Possible Causes and Fixes for a MacBook Black Screen
There are several different causes for a black screen on a MacBook. The following troubleshooting should help you determine the reason and the solution to your MacBook black screen, just work down the list in the order provided:
- Check that the MacBook has not gone to sleep or hibernated. Pressing a key should wake it up or try pressing the power button for a second or two. If nothing then go to step 2.
- Has the battery flattened? If so, plug in the power supply cable. Is the green light on the power supply where the MagSafe adaptor (magnetic connector) attaches to the computer? Try another power supply unit just in case. If still nothing then go to step 3.
- Hold your finger on the power button for at least 10 seconds if not more. Make sure the computer is off in other words. Wait 30 seconds and try turning on again.
- Next, try a reset of the System Management Controller (SMC). Hold down the Shift+Control+Option+Power button all at the same time. Hold for a few seconds.
- Next option to try is the OSX keyboard shortcut. Press the power button (turn the computer on), this will bring up a box which of course you cannot see. Press the “S” button (this is a shortcut to sleep a Mac). Hold down the Power button until a hard shutdown is forced. Wait for 30 seconds then try powering on again.
- If you have an older MacBook with a removable battery now would be a good time to remove the battery, unplug the MagSafe and hold your finger on the power button for 30 seconds. Plug the MagSafe back in and try powering on. If all is good, shut down and replace the battery.
- Yet another option with a black screen is to ignore it and type in your password as you normally would to login and hit the enter/return key. If this works you will soon know.
- Next, try turning the computer on and immediately holding down the Command+Option+P+R keys. If anything is going to happen you will hear the usual Apple “bong”. Keep holding the 4 keys down until it has “bonged” 3 or 4 times then release. The computer will continue to boot, hopefully. This key combination is a PRAM reset.
- If the screen is still black, grey or sometimes multi-coloured and the computer has “bonged” and seems to have booted then that generally means the video chip has died. This is terminal unfortunately and would involve a new motherboard. As these are as rare as hens’ teeth, the best option is to recover the data and move on.
- Another option could be that the screen has died so plugging in an external monitor may get you working again. As various Apple MacBooks have different video connectors etc, google your model number and EMC number (found on the base of a MacBook) for the correct instructions and steps to take to achieve this. A replacement screen for the MacBook is possible but can be very expensive.
If there are no lights on and no one at home then it could be the motherboard has died and data recovery is your only option. A professional Computer Repair business (such as us at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service) could also be consulted at this point to verify the state of your computer and the possibility of repairing it or not.