Black Screen in Catalina? Here Are 9 Possible Fixes

Working On Stationary Computer

Are you seeing a black screen after updating to Catalina? Many Mac users have reportedly experienced the same too. Even after they reboot their Macs, they seem to be unable to fix the black screen in Catalina.

Yes, the black screen is an extremely annoying problem because it leaves your screen blank and dark without any error message. The screen simply enters total darkness, making you unable to end active tasks and sometimes not even able to turn the power on. This means you are left hanging without any hint of what’s causing the problem.

Now, does that mean you can’t do anything about the problem? No. Catalina users can rest assured that there are ways on how to fix black screen problems in Catalina. We’ll share these solutions below. But before we do that, allow us to provide you with some possible reasons why you are getting a black screen after the recent macOS update.

Why Your Screen Goes Black

So, you have just updated macOS to Catalina and are getting a black screen, right? Here are a few possible reasons behind that:

  • Third-party apps
  • The recent macOS update
  • Display corruption
  • Energy settings
  • Disconnected cables
  • Junk files
  • Software issues

How to Resolve Black Screen Problems in Catalina

Some Catalina users have found success in resolving their black screen problems using the solutions below:

Solution #1: Get your Mac Powered Up!

Sometimes, all you need to do is simply recharge your Mac. Updates usually take hours to complete. So, it is possible that the update has consumed all your Mac’s power.

Here’s how to power up your Mac:

  1. Connect your Mac’s charger and charge your machine for an hour.
  2. Disconnect the charger.
  3. Put your finger in the middle section of the trackpad.
  4. While you’re at it, press and hold the Power button for about 30 seconds. The moment you turn on your Mac, the problem should have been resolved.
  5. If the problem persists, reconnect the charger. And then, hold and press the Power button for a minute.

Solution #2: Reset the System Management Controller.

The System Management Controller, or SMC, controls the keyboard, fans, light, temperature, and side processes of your Mac. By resetting it, you get all settings related to power management restored to their default state. Doing this often resolves problems like overheating, sleep management issues, and display problems.

For any modern Catalina Mac device with a built-in battery, this is how you reset your SMC:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Connect your device to a power outlet.
  3. Press and hold the SHIFT + CTRL + OPT combo and the Power button for five seconds.
  4. Release all of them together.
  5. Switch on your Mac as you normally would.

The moment your Mac powers up, hopefully, the black screen problem is gone and everything is back to normal.

Solution #3: Hard Boot Your Mac.

Another way to resolve the Catalina black screen problem is to hard boot your machine. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Disconnect the power cord from your Mac.
  2. Press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds.
  3. Reconnect the power cord.
  4. Press and hold the Power button for another 10 seconds. Your Mac should now start normally.

Solution #4: Reset the PRAM.

A PRAM reset can sometimes solve the black screen problem with Catalina. Here’s how to do a PRAM reset:

  1. Turn off your Mac.
  2. After 5 seconds, turn it back on.
  3. As soon as you hear the startup chime, press and hold down the CMD + OPT + P + R combination.
  4. If you hear the boot sound, it only means that you have successfully reset the PRAM.

Solution #5: Adjust the Screen’s Brightness.

Is it your cat that has caused your Mac’s screen to dim down? Have you accidentally pressed the brightness keys on your keyboard? Well, both scenarios are possible. It is likely that you or your cat has pressed the F1 and F2 keys, causing your Mac to become completely dark.

Solution #6: Disconnect All Peripheral Devices.

You might also want to try removing all external devices connected to your Mac. This includes printers, external drives, and speakers. It is possible that any of these devices have interfered with your Mac’s display settings, preventing it from booting normally.

Solution #7: Enter Your Password.

It may seem odd to test this solution, especially when you have a black screen. But trust us, it’s worth a try. Enter your password upon startup, as if you would normally do. And then, hit the Enter key. Many users have reportedly found success by trying this solution.

Alternatively, you can press certain keys on your Mac while you seem to be in a blind mode. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Press the Power button.
  2. Send your Mac to sleep by pressing the S key.
  3. Press and hold the Power key to force a shutdown.
  4. Wait for 15 to 20 seconds, and your Mac should start up normally.

Solution #8: Reinstall Catalina.

Giving up already? No, not this time. You can try to reinstall Catalina first. It is likely that some important files or settings may not have been correctly installed in the process, hence the black screen problem.

To reinstall Catalina, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Boot it into Safe Mode by pressing and holding the Power and Shift keys.
  3. Go to the App Store.
  4. Click the Install 10.15 macOS Catalina button.
  5. Wait for the process to complete.
  6. After installing Catalina, go to the Apple menu.
  7. Select Restart.

Solution #9: Seek Help from Experts.

If all else fails, your last resort is to contact an expert. It could be the online official support of Apple or the Apple Repair Center near you. You’ve done everything that you could, so speak with an expert about your problem and ask for the best solution for it.

What’s Next?

Hesitant about upgrading to Catalina because of the known black screen problem? Relax! Again, there are many possible workarounds that you can try. However, to prevent similar problems in the future, we suggest that you download and install TweakBit MacRepair. This tool cleans and optimizes your Mac for top performance. It gets rid of junk and unwanted files and gives recommendations to save energy.

Did any of the solutions above work? Do you know other ways to resolve your black screen issue with devices running on Catalina? Share them in the comments!

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