macOS Big Sur is reportedly causing big problems for some older MacBook Pros

macOS Big Sur
(Image credit: Apple)

macOS Big Sur has just emerged, but not without causing some serious issues with older MacBook Pros, it would seem.

As highlighted by Wccftech, according to various online reports, macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBook Pro machines.

That includes the likes of the MacBook Pro 13-inch from mid-2014, as this denizen of Reddit makes clear, while pointing out that others have had the same problem, apparently with the same model.

Josha57 writes: “A word of caution about updating to Big Sur... It seems to have bricked my mid-2014 13” MBP. I’ve found others online with the same problem, and they seem to all be mid-2014 13” models.

“I’m getting a black screen with backlight when I power on, can’t enter recovery mode, no startup sound, nothing. Not impressed at all. Apple support tried getting me to reset the PRAM, SMC, etc., and when that didn’t work, they asked me to take it for in-person servicing.”

Various other MacBook Pro owners have chimed in on that thread with similar tales of woe for 2013, 2014 and 2015 models.

There are also complaints of this happening on Apple’s own support site, and that thread provides a number of links to other reported cases (also on, and the MacRumors forum).

Affected laptops get a black screen as described, with nothing happening except the screen lighting up – but staying black – and the Apple logo on the MacBook lighting up.

Caution first

There are anecdotal reports of solutions that work, but we’d certainly advise a great deal of caution around them – the most common one is seemingly to open the MacBook Pro and unplug the I/O board, but messing around with the internals of the machine is something you undertake entirely at your own risk.

If you have been hit by this issue, your best bet is to contact Apple for help, and the company has apparently advised at least some of these affected folks to bring their laptop in for servicing (as mentioned above).

Whatever the root issue is here, hopefully Apple is investigating and will tackle any potential issues with Big Sur and older portables.

Meantime, for those mulling a move to Big Sur, it might be prudent to steer clear of this upgrade – at least for a while – if you’re running one of these older MacBook Pros, particularly if you’re a cautious type.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).