Mac Boots To a Black Screen Issue

At first glance, starting your Mac to be greeted by a black screen may seem like a truly nerve-racking experience. However, before succumbing to despair, there are a couple of easy solutions that might be able to fix the problem.

Restart the Mac

Let's start by forcing your Mac to restart. Press the Power key for around 6 seconds and wait for the system to shut down. Now, turn the Mac back on normally and see if the black screen has disappeared.

Reset the NVRAM settings

NVRAM stands for non-volatile RAM and it acts as a memory space where various settings related to the display, speakers, the startup disk, and more are stored. Oftentimes, resetting the NVRAM is all that is needed to fix various boot issues.

  1. Shut down the Mac.
  2. Press the Power key.
  3. Wait for the Mac to start loading and when you hear the startup sound press and hold Cmd+Option+P+R on your keyboard. 
  4. Keep the keys pressed until you hear a second startup chime.

Reset the SMC settings

SMC or System Management Controller is tasked with managing the system's temperature, keyboard, fans, lights and various other processes. Resetting the SMC has a high success rate when it comes to fixing the black screen on the boot issue. Keep in mind that the process is different for desktop Mac devices and Macs with a non-removable battery.

Desktop Macs:

  1. Unplug the power cable and wait for approximately 15 seconds.
  2. Plug the cable back in and wait for another 5 seconds.
  3. Start your Mac and see if it boots normally.

MacBooks with a non-removable battery:

  1. Shut down the Mac.
  2. Connect the device to a power outlet.
  3. While the Mac is still shut down, press Shift+Option+Control and the Power key simultaneously.
  4. Release the keys and boot the Mac.

Enter your password

While this may seem like a strange suggestion, a surprising number of Mac users have been successful in fixing the black screen on boot problems by simply entering their password. While the Mac is started and is displaying a black screen, try to enter your password as normal. Press the Return key and see if anything changes. 

Another method that is similar in essence involves the following steps:

  1. Press the Power key to open the restart dialogue.
  2. Press the S key on your keyboard to set your Mac to sleep mode.
  3. Press and hold the Power key until the system shuts down.
  4. Wait for approximately 15 seconds and then start the Mac normally.

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