Few things are more frightening on Mac then when you turn on your laptop and it boots to an unresponsive black screen. You can hear your fans spinning, your HDD working, and your keyboard lighting up, but your screen is black, leaving you to think you have a really expensive paperweight. Do not despair however, there are some easy steps you can take to hopefully “bring your Mac back to life”.
First, try an SMC Reset. To see the full “How To” on performing an SMC Reset, click on the link attached. This is an overview on how to perform an SMC Reset:
- 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.
When the Mac boots back up, the majority of the time, this will fix your issue. However, if your Mac still is just booting up to a black screen, here is another possible solution that could fix your problem:
MacOS has keypress sequences that can be used as short cuts to power off, put to sleep and reset the computer. Oddly enough, it seems to work to resolve some of the mystery Mac booting into black screen issues. Here’s the precise sequence to follow:
- Press the Power button once (this will bring up the dialog box which you can’t see).
- Press the “S” key (this is the shortcut to sleep the Mac).
- Hold down the Power button until a hard shut down is forced.
- Wait about 15 seconds, then hit the Power button again to turn it back on.
With the combination of these two tactics, your Mac now should be booting up normally. If it’s not, do not hesitate to ask us for help and we will do our best to help diagnose your issue and help how we can.
may have the ability to replicate itself, if not completely cleaned. This may require tracking down hundreds of files and settings. You can choose to use Spyhunter Professional Anti-Malware Program to deal with any infection that might be lurking along with !
>>Download SpyHunter – a Professional Virus scanner and remover.
Please, have in mind that SpyHunter offers a free 15-day Trial version with full functionality. Credit card is required, no charge upfront.
9 thoughts on “How to Fix a Mac Booting to Black Screen”
Thank you for the article.
I have PB17 inch and need to get it back up and running right away. It boots up but goes to black screen after 20 seconds-ish.
Option 1 – Shift+Control+Option+Power button – failed.
Option 2 – May have failed… let me tell you what I see…. The power+S combo doesn’t seem to sleep the computer. Nevertheless, as it starts up I release within a few secs and then hold power down and shut it off. When I restart 15 secs later it still boots and goes to black screen eventually. I also tried holding the power and S key but that has no effect either. Still just goest to block.
Will appreciate any thoughts.
I needed to do the 2nd step, too, but that succeeded. Who knew? You are a great help ‘ thanks!
mac has a black screen. tried every trick on the internet. no luck. Now wondering if there is a way to get an external monitor to display so i can get my docs off the mac
I can tell my macbook is on, the keyboard is lighting up, I put my password in can tell it is on as I can hear sounds etc however the screen isn’t on and won’t come on.
Hello, thank you for posting this. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. The Apple store here on Oahu didn’t even have reservations for the Genius Bar for > a week. Any other ideas? FYI, the lights go off/come on my keyboard whEn I power off/on, but there is no standard chime.
Some MacPros are on recall by Apple because of black screen and only being able to see the screen when the top is partially open. Those bought in the past four years with a 13″ screen should be reported to an Apple shopto see if they are included.
Unexpectedly, got a black screen while first starting up. Tried step 2 that evening. It worked…. put in sleep mode then when I tried computer again…same black screen. Tried step 2 repeatedly to no avail!!!!!
Hey, got an old Macbook from 2008 or 2009 ( I believe as we bought it used) The battery is at the point of needing to be replaced. When I try to boot it up, it boots to the black screen. Could that be due to the battery issue? I’ve tried these key combos before and after awhile it finally worked, but then it went back to the same problem again.
Thanks for the article – the SMC reset I had seen before and used but the sleep mode trick was new. I have a late 2012 MacBook I got used about a year ago. It was working great for awhile but started getting the Black SCreen if death on occasion. After the SMC trick and occasionally using the trick to reset NVRAM. It would come back. WEl this timeneither worked. I found your site and comment here and found after about 5 tries using the combination of these did bring the Apple on the screen and booted. What I found different this time is after it booted and the screen came up it rebooted on it’s own with no typing on my part, and when it rebooted it came up with aforementioned BSoD. With utilities I had on the screen I saw that the battery is marginal (running below the recommended charge levels), and the SSD is somewhat long in the tooth as well. My gut feel would be use an SSD I have lying around and rebuild the OS, and possibly get a battery but with these symptons (BSoD with random reboots) is there something I am missing? Couldn’t find the combination of problems on another group. Thanks to anyone that may know.