Mac White Screen: How To Fix Your Mac That Won’t Turn On
You wanted to use your Mac, but instead, your Mac won’t startup? Does your Mac computer stuck on a white/gray screen (after a start-up chime)? Does your computer get stuck at the Apple logo? Sometimes an error or issue with your macOS operating system may cause your computer to stop functioning properly and display a white screen. There can be several reasons why a computer won’t boot and display a white screen. However, there are several tips you can try to fix it. This article explains how to fix this white screen issue so your Mac can work as normal.
This problem may affect various Mac devices: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro. You may have a Mac with Apple silicon or an Intel-based Mac. Some of the steps may be different for you.
If your Mac keeps freezing, see this article.
Before doing anything, you may want to make sure that you have a copy of your information to use if your Mac becomes unusable. So you may want to try backing up now before doing anything. Backing up may be possible even if your Mac does not boot. If you have already backups, then you may skip this step. You may be able to use OS X Recovery to backup your Mac.
See also if you are not able to update your Mac.
How To Fix Mac White Screen Problem
Please check to see (by rebooting your Mac) if your issue is resolved after performing each step.
1-Shut down your Mac by holding down the power button. Disconnect all peripherals (printers, scanners, USB devices, etc) that are plugged into your Mac, except the mouse and keyboard. After disconnecting everything, try restarting your computer. If your Mac starts without any issue, this means that one of your accessories is causing this. Try to figure out the problematic peripheral(s) by reconnecting your accessories one at a time until your problem is fixed.
2-If restarting your Mac with your peripherals disconnected does not work, try this step. Try Safe Mode (or safe boot) if your Mac does not turn on. Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode designed to fix macOS problems. Thus Safe Mode can be a useful troubleshooting method. Here is how you can start your computer in safe mode:
You will first need to determine if you have a Mac with an Intel chip or a Mac with Apple silicon. You can do so by going to the Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview.
- Shut down your Mac and wait at least 10 seconds.
- Restart your Mac. And immediately, press and hold the Shift key as your computer restarts. You need to press the Shift key immediately after the startup sound/chime before the Apple logo appears.
- Release the key when you see the gray Apple logo or the login screen. Then log in, please note that you may have to log in a few times.
- Be patient because safe mode is slower. if you Mac starts up, restart your Mac normally without pressing any buttons. Do not press the Shift key when restarting.
- Turn off your Mac.
- Press and hold the power key until you see the startup options window.
- Select your startup disk, like Macintosh HD.
- Press and hold the Shift key while clicking “Continue in Safe Mode.”
Now can your Mac startup? Exit Safe Mode and then test again. You can exit Safe Mode by restarting your Mac.
3-Try repairing your startup disk by opening Disk Utility from macOS Recovery. We are doing this because it is possible that the disk may be corrupted. Please follow these steps:
Again, the process differs based on what kind of Mac you have: Apple silicon or Intel.
- Turn off your Mac.
- Press and hold the power key until the startup options window appears.
- Click the Gear (Options) icon.
- Click Continue.
- Select Disk Utility.
- Select your disk. You can use View > Show All Devices.
- Then repair volumes, then containers, then disks. The sidebar will show this: Your startup disk, and under it, containers and volumes if available.
- Turn off your Mac.
- Restart your Mac and hold option+R keys immediately after the Apple startup chime. Keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo.
- When your computer starts up, you will see the “macOS Utilities” window.
- Select Disk Utility and click Continue.
- Select your startup disk (by default, it’s called Macintosh HD, unless you renamed it).
- Click The First Aid icon and then click the Run button. Disk Utility will now try to find and repair any problems.
- When you are done, then reboot your Mac.
Slow startup? see this article.
Reset PRAM or NVRAM
4-You may want to reset “non-volatile random-access memory” or NVRAM (this is also called PRAM). Follow these steps:
Please note that these steps only apply to Intel-based Macs. If you have a Mac with Apple silicon, restarting your Mac will do this.
- Turn off your Mac.
- Wait at least 10 seconds.
- Turn on your Mac.
- Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys together immediately after the startup sound.
- Your computer will restart (keep holding the keys)
- Release the keys when you hear the second startup sound. This process will reset NVRAM.
Again these steps apply to Macs with an Intel chip.
5-Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) may fix your problem. Here is how:
Follow these steps if you have a modern Mac notebook (like MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) without a removable battery:
- Turn off your computer.
- Connect the power adapter.
- Press the Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
- Then release all the keys at the same time.
- Reboot your computer.
