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Model A2159, EMC 3301. A refresh of the entry-level 13" MacBook Pro. Available in Silver and Space Gray. Released July 2019.

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Internal Display no backlight, External Monitor NOT working

Hey all,

So something happened with the Macbook Pro 2019 13" (no touchbar!) of my GF. (its apparently the day of dead macbooks here at home)

I wanted to connect an external monitor connected via a HDMI -> USB-C Adapter to the Mac. At this point, the internal screen was working fine, but the external was not getting detected(yesterday it was still working). I closed the lid of the macbook, and removed the HDMI cable...

Drama: when opening the lid, the internal screen was black.

I did SMC reset, PRAM Reset, couple of restarts, nothing changed. However, the Mac is alive, as I can play songs on Spotify (it opens automatically) and I see all the ICONS when lighting the screen with a flashlight. So the OS is working. I can even start Excel etc..

But yeah the background light is not working anymore. And the External Monitor(tested 2 working ones!) also gets nothing. Its not even detected.

I have read about people having problems with the flex cable and no background light of the internal screen, but I think it is strange that even an external one is not working.

It can't be a graphical hardware problem, because otherwise I would not be able to see the icons and everything else with my flashlight? But having no external monitor getting detected makes me questioning about a hardware failure...

What happened and what else could I do ?

Many thanks !

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The flex cable issue was more of an issue in the 2016/2017 13" TouchBar and Fn displays.

The 2019 had an issue within the T-CON unit with bad soldering, but I've only seen color bars with that issue not a backlight problem. Even still that doesn't explain why the external displays aren't working, did you try a second USB-C to HDMI unit? as it could be thats the issue with the External.

In any case the backlight logic on the main logic board will need repairs to fix the internal display, its possible there was a power issue between the outlets you used for the systems charger and the one the external display was using that zapped the logic. This is when the ground connection is hot or just not connected. I would get a simple cheap plug in outlet tester to see if the outlet is mis-wired or has a bad/missing ground.

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I will go and buy a second HDMI-USB_C unit tomorrow. Thats a good idea, thanks !

I was able to connect via TeamViewer to the Macbook, the flashlight gave enough brightness to get the ID and password. However, even in teamviewer the screen was black, no display informations. But it was useful to do a data transfer.

Hm, good thinking about the grounding issue. Will update tomorrow if there is anything with a another HDMI-USB converter.

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@screwloose12262 - The back light is the source of the illumination of your screen. Think it like a film projector! The light focuses the light onto the film which then shines on the screen. In this case the screen is lit up from behind so your eyes can see it. As you can see the faint image of the LCD its self you know the LCD's data connection is AOK.

Also, you do need to close the screen to get the external to be active unless you tell the system to mirror the image, but that’s an option not default.

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if you have no backlight but keyboard + trackpad are working, it is safe to assume you have problem with backlight circuit.
if you are able to perform board level soldering or you know someone who can troubleshoot that for you, there is an article mostly written by me:
https://logi.wiki/index.php/Backlight_Tr...

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