How to Fix Mac White Screen of Death? [macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur]

This article offers a full guide for fixing the Mac white screen problem. Additionally, if your Mac encounters the white screen of death, don't hesitate to utilize EaseUS Data Recovery for Mac to recover your lost files.

Table of Contents

The Mac white screen of death can occasionally occur when a Mac is booting up. Your Mac appears broken, but a few easy solutions can fix the situation. Wondering what to do when the Mac shows you the Mac white screen? Check here for quick navigation.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Eject Peripherals Some peripherals may have failed if a white screen appears when your Mac boots...Full steps
Fix 2. Boot Mac in Safe Mode Re-building this Launch Database will often fix your Mac's white screen of death problem...Full steps
Fix 3. Run Disk Utility A white screen could appear due to a malfunctioning hard disk. Use the Disk Utility...Full steps
Fix 4. Reset PRAM/NVRAM Your Mac boot problem might be fixed by resetting NVRAM, which is a small portion...Full steps
Fix 5. Reinstall or upgrade Mac You might need to reinstall your operating system if all other fixes don't work and the white screen...Full steps

When your Mac displays a white screen at startup, something is wrong with your Mac. If your Macbook is frozen at the login screen, it won't switch on, and you won't be able to access the information it contains. On your Mac, in addition to the white screen, you can also see a Mac black screen of death.

This frequently happens following the macOS won't boot after update. The white screen of death indicates that a process is still running on your Mac and that it needs to finish before it can decide what to do next.

What Does a White Screen on a Mac Mean

Why Has My Mac Stuck on a White Screen

Although Macs are dependable computers, occasionally, they may have issues and not load. When the Mac models' design defect occurs, the users may encounter a blank or white screen. Here are the usual causes of this problem:

  • Power outrage
  • Improper connections
  • Hardware corruption
  • Software incompatibilities and bugs

This white screen issue typically occurs after installing a new version of your operating system, while dealing with mismatched drivers, or when some apps fail to upgrade. This causes your Mac to have a white screen on startup until you take action to restore it to working order.

Recover Files from Mac White Screen of Death

Regardless of the cause, consider your data security when you apply any approach to fix a Mac that won't boot and has a white screen, for there is a chance that data loss could occur if your Mac has issues and is unable to boot normally. Your files and data might be lost if you force the device to reboot several times.

Thus, the recovery of data from the unbootable Mac should be your priority. We recommend EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Bootable Media to create a bootable disk when your Mac won't turn on and has a white screen problem.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac

  • Develop a bootable disk to retrieve data from a Mac that won't boot with a white screen.
  • Recover data from the hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Recover data from failing internal Mac hard drives and unmountable APFS boot volumes.

Here are the steps for using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Bootable Media for Mac to recover deleted files.

How to Create a USB Bootable Media

Step 1. Install and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac on another Mac computer, and select "File > Create Bootable USB". Then, choose a USB drive to create the bootable disc.

Install and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to Create Bootable USB

Warning
The creator will prompt to erase the drive to reallocate the space; then it can write the bootable files to this drive. Please back up all USB files before processing "Eraser".

Step 2. The program starts to create a 2GB space and save the boot files. The rest space on the USB can be still used for storage.

 create a 2GB space

Step 3. Once it completes, please follow the guide to boot the corrupted Mac from the bootable disc and start the recovery. We suggest you restore the data to an external hard drive. 

boot the corrupted Mac from the bootable disc

How to Recover Data from Mac Hard Disk

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the "Search for lost files" button.

select a location and scan for lost Mac data

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.

wait for the scan to complete

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the "Recover" button to restore data from Mac.

recover data from Mac hard disk

How to Fix Mac White Screen on Boot

So, how to fix Mac's white screen of death? We have five practical ways that should help Mac users resolve the problem:

Method 1. Disconnect All Peripherals

Some peripherals may have failed if a white screen appears when your Mac boots. Check your Mac's hardware systematically by disconnecting the peripherals is easy to isolate and pinpoint what causes the problem.

Peripherals include your keyboard, mouse, and external drives. Later, you can restart the Mac and reconnect one device at a time.