Follow these steps if you have an older Mac notebook with a removable battery:
- Turn off your computer.
- Disconnect the power cord.
- Remove the battery.
- Hold the Power Key for five (5) seconds, then release the power button.
- Reconnect your battery and power cord.
- Turn on your Mac.
Follow these steps if you have an Intel-based Mac Pro, iMac, and Mac min
- Turn off your computer.
- Disconnect the power cord, wait fifteen (15) seconds, and connect the power cord.
- Wait five (5) seconds and turn on your computer.
6–Reinstalling macOS may fix this and you may use macOS Recovery to do this. Here is how:
- Shut down your Mac. You will need to restart your Mac from macOS Recovery. There are a few options you may choose. Here are the startup options:
- Restart your Mac and immediately, press and hold the Command-R keys until you see a spinning globe: This option will reinstall the latest macOS that was on your Mac. We recommend this option. This will reinstall the macOS version that is stored on your Mac.
- Restart your Mac and immediately, press and hold the Option-Command-R keys until a spinning globe appears: This will upgrade to the latest macOS.
- Restart your Mac and immediately, press and hold the Shift-Option-Command-R keys until you see a spinning globe: This will reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac when it was bought.
- If you have a Mac with Apple silicon, follow these steps:
- Turn off your Mac.
- Press and hold the power key until you see the startup options window. Click the Options/Gear icon.
- Select Reinstall macOS, then click Continue and then follow the onscreen instructions.
If nothing above helped you, you may have a hardware problem. Contact Apple.
- Updated on FEB 13, 2022 to address the recent macOS changes.
ALWAYS keep a corded keyboard and a corded mouse around for these kinds of emergency repairs…. they’ve saved me quite a few times when the bluetooth or Logitech wouldn’t connect
I have (ithink) 2005 macbook proit won’t reboot after a power switch shutdown due to frozen screen. I ended up with just gre apple and it never went any further. Di Command R to get to the Command-R utility screen. I selected install macos high Sierra. Got error “the recovery server could not be contacted”. Now what?
I have a white screen with a large black lock on my iMac. No Apple logo. I can’t do anything. None of key combinations have worked so far
What are you supposed to do if it’s on your Mac Pro with a wireless keyboard? How do you get into safe mode?
Its only working in safe mode not able to use pendrive in safe mode too. Macbook pro a1150 model
Just had this issue on a 2009 imac – sure it’s 10 years old, but with an SSD and 8GB RAM transplant it was working beatifully for 24hrz before the white screen. Fix was to replace the BR2032 3V Sony battery with a CR 2032 Panasonic battery in the motherboard. Had to remove the glass and frame, but not the LCD to get to it. Fixed when PRAM reset, SMC reset and verbose, target drive, target drive or diagnostic modes would not boot – just bare white screen.
I have tried all the steps above and even after reinstalling the Mac OS the revolving world pops up and asks for a network and after I connect it goes to the Apple logo to load then the white screen comes on again.
If this happens to you, my best advice would be DO NOT GIVE UP trying to solve it. I tried almost everything above, resetting NVRAM, SMC, booting to recovery mode, booting to safe mode, internet recovery, and booting to verbose mode. The result was the same every time, white screen with fans high until I forced shutdown. Nothing worked and I spent half a day tearing my hair out. Eventually I gave up and went to bed. The next day I fired it up and it booted first time as normal. Seems to be working reliably again now.
Cannot seem to get this working and have tried everything.
Mac late 2009’s running OS X.
Step 1: I booted into safe mode and verified/repaired disk, then restarted still to get WSOD.
Step 2: I booted into safe mode and erased disk, then restarted into safe mode reinstalled OS X on wi-fi and restarted. Still WSOD
Step 3: Turned mac off, then back on and did CMD+V, this loaded Verbose mode first time and ended on WSOD. I turned off and back on and still WSOD.
Step 4: I now turn on and CMD+V does nothing and won’t launch Verbose mode and just ends up on WSOD after Apple logo loads.
Does anyone know anything else I can try? I am re-installing OS X one last time now and then will try Verbose mode to see if anything happens otherwise I’m at my wits-end.
Any help appreciated.
Help!! I accidentally erased all the macbook pro a1278 data from the recovery mode settings, now when I start the macbook pro up, there is no start up chime, cmd R and all other combinations don’t work at all, and all I’m left with is a flashing question folder… Can somebody help please
Problem with the hard drive.
