Black screen: Mac won't wake up - these tips will help!

Sleep mode does not end, iMac, MacBook Pro open, close

The Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook does not wake up from sleep, the screen stays black and you can only see the mouse pointer - this problem occurs more often than you might think. It usually happens when the Mac has been idle for a long time, such as over the weekend. So if you have closed your MacBook (Pro) and then left it alone for a long time, you may know the problem. But the question with a Mac that does not wake up from sleep mode is: what is the solution? What trick can you use? Here are the answers!

Black screen: Mac won't wake up from sleep! In this guide you will find instructions on how to solve the problem. If there are no answers to your question here, contact Apple Support;)

Black screen: Mac won't wake up from sleep! In this guide you will find instructions on how to solve the problem. If there are no answers to your question here, contact Apple Support;)

Mac does not wake up from sleep

As I said: The problem that the Apple Mac does not wake up from sleep mode or hibernation and the screen remains black is not uncommon. There are different approaches. Therefore, in the following I would like to give not just one answer, but several answers to the question of how to fix the problem. The list starts with simple and almost obvious measures - if they don't help you, then read on. Perhaps one of the more complex solutions will help you. Tip by tip, more and more time is needed for troubleshooting ...

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Tip 1: check screen brightness and power supply

As I said, I'll start with the obvious. If you bring your Mac or iMac out of sleep mode or open your MacBook (Pro), the screen may be black, but the computer itself may not be inactive. Try these steps once:

  • Adjusts the screen brightness upwards
  • Make sure the Mac is really turned on
  • If the Mac / MacBook is connected to a monitor / television / projector, this should also be on
  • Check to see if the Mac is plugged in - the MacBook may have run out of battery

If you often work in sleep mode, but have turned down the brightness for a change (or this setting was made automatically to save energy) or switched off the computer, these tips could be of help. Unfortunately, everyone else has to read on.

Tip 2: Switch the device off and on again

The oldest trick in the world when it comes to electronic devices: turn it off once and then on again. To force a restart / reboot you proceed as follows in two simple steps:

  1. Press the power button for a few seconds until the Mac / MacBook turns off
  2. Wait a few moments and then turn the computer back on

Sometimes restarting or shutting down the Apple Mac completely and turning it back on again helps to completely eliminate the black screen problem. Especially when the OS X or macOS operating system has received an update, you should restart. If you have to force a restart as explained above, that's annoying, but a possible solution.

Tip 3: resetting SMC and NVRAM

So now we have come to the end with the simple answers to the question, "How do I keep my Mac from showing only a black screen after it hibernates?" Troubleshooting is now a bit more extensive. Because the aforementioned steps do not help, then you should think about resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) or before resetting the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory). How that can help, what it is and how it works, you can read in the Instructions for resetting NVRAM, PRAM and SMC.

Tip 4: reinstall macOS

Have you gone through all of the steps outlined here and your Mac, iMac or MacBook (Pro) still does not wake up from sleep as desired? Then maybe you should set up the computer again, i.e. reinstall macOS. Even if it is possible to restart macOS without formatting the hard drive, you should of course still do so beforehand make a backup!

Counselor: Upgrade to macOS High Sierra 10.13: Here's how!

Tip 5: Enter your password, even without a query

The Mac does not wake up from sleep ... In Apple or general technology forums you can read about the same problem here and there. The Mac does not wake up from sleep and the screen stays black. The mouse pointer is shown at most, but nothing works. Some (unusual) tips from forums that are also in the Apple community are:

  • Enter and confirm the admin password (even if no input mask is displayed)
  • Deactivate the "Power Nap" setting to use the simple hibernation instead of using “deep sleep”
  • If absolutely nothing helps: Stop using the hibernation mode, just turn it on and off

Additional tip: nothing helps? Ask Apple Support!

If the Apple computer still does not wake up from hibernation / sleep mode as expected, even if you have followed all of the advice mentioned, then you should perhaps contact Apple support or an authorized dealer. Either you call Apple Support, the Apple Store or a dealer branch, or you can take your device there directly. Especially if your one Apple Care Protection Plan it's worth it - in most cases troubleshooting is included three years after purchase.

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  1. Christian says:

    The reason for this behavior of my Mac Pro was a USB switch with its own power supply. I first disconnected it from the computer, and now my 'Pro' wakes up again at the push of a button.
    All good !

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Christian! Thanks for the interjection. That's a good tip ... you can't imagine that something like this could be due to the USB hub. : D

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