Black screen on MBP after recent upgrade to Mojave

I nuked and paved my way from High Sierra to Mojave a few days ago and everything went very smoothly at first. However, this morning my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) suddenly refused to start up. I could hear the startup chime and the keyboard seemed to work as the caps lock key showed the green indicator when pressed but the backlighting on the keys didn’t work.

Several attempts to fix the situation (including resetting the SMC and NVRAM multiple times, logging in using Safe Mode etc) failed. I then noticed that the startup screen was visible on the Mac if I held a flashlight to it or, even better, one behind it near the Apple logo (which hasn’t illuminated since this issue has surfaced). I connected my Mac to my TV via a HDMI cable and, once I put my password in, have thankfully been able to use the TV as a screen.

Given the situation with COVID-19, which is particularly bad at the moment where I am, I hesitate to send the Mac in for service. Also, I wonder if the recent OS upgrade has anything to do with this issue as the timing does seem strange. There are multiple reports and articles online about this issue and it seems to be resolved via the SMC/NVRAM reset. Some articles seem to link it to a recent OS upgrade as well.

I have done everything that I could think of to remedy the situation. The only steps I haven’t been able to do are the ones recommending hard powering down the Mac while in Sleep mode (described in the linked posts above) as whenever I attempt this, pressing the power key seems to wake the Mac up first. I also wonder if any software issue could have created this situation. I had installed Affinity Photo and Designer shortly before the issue cropped up in case that is relevant information in troubleshooting this. I’d be super grateful if someone here can be of help. Thanks!

I seem to recall someone had this problem, and the brightness was turned all the way down. Since you didn’t mention it, it’s worth a shot.


I was just thinking the same thing, I believe this must be the thread we’re both thinking of:


That was the first thing I tried and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be the issue.

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Okay. Just for completeness, I’m assuming you tried F1/F2 both with and without the fn key?

Ran across someone saying to move a magnet around the edge of the screen, in case there is a problem with the lid open/closed sensors. Kind of a stretch, but you’ve tried all the intuitive things.

For the hard power down, you can just hold the power button until it shuts off. If for some reason that doesn’t work, from Terminal you can run this command
sudo shutdown -h now

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@JohnAtl to the rescue again! Your comment prompted me to press gently alongside the edge of the screen (since I don’t have a magnet at hand) and when I gently pressed on the left side of the bar that connects the screen to the body, the screen came back to life! I’m guessing there is a loose connector in there somewhere. Thank you and I hope this helps someone else down the road.

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You’re welcome! Glad you got it going.
I think there is a way to mark this post as Solved, but not sure of the details.


@JohnAtl So, the screen started working, but with a lot of glitches, which made me look into external monitors. Seeing your other posts I decided on the LG 27" UK650, which is a successor of the UD58-B that you have. The screen on the MBP is workable so I think this may have been a bit of a splurge and an impulse buy but I am excited! It is sitting in a box, its quarantine period recently over, waiting to be unpacked :slight_smile:

Think I might need to get a keyboard and Magic Trackpad too now! I wonder if Apple is going to upgrade the Magic Keyboard. Would be nice to have backlit keys on it.

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Splurge or not, you’ll enjoy that extra real estate!

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I set the screen up today and am blown away by it. Thanks for the recommendation! I’d love to know what your display settings are.