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.

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If that doesn’t work for you, you could try these steps, documented at apple.com:

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

Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)

415 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

    #156512
  2. Cool bean

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

    #156653
  3. Colin

    Glad the info helped! Happy New Year!

    #156655
  4. Caro

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

    #156719
  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)

    #156729
  6. Boban

    Resetting NVRAM worked… thank you very much.

    #156809
  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.

    #157000
  8. Elizabeth Seidl

    Thank you so much this just saved my life!

    #157003
  9. sree

    Thank you soooo much its working….

    #157125
  10. Danni

    Thanks!!!

    #157135
  11. I have problem also with my macbook pro a1286.. i used to forced shutdown my macbook.. but when i try to open it again, its only a black screen.. even the keyboard and apple logo at the back didn’t show light’s..
    I did already the com.. opt.. p and r but didn’t worked..:(
    Can you guys help me please??

    #157174
  12. YEA!!! It totally worked. Thank you so much!

    #157598
  13. Eduardo

    Tks a lot, it worked!

    #157864
  14. Jeff

    Hello. I woke up this morning to a macbook pro ( 2.4 GHz core 2 duo/2GB/256MB VRAM 200GB ) that had a black screen. I’ve gone through many of the fixes listed on this site but so far, nothing has worked fro me. Do you have any other options I can try?

    #157919
  15. This solution worked, but at first I was too impatient to notice.
    Started up in Safe Mode, but only saw a very dim “something” appear
    on the screen of my 2006 MacBookPro 1.1. So I tried other solutions I found posted. None worked.
    But finally returned to this safemode startup. …and once again, the very dim
    something appeared. I got distracted by another chore which probably took
    5-10 minutes. When I got back to the MBP, the screen was nice and bright.
    I logged in….everything worked. So I restarted, which happened more slowly than expected.
    So I zapped the PRAM and now everything is back to normal….THANK YOU! THIS IS A LIFESAVER!

    #157957

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