Troubleshooting black screen on a MacBook


So you’re sitting down to work on your MacBook, and suddenly the screen goes black. What do you do? Here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot black screen on a MacBook.

1. Check power connections

If you are having troubles with your MacBook displaying a black screen, the first thing you should check is the power connection. Make sure that the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter is securely connected to the power port on your MacBook, and that the other end is plugged into a working outlet. If the adapter is not properly connected, the MacBook will not be able to charge the battery or power on. In addition, check to make sure that the outlet you are using is not turned off or controlled by a switch.

2. Check brightness level

If the brightness is turned all the way down, the screen will appear black. To adjust the brightness, simply press the F1 or F2 keys on the keyboard.

3. Unplug external accessories

Make sure all external accessories are unplugged from your computer. This includes any USB devices, monitors, printers, and so on. Once everything is unplugged, reboot your computer and see if the black screen has gone away.

4. Boot it up in Safe Mode

To do this, simply turn off your Macbook and then turn it back on while holding down the Shift key. Keep holding the Shift key until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen. Once you see the logo, release the Shift key and wait for your Macbook to finish booting up. You should then be able to use your Macbook as normal. If the black screen problem persists, please proceed further.

5. Try Command-Option-Escape keys

Try pressing the Command-Option-Escape keys simultaneously. This will force your MacBook to quit any applications that are currently running. If the black screen is being caused by a problem with one of those apps, this should fix the issue.


If you’re experiencing problems with your black screen Macbook, one possible solution is to reset the NVRAM/PRAM. NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) is a type of computer memory that stores data even when the power is turned off. PRAM (parameter random-access memory) is a type of NVRAM that stores specific system parameters. Resetting these types of memory can often help to fix black screen issues. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, shut down your black screen Macbook and disconnect any external devices.
  • Then, press and hold the following keys: Option, Command, P, and R. You should hear the startup sound twice and see the Apple logo.
  • Release the keys and let your black screen Macbook restart normally.

7. Reset SMC

The SMC, or System Management Controller, is responsible for a variety of functions, including power management and thermal management. If the SMC is not functioning properly, it can cause your Macbook to have a black screen. Fortunately, resetting the SMC is relatively simple.

  • First, shut down your Macbook and unplug the power adapter.
  • Next, press and hold the Shift+Control+Option keys on the left side of the keyboard, then press and hold the power button for 10 seconds.
  • Finally, release all the keys and plug in the power adapter. Your Macbook should now boot up normally

8. Reinstall MacOS

If your Mac isn’t performing as it should, or if you’re experiencing problems with applications or system features, it might be time to reinstall macOS. This process will erase your hard drive and install a fresh copy of the operating system, which can help to resolve many types of problems. Keep in mind that you will need to back up your data before proceeding, as the reinstallation process will erase all existing files on your hard drive. Once you have backed up your data, you can begin the reinstallation process by downloading the latest version of macOS from the App Store. Once the download is complete, follow the prompts to install the operating system on your Mac. After the installation is finished, you can restore your data from your backup and start using your Mac as normal.

This maybe quite tedious for you, so get in touch with an Apple professional near you.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...