MacBook Air won’t turn on a black screen, how to fix?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on January 16th, 2019

Yesterday I got a black screen when I opened my MacBook Air. Charged the battery for 12 hours and it was fine. Today I have a black screen again, and nothing works. I've plugged in the charger, and it's green, so it's fully charged. The laptop is only a little over a year old, running High Sierra. All suggestions greatly appreciated!

So you are trying to wake your MacBook Air from sleep, but it boots to a black screen no matter what keys you are pressing. It will cause quite a bit of panic as the Mac won’t boot and all data on the computer becomes inaccessible. Don’t worry. Below you’ll find a couple of solutions to bring you MacBook Air back to life and recover lost data from unbootable Mac.

Easy fixes for MacBook Air booting to a black screen

1. Check if the power is on

Make sure the charger cable is intact if your MacBook Air is charging. You should also check your battery cycles to see if it need to be replaced.

2. Check your display

Use F1 and F2 buttons to light the screen on your MacBook Air. There are possibilities that you have accidentally pressed the brightness keys on the keyboard so your screen dimmed down.

3. Disconnect all peripherals

Shut down your Mac and remove all peripherals expect that needed to boot the system. Then rebooting the system might result in Mac functioning normally.

Back up first

The next step in dealing with a boot failure is to secure your data. Because if the feasible fixes above can’t light the black screen, there might be software issue, file system corruption on the system drive, or hardware problem. In this case, any operation will write over the original data. Therefore, if you don’t routinely backup, try backing up your drive before you do anything else.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is free Mac hard drive data recovery software which has helped lots of users recover data from dead/crashed MacBook Air/Pro/iMac/Mac Mini, transfer documents, pictures, audios, videos, emails that files from a broken Mac to a new Mac, recover data from failed internal Mac hard drives, etc.

There is no need to take out the failed MacBook Air HD. You are allowed to create a bootable USB and recover data or run the software through iBoysoft Server.

Method 1: If you have only one Mac

If you have only one computer at your hand, please click to see how to run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable media through iBoysoft Server.

Method 2: If you have two Macs

step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on another Mac computer.

Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on the healthy Mac computer.

Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on the menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Insert a USB drive into the healthy Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive on the USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: When the creation process completes, you can insert the USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and then start the Mac up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 7: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Step 8: Follow the wizard to scan for the lost data on the MacBook Air hard drive.

Step 9: Choose the files you want to get back, and then click Recover button.

Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can also recover data from formatted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards, USB falsh drives and other storage devices on macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

More solutions if MacBook Air won’t turn on a black screen

Solution 1: Reset your Mac's NVRAM settings

NVRAM stores things like screen resolution, time zone information, and, crucially, which hard drive to boot from. In some cases, a corrupted NVRAM will prevent macOS from startup. Thus, resetting NVRAM might help for the boot failure.

To reset NVRAM settings, you should press and hold Power button for a few minutes till the Mac turns off, wait a few seconds and press Power button to turn on the Mac. When you hear a startup sound, hold down Command+Option+P+R. Keep pressing the keys until you hear a second startup sound.

Solution 2: Boot your Mac in Safe Mode

Starting your Mac in Safe Mode helps to check and prevent some software from automatically loading or opening. Press and hold the Shift key while tapping the power button to start your computer. Release the Shift key till you see the Apple logo and loading bar. If your Mac loads successfully in Safe Mode, try restarting without pressing any keys.

Solution 3: Use Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

Disk Utility's First Aid is always a useful repair tool on macOS. To run it, you need to boot your Mac to Recovery Mode: hold down Command + R keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, release the keys until you see the Apple logo. From the macOS Utilities menu, select Disk Utility and click Continue. Then choose the system disk and click First Aid on the top menu bar. When the process is finished, click Done and restart your Mac.

Solution 4: Erase and reinstall macOS

If none of the solutions above helps, then you need to erase the system drive and reinstall macOS. This Operation will remove all data on the MacBook Air, so please make sure you have restored important data.

Step 1: Boot your Mac to Recovery Mode: hold down Command + R keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, release the keys until you see the Apple logo.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities menu.

Step 3: Select the system drive from the side bar.

Step 4: Click on Erase from the top.

Step 5: Setup the required information to reformat the disk and click Done when finished.

Step 6: Go back to macOS Utilities screen and select Reinstall macOS. Follow the wizard to reinstall macOS.

Reasons your MacBook Air won’t turn on a black screen

  • Corrupted display and energy settings
  • Software errors
  • Power issues
  • HDD or SSD is full or nearly full
  • HDD or SSD is failing or corrupted
  • Failed or Pending Operating System update
  • Motherboard Failure

In fact, rather than a potential hardware problem, it’s more often a software issue that can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting steps.

Still have questions?