This is the first time that my Retina MacBook Pro wakes up from sleep with a gray screen. After about 10-20 seconds, the MacBook falls asleep again.

Some points that might be relevant:

  1. The only difference between power adapter and no power adapter is that with power adapter it does not go to sleep again.
  2. The battery is almost full (I closed the lid last night when it was about 90%)
  3. An external monitor was not attached when sleeping it, so I don't think How to fix a Macbook that does not always draw its internal screen after waking from sleep and having unplugged external display while asleep? applies.
  4. I've run gfxCardStatus, almost always in "force integrated mode" (to conserve battery). And normally it wakes up correctly.
  5. I run VMware Fusion 4.
  6. All software is up-to-date and fully patched.

I tried to plugin an HDMI monitor and switch displays with Command-Fn-F1 and Command-Fn-F2, but that did not help (it would not switch displays).

Edit: I also tried logging in (see the comment by George Garside) but that didn't work (though the password field had focus, the screen didn't fade).

Before trying to:

What options do I have that do not loose my work?

Gray screen when waking up Retina MacBook

  • 1
    I once had this problem - since the password field is already selected on a lock screen, I simply typed my password into the empty grey screen and pressed Enter. The grey screen faded away and unlocked successfully. I've never had the problem since.
    – grg
    Jul 12, 2013 at 14:28
  • 1
    Good that you mentioned that: I tried it, but it failed. And I forgot to mention that in the question. Sorry (: Jul 12, 2013 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


This is a workaround to save my work, then reboot.

Assumption: remote ssh is enabled and accessible on the Retina MacBook

Steps (note: "it" is the Retina MacBook):

  1. Connect it to power, switch it on, and make sure it is connected to your LAN
  2. Login over ssh to it through a terminal from another machine (I used a MacBook Air, but could be any machine that has an ssh client)
  3. Enable screen sharing as described at Enabling OS X Screen Sharing from the Command Line
  4. Remote connect through VNC to it
  5. Save all your work
  6. Shut it down
  7. Start it
  8. Login
  9. Install DeepSleep (or a free DeepSleep)
  10. Force a Deep Sleep
  11. Wake

It woke fine, so I hope this was a one-time issue.

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