Surely one or the other knows the problem: You sent your MacBook Pro to sleep mode to get a coffee. After coming back, you open the lid to wake it up again, but the display stays black.
The problem is often that the error cannot be reproduced straight away. So you stand at the Apple Genius Bar, try to wake up your MacBook and unfortunately it still works.
But there is good news because here are a few ideas on how to fix the problem yourself.
Problem after macOS software update
One cause of problems on the Mac is often software updates that the Mac has made. If these don't run properly, something is awry in macOS and the Mac does things that you don't understand - like greeting the user with a black display after waking from sleep.
- Solution: Turn MacBook off and on. Just like the pros from IT-Crowd always recommend: Sometimes turning the device off and on solves the problem. If the MacBook Pro is no longer responsive, hold down the power button for a few seconds until the Mac shuts down. Then it is best to wait a minute and restart the MacBook.
- Solution: Install macOS over it. To do this, start the Mac in recovery mode (on Intel Macs, restart and then hold down CMD + R; on Apple Silicon Macs, continue to hold down the power button when switching on). From the recovery menu, choose "Reinstall macOS". During this process, none of your data will be overwritten, but the system files will be recreated.
Check brightness and power connection
Sometimes the Mac stops responding when you reconnect it to power. This should be checked by connecting the charging connector to the MacBook Pro. On the other hand, the brightness on the MacBook could be completely down. You can check this by clicking the "Lighter" button on the keyboard for a few seconds.
Perform NVRAM and SMC reset
Another thing that often fixes unexplained issues is resetting NVRAM and SMC. For a MacBook, proceed as follows:
- Turn off your Mac (press and hold the power button for a few seconds)
- Unplug the charging cable
- press the keys SHIFT + CTRL + ALT together and then press the power button and keep all keys pressed for 12 seconds
- release all keys
- Plug in the charging cable
- turn on Mac
- Turn off Mac
- Reboot Mac
- Immediately after starting, press and hold the following keys for 20 seconds: CMD + ALT + P + R
Certain app is causing problems
Some users report that the black screen after hibernation issue always occurs in connection with a specific program.
To check this, you can, for example, create a new user under System Settings > Users & Groups and then log into this user account. Then you close the MacBook and after a few seconds open it and see if it also comes up with a black screen. If this is the case, it could be a hardware defect.
Test with second monitor
Another tip for finding the cause is to connect an external monitor if the MacBook Pro screen stays black. Sometimes plugging in an external monitor for a short time solves the problem.