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How to Fix White Screen on Mac: 11 Tried and Tested Methods

Resolve Mac’s white screen issue with these proven methods.

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Last updated: December 6, 2023

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To fix a white screen on Mac, follow these troubleshooting tips:

  1. Disconnect all peripherals and force restart your Mac.
  2. Boot your Mac in Safe Mode.
  3. Reset the NVRAM/PRAM or SMC on Mac.
  4. Repair your startup disk in macOS Recovery Mode.
  5. Boot your Mac into Verbose Mode.
  6. Reinstall macOS as a last resort.

Just the other day, my Mac screen went all white, and I couldn’t use it at all. But I managed to fix it with a bit of trial and error. So, I thought I should put this experience to good use and compiled this guide with everything I did. It has everything – from the super simple stuff to a few tricks that are a bit more technical. If you’re also facing a MacBook white screen, keep reading to learn how to fix it.

Before We Begin

Outdated apps and insufficient memory are the common causes of a white screen on MacBook. MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner and Update Tracker can address both of these issues. So, download MacKeeper today to prevent the white screen of death.

How to Fix a White Screen on Mac

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If you’re facing a white screen on Mac, I’ve got some quick and easy fixes to help you. Check out the following sections to see what works for you.

1. Disconnect All Peripherals

I’ve found that peripherals can sometimes be unexpected troublemakers. External hard drives, printers, or USB hubs might interfere with your MacBook’s display.

Here’s what you do: Gently unplug all USB devices from your MacBook. This includes your power cord, keyboard, and any other accessories you have connected. If you’re using an external monitor, switch back to your MacBook’s internal display before disconnecting it.

Once everything is unplugged, restart your MacBook to see if the white screen issue has been resolved.

2. Force Restart Your MacBook

Sometimes, your MacBook just needs a firm nudge to get back on track, especially when it’s stuck on a white screen. I’ve had moments where a normal restart didn’t cut it, but a force restart did the trick.

Here’s how to force restart your Mac:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until your MacBook turns off completely.
macbook air touch id
  1. Wait at least 10 seconds before you press the Power button again to turn your MacBook on.
  2. If everything goes well, your MacBook will restart, and you’ll see the Apple logo on the screen.

3. Update Your Apps

Outdated apps on your Mac may be the reason for the white screen. These apps often start behaving suspiciously, causing errors and alerts. Just by keeping everything up-to-date, I’ve avoided quite a few glitches.

Here’s how you can update your apps on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen and select App Store.
click the apple menu and select app store
  1. Click the Updates tab in the App Store window.
click updates in the left sidebar
  1. If you see any available app updates, click the Update button next to each.
click the update button next to an app
  1. Once the updates are complete, restart your MacBook to check if the white screen issue has been resolved.

Alternatively, you can use MacKeeper’s Update Tracker to update all your apps in one go. This will prevent your Mac from overheating and make it run more efficiently. Here’s how to use MacKeeper to update your apps:

  1. Download MacKeeper and install it on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click Update Tracker under the Performance section in the left-hand toolbar.
click update tracker under performance
  1. Select Scan for Updates.
click scan for updates
  1. Choose the apps you want to update from the list once scanning completes. You can also click Check All to select all apps.
select individual apps or click check all
  1. Click Update All.
click update all in update tracker
  1. Once the updates are complete, you’ll get the Update Completed notification on your screen. Click Rescan if you want to scan your Mac again.
click rescan to run the scan again

4. Boot Your Mac in Safe Mode

Booting in Safe Mode can be a helpful Mac white screen of death fix. Safe Mode disables third-party apps and only loads essential system components, making it easy to identify and resolve the issue.

Remember, in Safe Mode, your Mac might run slower than usual, and some features might not work. This is normal, as it’s running with limited functionality.

Here are the steps to boot your Mac in Safe Mode:

  1. Shut down your MacBook by selecting Shut Down from the Apple menu.
click the apple icon and select shut down
  1. If you have an unresponsive or frozen Mac, force restart it by pressing and holding the Power button until it turns off.
macbook air touch id
  1. Press the Power button to turn your MacBook on.
  2. Immediately press and hold the Shift key as soon as you see the Apple logo. Continue holding the Shift key until you see the login window.
macbook air shift key
  1. Release the Shift key and log in to your MacBook. You will see Safe Boot in the top-right corner of the screen, indicating that your MacBook has started up in Safe Mode.
safe boot mode on mac
  1. Once your MacBook has booted up in Safe Mode, check to see if the white screen issue has been resolved.
  2. If your MacBook starts up successfully in Safe Mode, a third-party app may be causing the white screen issue. You can disable or uninstall any recently installed apps to resolve the issue.

