MacBook devices may be some of the most advanced tech pieces. However, MacBooks can sometimes experience hardware and software issues that manifest in several ways. You are probably here because you are dealing with the MacBook white screen issue and wonder how to fix it and return your laptop to its former glory.

Before exploring the fixes, let's see what the white screen of death is and what causes it.

Table of Content
    1. Do a Force Restart
    2. Unplug All External Devices
    3. Boot in Safe Mode to Fix the Mac White Screen
    4. Reset NVRAM or PRAM
    5. Repair Disks Using Disk Utility
    6. Update Your macOS
    7. Reinstall Your macOS

What Is the White Screen of Death on a MacBook?

As the term suggests, the white screen of death occurs when your MacBook suddenly stops working, and all you can see is a white or grayish screen. You can't open apps or view the computer's contents if this issue arises.

macbook white screen

The screen can turn white randomly while the computer is in use or when you turn on your device. Numerous underlying issues can make this screen appear; we will discuss some of the most common below.

Causes of a MacBook Stuck on the White Screen

After diagnosing your MacBook with the case of the white screen, determine what is causing the issue. Here are the most common reasons to help you navigate your experience and find the most suitable solution:

  • Incorrect settings - If you explore and change quite a few of them, such as the graphics settings or the resolution, you may cause the white screen of death. Your computer can't work with the new settings, presenting you with a blank screen.
  • External devices - Some external devices, such as USB flash drives and external SSDs, can impact your MacBook's performance, leading to the white screen issue. That can also happen if a virus has infected your external devices.
  • Malicious software - Malware is the most common reason your MacBook screen goes white. Malicious code will "eat away" your computer's features, leading to the white screen of death.
  • Hardware problems - If your hard drives suffer damage, your computer won't be able to load the operating system and function correctly. Instead, the white screen will greet you upon startup.
  • Operating system issues - An outdated macOS can cause numerous troubles, including the white screen of death. Keep your OS up to date to avoid such scenarios.

What To Do Before Fixing the White Screen Issue on Your MacBook

Although we will provide some of the most effective solutions below, handling your data beforehand is vital. Some of the methods can delete your data, causing further issues. To prevent that, recover and back up your data and then move on to the solutions.

How can you access your data if the screen goes white and you can't click icons on your computer? In such cases, you need a helping hand from third-party data recovery software. Recoverit data recovery for Mac is among the most effective solutions on the market, helping you recover data from a Mac stuck on a black or white screen by creating a bootable USB.

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Grab a working computer and a blank USB flash drive and download Wondershare Recoverit to begin your journey. Follow the steps below to recover your data:

  1. Launch Wondershare Recoverit on the working computer and head to System Crashed Computer. Click Start to continue.
    choose system crashed computer recovery option
  2. Insert your blank USB flash drive and select it, along with your macOS version. Then, click Start.
    choose a usb drive and macos version
  3. The program will ask you to format the drive. Click Format in the dialog box to continue.
  4. After formatting the USB, the program will make it bootable, so be patient.
    create bootable usb for your macbook
  5. Once you have your bootable USB, eject it safely and insert it into the MacBook with the white screen issue.
    boot up macbook with whit screen
  6. While restarting your computer, press and hold the Option key.
  7. Click Recoverit Bootable Media once it appears on the screen.
  8. Choose the files you wish to copy.
  9. Connect a working hard drive to the Mac device.
  10. Click Start Copy and select the drive as the destination.

After completing all these steps, your computer will be ready for repair.

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How To Fix the MacBook White Screen

After recovering your data, try the methods below to fix the white screen issue on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Fix 1: Do a Force Restart

Doing a force restart will make your MacBook device as good as new. It will delete all data and settings, fixing the issues the wrong adjustments have caused. To forcibly restart your MacBook device, follow the guide below:

  1. Long-press the Power + Command + Control keys on the keyboard.
    long press control, command, and power
  2. Hold these keys until the screen turns blank.
  3. Release them and wait a few seconds before powering on your device.

If the settings or minor bugs have caused the white screen of death on your MacBook Pro/Air, this simple method should fix the issue.

