I have a Retina Macbook and macOS Sierra but the symptoms are the same as described in this post almost 10 years ago: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/822656?tstart=0

I am using external display and keep MacBook closed. However when I unplug the display and later open the lid it either thinks that it is still connected or just hangs up.

One would think there were some advancements in 10 years, but apparently nothing changed. Is there anything I can do?

I use Macbook Retina Mid 2013 with different displays and adapters, normally I have 1 or 2 different displays plugged in using two Display Ports depending on whwere I am working at the moment.

UPDATE Now I have a Macbook Pro 15" 2016 with Touchbar and dedicated video card and it's even worse. So I guess it's just a fact of life let's see if High Sierra changes anything.

  • It's helpful if you provide the specific devices you are using like Macbook model/year, the display and cable/adapter if any, you are using. Remember, we're not there to look over your shoulder.
    – Allan
    Oct 31, 2016 at 13:32
  • 3
    I have MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018) with Mojave and experiencing same problem...
    – Dimitry K
    Nov 24, 2019 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


It appears a SMC reset will fix your issue. I just answered another question pertaining to display issues. I've included the same information directly from Apple as I did with the last question.

Have you tried resetting the SMC (System Management Controller)?

With charger plugged in, hold Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the keyboard, then press the Power.

The LED on MagSafe power adapters might change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

Indicators that your SMC might need to be reset

  • The computer fans run at high speed, though the computer is not experiencing heavy usage and is properly ventilated.
  • The keyboard backlight behaves incorrectly on Mac computers that have this feature.
  • The status indicator light (SIL) behaves incorrectly on Mac computers that have this feature.
  • Battery indicator lights, if present, behave incorrectly on Mac notebooks that have a non-removable battery.
  • The display backlight doesn't respond correctly to ambient light changes on Mac computers that have this feature.
  • The computer doesn't respond to the power button when pressed.
  • A Mac notebook computer doesn't respond properly when you close or open the lid.
  • The computer sleeps or shuts down unexpectedly.
  • The battery doesn't charge properly.
  • The MagSafe power adapter LED doesn't indicate the correct activity.
  • The computer is performing unusually slowly, though it isn't experiencing abnormally high CPU utilization.
  • Application icons may bounce in the Dock for an extended amount of time when opened.
  • Applications may not function correctly, or they may stop responding after being opened.
  • A computer that supports target display mode does not switch into or out of target display mode as expected, or it switches into or out of target display mode at unexpected times.
  • The illumination around the I/O ports on a Mac Pro (Late 2013) does not activate when you move the computer.

Source: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201295

  • I have reset SMC for like 10 times and the same problem still come back every week.
    – Louis Yang
    Jun 28, 2020 at 19:34
  • how old is your laptop? @LouisYang
    – CJ Dana
    Jun 29, 2020 at 22:08
  • 2018 Macbook Pro 15 inches. I have this issue since day 1.
    – Louis Yang
    Jul 1, 2020 at 2:38

I would restart the computer. I have a macbook pro 2009 and the same issue pertains to me.

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