Every MacBook Pro user faces the Black Screen of Death issue once in a lifetime. The display goes dark while browsing the internet or when you are working on a document. The Pro model owners have shared that the internal fans are active throughout the session. But the display remained black, no matter what they did to revive the screen. Some MacBook owners told the machine was responding for a few minutes, then the display went black.
Why is MacBook Pro Screen going black but still running?
The Pro model users should learn about the black screen issue. I have compiled a list of reasons why the MacBook’s screen is going black. Hardware failure is a suspect, but it’s not always the case. Go through the number of reasons and try to identify the root problem.
Power Cord Failure:
The MacBook might be out of juice, and the faulty cable might be the root cause of the problem. Older Apple computer cables are not braided cables, and the company bundled the new models with a braided power cord. The power cable could have reached the end of the life cycle. Inspect the cables and find the cuts or burn marks on the wire.
It’s not uncommon for new MacBooks to have faulty displays. The displays outlive the internal components like CPU, GPU, and motherboard. A laptop display is an electronic component, and no one can guarantee its lifespan. I have suggested a solution and found out whether the Mac display is dying or not.
A flaw in Hardware Design:
Apple started free flexgate replacement for MacBook Pro models. The in-house R&D team wrapped the LCD controller around the hinge. The movement from opening/closing the top lid has fractured the flexgate cable. The Cupertino-based manufacturer admitted to the design flaw by opening a door for a free replacement program.
1. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016-17, Touchbar model, A1707)
2. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016-17, Touchbar model, and A1706)
3. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016-17, non-Touchbar model, and A1708)
The backlash from loyal customers has forced the company to take action. Unfortunately, the flexgate cable failure is a design flaw.
macOS Bug or Glitch:
Most MacBook Pro users don’t turn off the laptop. The optimized software stores the opened and background program information in the system efficiently. Software accumulates junk along with program and background processes information. macOS bugs and glitches kick in and create new problems in the system.
The battery is the power source of the laptops. MacBooks have traditional Li-ion batteries, and it’s not proprietary technology. They degrade over time and become inconsistent. The built-in battery is not holding the charge, even when the machine power is off. Conversely, the macOS system has corrupted battery management component data.
FIX: MacBook Pro Black Screen of Death Issue
Try the software-based solutions below and fix the MacBook Pro black screen issue. Contact the nearby service center to claim the warranty and let them take a look at the laptop. Don’t approach the third-party store without consulting the Apple authorized engineers. Of course, I suggest you visit multiple Apple stores if you believe the service center misdiagnosed the issue.
The in-house Apple developers optimized the software, but the macOS crumbles due to a lack of reboot. Give your Mac a reboot and end the session. You got CPU, GPU, memory, motherboard, storage, network, and other components. The macOS has to work with all internal electronic components to fulfill one command. A quick restart resets the drivers, macOS processes, background apps, etc.
1. Close all programs and save the unsaved work.
2. Click on the Apple logo.
3. Click on “Restart” from the drop-down menu.
4. Click on “Restart” and let the reboot process begin.
5. Wait for the lock screen.
You should perform a clean reboot once in a while. I recommend the readers Shut Down the Mac once a week to prevent any problems. Many content creators would be annoyed to reboot the laptop because they have to load video/music programs, files, documents, etc. But, it’s necessary to maintain optimal software health.
Remove Removable Devices
Older MacBook Pro machines don’t have enough ports and connectivity options. Many content creators purchase expensive devices to connect an external display, peripherals, storage drives, SD cards, etc. They create problems in the macOS system. We cannot pin the blame on one device because we haven’t identified the culprit.
1. Remove peripherals
2. Remove USB-C devices
3. Remove storage drives
4. Remove SD cards (with converters)
5. Remove hubs
6. Remove the external display cable
Disconnect all removable devices from the laptop and restart the machine. Connect the charger and turn on the Mac. A faulty storage drive prevented my computer from turning on, and you might be facing the same issue.
