How to fix Pink Screen of Death on Mac in multiple ways

8 min read

Accounting for 54% of all Apple laptop sales, MacBook Pro is often named the most popular Mac overall. Apple’s laptops are known for being well designed, light, and powerful, but even these machines can become susceptible to an unexpected glitch like the Pink Screen of Death.

The MacBook Pro pink screen issue has been around since 2016, but Apple has yet to fully eliminate it and users are still turning to online forums and blogs for solutions. Pink Mac screens are less frequent than black or blank screens, for example, and mean the computer won’t turn on because of an underlying problem. But before we get into methods that will help you resolve this issue, let’s find out why MacBook goes pink in the first place.

Why did my Mac screen go pink?

The reasons behind MacBook Pro pink screen problems can be classified into two main categories:

  • Hardware issues. The most common cause for screen issues and uneven backlighting is the delicate display cable that provides image output to the MacBook screen. Overtime, this cable may get too worn out and torn.
  • Software issues. Outdated software, settings glitch, and SMC or GPU failures can interfere with the image output to the screen resulting in a Pink Screen of Death.

Whatever the case may be, when your MacBook goes pink, you also can’t access data stored on the device, which creates a risk of data loss. It’s best to rescue your data first and then try fixing the pink Mac screen. To get your files from an unresponsive Mac, try Disk Drill.

Disk Drill is a first-rated data recovery app that can bring any kind of data back regardless of the loss cause. No matter whether your stuff is gone because of data corruption, unintended removal, or disk utility error, Disk Drill will help. Being compatible with all popular devices, this utility is versatile and easy to use. To recover files from a hard drive, simply scan for all those gone files and mount everything that would be detected as a separate disk in your Mac’s system!

Search for lost data

How to fix MacBook’s Pink Screen of Death

From basic troubleshooting steps to the more time-consuming software fixes, below is a full guide on what to do if your MacBook goes pink and unresponsive.

Do some basic troubleshooting

Before jumping on to complex solutions, try these two quick fixes:

  • Restart your Mac. Hold down the power button until the screen turns off, then wait 5-10 seconds and turn it back on. This simple step might easily save you time and energy, since if it solves the problem that would indicate that the pink Mac screen was just a temporary bug.
  • Connect to an external monitor. To check whether your MacBook Pro pink screen is caused by a faulty graphics card or display malfunction you’ll need to connect it to an external display. Use an HDMI cable or a USB-C cable to rig the monitor to the MacBook and if it works fine, it means there’s a hardware issue and you’ll need to take your Mac to an Apple service center.

Reset System Management Controller

The System Management Controller or SMC is responsible for power control, video mode switching, LED, hibernation, and other sleep and power functions of your Mac. If there’s any power issue that can’t be fixed by a simple restart, resetting the SMC may solve it.

Note: This method works on Intel-based Macs only as there is no SMC available on Apple M1 Macs.

Here’s how to fix Pink Screen of Death by resetting the SMC on MacBook Pro or MacBook Air:

  1. Unplug the power and shut down your Mac
  2. Press and hold the Shift + Option + Control keys, then hold the power button
  3. Release this key combination after 10 seconds
  4. Replug the power cable and turn on your Mac

Reset the NVRAM

Non-volatile RAM, or NVRAM, is a memory section in macOS that can hold data even when the computer is off. This random-access memory stores settings like display resolution and brightness, startup-disk selection, and more. Resetting NVRAM can help fix issues related to settings that caused the Pink Screen of Death. Here’s how:

  1. Shut down your MacBook
  2. Press and hold Option + Command + P + R keys when your Mac laptop reboots
  3. Release the keys when you hear the second startup sound or when the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time if you have a T2-equipped Mac

Check and reset the GPU

Macs have a specialized processor designed to accelerate graphics rendering, called the Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU. It’s common to describe the pink Mac screen issue as a software glitch related to the GPU not being able to accurately display an image.

Here’s how to disable automatic graphics switching to prevent the Pink Screen of Death:

  1. Press and hold the power button until “Loading startup options” appears to boot your Mac in Safe Mode
  2. Select a volume, then press and hold the Shift key and select “Continue in Safe Mode”
  3. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver
  4. Uncheck the Automatic graphics switching option

Now your Mac will only use dedicated graphics, but be aware that doing this will shorten your Mac’s battery life. As a more sustainable and preventative option, try using a good system monitor that will track your Mac’s GPU, like iStat Menus.

iStat Menus is a fully-equipped system data collector that lives in your menu bar and provides vital info about the key indicators. All you need to know to be sure everything’s alright is Mac’s CPU usage and overall activity. iStat Menus provides real-time updates of your Mac’s process monitor by individual cores or by all cores combined! Plus, you can easily view other vital stats like memory information, disk usage and activity, network and sensors.

CPU monitoring

Reinstall macOS

Use this method as a last resort before sending your device to an Apple store or repair center. Since reinstalling macOS won’t erase any of your data, it’s not as destructive as many may think.

Here’s how to fix pink Mac screen by reinstalling macOS:

  1. Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. Press and hold Command + R keys to enter Recovery Mode
  4. Choose the Reinstall macOS option from the recovery tools menu
  5. Follow on-screen instructions

Operating system issues are on top of the list of causes for various bugs and glitches that can plague a Mac, so it’s important to look after your device’s health. And for that you need a reliable utility that can see through to the core, like CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X is an app that can speed up your Mac by running instant system cleanups, uninstalling and updating apps, removing malware, detecting and erasing files of any size, and more. View a detailed visualization of your storage through Space Lens and fine tune your Mac by freeing it from unwanted junk in just a few clicks!

Cleaning your system...

How to prevent Pink Screen of Death on Mac

Pink Screen of Death comes unexpected for most MacBook users and unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent it other than regularly checking the hardware for signs of wear and tear, plus looking after your Mac’s operating system and other software components.

One of the hardest to face consequences of when the MacBook goes pink all of a sudden is data loss and if you want to stay on the safe side, you need to have dedicated data recovery software at hand. For example, try Get Backup Pro.

Get Backup Pro provides a good mix of backup methods like simple copy, clone, incremental, and versioned. Enable Stealth mode to easily set up a convenient time for automatic backups and your files will get saved without you having to lift a finger! Plus, you won’t ever have to worry about losing your data again, Get Backup Pro will be on guard and able to recover your backups to any Macs, even once the app is not installed on those machines.

Backup: MacBook

For those who are tired of constantly running out of storage and like to back their files using cloud services there is another convenient app — CloudMounter.

CloudMounter lets you get the near unlimited online storage capacity within the flexibility of a built-in hard drive! How? This system utility mounts cloud storages and web servers as local disks to give you the best of both worlds. CloudMounter connects your cloud storage accounts like Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, OneDrive, and others to your Mac’s Finder. Add encryption for extra security and finally forget about running out of storage space or losing your files ever again!

Google Drive Connections

Solutions for pink Mac screen

Every solution for fixing the MacBook Pro pink screen issue is now at your fingertips. Prevent the Pink Screen of Death from ever appearing by using iStat Menus to monitor your Mac’s GPU and letting CleanMyMac X fix system failures before they become apparent. Use Get Backup Pro and CloudMounter to safeguard your data in case your Mac does become unresponsive and recover your files with Disk Drill if such disaster hits.

All these apps — iStat Menus, CleanMyMac X, Get Backup Pro, Cloud Mounter, and Disk Drill are available to you for free through a seven-day trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 240 macOS and iOS apps to help improve every type of interaction with your Mac!

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