Repair Gray Screen on MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro

Summary: In this blog, we will share easy DIY methods to repair tray screen on iMac, MacBook or Mac Pro, as follows:

Method 1.  Disconnect all External Peripheral Devices
Method 2.  Use Disk Utility to Repair the Disk
Method 3.  Start Mac Using Safe Boot
Method 4.  Reset PRAM
Method 5.  Use Mac Data Recovery Software

To follow through Method 5, free download Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac and create a recovery drive.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Repair MacBook Gray Screen
Repair MacBook Gray Screen

If your Mac stalls on a plain gray screen, it can be quite frustrating. What’s more bothering is the absence of an error message. What you find in such cases along with the gray screen is either the Apple logo or a spinning globe or an image of a folder with a question mark or maybe a prohibitory sign. In all such cases, your Mac appears to be stuck, and you can’t skip the page to move ahead. You won’t hear any unusual fan noise or the optical drive spinning up/down; it’s just a Mac screen which won’t move forward to the login page.

So what do you do? First, you should try to find out all the possible causes behind a gray screen on Mac. Let’s start from there.

Reasons behind the MacBook Pro Gray Screen of Death

There could be several reasons behind a gray screen on your Mac:

  1. A defective or unauthorized peripheral device can cause the MacBook Pro gray screen of death. When a defective peripheral device or cable is plugged into your Mac, there are high chances that it will stop the machine from continuing to the normal startup sequence. This causes your Mac to stall at the gray screen while waiting for the defective peripheral device to respond to the command.
  2. Peripheral devices which do not have an updated firmware can lead to MacBook Pro gray screen with circle slash.
  3. A faulty startup drive might cause MacBook Pro gray screen with no logo. Read More Repair your macOS Mojave 10.14 Start-up Drive
  4. If you have installed any new program on your Mac and it is not functioning properly, it will cause MacBook gray screen error.

If you’re facing the MacBook Pro grey screen after login or at startup, there are multiple ways to try and fix the issue. Take a look at some in the next section.

How to repair Gray Screen on Mac?

Method 1: Disconnect all External Peripheral Devices

A defective peripheral or cable causes the signaling pins on Mac’s ports to get stuck in a single condition (low, high, or neutral). This freezes your Mac during the boot process. You need to remove all the peripherals one by one using below-mentioned steps.

  1. Shut down the Mac by pressing the Power button for 3-5 seconds.
  2. Now remove all the peripherals from your Mac. You can remove the audio cables, headphones, Ethernet cables, etc.
  3. Now press the power button to switch on the Mac.

If your Mac goes to the normal login screen, then you need to find the bad peripheral by reconnecting one peripheral at a time. Then restart the Mac and see if you’ve spotted the bad peripheral.

Method 2: Use Disk Utility to Repair the Disk

You need to check if your hard drive (or SSD) is causing the gray screen on your Mac. To confirm this, you need to run the Disk Utility. It will show if your start-up drive is having any issues. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to do so.

  1. Shut down your Mac by pressing the Power button for 3-5 seconds.
  2. Now press the Command key and R key simultaneously to start the Mac.
  3. Your screen will show up the “macOS Utilities” pop-up. You need to choose the “Disk Utility” option.
  4. Choose macOS start-up using the left column of Disk Utility.
  5. It will start the Disk Utility program and check if any hard drive issues are there.
  6. Once this completes, you can start your Mac and check if the gray screen problem is resolved.

Method 3: Start Mac Using Safe Boot

Starting your Mac using Safe Boot will perform some common diagnostics to eliminate the gray screen of death and ensure that your Mac is running fine. It makes sure that all the minor glitches are excluded from the startup to run your Mac. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to do so.

  1. Shut down your Mac by pressing the Power button for 3-5 seconds.
  2. Now restart it by holding the Shift key.
  3. While the Safe Boot is completing its task, you can press the “Shift + Command + V” key. This will show you the verbose mode and Safe Boot mode’s current status.
  4. Once the desktop gets displayed completely, you need to restart your Mac from the Apple menu.

Method 4: Reset PRAM

Resetting the PRAM will reset your hardware to its default Mac settings. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to do so.

  1. Shut down your Mac by pressing the Power button for 3-5 seconds.
  2. Now remove all the peripherals from your Mac.
  3. Now reset the PRAM/NVRAM of your Mac as follows:
  4. Shut down your Mac.
  5. Turn it on and then press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys together immediately after hearing the startup sound
  6. Hold these keys until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for a second time. Then release them.
  7. Restart the Mac now and connect all the peripherals again which you have removed in step 2.

Method 5: Use Mac Data Recovery Software

If the above fixes don’t work, your Mac hard drive is clearly corrupted and you need to recover your data urgently. Try a reliable product like Stellar Data Recovery Professional Mac. This advanced software detects your corrupt Mac storage drive and helps you recover all the data.

Recovering Data Easily with Stellar

Follow these steps to perform data recovery on a Mac start-up disk (badly corrupted) and not bypassing the gray screen of death.

Step 1. Connect your non-working Mac to a working Mac (Read More Target Disk Mode)

Target Disk Mode Data Recovery

Step 2. Install Stellar Data Recovery Professional on the working Mac and perform advanced files recovery on the corrupt disk.

Data recovery via Target Disk Mode

Step 3. Recover all the data shown as recoverable in the interface of the software.

File recovery with Target Disk Mode

Caution: Don’t erase or reinstall your start-up disk if the data is not recovered safely.

Fix 6: Reinstall Mac OS X

Once you’ve recovered your Mac hard drive with Stellar Data Recovery Professional, follow the below-mentioned steps to reinstall macOS and start afresh.

  1. The first step is to shut down your Mac.
  2. Start the machine by holding “Command + R” keys together.
  3. You will see a pop-up window with the name “macOS Utilities.” Use the option “’Reinstall macOS” to reinstall your default OS.


Getting the Mac gray screen is troublesome, but there are methods to fix gray screen on Mac at your end. Try out the methods listed above, in the given sequence. These effective fixes will help you to get the Mac gray screen problem resolved in no time.

Try doing data recovery at earliest in an event where the default fixes don’t produce the result. Extracting data from the corrupt SSD or hard drive is possible with Stellar Data Recovery Professional Mac.


  1. Scan the Drive
  2. Preview the Results
  3. Recover the Data

Reinstall macOS after extracting your files with the above-mentioned software process.

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