Once you have finished troubleshooting in Safe Mode, restart your MacBook normally by selecting Restart from the Apple menu.

5. Reset NVRAM or PRAM

NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) and PRAM (Parameter RAM) store system settings on your MacBook. If these settings become corrupted, they can cause the white screen issue on your Mac, and you can fix it by resetting them.

To reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the Power button and immediately hold down the Option ⌥ + Command ⌘ + P + R keys.
macbook air option command p r keys
  1. Hold these keys for about 20 seconds until you hear the startup sound twice.
  2. Release the keys and let your MacBook start up normally.

6. Repair Your Startup Disk in macOS Recovery Mode

If you suspect the white screen issue on your Mac may be related to your startup disk, you can use macOS Recovery Mode to check and repair it. Here’s how to boot your Mac into Recovery Mode:

  1. Restart your Mac and hold the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears.
macbook air command r keys
  1. Once you’re in Recovery mode, select Disk Utility from the list.
select disk utility from macos recovery screen
  1. Select your startup disk from the left sidebar and click First Aid.
select your startup disk and click first aid
  1. Click Run to begin the verification process. If any issues are detected, Disk Utility will attempt to repair them automatically.
click run on the first aid prompt
  1. If Disk Utility cannot repair your disk, you may need to erase your startup disk and reinstall macOS.
  2. Once the verification and repair process is complete, you can quit Disk Utility and restart your Mac.

7. Use a Memory Cleaner

Using a memory cleaner can also help with the white screen issue, particularly if it’s related to your Mac running out of available memory. But you can only use this method if your Mac is not stuck at a white screen and you can access the memory cleaner app.

I always use MacKeeper to clear out memory-draining apps on my Mac. Here are the steps to use MacKeeper’s Memory Cleaner to avoid the white screen issue:

  1. Download MacKeeper and install it on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper on your Mac and select Memory Cleaner in the Performance section.
select memory cleaner under performance
  1. Click the Open button at the bottom of the screen.
click open in the memory cleaner
  1. To clean up memory usage, click the Clean Memory button.
click clean memory
  1. Alternatively, click Apps & Processes in the left panel and tap the x button next to each app to end specific apps and processes.
click the cross next to each app
  1. Select Quit on the pop-up window to quit the app.
click quit on the pop up

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides updating apps and freeing up RAM on your Mac, MacKeeper can clear temp files, clear cache files, prevent ID theft, and check your Mac for malware. Check out my detailed MacKeeper review to learn more about all its features.

While memory cleaners can be helpful, they’re more of a temporary fix. If you frequently run into memory issues, you may need to upgrade your Mac’s RAM.

8. Check the Display Connections

If you have ruled out a software issue and suspect a hardware issue is causing the white screen problem, check your MacBook’s display connections. Loose or damaged display connections can cause a white screen on Mac.

Here’s how you can check your display connections:

Fixing a hardware issue on a Mac is tricky and requires a certain level of expertise. You should only do it if you have the skills to handle it.

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Disconnect all cables and external devices from your MacBook.
  3. Remove the battery from your MacBook (if possible).
  4. Open your MacBook and locate the display connector.
  5. Disconnect and reconnect the display connector.
  6. Reconnect the battery (if you removed it) and other cables and external devices.
  7. Turn on your MacBook to see if the white screen issue has been resolved.

9. Boot the Mac Into Verbose Mode

Booting your Mac into Verbose Mode can be a helpful diagnostic tool, especially when dealing with startup issues like the white screen problem. Verbose Mode displays detailed information about what the computer is doing during the boot process, which can help identify where the process is failing or hanging up.

Here are the steps to boot your Mac into Verbose Mode:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on your Mac.
macbook air touch id
  1. Immediately press and hold the Command ⌘ + V keys on your keyboard.
macbook air command v keys
  1. Keep holding down the keys until you see a scrolling text list on your screen.
  2. Once the text stops scrolling and the startup process is complete, you will be taken to the login screen or the desktop, depending on your Mac’s settings.
  3. To exit verbose mode, restart your Mac as you normally would.