I need help with my MacBook Pro. It’s stuck on the white screen for 2 months now. Please someone tell me what to do
After having tried and tried with the same problem but not being able to use Cmd+R for recovery mode. I found internet recovery mode! Try it out: Cmd+Option+R
See Edmundovic above, July 21, 2016 be sure to connect to internet with Ethernet cable- this was a 2 step process, first press start then Option+Command+R your MBP should connect to the internet run a repair and finish on the WSoD. Next turn off the MBP and press start again then Command+V and you should be on your way!
I was going to replace HDD but the Edmundovic repair worked great for me and saved me $100!! THANK YOU EDMUNDOVIC wherever you are.
I have been having a similar problem.
White screen comes on, and then a file folder with a question mark appears and is flashing.
I have tried the fixes above, with no success.
Any suggestions? Thanks
That’s a HDD issue, not related to the above.
I have seen this happen a couple of times. After a little trial and error and wiggling the mouse around the screen I noticed that the cursor would change to the text symbol instead of the arrow right in the middle of the screen. Since all our Macs are connected to AD and require a sign in, I signed in as the administrator even though I couldn’t see the username and password boxes. After hitting the enter key, it flashed to a new screen “Finishing updates…”. After about 10 minutes it rebooted and everything was gravy.
So long story short, if you get a white screen, try to enter your login credentials and see what happens.
Nothing works!!! I need my projects!!!
THANKS MAC BOSS …you cured my nightmare …Love you
Thank you! Rebooting in safe mode per your instructions seems to have fixed my MacBook Air. Much relief versus taking it to Apple Store out of warranty. Thank you again for kindly providing this information. I would kiss you if I could!
– a scientist
I tried every thing, resetting the PRAM, SMC, Safe Mode..etc…nothing worked. Finally, I unplugged the power cord and turned on the the blank screen and let the battery run down completely. I plugged it back in on the power source, and within 1 hours, the computer came on by itself..problem solved. I have seen others with similar experience, so this was not an original idea. I have a 2013 Macpro
You are the man
It worked with the shift button
Thanks Mac Master
ITS STILL NOT WORKING!!
After Command+R it downloads some files, shows apple logo for a seccond and goes to white screen. No disk utility or anything else. I’ve tried with OS X mavericks bootable USB stick and after apple logo got an crossed circle. I’ve put a new ssd in and even tried with another ordinary disk. Same results.
It’s an 2011 Macbook Pro. Please help!!!
After installing Sierra my MacBook Pro just goes to White screen after startup. Help
iMac…same problem…after no problems for almost a decade (Snow Leopard) shortly after installing Sierra (as recommended) I now get a white screen and nothing else. I’ve tried all of the fixes outlined above to no avail. Since it’s an iMac, disconnecting the HDD cable isn’t an option! So…any more suggestions?
My computer will not shut down as well since install from Nov,4 2016. I have tried everything. This is unacceptable.
As a last resort if 1 to 6 don’t work, try disconnecting the hard drive:
For some reason, it seems that when the HDD/SSD dies, you can’t select a boot disk – hence it’s stuck on the white screen (see the above link for a better explanation. Removing the hdd cable allows you to access the select disk screen, then allows you to permanently change the boot order (i.e. boot from a usb) using this:
The original guide is for a MacBook Air, and it worked on a 2011 iMac with a dead SSD for me. It took me hours and hours of looking for solutions before I found that link, and it helped enormously. If you are handy with a torx screwdriver, don’t bin an old iMac or Macbook, or spend hundreds on repairing it without at least trying it first!
I have a late 2009 ’27, has been a perfect Angel until yesterday evening. White screen and won’t boot. So I found these instructions to hopefully fix the problem. Here you say repair. My options are first aid, erase, restore, unmount, and info. So I am assuming first aid! No repair word option. HELP!! lol
I have tried all the steps listed above and still have nothing but a while screen with the apple logo and wheel of death. I have a mid 2007 iMac. Any suggestions?
Mine will not go past the white screen. Nothing that I’ve done has worked. I have a late 2011 i7 and I have no clue what to do. My whole life is on this computer.
I have a 2008? iMac (Sirina? Version) that will load to the end of the progress bar and stop. I found the utilities box. I tried all possilitities and I am on my final try by reloading a copy of OS. It is checking with Apple….it’s been an hour and nothing happened. Any suggestions? My work has been saved!
