How to solve black screen problem on a Mac?

How to solve Mac booted into black screen error?

Nowadays, when computers, phones and tablets becoming faster and more sophisticated, you must be an IT enthusiast to keep up with the technology growth. Not a surprise, that a lot of people doesn't have enough time to become one, and even small issues with their Mac may look like a real hardware failure. However, in many cases these errors are software related and can be solved without taking your computer to service.

One, not a very common, but very disconcerting problem is when your computer randomly loads up into totally black screen. This really leaves an impression that now your computer needs a hardware fix, but before you leave your computer in service, you should try some troubleshooting and solution tips. In this article we will describe some most popular tips on what to do if your Mac booted into full black screen.


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Reset the System Management Controller

Probably the very first step you should begin with is to reset your SMC which can solve possible power related issues on Mac. This step may solve a lot of problems, caused by power supply, fans, heat or sleeping problems together with display problems.

For most Apple laptop models manufactured after 2012 the path to reset SMC is the same and you should follow these steps:

Shut down the Mac and connect your power adapter, in most cases it will be your MagSafe. Next hold down the Shift, Control, Option and Power button all together for a few seconds. Finally, release all keys at the same time, then start your computer in a usual way.

Macs who was released in 2012 or earlier owners should look for a directions how reset SMC here, there you also will find another problems caused by SMC and the way how to reset it.

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Try out a keypress sequence

Since your screen is black it may look like you can't do anything with your computer, but that's not actually true. Even your screen doesn't show anything your Mac probably still recognize your keyboard signals. In some cases this simply couple buttons sequence helps to solve an black screen issue.

Press the Power or OFF button once - this calls power options dialog box which you can't see. Press the S button - this is the command to send your Mac to sleep. Hold down the Power button until you hear your hard drive shut down is forced. Wait about 15 seconds, then start your computer in usual way.


This solution is not a guaranteed to solve the black screen issue, but sometimes it works, so it's always worth to try.

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Reset your Mac's PRAM

If none of steps above helped you, you may also try to reset your PRAM. PRAM has an quite similar purpose like SMC just the one difference that it saves information in memory. The process to reset PRAM is also close to NVRAM.

Reboot your Mac and as soon as you hear the boot him, hold down the combination of keys Command, Option, P and R together. At the moment you hear the boot sound again release the keys, this will announce you that PRAM has been reset, so let your computer boot as usual.


After these steps your Mac should boot without an totally black display error.

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Enter your password, press Return

Finally, if your still experiencing black screen issue you may try this alternative and from first look hopeless method, however many people reports it helps them as well. All what you actually need to do in this method is to try log in like it would be everything working well.

When the Mac boots into the black, enter the password you would use to login to your Mac as usual. When entered password, press Return button on your keyboard. If this trick worked for you, you will notice it immediately, because the black screen will disappear and loads your usual desktop.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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