Intermittently (relatively frequent) when the MacBook wakes from sleep and it kicks the external displays on, one or all of them may be fuzzy like this. I have one display in a Thunderbolt port, and the other one is Apple HDMI adapter in the HDMI port.

I've ruled out the adapters being the problem, I've done a PRAM reset. (even after it booted from PRAM reset it did it at boot up on login screen)

To fix it, I have to unplug and plug it back in and cross my fingers that it doesn't happen again.

Any ideas?

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Photo of fuzzy monitors

  • Possible duplicate (mine): External display occasionally shows just noise
    – onik
    Dec 18, 2014 at 13:48
  • I have this exact same problem too. Macbook Pro connected to an external monitor via Thunderbolt. Sometimes when it wakes up I get a crackling noise and static/noise displaying on the monitor. It happens for a few seconds and then goes away. Sometimes it happens 3 or 4 times before returning to normal
    – user108970
    Jan 9, 2015 at 12:53
  • Mine never seems to go away unless I unplug and plug back in... Sometimes I have wait a few seconds before plugging it back in or it will happen again. Jan 9, 2015 at 16:34
  • I have had this a few times in many years. I my case it was the monitor that gave this behaviour. (Exactly the same Dell monitor as on the picture). Other monitors did not have this issue. Jan 9, 2015 at 18:36
  • 2
    Does pressing off button on the monitor and back on again work?
    – iskra
    Jan 10, 2015 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


If you look in the Console log you will find that the WindowServer is having a hard time finding the right protocol for your monitor.

Usually that happens when the hardware (cable/converter) connection are not stable, to long or near interference source.

From your picture it does look like your cable is to long and to close to the external monitor screen, and the Apple adapter is pulling its weight on to the plug.


I have had the same problem with Maverick (in clamshell mode) / external monitor (Samsung SyncMaster 2443) when I lock my screen and use my bluetooth mouse or keyboard to wake up the computer.

I was able to fix the problem in 2 ways:

  • open the lid, login and unplu, replug the external monitor (pretty annoying)
  • when the multicolor static shows, press CTRL+SHIFT+Eject as if to lock the computer again, then wake up the computer again and I now have the normal login screen as normal (not ideal but less disruptive solution).

I hope this helps !

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .