correct values when you log in again.

7. Reset SMC

The System Management Controller affects the operation of the display, keyboard, and other components. Often, resetting this controller can help correct a black screen problem.

To reset, unplug your MacBook for 15–20 seconds. Press and hold the four keys: Shift, Control, Option, and the Power button until the device starts booting.

Also: How to reset the SMC on MacBook: step-by-step guide

8. Reinstalling macOS

This is a measure of last resort when nothing else has worked. It is recommended that you back up your files before reinstalling the operating system. You can also contact Apple Support for additional instructions or advice.

Other problems of black screen MacBook Pro

We've considered the main causes of a black screen on MacBook and described how you can solve them. However, sometimes you can see flashing icons when you try to turn on the device when nothing is shown on the display. Each symbol warns about problems that can be easily solved by yourself:

  • folder with a flashing question mark (no OS or disk unavailable) — hold down the power key for about 10 seconds and use a special utility (Disk Utility) to recover, if it doesn't work, you will need to reinstall macOS;
  • crossed circle (can't use macOS to boot) — also use a disk utility to restore the boot disk availability;
  • progress bar and Apple logo — try rebooting the device, and if it t fails, run recovery from the disk utility (if it doesn't work, reinstall macOS);
  • lock (firmware with password is used) — just enter the firmware password.

The black screen on the MacBook problem is sometimes associated with mechanical damage. For example, the integrity of the matrix as a result of a fall or liquid getting into the display, which led to its failure.

In such a case, a repair of the black screen on the Macbook will be required that will include replacement of the damaged screen with a new one. Use only original parts so that there is no conflict between the equipment and the device that will ensure long lifespan of your device's trouble-free operation.

If you can't fix it yourself, contact Apple Parts. We have many original parts for different models of MacBooks. We also have a mail-order repair option at any FedEx office. Send your MacBook, after diagnosis, get an invoice for services, pay for it, and receive your device the next day.

Genuine Lcd Screen (Display) Assembly (661-21970) Space Gray A2442 2021


1. How do I fix my MacBook Pro black screen?
Depending on the cause of the problem, you may need to check power and brightness levels, reboot, including with peripherals disabled. Booting in Safe Mode, and resetting data, SMC, RAM, and NVRAM may also help solve the problem. As a last resort, you may need to reinstall macOS.
2. Why does my MacBook Pro turn on, but the screen is black?
There are several possible reasons: low brightness level, the device is discharged, or the power cable is damaged, and system boot failure. Black screen can also be caused by SMC, RAM, NVRAM malfunction, and operating system corruption.
3. Why is my MacBook Pro screen black but the keyboard lights up?
There are three main reasons: screen brightness turned off, low battery, or use of a non-original charger for your MacBook.


Volodymyr Chubei
Computer Repair Specialist at MacNest.com

Volodymyr was born in Ukraine and has found his passion for electronics from his childhood. At the age of 13, he was capable of soldering some basic elements of a logic board and today he is one of the co-founders of MacNest.com

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