Fixing Frozen Or Black Screen After Sleep On Mac OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite iconA frozen or black screen after sleep on Mac OS X 10.10.2 (beta 1, beta 2, beta 3) is often caused by a incompatible third-party display driver and is easily fixed by removing that display driver or delete completely the third-party app, e.g. via using CleanMyMac 2 for completely uninstalling the app. In my case, the culprit was AirParrot 2, an app for screen mirroring to an Apple TV or Chromecast and for desktop extension to a Mac or Windows PC.

There are multiple sources for a frozen or black screen. In the case of an incompatible display driver, the indications are as follows:

  • The display remains black after waking from both full sleep and ‘energy-saver” display shut-off. Meaning you got a black screen when awaking the Mac or try to activate the display. To be clear: the display is not OFF. Just black. You can change the backlight up and down, thus displaying a very bright or very dim black screen.
  • The keyboard backlight is fully functional as well.
  • The mouse pointer isn’t visible and no trackpad gestures work.
  • The only way to actually get the display back is a hard reset.
  • Other tweaks like resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) or Parameter Random-Access Memory (PRAM) did not work.
  • The issue is present regardless of whether you intentionally put the machine to sleep or allow it to turn off on it’s own.

In my case, the AirParrot 2 display driver caused the frozen and black screen issues on my MacBook Pro 13′ retina (End 2013), similar to the reported problems in the Apple Support Communities. AirSquirrels, the makers of AirParrot and AirParrot 2, are aware of that problem and are working on a fix. AirParrot (1) and AirParrot for Chrome OS are working on my MacBook Pro 13” Retina (End 2013) without any issues.

Mac OS X 10.10.2 frozen or black screen fix removing AirParrot's display driver

Mac OS X 10.10.2 frozen or black screen fix removing AirParrot’s display driver

In the meantime, you can solve the issue following this work-around:

  • Start AirParrot 2 on your Mac running on Mac OS X 10.10.2 (beta).
  • Go to the menu bar, click on the AirParrot icon, then on the gear-wheel at the right buttom and select ‘Preferences‘.
  • Click on ‘Uninstall Display Driver‘, quit ‘OK‘ when the question ‘Are you sure you want to uninstall AirParrot 2 Display Driver?’ is prompted.
  • At last, you must reboot your Mac. After that, you should not have any frozen or black screen issues anymore (This works for me 🙂 ).
  • If you still have some, uninstall Air Parrot 2 completely from your Mac. The best option is to use apps like CleanMyMac 2 to get AirParrot completely removed from your system.

Update (Dec 27, 2014): The AirParrot 1 and Air Parrot issue is fixed.

If you did not install AirParrot 2 on your Mac, but you face the frozen or black screen issue, then look for apps you installed within the last couples of days, update them and, if this does not help, remove one by one to find the culprit. Best candidates are Adobe apps, e.g. Adobe Flash Player, or outdated Java versions.

Finally, I could fix my frozen or black screen issues by removing AirParrot’s display driver without the need to completely uninstall AirParrot 2.

Stay tuned! 😉

18 thoughts on “Fixing Frozen Or Black Screen After Sleep On Mac OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite”

  1. So how do you fix this issue if you can’t even get back into the operating system….seem to be missing that explanation from above?

  2. Thanks for this post. I’m not using AirParrot but am using QuickRes. My symptoms are exactly the same. I’m wondering if it is related to my 3 monitor setup at work. When I experience the problem, it’s after I sleep the Mac (when leaving the office) then wake it without the monitors connected.

    Today I was able to blindly open a Terminal prompt and enter “sudo shutdown -r now”. After entering my password, the display worked but I couldn’t stop the reboot. A temporary fix might be to set this command with timeout to an Automator script then assign in a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences. Maybe try with an abort sequence to stop the reboot? I’ll try and let you know…

    1. Hi rezwits,

      thanks for your comment. Does this mean that you can fix the frozen screen by tilt the machine side to side? Does it awake from sleep after that?

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

  3. So you say you fixed it but failed to give step by step instructions. How are you going to start a program from a black screen!?!?!?

  4. Pingback: Plex, PlexConnect And OpenPlex Running On Mac OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite Beta 4 - miApple.me

  5. Hi I just updated Yosemite yesterday. I had to restart in safe mode to finish the update. After it was done, i restarted the computer again and now my screen is completely black the whole time. I’ve tried all of the different ways to fix it. Nothing works.

      1. Hi Gee,

        i have serious problem with airparrot 2 on windows 7 and windows 8,

        Could you plz help me to test this?

        I noticed that when I’m presenting my PC screen using AirParrot 2, ( 2.2.1 version ) if someone else is trying to share his screen without me disconnecting first then his AirParrot ( 2.2.1 )app goes busy (the spiral goes on and on and person B can’t present). However if I stop presenting and if he tries afterwards then it works okay. So basically, switch over works seamless if the presenter first stops sharing screen before he hand overs. I’ve noticed, this happens because we’ve enabled “on screen code” under security on Apple TV. If I disable that feature, or if I choose just the password option in Apple TV then switching over just works fine, i.e. presenter doesn’t need to stop sharing before hand over. So this seems to be more of an Apple TV thing than to AirParrot. What should happen is, a security code should pop up on TV when person B tries to connect. Seems that Apple TV struggles to launch security code when a session exists.

        We are using Appletv 3rd generation Rev A

        Do you have any solution for this problem.

        1. Hi Vamsi,

          have you ever tried to use the AirParrot code to protect the screen instead of the Apple TV’s one?
          Maybe this is an alternate option for you.

          Cheers,
          Gee Are

  6. Hi Gee,
    I just did an update on few apps on my iMac including some ios security update. The computer restarted and stayed black. In fact the screen is turned off but the imac is running normally. Restarted many times and rest many times still i cant get the screen to turn on at all! any suggestion please!!?

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