MacOS Screenshot display brightness issue, and it gets worse

So far even working with Apple support we have yet to solve the problem and it’s getting worse.

This is a months old MB Air with 16 mb RAM and the latest Sonoma available.

The Problem + Getting Worse

  1. Screenshot and recording options" (shift+command+5) started leaving the screen “whacked”, i.e. the bounded rectangular region remained normal brightness while the rest of the screen was darkened as is normal while screenshotting, but is supposed to restore to normal brightness after taking the screenshot.
    a. The only surefire display reset that works is to logout, shutdown, or reset the machine.
    b. One other thing that worked: create an entirely new test user that so far is not tied into my cloud account. Screenshots there work just fine as they had for months.

  2. This morning after reinstalling Sonoma per Apple’s support recommendation, I can’t even take screenshots at all.

  3. Screenshots still work fine with the test user I created.

  4. I have an open case with Apple support and now need to call them back and report the issues after the OS reinstall.

What we (myself and Apple support) have tried (with no effect)

  1. Uninstalling virtually all software I had installed myself (except for homebrew).
  2. Disabling all “Open at Login” items
  3. Booting in safe mode.
  4. Reinstalling the OS (i.e. boot with options then choose the option to reinstall the OS)

Since a New User account works as expected, try creating another account AND log in with your Apple ID. Don’t bring anything else over to that account. Test it and see what your results are. This may remove iCloud as the problem if it acts normal.

My guess is that when you reinstalled the OS, it was not an Erase and Install method that cleaned everything out and gave you a fresh system.

I know this is a lot of effort and time on your part… but I believe your User account is corrupted since the other account doesn’t give you the same issue.


Saw your message when I was sitting in the Apple store waiting for a “genius” to discuss the issue. :joy:

It turns out that the “Genius Bar” has access to information that phone support does not! :roll_eyes: This is a known problem with a fix coming soon in an OS update. The “genius” had the same issue with his MB Air.

It’s a disconnect within Apple Support.

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It would be interesting if the MacOS beta solves the issue? If it were me, I still would do a fresh install per @MacGuyMI

It would be interesting, but there’s a silver lining to everything. I looked around and found Shottr which is the kind of easy screen shot/mark up tool I prefer anyway. It works, while Apple screenshots aren’t working at all now. Not at all. I get absolutely nothing. No screenshot. Shottr works fine.

Shottr features easy markup, along with fast and easy text/QR recognition.

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I’d do the same. If the test user is working fine there’s a problem with the profile or the iCloud account, not the software (otherwise you’d see the same problem occur across accounts on the same device).

For what it’s worth, after I had a big software problem with a Mac that took several days to resolve, my top tip now is that the first 2 steps of troubleshooting an issue are:

  • boot in safe mode. Does the problem persist?
  • create a new user profile. Does the problem persist?

These two steps are really good at isolating the issue for you and saving you unnecessary steps (like re-installing the OS when there isn’t a problem with it…)

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