I got macbook 2008 late. I got so little space in my hard drive that I decided to undo partition of the disk. First I had to verify disk. That lead me into trouble as it could not be accomplished as there was some trouble. Therefore I could not finish repair either as the hd must be checked first. So I tried all kind of tricks but it went worse. My first problem was that I had my hd in 2 parts. I tried to combine them but could not because of I had not enough space in my boot section. So I took backup. Then installed osx snowleopard to the latter part of hd. Then I got white screen after I reinstalled snow leopard. It worked in safe mode, shift pressed upon start. But none of these tips didnt work for me. What I did with disk utility was I checked disk rights and fixed them. After that I wiped first part of hd and reinstalled snowleopard to the first and bigger part of my hd. Then I activated firewall and updated osx before anything. It worked fine. Its
Wooowwwww this is totally helpful! Thaaaankss! I tried the steps one by one until the 4th step.. and it workss!
How can a white-screen mac be used to open disk utility I’m nervous pls help me
I am unable to boot my Mac . When I switch it on, the ring tone chime sound is heard and then the grey apple logo appears and a black line starts in the grey bar below the logo and in few seconds proceeds towards less than half distance and stops dead. After waiting and waiting nothing happens and the suddenly the computer screen blacks out I.e Mac powers off. Please help.
Thanks so much for the detailed methods of getting rid of this problem. You pointed out each step clearly, so I knew what to look for. Other explanations omitted when to press and release keys. You’re the best. Thank you. I’ve got my computer back. Thanks.
Hi there, I have a MAc, desktop, worked fine until it started to freeze, shuts down then restarts again.
I am running El-Capitan, not sure of the version. Tried disc utility and didn’t find any issues.
Please help, afraid of losing work.
My problem is when I login it’s a white screen with the mouse.
i have macboo pro i7 late 2011…my problem is my only white screen show after turn power on..so it can’t be enter into desktop…is there any probelem with my vga card?
On my Mac, the screen is just a very light gray color and it won’t load or turn on or anything and I’m not sure what to do. Please help.
I have a MAC, my problem is my only white screen show if i open the power botton and after a minute there’s a file logo with a question mark inside show, I don’t know what happen in my MAC. It’s also a BOOT CAMP I don’t think if this also a problrm.. what will I do to repair it?
HDD is probably dead, what mac do u have?
Same ex a thing plz help I have. A black MacBook
I get the same issue as well!! It worked perfectly well this morning, then it suddenly turned itself off!! When I tried to turn it back on, that bloody white screen appeared
I have this problem with white screen on both my iMac and Mac pro. I have tried everything! This problem must be software related! It is not possible that both my mac computers go white…
It must be something corrupt with the latest updates from Apple. The story of my iMac is that it first was white screen and after trying everything it’s now black screen! I got it working one time when rebooting it with my Applications install disc but that was the only time. My Mac pro starts up with white screen but I realized when I push the DVD out when I hear the starting sound the Apple logo appears and the computer is loading and It works! So after having this problem for months and tried everything possible I now understand it has to be software related! So why don’t Apple do something!!! I have also checked for Virus but nothing.
Same as David problem any suggestions
Read my comment I wrote today. It might be because of disk rights. I though also it might be software related as my osx snowleopard worked without update! 10.6. After update it didnt start but instead stopped on starting with white screen after apple logo. I installed osx again on the first part of the disk as I had partition split in 350G and 150G. Dont know if that really matters but you hard drive rights must be checked and fixed with disk utility.
This worked! I tried so many things, thank you so much! Dont know if it matters, but I found it helped when it was plugged in! Thanks!!
Fantastic. Brilliant stuff. Thanks thanks thanks
Hi mac jus suddently went off and when i tried putting it on a whit screen came on and the apple sign while loading it went off again what do i do to fix this….. Plz tell me
I have the same problem as Shaina. Any solutions?
Just solved it. Had to start verbose mode. None of steps above helped, as I was getting WSoD before safe mode boot was complete.
1. OS Recovery over Internet CMD+Option+R
2. Verbose Mode CMD+V
Loaded Verbose mode first time,- crashed. Second time success. Selected startup disk, rebooted and it worked like magic. At least for now.
17 ” MBP, Yosemite, 16 GB RAM
Seriously you are my hero Edmundovic!!!
How can I get to the first step? Nothing is happening ?
Do you recover over internet first and then verbose mode? Ive been able to go to recover over internet mode, but after it went white again. Turned it off and tried verbose and after it finished it went white again. Any suggestions?
I’ve experienced the same issue as Johan.
1. Did an Internet Recovery via CMD+OP+R hotkey that ended up on the white screen.
2. Forced the iMac off and turned back on with CMD+V that still finishes with the WSoD. I tried 4 times in a row to do the verbose boot with no luck.
I suspect the Internet Recovery is not actually failing for me.