Fix 2: Unplug All External Devices

unplug external devices from mac

Corrupted or infected external devices can cause chaos on your MacBook. The computer can start acting up, potentially leading to the white screen of death. Thus, if your Mac screen is currently white, unplug all external devices, such as a mouse, SSDs, and USB flash drives, and check whether the issue stems from them.

After unplugging the external devices, restart your MacBook. If it doesn't work even after restarting it multiple times, try another method to fix the white screen of death.

Fix 3: Boot in Safe Mode to Fix the Mac White Screen

Safe Mode is a built-in feature on Mac devices that runs only reliable applications. Thus, if your computer has malicious software, Safe Mode can help you identify and fix the issue. You can see which applications are missing from your desktop and remove the unnecessary apps.

Here's how to safe boot a Mac with Apple silicon:

  1. Power off your MacBook.
  2. Long-press the Power button until the Loading Startup Options appear.
    load startup options
  3. Choose a volume.
  4. Long-press the Shift key and click Continue in Safe Mode.
    continue in safe mode

If you have an Intel-based MacBook, follow the guide below to enter Safe Mode:

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Long-press the Shift key while turning the MacBook back on until you see the login window.
    long press the shift key
  3. Log into your account.

Once you log in, you should see the Safe Boot menu bar.

Once you enter Safe Mode, let your computer run for some time. That will prove that a specific app or software is causing the issue with the white screen. If you still see a white screen, even in Safe Mode, it indicates that an app that loads during the boot may be malicious. Remove that app to eliminate the white screen of death.

Fix 4: Reset NVRAM or PRAM

NVRAM and PRAM are tiny amounts of memory storing crucial information about your startup disk and settings, making your Mac experience customizable and productive.

Thus, if you have changed some settings, your computer may be unable to handle them, presenting you with the white screen or black screen of death on your MacBook. In such cases, you can reset your NVRAM or PRAM to restore the settings and get your computer up and running.

Here's a general guide to resetting NVRAM or PRAM:

  1. Power off your MacBook.
  2. Press the Power button, then long-press the Command + Option + P + R keys until the device restarts.
    reset nvram/pram on macbook

After that, you can restart your MacBook again to apply the changes.

Fix 5: Repair Disks Using Disk Utility

Corrupted or infected disks can wreak havoc on your laptop. The ordeal can be incredibly frustrating if the failed disk contains your operating system. Although Safe Mode will run some checks and try fixing the issue, you may need more to resolve the core problem.

Thus, you can use one of the best tools on your device to repair disks: Disk Utility. Here's how you can use it on your Apple silicon laptop:

  1. Power off your MacBook.
  2. Press and hold the Power button until Recovery Mode options appear on the screen.
  3. Select Disk Utility.
    open disk utility in recovery mode
  4. Choose your startup disk.
  5. Select First Aid to begin fixing the disk.
    run first aid

If you have an Intel-based MacBook, follow this guide to use Disk Utility:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Press the Power button and immediately long-press the Command + R keys. Hold them until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
    press command r button
  3. Head to Disk Utility.
  4. Select your startup disk.
  5. Click First Aid to repair the disk.

Fix 6: Update Your macOS

An up-to-date Mac operating system is crucial for keeping your computer safe and healthy. Everything will work correctly, ensuring no possible dangers await to attack your laptop's components. Since you are dealing with the white screen of death, the macOS update process will be slightly different:

  1. Boot your device in Safe Mode.
  2. Click the Apple menu and head to System Settings.
  3. Click Software Update in the General settings.
    open software updates
  4. Click Update if an update is available.
    update the macos

Fix 7: Reinstall Your macOS

If all else fails, reinstall your macOS to refresh your laptop. That will make it work like a Swiss watch. Here's how to reinstall macOS on your MacBook:

  1. Enter Recovery Mode:
  2. Apple-silicon MacBook - press and hold the Power button until the Recovery Mode options appear.

    Intel-based MacBook - long-press the Command + R keys until the device powers on.

  3. Click Reinstall macOS in the Utilities section.
    reinstalling macos
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.


Seeing a white screen on your MacBook may be stressful, but we come to the rescue. The methods above are among the best to fix various problems causing the white screen to appear.

However, we advise you to recover and back up your data before trying these methods to ensure the best experience. Some of the fixes above can delete your data, leading to unnecessary issues.

Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Jun 14, 24
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