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)

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

  1. Colin

    Hi Alexander,

    If you have the time, would you be able to explain how you ‘cook the logic board’?


  2. Alexander

    Hi Collin, this is the best video I found it to be instructive step by step through. If you follow the exact steps you’ll get it done with no problem.

  3. Katherina

    THANKYOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! Terima kasih banyak! mine worked with the first method! it worked miraculously. God bless you!!

  4. Sandra

    THANK YOU …. THANK YOU …. We’re not geeks but you solution worked amazing …. we are of the aged group of people that know nothing about computers BUT YOU N I DID IT TOGETHER …. once again …. thank you …. x

  5. Rose

    Thank you it worked for me

  6. dhrtlocker

    Firstly thank you so much sir. Followed your instructions and my MacBook Pro (A1398) screen visible again.

  7. Frank

    Command option PR worked for me too! I had to keep holding it while the laptop tried to reboot several times then finially the screen came on and i knew things were looking up.

  8. John

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Not sure if this matters, but I tried the shift button on the left, it didn’t work. Tried again with the shift button on the right…it worked!! Thank you, Thank you!!

  9. Thomas

    Awesome!!!! I tried a few of the things said on here and eventually my MacBook powered up!! Thank you internet!!!!

  10. Thu

    Today is 11 February 2018 and this still works for my Mac. Thank you so much so much

  11. Will

    This thread may be outdated, THANK YOU!!

    I dropped my macbook pro 13′ 2015 and although the hardware would turn on, the display would not. This was the case after countless reboots & reboots with option + command + P + R pressed down.

    Restarting the computer while holding the SHIFT key down (safe mode) made the display activate.

  12. Pam

    Oh my goodness! This was a lifesaver. Thank you! THANK YOU!

  13. Thank you it worked for me

  14. sarah

    it hasn’t worked for me but im not sure if its because i have a different macbook pro then the one that has been working for everyone else, does this method work on all macs or on a specific type?


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