Strange iMac screen failure with a white border around the image

I have a very similar experience, not on the login screen but during a day’s work. Noticed it a few months ago. It’s a recurring issue (iMac Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015, just 6 months out of AppleCare, naturally). In dark mode, there is a transparent gradient on opaque windows, which makes the windows under them show through. This is not related to display settings because if you do a screenshot there is no trace of it. I attach a couple of photos of the left and right edges with some text showing through. This isn’t visible all the time but seems to appear after the screen has been “exposed” to windows with a lot of contrast (such as black text on a white background).

On the login screen (after shutdown and NVRAM reset) there is a less-pronounced effect, a sort of weird transparency or screen burn-in artifact.


I had this problem twice during the last 6 months… after a day of spleep mode this strange white borders shows up… nvram reset or smc reset won’t work… just time and patience… maybe a graphic card issue ?

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Client brought in a bad MacBook Pro with that same sort of screen issue. Nothing fixed it. Bad screen or video chip (although I doubt the chip would fail on a 13" MBP). I salvaged his data and put the unit on the shelf for parts.


Have the same issue with 2013 iMac. Persists during boot, and does seem to get better when leaving the computer on.

Although not gone yet.

Am glad I’m not alone in this. Discovered the same thing on my 2016 MacBook Pro this morning when I had to power it on after it refused to wake up from sleep mode. It’s strange how the white border/shadow is gradually receding, almost like fog clearing up.

Arguably the most interesting that’s happened in recent memory after months of Covid lockdown :slight_smile:

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Same issue.
White halo on screen periphery, aprox 10-12mm width (at worst/initially), gradient-to-normal oriented toward center of screen.
Occurred 5.23.2020 11:30pm. First occurrence.
Never any other issues other than mildly swollen battery, replaced 2019, known issue on this model.
Macbook Pro (retina, 15-in, mid 2015).
MacOS Mojave 10.14.6.
Scenario: I usually put computer to sleep at nights. I probably shut down 4-5x monthly. So, incident occurred after computer on an running all day. Headphones, power cord, sleeping external HDD all plugged in. Computer went to sleep aprox 11:00pm ; I was screwing around on my phone so I let the computer sleep. 11:30pm I tried to wake the computer ; non-responsive to space bar or track pad (how I usually wake it) ; also non-responsive to capslock key (light no toggling on/off) and trackpad actuators weren’t “clicking”, also power button non-responsive to a “normal” press (~1-2 seconds). Took out all aforementioned plugged-in stuff. Aprox 5 minutes of “Whelp…f*&k” go by. Long press (~5-10s) turns computer back on ; Seems like it was booting from a shutdown state. White halo present throughout boot cycle, and after logged in. Did not attempt any above mentioned fixes (NVRAM reset, safe mode boot, etc), as the white halo seemed to spontaneously start gradually resolving. It is currently 11:58pm and I can’t see any residual white halo.

Just FYI. This computer has been through the ringer. Video editing and processing, lots of streaming, lots of screen open-closings (15-20x/day every weekday). It was used as my clinical computer for dental school (carried around in a backpack for 4 years). It was “dropped” once; it was in my backpack, I was riding my bike, some butt-toucher (Quest Diagnostics…) hit me with his car (slow speed; he was pulling out of a parking lot and clipped my back wheel as I was crossing him on the sidewalk), I wobbled and fell off the bike, broke most of the fall with my hands (it’s fine, not like I need those, not like I’m a dentist or anything…), then rolled onto my backpack. That was 2017 (got the computer 2016) and it has been fine since.

Just got to the office to find the same thing.

It’s been a particularly wet and humid weekend, and my “office” is actually just a shed at the bottom of the garden with out adequate protection from the elements so I can only assume this is moisture between the layers of the display. It’s slowly clearing though (:crossed_fingers:)

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Today is Jan 7, 2021 and I have had the exact same issue as everyone else. I got up this morning to having the white border. I restarted, nothing, reset pram, nvram, nothing, power off power on, nothing, pull power nothing, the border remained. And just like everyone else said it slowly faded over time to where it is no longer noticeable after a few hours. I also let the computer stay running 24/7. Its a Late-2012 iMac i7, 16GB, 256 fusion ssd ONLY, OS Catalina 10.15.7. The computer normally goes into sleep mode but when I got up last night I noticed light coming from the office area, and the iMac was on. I clicked the power button to turn off the screen, and went back to bed. I got up and clicked the trackpad and that is the first time I saw the border. I wonder if it has something to do with temperature, the house was probably 60-62 degrees when I got up this morning, and since the iMac went into sleep mode there was very little head being generated. After waking up the iMac it heats up and whatever is causing the issue slowly fades over time.

Today is Jan 14th, 20201. I have had the same problem for a couple of days on my mid 2015 MacBook pro - suddenly had a hazy white border with hazy opaque screen that was just barely readable. No problem on the dell monitor plugged into it. However as with everyone else, the problem is fading and almost back to normal. I also wonder if it has something to do with temperature and humidity. In the winter (New Jersey) I set the thermostat at 64. Sometimes I keep the system fan running, sometimes not… and I wonder if on a recent “no fan” night some humidity was trapped inside. If it ever happens again I may aim a warm blow dryer at the screen to see if it helps. I tried every suggestion I found online and nothing but time worked.

I had this problem for the first time in my late 2012 iMac. I usually leave the computer in sleep mode and these days we’re going through a really cold weather here in Spain. Screen was just like the pictures of the other users above and resetting NVRAM and PRAM didn’t work. However, leaving it turned on with the screensaver running did the trick. After 2 hours it was OK.

Thanks Apple for building such a crappy hardware.

It sounds more and more like this is some sort of oncoming solder or connection failure, given that it seems to be related in part to environmental conditions and goes away as the machine warms up. Lending additional credence to that is that it generally seems to afflict only older Macs. What’s odd is that so many people have it happen only once and then not again—I’d think if hardware was failing, it would happen more and more frequently.

OK, same issue here on a MBP Mid 2015.

This is what happened before:

  • It’s winter here. The Mac was in a room with a heating, not too hot, not too cold, not noticably humid, although it was stormy and raining last night. But to me nothing that’s particularly noticeable in the room
  • When I opened the lid, the MBP did not show anything on the screen and did not react to keypresses, the screen kept being black
  • I pressed the SMC Reset Keys and the Mac restarted - but with the blurred screen

These things happened since then:

  • White blurry screen edges. In these areas, the colours are inverted.
  • Memory effect on the screen: White areas of hidden apps are still visible on the screen, see photos below with the burnt-in SFB Logo in contrast to the white „real“ white window in the lower left foreground
  • SMC Reset and NVRAM reset didn’t change anything
  • Dark screen areas seem „milky“
  • It’s becoming gradually better as others have reported

I came to the conclusion that initially something was already hanging, because the computer didnt react when opening the lid. Weird.

So, this morning I get up and the EXACT same thing happened again so Mar 19, 2021 at around 0730. Winter, not too cold, has been warmer then cooled down last night it was probably 65ish in the house all night, woke up and had the same exact ring as before. My iMac has been being used for about a total of 90 minutes since I woke it up and the ring has faded almost away. Late 2012 iMac 3.4ghz i7, 16gb, 256 fusion ONLY drive. 2gb NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680MX


Hello! what was the outcome? mine it’s doing exactly the same thing, and it’s getting worse. please let me know, I’d appreciate it

I recently had a 2018 13” MBP do that. It stayed the same for months, then seemed to be getting worse. I got rid of it.