Therefore, turn off your Mac and disconnect all wired and wireless peripherals aside from your keyboard, mouse, and anything else needed to reboot before taking drastic action and trying safe Mode or other measures.

Disconnect All Peripherals

Method 2. Boot Your Mac in Safe Mode

Often, booting your device into Mac Safe Mode will be the most straightforward solution to fix your Mac's white screen of death problem. Here are the steps:

  • When you hear the startup chime, press the power button and hold the shift key.
  • When you see the Apple logo and progress bar, let go of the shift key.
  • Once the Mac has entered Safe Mode, navigate to the Applications folder to remove any outdated software before emptying the trash.
  • Restart your Mac.
  • If the Mac can start up properly, consider cleaning the unnecessary caches, duplicates, and garbage files.

Restart in Safe Mode

Safe Mode prevents external factors, such as printers or drivers, from interfering with your startup process. Additionally, Safe Mode reduces the amount of work the Mac must do to reach the login screen by disabling some macOS features to fix the "white screen of death."

Method 3. Use Disk Utility to Repair Disks

A white screen could appear due to a malfunctioning hard disk. To perform repairs, use the Disk Utility and adhere to these guidelines:

Step 1. Restart your Mac.

Step 2. Press and hold down the Command + R keys.

Step 3. When you see the Apple logo, release the keys.

Step 4. Click "Disk Utility" in the macOS Recovery window and locate the drive you want to repair.

Run Disk Utility from Recovery

Step 5. Select "First Aid" to improve the hard drive.

Click the First Aid

After it is finished, the Disk Utility will indicate the drive's state. Disk Utility can resolve various disk issues, including Mac's white screen of death.

Alternatively, you might delete the volume and restore it from a backup if this is the first time an error has happened on that drive.

Method 4. Reset the PRAM or NVRAM

Your boot problem might be fixed by resetting NVRAM or PRAM. NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) is a small portion of the memory on your computer, which keeps particular settings, including screen resolution, startup disk option, and recent kernel panic information.

Here's how to clear your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM:

  • Restart the Mac, then press and hold down the Command + Option + P + R keys.
  • When you hear the startup chime, release the keys.
  • Wait for the Mac finishes booting.

Reset the PRAM or NVRAM

Resetting PRAM or NVRAM may be helpful when your Mac's memory contains the settings that could be at fault for your computer's white screen of death.

Method 5. Reinstall or Upgrade macOS

You might need to reinstall your operating system if all other fixes don't work and the white screen on your Mac remains.

If possible, back up your data and files before reinstalling macOS to ensure that it can fix any corrupted software without wiping out your files and data. When prepared, adhere to these guidelines:

  • Hold down Command + Option + R or Command + Option + Shift + R after powering your Mac, which will launch Mac Internet Recovery Mode.
  • When you see the Apple logo, let go of the keys.
  • Select "Reinstall macOS" from Utilities menu after the Mac has finished booting up, then click "Continue".
  • Until the process is complete, adhere to the instructions that appear.

Reinstall macOS or Upgrade

To Sum Up

If your Mac, MacBook Pro, or Mac Book Air boots into a white screen of death, either the hardware or software may be the cause. To solve the issue, you should be patient and examine each separately. Don't forget to recover from your Mac using professional data recovery software. Or you'll lose your info forever.

Mac White Screen FAQS

1. What is the white screen of death?

If the Mac starts up with a white screen, there is likely a monitor issue causing broken disk permissions, a software error, and other issues with your MacBook.

2. How do I fix it if my Mac starts up with a white screen and a question mark?

You can try these fixes if you see your Mac flashes a folder with a question mark.

  • Fix the startup disk in Mac Recovery Mode.
  • Reset your Mac's NVRAM.
  • Reformat Mac Startup Disk
  • Restart macOS

3. What causes the white screen of death on Mac?

When your Mac first starts up, it may be impacted by issues with the hardware, software, or even a flaw in the design of certain Mac models. Additionally, if your Mac has incompatible drivers, it could occasionally get stuck on a white startup screen.

4. How do I restart my Mac when the screen is white?

  • Press the power button down for a few seconds.
  • Wait more than 20 seconds after your Mac turns off.
  • Restart the device by pressing the power button.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and loves various electronic products.

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Written by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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