How To Repair White Screen Issue On Mac, MacBook and iMac

MacBook laptops are a convenient and reliable tool designed for everyday tasks such as typing, using the Internet and watching videos. During normal use of these laptops there are rarely any problems, while loading the system with serious tasks and connecting a large number of peripherals can cause a number of errors that provoke a white screen when the MacBook boots.

Rarely, but it does happen – the Mac refuses to boot the system and instead shows a white screen. The issue sometimes pops up after installing an operating system update or an unexpected shutdown. Like many OS problems, this one is solved by standard system tools without a visit to the service center.

Reasons for the white screen on MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The most common problem with MacBook Pro is graphics failure. When working with serious tasks, the laptop video card operates at a critical temperature, which can often reach ninety degrees. Of course, in case of serious overheating, the system independently cuts the performance of the graphics adapter and increases the speed of the cooler for more efficient cooling, and if the maximum threshold is exceeded, an emergency shutdown of the laptop occurs, but prolonged work with resource-intensive tasks, such as rendering 3D graphics or high-definition video in one way or another affects the resource of the video card. Thus, if the MacBook Air does not boot, a white screen may indicate a video chip or video memory failure.

While working with your MacBook Air, it is advisable to avoid complex tasks, but this is not possible in all cases. If the computer is used to perform work of a professional nature, you should regularly carry out preventive maintenance of the cooling system: replacement of thermal paste, as well as cleaning the fan blades and air intake openings from dust.

In addition, a white MacBook screen may indicate damage to the display module – its matrix or cable. Most often, problems arise when the display cable fails – this can be caused both by a damaged contact after disassembling the laptop, or by the wear of the cable itself during prolonged use of the MacBook. In this case, the malfunction can be eliminated only by replacing the failed loop or the matrix itself.

If your MacBook’s white screen is caused by a software problem, boot into recovery mode. To do this, you need to reboot the device and boot with the Command + R keys held down, then select the Reinstall OS item.

Since a white MacBook screen may indicate a system driver failure, reinstalling the system itself will fix the problem. A white screen on a MacBook may also appear when you reset the boot disk (after resetting PRAM or if the second operating system was incorrectly installed). To select a boot disk, just boot the computer while holding down the Option key.

System crash

A white screen on a laptop is a sign of a malfunction of the video card driver or the monitor itself, or the action of viruses. The first thing to do when such a situation arises is to install an antivirus on the laptop and carry out a complete cleaning of the system. If this cannot be done due to the fact that the device does not have time to complete the procedure for searching and eliminating viruses due to the appearance of a white screen, you should enter the safe mode and clean it.

A good option for such cases is to use the
Mac cleaner and optimizer app. It is quite simple to work in it, you just need to select the directories that you want to check, and then click Eliminate threats if any viruses were found. However, the choice of antivirus is a personal matter for each user, so there is no specific recipe here.

If cleaning the gadget from malicious software did not help get rid of the white screen, then you need to update the drivers. There are several options – download them directly for devices responsible for graphics, or update all software at once. It is better to update everything, since the update, in principle, needs to be done regularly.

Reboot to Safe Mode

One of the easiest ways is to reboot into Safe Mode. To do this, hold down the Shift key while booting the computer. If you don’t see the issue after starting your Mac in Safe Mode, you can try starting your computer without pressing any keys.

Few people know that the MacOS operating system allows you to boot into Safe mode, which allows you to identify various system software errors. Safe mode loads only the core of the system with the main important functions, while while booting the computer in safe mode, the file system is checked for errors and, if possible, eliminated. Therefore, in most mild cases, booting your Mac in Safe Mode followed by a correct soft restart can fix the problem if your Mac won’t boot and freezes.


To reset NVRAM on Mac, you need:

  • Shut down your Mac.

  • Turn on the computer.

  • Immediately after the power-on signal, hold down the Command + Option + P + R key combination.

  • Hold them down until the computer restarts and the startup tone sounds a second time.

  • Release the keys.

  • Reset SMC

For laptops:

  • Shut down Mac

  • Disconnect the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter.

  • Press Shift-Control-Option while pressing the Power button.

  • Hold them for 10 seconds.

  • Release all keys.

  • Connect the power adapter.

  • Turn on Mac.

For desktops:

  • Turn off the computer.

  • Disconnect the power cord.

  • Wait 15 seconds.

  • Reconnect the power cord.

  • Wait for 5 seconds, then press the power button to turn Mac on.

Reboot and restore disk

If you experience a white screen, you can try to repair the boot disk using Disk Utility. For this you need:

  • Restart your Mac while holding down Ctrl + R to boot into recovery mode.

  • In the list that appears, select the Disk Utility item.

  • Select the drive to be repaired.

  • Click on the First Aid button.

  • Disk Utility can fix basic problems. However, if it reports that a disk failure is about to occur, it is best to back up your data, back up your data and replace the disk.

Reinstall macOS

If other methods do not help, then you can try to solve the problem by reinstalling the operating system. This process is described in detail on the Apple technical support website.

A white screen is a nuisance, but the good news is that there are few reasons for it. You can check them all yourself, but not all are renovated at home. In any case, after following the recommendations proposed above, it is quite possible to get rid of the problem, but if this does not help, then the service center will come to the rescue.