Display issues MacBook Pro: troubleshoot

Updated: March 15, 2023
6 min read
Display issues MacBook Pro: troubleshoot
by Zachary Finkelstein
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Sometimes it happens that the MacBook Pro display not working. One of the best ways to verify that the problem is related to the device's screen is to connect another monitor to the laptop. What appears on the image screen will indicate a malfunction of the loop or matrix. When the picture doesn't appear, professional diagnostics of the laptop and a check of the performance of the “hardware” are required. In our guide, we demonstrate step-by-step methods how to fix MacBook Pro screen issues.

Before we start

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Causes of display problems on MacBook Pro

If your MacBook display not working, firstly, you should look at the screen loop for damage. Most often, mac display issues, the LCD backlight on a MacBook fails after a long period of use because the built-in loop simply breaks due to the constant opening/closing of the lid. Such a hardware problem most often goes through 2stages:

  • The screen works properly and displays all information only with the cover half open, and in other positions, the information doesn't appear on the screen;
  • The user sees a completely black screen in front of him, but the apple device turns on.

Please note that along with the MacBook Pro graphics problem of the LCD backlight on a MacBook, there are other important factors:

  • The keyboard backlight works correctly, and the apple laptop makes characteristic sounds during operation;
  • The device fully (or partially) responds to the user commands, and programs and widgets are loaded.

Usually, the laptop screen doesn't turn on if this element is faulty or the matrix is damaged. Also, a reason why the MacBook screen not working is the system overheating. Even a small mechanical impact on the Apple MacBook or the bending of the screen can turn into a serious MacBook Pro screen problem. When only stripes are visible on the screen, most likely, the video card has failed or the northbridge is faulty.

Ways to solve display issues

When MacBook screen not working, you can make sure of the faulty state of the loop yourself. To do this, you should close and open the lid of the laptop and see if stripes appear on display. If so, then the cable must be repaired or simply replaced with a new copy detail in the service. It is important to monitor the condition of the laptop cooling system and clean it in time to avoid Mac screen issues. The lack of control over the temperature regime often leads to unsoldering of the video chip, which entails unpleasant consequences, such as the failure of the screen to display the picture.

Restarting the laptop

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You can restart the device with MacBook screen problems through the menu at the bottom of the screen. You can also do a forced reboot by pressing the power button.

Check if the display is off

Your MacBook Pro screen problem may be in sleep mode. To see this option:

  1. Go to System settings> Energy saving.
  2. Then check the box next to prevent the laptop from automatically going to sleep when you turn it off.
  3. Turn on the screen and drag the turn off-screen after the slider to start.

Resetting the PRAM/NVRAM

Display issues MacBook Pro

If you have MacBook Pro screen issues, you can do a resetting.

  1. Turn off your MacBook.
  2. Turn it back on and press the Option + Command + P + R keys.
  3. Hold all keys for 20 seconds. Then release them.

Please note that after a reset, you may need to reconfigure the display resolution, audio volume, and other settings.

Reset the SMC

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  1. Turn off the laptop with MacBook Pro screen issue.
  2. On the keyboard, hold down the combination Control + Option + Shift. Hold the keys for 7 seconds.
  3. While continuing to hold the keys, press the Start button. Hold all four keys for 7 seconds, then release.
  4. Turn on the laptop again with a simple press of the start button.

Repair disk permissions

When MacBook screen not working, the OS X installer, and the Time Machine backup recovery service are available. You need to boot in this mode if the system does not start in the usual way, to restore it from a backup or to completely reinstall it.

How to get there: press the Command + R combination after the sound signal about the start of turning on the laptop until the loading indicator appears.

Disconnecting all accessories

It's necessary to check the connection of external devices and USB ports. Maybe the laptop is trying to boot from there. The system will boot exclusively from the internal hard drive.

Restart in safe mode

Display issues MacBook Pro

If you have MacBook Pro screen problems, regardless of the model, turn off the laptop.

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  • Turn on by holding Shift at startup. This will have to be done “blindly” since the issue appears in the first seconds after switching on. With display issues in MacBook Pro, it is difficult to understand when the laptop is turned on.

