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How to fix MacBook Pro/Air/iMac won't turn on for black screen issue

Updated on January 6, 2022

iBoysoft author Jessica

Written by

Jessica Shee
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Henrique Vieira

Summary: A complete tutorial to fix iMac, MacBook Pro/Air that won't turn on black screen issue. And how to save your files with iBoysoft Data Recovery in macOS Recovery Mode.

Mac black screen

If you are facing the black screen of death issue after pressing the power on button in your Mac (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or Mac Mini), don't be thrilled, even you can’t use your Mac normally or access the data on it, it doesn't mean the certain death of your device.

There are two possible scenarios that you could be going through.

One of them is when you may find no response pressing the power button, in other words, the MacBook won't turn on at all.

The other one is when you can perceive some response from your Mac, such as MacBook Pro shows a black screen with chime, MacBook screen goes black after a few minutes of booting, MacBook Pro screen is not working but keyboard lit, etc.

You must be wondering about the causes of the black screen issue on Macs like MacBook Pro. Here we list four major reasons.

  1. Software or firmware issues
  2. It occurs after you have recently upgraded to a new macOS or have update firmware. The new updates could come with unsolved bugs, incompatibility issues, or very large disk space consumption.
  3. Hardware damage
  4. If you have recently twisted the screen or dropped the Mac, a big possibility of your Mac unresponsive black screen is hardware issues.
  5. Power issues
  6. Mac boots into a black screen if there is no enough or rated power, or if the battery is out of cycle count.
  7. Poor contact
  8. A computer is composed of lots of hardware and firmware. But once the contacts between them are loose, dusty, or damaged, the computer won't start up normally.

In addition, there are still some unknown reasons caused by motherboard failure that people cannot tell.

Fix MacBook Pro black screen

If you find yourself in this precarious situation, you'd better first rescue files from your Mac to avoid permanent loss. Then, follow the detailed solutions to fix the MacBook Pro/Air that won't turn on due to the black screen issue.

Quickly retrieve files from Mac having the black screen issue

To prevent the loss of your personal files and other important data watch this video carefully. You'll get the detailed way to recover files from MacBook that won't turn on.

If you are sure that you have a full and updated backup of your Mac, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If not, the software - iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac got your back, using its tools can help you to recover data from unbootable Mac.

To recover data from your Mac/MacBook that has a black screen issue, you need to run iBoysoft Data Recovery in macOS Recovery mode. For the best outcome it's recommended watching the above video.

Fix MacBook Pro/Air won't turn on for black screen issue

There are ten proven methods you can apply to fix your MacBook Pro/Air with a black screen. Now try them one by one to get your Mac back to normal.

1. Check the power supply

Sometimes, the MacBook shows a black screen only not playing the startup chime, or MacBook Pro screen goes black after a few minutes of booting. In this case, check if the battery of your Mac is charged with enough power to run the startup procedures.

In order to solve that issue you can plug in the charger and wait for some minutes and then press the power button. In some cold environment it also helps warming up the back part of your MacBook first.

Also, make sure the charger cable is in good condition when your Mac is charging. In addition to that, check your battery cycle to see if it needs to be replaced.

Check the power of your MacBook

If power issue is fixed, restart your Mac. Then, your MacBook won't boot into the black screen but power up as usual.

2. Perform a Power Cycling

If you can hear some spinning noise from the hard drive or fans at startup, or the keyboards light, it means that the black screen issue is not caused by the lack of power.

If there is no response from your Mac after press the button or open lid, you must try to perform a power cycling.

On a modern MacBook without removable battery like MacBook Pro 13" with Touch Bar and MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, you can long hold the power button to shut it down, wait for 10 seconds around, and then reboot the MacBook.

For some older MacBook like MacBook Air 13" and MacBook 13" whose battery is removable, you can forcibly shut it down, unplug it, remove the battery, and wait for 10 seconds. Then you need to put the battery back and restart the Mac.

3. Disconnect the peripherals

Peripherical devices are sometimes the culprit that prevent your Mac to startup properly. This happens due a complete hardware checking that is performed during the startup process, and if there are some faulty components the process will stop.

So, to solve this issue you should unplug all the external devices, including USB drivers, phones, printers and etc. Then restart your Mac by pressing the power button/Touch ID button on your Macbook again.

4. Check the display's brightness settings

A situation that very often results in the black screen problem on your MacBook it isn’t a startup problem, but due to it monitor had been dimmed down.

Usually when accidentally we hit the F1 key it makes the screen brightness very low; you can revert this situation by pressing the F2 key to light back your screen.

5. Wake up your Mac from sleep mode

If you see a black screen on your Mac with the cursor, it means that the machine gets stuck on the black screen for a moment and then gets into sleep mode.

To stop your Mac from sleeping, you can type the first letter of the user name and hit the "Enter". Mac will recognize that you type in the wrong information and give you a response, and consequently, it will withdraw from the black screen situation.

6. Reset SMC

SMC, short for System Management Controller, controls the way how your Mac manages power. Resetting SMC will reset power management-related settings and fix the boot failure.

  • Shut down the Mac.
  • Hold down Shift + Control + Option keys and the power button at the same time for 10 seconds.
  • Release the keys.

Then, restart your Mac to see what goes on.

7. Reset NVRAM settings

Mac's NVRAM stores in-memory settings include display resolution, startup disk selection, recent kernel panic information, etc. So, resetting NVRAM may helpful for fixing the MacBook Pro black screen of death.

