I use a MacBook Pro for work. According to my workplace's policy, when I leave my desk, I lock the screen. There's a bug in MacOS High Sierra where sometimes when I come back and unlock the screen, the screensaver is showing and can't be dismissed. The laptop is therefore unusable.

The only way I have found of getting back into my mac is to hold the power button down until the laptop shuts down. But this isn't a safe shutdown; if I have any Parallels VMs running they are usually corrupted and I have to restore them from backups.

Is there a safer way shut down, or otherwise get back into, my Mac? If so, what is it?

  • 1
    I did a little searching and found that the "only" fix for this is to reset your NVRAM. Here is the article I found about this problem and the instructions to "fix" it. It was written for OSX but the same applies to macOS.
    – Jesse P.
    Sep 18, 2018 at 11:56
  • Have you thought about a way to solve the bug? Maybe a restore of the MacOS?
    – rebatoma
    Sep 18, 2018 at 11:58
  • @Mattia I'm open to trying fixes, but until I find one that works, I need to know the best way to get back into my laptop.
    – Simon
    Sep 18, 2018 at 13:28

2 Answers 2


A couple potential ideas:

1. Try to avoid the Screen Saver Bug: Turn off the screen saver (set it to “Never”) and just adjust the Energy Saver to turn the screen off to prevent burn-in. You can still lock the screen with ⌃⌘Q

2. Alternate Login Methods: If allowed, turn on Screen Sharing and/or Remote Login in System Preferences » Sharing and see if you can login with your phone using ssh or vnc (I recommend Prompt and Screens, respectively).

3. Sleep Instead Of Lock: Enable a “Hot Corner” to put the Mac to sleep instead of just locking it with the screen saver. Not as convenient as just locking it and walking away, as it will take a little longer to wake from sleep, but if it doesn't trigger the bug, it would be worth it, perhaps?


I would recommend you to have a look at Apples own help pages, i.e. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236

Specifically these two are of use:

Option–Command–Power button or Option–Command–Media Eject : Put your Mac to sleep.

Control–Shift–Power button or Control–Shift–Media Eject: Put your displays to sleep.

Putting the mac to sleep usually clears issues like the screensaver issue. Sometimes I've even had the luck of just putting the display to sleep clear the issue.

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