How to Fix Mac Stuck on White Screen

If your Mac refuses to boot up and is stuck on a white screen, you are not alone. This issue has plagued many users in the past and still continues to do so. Basically, whenever you try to boot up your Mac, it gets stuck on a white screen and thus you are not able to get into the desktop or use the laptop at all. The problem can pop up randomly, meaning it isn’t limited to one particular scenario that results in the issue. For some, the problem started after doing an operating system upgrade while others were troubled when installing third-party software on their machine.

Mac White Screen

With that said, there are some known reasons of the issue that have been reported by other users. We’ll go through these potential causes in detail down below so that you have a better understanding of what could potentially have caused the issue in your particular case. However, in some scenarios, your issue may not correlate to the causes mentioned down below, but rest assured, you will probably get it fixed after trying the various methods that we will be listing. So, without further ado, let us get started.

  • External Hardware — One of the things that might cause the Mac to get stuck on a white screen is the external hardware or peripheral that you have plugged into it. In such a scenario, an easy fix would be to unplug everything except the essential hardware that is required to boot up.
  • Mac GPU — As it turns out, in some cases the issue can be due to your Mac’s GPU. Since the laptop is not booting up, it is very possible that something might be wrong with the laptop’s GPU which is causing it to get stuck during boot up.
  • Recent Update — In some scenarios, the issue can also be caused due to a recent update that you have performed which as a result could have corrupted or damaged the system files, and thus, the operating is not able to boot up. In such a case, running the Disk Utility for repairs should fix the issue.

Now that we have gone through the possible causes of the issue, let us get into the different methods that you can implement to resolve the issue. Please make sure that you go through all of them to get an early resolution.

Method 1: Unplug External Hardware

Before we get into the much more complicated and complex methods, the first thing that you should do is unplug any external peripheral that is connected to your Mac. It often happens that these peripherals cause certain issues and your Mac, as a result, gets in trouble. So, before you try the rest of the methods that we are going to mention down below, just go ahead and unplug anything that is connected except the keyboard, mouse, and all the other necessary stuff required to boot.

Once you have done that, reboot your system and see if that fixes the issue. If the Mac boots up this time, it means that one of those connected peripherals was causing the issue.

Method 2: Boot via Safe Boot

Safe mode is a feature that is widely used to troubleshoot problems when the actual cause isn’t really known. With the help of a safe boot, you are able to decide whether the issue that you are facing is caused by any third-party software that you have on the system or if it is something else. What safe boot does is it actually starts your Mac without any third-party software running and just the basic stuff required for the OS to boot up.

Follow the instructions below to start your Mac in safe mode:

  1. First of all, make sure your Mac is powered off.
  2. After that, power on your Mac by pressing the power key while as well as holding down the Shift key on your keyboard.
    Keyboard Shortcut for Safe Boot
  3. Then, once you have seen the Apple logo on the screen, let go of the Shift button.
  4. This shall make it boot into safe mode.
  5. If your Mac is able to boot up successfully, that means something on your Mac is causing the issue. We would recommend discarding any items that you may have in the Trash as well as making sure you have enough space on your disk. This is especially helpful when you are trying to perform an operating system update/upgrade.

Method 3: Use the Integrated GPU 

As it turns out, in some cases the Mac’s GPU can be the culprit which is causing the laptop to not boot up properly. This has been reported by various users and there’s an easy workaround to this. Basically what you have to do is to force the Mac to use the integrated GPU by heating up the primary GPU.

Method 4: Use Disk Utility

As it happens, sometimes a corruption in the files or a bad disk can cause the Mac not to boot up properly and get stuck on a white screen. In such a case, it is often useful to run the disk utility which searches for any errors in your disk and then tries to fix them. Follow the instructions below to run the disk utility:

  1. First of all, make sure that your Mac is powered off.
  2. Now, you have to power on your Mac while also holding down the Command and R keys on your keyboard until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
  3. Please note that this works for Macs that are running version 10.7 or later. In case you have an older model, you can use the Internet Recovery option which can be accessed using the Command + Option + R keys. As the name suggests, you must have internet access while using this for it to work.
  4. If you have done that correctly, you should be able to see the Mac utility window on your screen.
  5. There, choose Disk Utility and then choose your hard drive. Finally, click on the First Aid option to begin the checking and repairing process.
    Disk Utility

Method 5: Reset NVRAM or PRAM

NVRAM or PRAM are small amounts of memory that store different settings of your Mac. There are various cases where issues are caused by these memory locations and thus resetting them often fixes several problems. This has worked for some of the users so it might work for you as well. The instructions are the same for both NVRAM or PRAM. Follow the steps provided down below:

    1. First of all, shut down your Mac and then while turning it on, press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys.
      Keyboard Shortcuts for Resetting PRAM/NVRAM
    2. Make sure you are holding the mentioned keys when you hear the startup sound.
    3. Now, keep them held until the Mac restarts again. Don’t let go of the keys until you hear the sound of the startup.
    4. Once you do, you can release the keys.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Fix Mac Stuck on White Screen

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