To reset the NVRAM settings:

  • Press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys when restarting your Mac/MacBook
  • Release the keys until you hear a second startup sound. For a Mac with T2 chip, release the keys after the Apple logo shows up and disappears for the second time.

Note: If you have an Apple M1 Mac, you don't need to reset NVRAM by hand as it auto-resets if necessary at every time your Mac startup.

8. Boot into Safe Mode

This issue may also be caused by some third-party drivers: Boot Mac into Safe Mode to check and prevent some third-party login items from automatically loading or opening during startup.

To boot into Safe Mode on an Intel-based Mac:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait about 10 seconds.
  • Press and hold the Shift key when restarting your Mac.
  • Release the Shift key until the login window appears.

To boot into Safe Mode on a Mac with Apple silicon:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait for a moment.
  • Press and hold the power button until the startup disks and Options show up on the screen.
  • Press and hold the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode.

If your MacBook can boot into Safe Mode, you should uninstall the recently downloaded third-party software to check if it's the troublemaker.

How to uninstall apps on Mac?

9. Repair the startup disk

Booting into Mac Recovery Mode can be a solution when your MacBook Pro/Air screen goes black and unresponsive at startup. It happens due your system drive may be corrupted. Those corruptions can be in the partition table, the file system, or the file system and etc.

Nevertheless, you have to be aware that different Mac models require different ways to access Recovery Mode.

Boot into mac macOS Recovery mode

Then, repair the startup disk with First Aid in Disk Utility.

Check if your Mac starts up now and if can boot past the black screen.

10. Reinstall macOS

(Before going further, remember to save all your data using iBoysoft data recovery tool if you haven’t done that already!)

Then, boot into macOS Recovery mode again, erase the startup disk (Usually Macintosh HD) in Disk Utility, and go back to macOS Utilities window to reinstall macOS with the Reinstall macOS utility.

factory reset a Mac

How to Completely Factory Reset MacBook Pro/Air? Step by Step

Is your Mac not working properly? You may want to reset the Mac to its factory defaults and fix some problem. Learn More >>

How to fix M1 Mac black screen?

You might find that your M1 MacBook Pro/Air stuck on black screen after restart. As reported, this issue commonly appears the M1 Mac in using an external monitor, especially when the M1 Mac is on wake from sleep mode.

To restart your M1 Mac that has the black screen issue, you can try these solutions:

  1. Do not use the external monitors (from Dell or whatever) but use your MacBook simply built-in screen.
  2. Check the power and restart your M1 Mac.
  3. Disconnect all peripherals.
  4. Boot Mac into Safe Mode, see details...
  5. Upgrade your macOS Big Sur 11 to the latest version.
  6. Reinstall macOS in macOS Recovery mode.
M1 Mac won't turn on

M1 MacBook Air/Pro not turning on, what to do?

Guide to fix an M1 MacBook Air/Pro that's not turning on due to software and hardware issues. To fix an unbootable M1 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro without data loss, follow this post.Read more >>

How to fix the iMac black screen on startup?

Even though iMac is packed with the latest processors, faster memory, Retina display, and phenomenal graphics, it also can't avoid the black screen issue still.

The fixes below are also suitable for Mac mini black screen problem.

At this time, you can first:

If you still see a black screen during restarting your computer, try the following fixes.

1. Do a Power Cycling

If you can hear some spinning noise from your iMac at startup, there is no power issue. Then, you can try to run a Power Cycling to fix your iMac.

  • Step 1: Unplug the power cord and leave it unplugged for fifteen seconds.
  • Step 2: Plug it back in and wait five more seconds.
  • Step 3: Press the power button to turn the iMac back on.

2. Fix software issues that caused iMac black screen

If your iMac screen still stays black on startup, you can check and fix the software incompatibility issues as below.

However, if your iMac has a serious hardware issue and won't turn on. At this time, you have to send it to a professional repair store.

Conclusion

When your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro won't turn on but boots into the black screen, it's not the end of the world. You can find solutions in this post or get assistance from an Apple store specialist.

Anyhow, when your Mac won't boot, please firstly check whether you have a file backup or have recovered data with data recovery software from iBoysoft before any repair. Or, you'll lose all your files on Mac.

FAQ about Mac black screen

Can the black screen caused by hardware problems be fixed?

It depends. If you think there are problems with Mac’s hardware, you can send it to a professional repair store for further help. You'd better not try to fix it by yourself to avoid irreversible damages.

How much does it cost to fix a MacBook screen without AppleCare?

If you have a MacBook with a Retina display screen (pretty standard equipment these days, but not with the older MacBooks) you can expect to spend between $455 and $755 replacing the screen completely at the Apple Store.

See also:

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Katie

Better instructions than apple's actual website. THANK YOU for the HOURS and STRESS you just saved me!!!! 100 stars for iboysoft!!!

2021-03-25 17:08:32

Christina

I’ve received 2 iMACs in the last week from Costco. Neither has turned on after opening the box. The first one had no power that I could tell. I called for an exchange after Apple Support told me to return it. I can hear the second one starting up but the screen stays black. I tried the about things with no luck. Thanks for offering the tips though. I’m at a loss. ☹️

2021-03-09 17:06:43

Katrina reply to Christina:

Hi Christina! Sorry to hear that. Have you tried to reinstall the macOS? Sometimes reinstalling macOS will solve the issue. And the Hardware damage is also the cause of the Mac black screen issue.

2021-03-28 23:12:06

Gary

None of these worked for new MacBook Air

2021-03-07 13:51:42

tim reply to Gary:

how did your macbook air got black screen? Is it physically damaged?

2021-03-07 18:26:39