Even when I press Cmmd+R at startup it wont take me to Disk Utility. I dont know what else to try. It just shows the progress bar until its halfway and then it goes to the white/gray screen.
I have the same problem. This is happened the day after I installed Sierra. Can someone shed some light on what to do besides what’s already mentioned?
This is exactly what im dealing with. First i was getting vertical pink lines, then i tried to delete my Lion partition and now i cant boot into anything except cmmd- S. No system recovery. Its insane and i cant find th r answer anywhere.
Same happened to me. Then I pressed the space bar and the recovery mode started!
Thank you – after trying everything…this worked!
Why after i used the cmd+V afterloading so many msg then it shutdowm my imac..what do i do? Pls help..
What is WSoD?
White Screen of Death
You are my hero no doubt deserving of a t shirt with an “S” on it. Searched the world over and found my huckleberry. Thanks for your post.
What will happen to all data like movies music and personal files ? I got this white screen with apple logo and it wont start after bar loads to 30% and its going off . It just happened today with square box saying in 4 languages you you have to restart the computer now. Nothing was active. So i did press the on/off button. After turn it on again the problem started. HELP
Thank you! This worked for me too after trying 10 different ways
God bless you!
@Edmundovic Says. Tnx and God bless. It works for me too
Please what is a cMD ?
It is the keyboard key that has the Apple logo on it (a curly thing.) It is the key next to the space bar.
Stands for ‘Command’
Edmundovic, I love you. Thank you so much.
After trying multiple other ways to get my computer back, his worked for me – thanks so much!!!
I started doing the cmd+v. What is verbose mode do?
HI, I have tried all this but the blank screen of death continues. I have formatted the HDD and reinstalled from Yosemite Install USB and…. same thing. The safe mode works fine so it seems not to be a problem with my screen but every time I start it up….apple logo and then comes the blank screen. I am very frustrated.
iMac halted for 10 days now.
I’m having the same problem as Sidnei. Any solutions?
Yes have the same problem….Go to the nearest Apple Store and inform them of your current status. Next at the Genius Bar run diagnoses on hardware replace hardware if needed needed then reinstall OS X.
This will be the best and most efficient way to resolve this concern.Best of the Best to You!
Did you ever get it fixed? I hate apple also
You guys ever work this out? Having the exact same problem here. I’m thinking it’s a graphic card issue – it can handle generic low level calls but normal boot fires up specific drivers which touches the bad circuits and poof.
I also using mac book ios 13″ but it’s laptop,it’s just shows gray screen and the apple logo and the cirle of processing. It’s been days now doing that,so i want to know what courses that and what should i do?
Please please help thanks.
I have a Mac. I haven’t encountered this issue yet, but if I do I’m glad I will know what to try. Thanks for sharing!
I have got an iMac at work with this Apple logo issue. These tips are useful but haven’t tried them yet. I did try something which nearly worked but not quite fixed it.
The thing is the White iMac is technically still in classic. But I tried to open it in OSX so I could access a older media disc, and that’s when it got stuck.
It’s been like that for 3 weeks.or so. Someone replied to my apple community about it. Iv’e not got back to them yet unfortunatly. I think safe mode might do it or reinstall from boot disc.
This is very much a relevant issue. It is probably worth backing up for me because of the software.
I will keep trying. It’s a learning curve you know
I have tried safe mode and holding down command r.
The one I tried before was holding option key down.
We still have the problem. so I will try resetting non volatile RAM. It’s a long shot but it might help a bit. I am starting to wonder if reinstalling Mac OS will even work.
I can’t do anything from the soft boot. The minute I enter my password, the screen goes grey. That was a while ago. Now, my Mac won’t respond to anything. The white screen comes on, the logo show up, it takes about 5-7 minutes for the black bar to complete its loading and then…it just gets stuck.
How did you end up fixing this? I’m having the same issue. Thanks!
I have the same issue and I am wondering how to fix this. Please if anyone has any suggestions, I am all open ears. Thanks!
Probaly your video card need repair.
hopefully it works for 07!
I found that this worked:
1. Disconnect the batteri (and make a cup of coffee while the power is totally off)
2. Connect the battery again
3. Turn on the computer, while pressing cmd + opt + p + r
4. Shut down the computer with: Left shift + Ctrl + opt + power
5. Turn on the computer with opt pressed
6. Choose recovery
7. Start terminal from the recovery menu
8. (Check what time it is at your watch or phone) in the terminal write Date 020303432019 (for the third of feb 2019 at 03:43 in the morning)
9. Start the computer again