I've seen Macs startup with a white [very pale grey] screen & some with a black screen.

random pics from interweb...

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What differentiates which it will be?

My own machines here - 2 old Mac Pros, 3,1 & 5,1 are always white [grey] & have never started up with the black background.

  • 1
    I'm inclined to say: left Parallels & right VMware (considering the "high quality" of the "screenshots" - no flashlight, no office lamps, no mirrored faces, )
    – klanomath
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:34
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    LOL @klanomath. I just pulled thumbs from google as an indicator [quality/source/legitimacy wasn't on my agenda] ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


It's based on the board ID in boot.efi. Depending on the model of computer, a black boot screen will be shown (introduced with Yosemite) instead of the older grey screen.

All these Macs and newer show the black boot screen:

  • MacBookPro10,1 (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBookAir6,1 (Mid 2013)
  • iMac14,1 (Late 2013)
  • MacPro6,1 (Mid 2012)

Here's boot.efi from macOS 10.13.2 with the board IDs highlighted beside the string "Background Color".

You may be able to use Dark Boot to patch your boot.efi's board ID so the dark boot screen is displayed.

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    Clicking download on the linked page gives version 4.0.5, latest release on github is 5.2.0. Jan 24, 2018 at 0:59

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