You have lines on your MacBook’s screen? Here’s a simple fix

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • If your MacBook screen is filled with lines, you won't be able to use the display properly.
  • In order to try and fix this issue, you should reset SMC and NVRAM, and also try using an external display.
  • Because it is very important to always have quick access to Mac fix articles, visit our specialized Mac Fix Hub.
  • Don't hesitate to bookmark our comprehensive Mac webpage for more updated information on this subject.
Macbook screen is filled with lines

Many MacBook owners reported that their MacBook screen is covered by lines. This is most likely a hardware problem, but there are few solutions that you can try out.

What to do if the MacBook screen is covered with lines?

1. Reset SMC and NVRAM

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The first thing to do is to reset NVRAM and SMC. To reset the NVRAM, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook. As soon as it shuts down, turn it back on.
  2. Press and hold Option, Command, P, and R keys.
  3. After you hear the startup sound for the second time, release the keys. On models with the T2 chip, you need to release the keys when the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.

To reset SMC on models that have T2 chip, do the following:

  1. Turn off your MacBook.
  2. Press and hold left Control, left Option (Alt), right Shift.
  3. Keep the keys pressed for 7 seconds. Without releasing the keys, press and hold the Power button.
  4. Keep all four keys pressed about 7 seconds.
  5. Release the keys, wait for 30 seconds, and start your MacBook.

On models without T2 chip, you can reset SMC by following these steps:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Hold left Shift, left Control, left Option (Alt)
  3. While holding the keys from the previous step, press and hold the Power button.
  4. Hold all four keys pressed for 10 seconds or so.
  5. Release the keys, wait for 20 seconds, and turn your MacBook back on.

2. Try using an external display

macbook screen with lines external display

This is just a workaround, but it will help you determine if the problem is caused by your display or the GPU. Simply connect any HDTV to your MacBook with an HDMI cable and check if the problem appears on the second screen. If it doesn’t, it means that your MacBook display is faulty.

In case the lines appear on the external display, it means that the issue is caused by your graphics card. Either way, these are both hardware problems, so it would be best to contact Apple’s repair center in order to repair them.

If lines appear on your MacBook screen, the issue is most likely related to your hardware, so it would be best to contact Apple’s repair center.

FAQ: Learn more about MacBook screen issues

  • Can I replace my own MacBook screen?

In theory, you could  replace your own MacBook screen but this is not recommended at all. The best way to go about this issue is to contact a licensed Apple repair shop.

  • Can Apple tell if I replaced my screen?

Yes, the specialized Apple experts from any authorized store or repair shop will know if you replaced your screen.

  • Does Apple fix MacBook screens for free?

Apple will fix your MacBook screen for free as long as you are covered by your guarantee period. If not, they will still fix it, but not for free.

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