macbook pro turns on but screen stays black — my solution

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 1:26 pm
By Colin

The Apple Macbook Pro would turn on, but the screen would not.  The screen would stay black.  I could tell the computer was on because when I hit the “caps lock” key, the green light on the key would turn on and off.

I fixed this the following way (this is basically resetting the Power Management Unit — PMU):

I disconnected the computer from the power cord, and from all other cables.

I held down the power button for several seconds to turn off the computer.

I let it sit 5 minutes.

I restarted the laptop while holding down the Shift key.  This restarted the computer in Safe Mode, with the screen visible again.

After I logged in (in Safe Mode) to make sure everything was ok, I simply restarted the computer the normal way, and the screen behaved normally again.


If that doesn’t work for you, you could try these steps, documented at

Holding down Command, Option, P, and R to reset your PRAM and NVRAM

Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)

408 Responses to “macbook pro turns on but screen stays black — my solution”

  1. Lol25

    Resetting nrvam worked for me I am so happy thank u

  2. Cool bean

    Aww thanks maan you were awwsome I was
    Just gonna spend 180$ for new display screen thanks man

  3. Colin

    Glad the info helped! Happy New Year!

  4. Caro

    I tried everything I found online and nothing worked ! Fed up !

  5. Rico

    Before going and buying a new motherboard for 1000$. Have just the video card chip replaced for 150-250$. eBay/google it. I got mine fixed that way and it runs perfect now! Also Apple has a recap on that which is expiring this year sometime(2016)

  6. Boban

    Resetting NVRAM worked… thank you very much.

  7. Thank you for your solution :)
    It works!!!

    I told the computer technician at the IT department the trick to deal with that problem and they thanked me.

  8. Elizabeth Seidl

    Thank you so much this just saved my life!


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