MacBook Display Acting Up? Troubleshooting Tips for Screen-Related Issues

Witnessing your Mac computer’s screen suddenly freezing, distorting, or displaying a black screen is a nightmare. It is never a welcoming event and can give you a headache. Unlike other Mac problems, you cannot ignore or delay dealing with screen problems; they must be dealt with immediately, or they may worsen.

Macbook display

Some of the common screen problems are:

  • MacBook white screen no logo, which indicates that something is seriously wrong with your Mac. Your system will become completely unusable, and it usually occurs after an OS update. It may also occur when there are incompatible drivers on your Mac.
  • Flickering screen, which indicates a software issue.
  • The pink screen of death indicates hardware and software issues.

Besides these, you may even see your Mac booting to a grey/blue screen or the screen displaying multi-colored lines.

No matter the screen issue you are facing, run through these troubleshooting tips. Implementing them might help get you back on track. But if nothing works, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Apple service center.

1. Check whether the display is turned on and plugged in

This troubleshooting tip is for Mac users using an external display. You must check whether the display is turned on, the cable is properly connected to your Mac, and the brightness is turned on.

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You may think that is obvious, but sometimes the most obvious things are overlooked. There are instances where the issue was a loose cable, or the power wasn’t turned on. It wouldn’t be a good idea to unnecessarily stress out when the problem can be solved by simply switching on the power or replacing the faulty cable.

In case the display is a part of your Mac computer, check whether the brightness is set appropriately.

2. Reboot

You will be surprised at the number of minor and major issues solved by simply rebooting a Mac. Display problems can be easily fixed by restarting your computer, as it will clear the graphics and system RAM, reset the GPU and the CPU, and then restart everything in an orderly manner.

3. Reset the SMC

The SMC plays an integral role in managing your device’s display. It controls the in-built backlighting of the display, adjusts brightness, detects ambient lighting, controls sleep modes, etc. Hence, unless the screen is physically damaged, resetting the SMC can quickly solve display issues.

4. Reset the NVRAM/PRAM

The PRAM/NVRAM contains the display settings used by your monitor, including color depth, resolution, number of displays, refresh rate, etc. If it gets corrupt, it can alter the display settings and cause problems.

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If the display is showcasing strange colors or is refusing to turn on, you must reset the NVRAM/PRAM.

5. Use Safe mode

Booting in Safe mode can help isolate the graphics problems you are facing. In this mode, your system will start with the minimum components it requires to function. The fonts are disabled in this mode, and the startup items are prevented from launching. Also, the dynamic loader caches are deleted.

You must remove all external peripherals before booting your Mac in Safe Mode. Then check whether there are any graphics anomalies.

If the issues persist, it might be a hardware problem.

6. Use Apple Diagnostics

Are the display problems caused by hardware issues? If so, you can use Apple Diagnostics. This feature tests hardware-related issues and offers instructions on troubleshooting the same.

Apple Diagnostics is an in-built feature on Mac models from 2013 and later. Before you can start the test, you must disconnect all external devices connected to your computer. It is essential to note the name of the Wi-Fi network and the password. Then, shut down your computer.

Press the power button to start your computer to run Apple Diagnostics, and immediately press the D key or the Option + D keys. Let go of the keys when you see the gray screen changing to Apple Diagnostics. Then, wait for Apple Diagnostics to check your Mac for possible hardware issues. It can take anywhere between five minutes to an hour for the test to be completed.

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Once the test is done, you will see a detailed description of the issues that the test might have uncovered. It will also display the error code. You can Google the error code to understand what it means and how you can troubleshoot it.

Macbook table

The Bottom Line

Implement these troubleshooting tips to overcome Mac display and screen issues. But if the issue persists, you can head to the nearest Apple service center. Typically, Apple offers hands-on assistance via their service centers, and your issue will be immediately addressed and solved.

But if you are lucky, the steps mentioned above should be enough, and you don’t have to disrupt your workflow to take your Mac computer to the technician.