After the mouse reappears, you need to do the following:

  1. Press the first letter of the login.
  2. Press Enter.
  3. Enter the account password.
  4. Press Enter again.

In most cases, the laptop will turn on in safe mode. If it doesn't help, you should contact the service center.

Hardware issues

Display issues MacBook Pro

Upon contact with liquid, oxides are formed on the tracks of the motherboard, which tend to gradually expand, and MacBook Pro screen issues. Also, it may be a breakdown of the display decoder, which is located in the display module housing. On MacBook, which is especially true for older models, the cooling system cannot always cope with overheating under continuous load, which leads to graphics malfunction. In this case, the repair will require “reball” (replacement of the contact ball array) of the graphics adapter.

Software issues

If you are using Chromium, you will have to uninstall it completely. You can use PowerMyMac to easily remove the Chromium project on Mac to fix your MacBook Pro display issues. However, you can clear caches and system junk files manually. Disabling some graphics switching options can also help fix Mac screen problems.

Reinstall the macOS

  • Save important data.
  • Choose an installation method. Start recovery mode.
  • Format the disk, and install the operating system.


What to do if the screen is black?

You can reset your RAM to fix Mac screen problems. Turn on the laptop and immediately simultaneously press and hold the keys: Command + Option + P + R; release the keys when you hear the loading sound.

When can a screen be repaired?

Here is a list of MacBook Pro screen problems that can be fixed without replacing the screen module:

  • Display cable has fallen out of the connector due to impact or drop.

LVDS cable is broken, and frayed (it can be replaced in some MacBook models).

What to do if there are stripes on the screen?

Most likely, the video card is out of order or the northbridge is faulty. You can reset the PRAM or SMC, but in the event of a hardware failure, such actions will not lead to anything.


In this guide, we show the most frequent cases of why your display issues MacBook Pro. But if you can contact the Howly experts for faster and better care. We'll find out why your Mac screen problems are on and give you tips on how to prevent it from happening again. In our 24/7 support chat, you can ask any question, and our operators will contact you.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Mac OS problem


Invalid Date
The troubleshooting steps in this article were not clear and it did not help me fix my display issue.
Invalid Date
I followed the instructions in this article but it did not fix my display issue. I think it’s too general and does not cover all possible cases
Invalid Date
Thank you for this helpful guide! 🤗
Invalid Date
I was so impressed with the level of detail in this article. Not only did it provide a solution for my display issue, but it also explained the cause and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Invalid Date
Thanks for the clear instructions! 👍
Michael Smith
Invalid Date
I have followed all the instructions, but my display issue still persists. I’m not sure if this guide is relevant to my issue.
Invalid Date
The information in this article helped me fix my display issue.
Invalid Date
I was having a terrible time trying to fix my display issue but this guide helped me fix it so easily! Thank you so much for this great troubleshoot guide.
Invalid Date
Super helpful, fixed my display in minutes! 😃
Invalid Date
This article was helpful in troubleshooting my display issue on my MacBook Pro.
Invalid Date
Thank you so much for this guide! It saved me a lot of time and hassle. 🙏
Invalid Date
I found the troubleshooting steps in this article to be useful.
Invalid Date
I had been struggling with display issues on my MacBook Pro for weeks, but this article finally helped me solve the problem. The step-by-step instructions were clear and easy to follow. Thank you!
Jacob Garcia
Invalid Date
Thank you for taking the time to write this article, it helped me fix my display issue so quickly.
Invalid Date
Amazing article, saved me a trip to the repair shop. 💻
John Brown
Invalid Date
I appreciate the step by step instructions in this article.
Invalid Date
I am so grateful for this helpful article! It fixed my display issue in no time. 👍🏻
Jane Williams
Invalid Date
Not helpful, my issue still persists 😕
Emily Johnson
Invalid Date
I couldn’t believe how easy it was to fix my display issue after reading this article. The troubleshooting steps were spot on and the explanations were clear and concise.
Invalid Date
Great article, helped me fix my display issue! 🙌

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