Without warning, a pink screen showed on your MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, ARM-based M1 Mac, or other models of Macs suddenly or at startup. You may feel panic as the pink screen is not as common for you as the black screen, blank screen, or white screen on Mac.
It is called the pink screen of death, indicating that your Mac won't turn on and has some problems. The system uses the pink screen as a signal to inform you to fix your Mac as soon as possible.
So, you also can't access data stored on your Mac and have a risk of data loss. You need to rescue data from your Mac first, and then fix the possible problems that cause the pink screen.
Rescue files from your Mac with the pink screen issue
Here is a video about how to recover data from an unbootable Mac caused by pink screen. It shows the data recovery way step-by-step and is worth watching.
If you don't want the pink screen issue lead to your data loss, recover data with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. This secure and professional data recovery software fully supports recover data from Mac that won't boot.
You need to run iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac in macOS Recovery mode. Or, you can watch the above video instead.
How to fix Mac/MacBook pink screen of death
Why has your Mac screen gone pink? Like the MacBook Pro screen flickering issue, the power, screen display, software incompatibility, kernel panic, and hardware incompatibility are common possible reasons.
Firstly, you can try to:
- Unplug the recently plugged external devices.
- Shut down your Mac and cut off the power.
- Reboot your Mac.
This quick fix is to check if it is just a temporary bug of your Mac or your external devices.
If it's useless, let's try the following solutions to fix the pink screen of death on Mac startup.
1. Reset SMC
SMC (System Management Controller) controls sleep function and all power functions for your Mac. If your Mac is experiencing any power issue and can't be fixed by reboot, resetting the SMC may solve it. Note that there is no SMC available on Apple M1 Mac.
Reset SMC on MacBook Pro or MacBook Air:
- Unplug the power and then shut down your Mac.
- Press and hold the Shift + Option + Control keys, then hold the power button. After ten seconds, release the key combinations.
- Replug the power cable and turn on your Mac.
Reset SMC on a Mac desktop like iMac and Mac mini:
- Shut down your Mac, then unplug the power cable for 15 seconds.
- Replug the power cord, then turn on your Mac.
2. Reset NVRAM settings
In macOS, non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) is a small portion of RAM. It stores some settings, including display resolution and brightness, startup-disk selection, recent kernel panic information, and so on.
Resetting NVRAM can fix issues related to settings that caused the pink screen of death.
- Shut down your Mac.
- Press and hold Option + Command + P + R keys when your Mac reboot.
- Release the keys when you hear the second startup sound. For a T2-equipped Mac, release the keys after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.
Note: NVRAM is available on M1 Mac, but it is configured to automatically run test on startup and automatically reset the NVRAM if needed.
3. Check and reset the GPU
GPU, short for graphics processing unit, is a specialized processor designed to accelerate graphics rendering in the original. Usually, there are two types of graphics - dedicated and integrated graphics.
If your Mac, usually the MacBook Pro, has both dedicated and integrated graphics, the pink screen may appear during the two graphics switching. So, it is advised to disable the Automatic graphics switching.
For MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro with Retina display:
- Boot into Safe Mode.
- Open the Apple menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver.
- Uncheck the Automatic graphics switching option.
Then, your Mac will only use dedicated graphics. But this will shorten your battery life.
There's also another way to disable the discrete GPU (Suitable for all Mac models):
- Boot into macOS Recovery mode.
- Select Utilities > Terminal.
- Type the following command in the Terminal window.
If the pink screen of death of your Mac still exists after you've tried the above ways, it indicates that your Mac has severer problems. The real troublemakers may be related to the system, software, and hardware.
4. Fix the software incompatibility in Safe Mode
Software incompatibility means the particular software (Usually the third-party software) doesn't have the ability to run on some operating system. If the software is forced to working on a specific system, problems will appear like the pink screen.
The pink screen is prone to emerge on your Mac after you've upgraded the system, like upgrading macOS Catalina to macOS Big Sur. That is because the third-party software hasn't been updated to run on a new system.
Moreover, the pink screen issue also frequently occurs on M1 Mac.
That is because the CPU architectures of the M1 Mac has changed when compares to Intel-based Macs. And the M1 Mac loads with macOS Big Sur, the newest macOS at present. But much of the third-party software is still Intel-chip-oriented and prior system-oriented. So, software incompatibility is likely in M1 Mac.
To check and fix the third-party software incompatibility problem, you need to boot into Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, macOS will only boot with a minimum of required software and drivers without any third-party software.
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 restart your Mac.
- Release the Shift key until you see the login window.
Boot into Safe Mode on an Arm-based M1 Mac:
- Shut down your Mac and wait about 10 seconds.
- Press and hold the power button until the startup disks and Options appear on the screen.
- Select your startup disk. Then, hold down the Shift key, then click Continue in Safe Mode.
If your Mac can start up into Safe Mode, it shows that the pink screen may result from the recently installed third-party software. You can uninstall it and then restart your Mac.
5. Fix kernel panic in macOS Recovery mode
The kernel is a computer program at the core of an operating system. It has complete control over everything in the system. So, when kernel panic happens, the system also corrupts, and it will show up in certain forms on your Mac, such as the pink screen or pink lines during MacBook Pro startup.
The kernel panic may be triggered by a hardware failure, a software bug, software incompatibility, malware, or other errors. So, how to fix kernel panic?
In the first place, you need to boot into macOS Recovery mode.
For an Intel-based Mac:
- Press and hold the Command + Option + R + Shift keys when reboot your Mac.
- Release the keys until you see the spinning globe.
Note that your Mac should connect to the internet.
For an Apple M1 Mac:
- Turn on your M1 Mac and hold the power button.
- Release the power button until you see the startup options window.
- Select Options, then click Continue.
In macOS Recovery mode, you can run the First Aid feature in Disk Utility to repair some of the errors on the startup disk (where the system locates).
6. Reinstall macOS to fix the pink screen issue on Mac
If the Mac still shows pink screen and won't boot after you've tried First Aid, errors on the system may be not simple. At this time, you can use the Reinstall macOS utility in macOS Recovery mode to reinstall macOS.
However, reinstall macOS will lead to data loss. If you don't have a Time Machine backup, you'd better to recover the data on your Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery Software before reinstalling macOS.
If still not working, your Mac may have some hardware issues.
7. Resolve the hardware incompatibility
Hardware incompatibility usually means computer hardware components like input and output devices that can't work well with a particular motherboard, CPU architecture, bus, or system. Thus, the pink screen issue may happen after you've updated the hardware.
To check the external hardware incompatibility issue, you can:
- Unplug all the connected peripheral devices.
- Reconnect one device and reboot your Mac each time (To find out the definite hardware failure).
For the hardware inside your Mac, you can try to run the Apple Diagnostics, known as Apple Hardware Test, to check your Mac for hardware problems.
If these fixes failed, your Mac might have severe hardware issues or damage. You need to send it to the Apple repair center.
The Mac pink screen of death issue is rare but not never. No matter it caused by software or hardware incompatibility, kernel panic, display error, or any other issues, there always have ways to fix it. This article not only supplies a series of solutions for Mac pink screen issue, but also help you recover data from an unbootable Mac. Hope you can get help from it.