Reset SMC (System Management Controller)
SMC is also known as System Management Controller. The SMC stores information like sleep/wake, power management, battery charging, controlling thermal, hibernation, video mode switching, and LED indicators. Something might have gone wrong with the SMC configuration. Let me show you how to reset SMC in the macOS.
Reset Pro Model SMC 2009 – 2017 (nonremovable battery):
- Turn off the macOS machine.
- Press and hold the Shift, Control, and Option key.
- Press and hold the power button immediately.
- Press and hold mentioned keys for ten seconds.
- Release all keys after counting from one to ten.
- Press the power button after releasing the keys.
- The macOS machine should turn on smoothly.
Reset Pro Model SMC (T2 Security Chip):
- Turn off the macOS machine.
- Press & hold the Shift, Control, and Option key for seven seconds.
- Press and hold the power button after seven seconds.
- The Pro model turns on but keep holding all four keys.
- Do not let go of all four keys for seven more seconds.
- Release all keys.
- Turn on the Pro model a few seconds later.
The Pro model should turn on without any hassle. The SMC configuration was removed from the system. The macOS system creates new SMC data while booting the software.
Reset NVRAM Settings
NVRAM is also known as Nonvolatile Random-Access Memory. Apple computers use the NVRAM to store information like the time zone, resolution, sound volume, display startup disk selection, and recent kernel panic information. Resetting the NVRAM won’t drive the computer nuts and has a positive impact.
Pro Model without T2 Security Chip:
- Shut down MacBook Pro.
- Turn on the Pro model, then press & hold the Option, Command, P, and R keys immediately.
- Hold the keys for twenty seconds.
- Release the keys on the second startup sound.
Follow the method if the Pro model has startup sound.
Pro Model with T2 Security Chip:
1. Shut down MacBook Pro.
2. Turn on the Pro model, then press & hold the Option, Command, P, and R keys immediately.
3. Hold the keys for twenty seconds.
4. Release the keys when the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.
Follow the method if the Pro model has T2 Security Chip. You will lose customized display resolution, sound, and other mentioned data. You can always hop into the settings and customize the machine as per your taste.
Go to Safe Mode
Windows and macOS operating systems have the Safe Mode feature. The macOS loads the necessary operating system files and lists drivers, programs, third-party drivers, and others out of the boot sequence. The software loads OS-related files only, and we can identify the culprit this way.
Mac M1 or Later:
1. Turn off the MacBook Pro.
Make sure the computer has shut down completely.
2. Press and hold the power button.
3. The MacBook boots up and wait until “Loading startup options” shows up on the screen.
4. Choose the macOS installed partition or drive.
5. Press and hold the “Shift” key on the keyboard.
6. Click the “Continue in Safe Mode” option.
7. The system restarts and loads the macOS in safe mode.
You can confirm the safe mode in the menu bar.
Earlier MacBook Pro Models:
1. Turn on the Pro model or restart the machine.
2. Press and hold the “Shift” key immediately.
3. Release the Shift key when the login screen appears on the screen.
4. Enter the password and access the computer.
The “Safe Mode” appears in the menu bar. You can get out of the Safe Mode by rebooting the system. Now, follow the next solution you should apply while the system is in Safe Mode.
Uninstall Programs and Drivers
Many Pro model owners install third-party programs, codecs, and drivers in the system. Of course, they are necessary tools to add or modify the content. But, the third-party program or driver could be hindering the macOS system.
1. Uninstall the recently installed tool, program, or driver.
2. Choose the most recent installation.
3. Remove the software one by one.
4. Boot into normal mode and test the system for a few hours.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any automated tool that will identify the problematic driver or program. You have to take matters into your hands and resolve the MacBook Pro black screen issue.
Reach out to Apple if none of the solutions fixed the MacBook Pro Black Screen of Death Issue. Read online reviews on Google or a reputed source before booking an appointment with the authorized service center. You can consider reinstalling the macOS software using a flash drive and Disk Utility. Let us know what went wrong with your MacBook Pro case.