While the verbose mode helps fix the white screen on Mac, it can overwhelm some users. If you are unfamiliar with the information displayed in verbose mode, contact Apple or consult an experienced Mac technician for assistance.

10. Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for a lot of low-level functions on your Mac, like battery control, thermal management, and display settings. Resetting the SMC can fix various Mac issues, including the white screen problem, especially if nothing else works.

Resetting the SMC is not possible on Macs with an M1 chip.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to resetting the SMC on your Mac:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Hold the Shift ⇧ + Control ^ + Option ⌥ keys and the Power button simultaneously for about 10 seconds.
macbook air power shift control option keys
  1. Release all the keys and the Power button at the same time.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on your MacBook.
macbook air touch id
  1. Check to see if the white screen issue has been resolved.

An SMC reset is a more extreme troubleshooting step, and it’s recommended to try other methods first before resorting to resetting the SMC.

11. Reinstall macOS

If you’ve tried all the other steps and nothing seems to fix the white screen issue on your Mac, it might be time to reinstall macOS. I know this sounds like a big step, and honestly, it is. Reinstalling the operating system is quite significant and should definitely be seen as a last resort.

Before you proceed, please make sure to back up your Mac data. Even though reinstalling macOS typically doesn’t erase your data, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

To reinstall macOS, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the Power button and immediately hold down the Command ⌘ + R keys.
macbook air power command r keys
  1. Release the keys when you see the Apple logo.
  2. Select Reinstall macOS from the options and follow the on-screen instructions.
click reinstall macos in macos utilities

Why Is Your MacBook Screen White?

A white screen on your MacBook can be caused by several issues, ranging from minor software glitches to more serious hardware problems. Here are some common reasons:

  1. 🔄 Software Glitches: Sometimes, your operating system or a specific application may encounter an error, leading to a white screen.
  2. 🛠️ Failed Software Update: If a macOS update doesn’t install correctly, it can leave your MacBook stuck on a white screen. I think my MacBook Air white screen issue occurred due to this because I was updating it to macOS Sonoma when it went completely white.
  3. 💽 Corrupted Startup Disk: Your MacBook’s startup disk contains all the files needed to boot the system. If these files are corrupted, it can result in a white screen.
  4. 🔌 Peripheral Devices: Occasionally, connected peripheral devices (like external hard drives, printers, etc.) can cause conflicts during startup, leading to a white screen.
  5. 💾 PRAM/NVRAM Issues: These small amounts of memory on your Mac store certain settings and can cause a white screen if they become corrupted.
  6. Sudden Power Loss or Improper Shutdown: If your MacBook was shut down improperly or experienced a sudden power loss, it might boot to a white screen.
  7. 🦠 Malware or Virus: Though less common on Macs, malware or a virus can sometimes cause display issues, including a white screen.
  8. 🔧 Hardware Issues: Problems with your MacBook’s internal hardware, such as a failing hard drive or issues with the logic board, can also cause a white screen. If you suspect something like this, visit a professional. Remember, fiddling with the hardware can void your warranty.

Get Rid of White Screen on Your Mac

Now that you have resolved the issue of a white screen on Mac, it’s time to take your device’s performance to the next level. Here are some quick and effective ways to keep your Mac running smoothly:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the white screen of death on Mac?

    The White Screen of Death on Mac occurs when the system fails to boot properly, displaying only a blank white screen. It often results from hardware or software problems, such as corrupted system files or incompatible updates.

  2. Can a virus cause a white screen issue on my MacBook?

    Yes, a virus can cause a white screen issue on your MacBook. It’s essential to keep your MacBook’s software updated and use antivirus software to protect your device.

  3. Is it possible to recover data from a MacBook with a white screen issue?

    Yes, it’s possible to recover data from a MacBook with a white screen issue using data recovery software or services. However, backing up your data regularly is always recommended to prevent data loss.

  4. How can I prevent a white screen issue on my MacBook?

    To prevent a white screen issue on your MacBook, keep the system updated, install antivirus software, avoid downloading untrusted software, back up data regularly, and avoid exposing the device to extreme temperatures.

Hashir Ibrahim


I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.



Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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