How to Fix a White Screen of Death

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Macs are excellent computers. They are fast, reliable, and durable. Unfortunately, they are far from perfection. Macs of all models experience some issues. The Mac screen of death is among the most dreaded ones.

Because of some problem that the system sensed, the screen goes completely white and you don’t know what happened. Is it something with the hardware, firmware, or software? All you know is that the screen is stuck in that state, and you have no idea how to get beyond it.

Why Did This Happen?

white screen-macThe white screen of death is an indication that something is really wrong with your computer. But is this the death of your Mac? In most cases, there’s a solution. But it all depends on the cause.

  • A drive or peripheral device may have caused the complications
  • The settings in the PRAM/NVRAM partition are faulty
  • Something went wrong during a macOS update or upgrade
  • Something may be wrong with the hard drive

The reason is hard to figure out, since all you see is a white screen with no indications of errors. That’s what’s frustrating about this experience; you may have to try a couple of solutions before you find the real one. So take a deep breath, arm yourself with patience, and start making attempts to bring your computer back to life.

Possible Fixes for the White Screen of Death on a Mac

  1. Unplug All External Devices
    If the problem is caused by a device attached to your Mac, you’ll easily solve it. Printers, keyboards, mouses, and other peripheral devices may have drivers that cause issues, especially during a new update.  Unplug everything except for the power source. Wait for a minute, and then try rebooting the computer.
  2. Try Booting into Safe Mode
    If that didn’t work, you might be able to enter Safe Mode and do some cleaning, which could help your computer recover. Safe Mode will block all drivers and peripheral devices, so you may even skip the previous step. When you enter Safe Mode, use a top-notch cleaning app to handle the mess. Hopefully, you’ve installed some kind of system utility by now, since your Mac’s built-in security is not enough. The app will identify and remove malware, update or delete apps, and do other types of maintenance that may help your computer recover from the white screen of death.  If you don’t have such an app, try removing all login items in Safe Mode. Write them down before doing that. Then, restart the computer and hope for the best. If you manage to recover, you’ll add the login items one by one (restart after each one). If the issue occurs again, you’ll know what login item is causing it.
  3. Try Repairing the Disk
    Macs give you an option to reboot into Disk Utility. If the white screen was caused by a disk problem, this may identify the exact issue. First, you’ll need to reboot the computer. During the process, press and hold Command + R on the keyboard. You’ll get into Recovery Mode, where you’ll find the Disk Utility.  Choose the system drive on the left (Macintosh HD), and run First Aid on it. The utility will check the extended attributes file, volume information, volume bitmap, and more functions. Then, you’ll get information on potential errors. The Disk Utility will not always repair your disk. However, it will tell you if it needs a replacement, so you’ll know what to do after running the operation.
  4. Reset NVRAM
    The PRAM/NVRAM partition of the system’s memory is where the settings are positioned. If something is wrong with the settings, you can fix the issue by resetting this memory section.
    To do that, turn your computer off. Then, turn it on and press and hold Command + Option + P + R on the keyboard. Hope for the Apple’s logo and startup sound to show up, and release the keys.

What If Nothing Works?
All these solutions sound simple, but the problem is complex. The white screen of death may appear for various reasons, and you might not be able to specify the problem.
You may even try reinstalling the macOS if nothing works. As a final solution, you’ll have to take your Mac to an authorized service provider.

Author Bio:
James Dorian is a technical copywriter. He is a tech geek who knows a lot about modern apps that will make your work more productive. James reads tons of online blogs on technology, business, and ways to become a real pro in our modern world of innovations.

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