How to Fix a Mac Booting to Black Screen

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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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 Method: 

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: 

  1. Shut down your Mac and connect it to your MagSafe adapter and a wall outlet as usual.
  2. Hold down the Shift+Control+Option+Power button at the same time for a few seconds.
  3. 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: 

Second Method: 

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: 

  1. Press the Power button once (this will bring up the dialog box which you can’t see).
  2. Press the “S” key (this is the shortcut to sleep the Mac).
  3. Hold down the Power button until a hard shut down is forced.
  4. 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. 


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