The MacBook pro 2011 graphics card (GPU) failure it’s a well-documented problem and affects all MacBook Pro computers sold amid February 2011 and December 2013.
I thought my laptop was immune as I did not experience this kind of problem along the years… well until today. My Mac had the same known symptoms: first it started overheating and then the display unexpectedly showed vertical lines (mine were thin and black – how fancy!) and the whole system became unresponsive and unusable to the point that I had to force its shutting down.
I started to search the web with my iPhone for answers and fixes but the only effective fix that I came across was taking my laptop to an Apple Store.
As a matter of fact, Apple has recognized this issue and started an “Apple MacBook Pro repair extension program” for video issues which solves this graphics card problem until 31 December of 2016.
This means going through a repair process that may last several days (I live far away from an Apple Store or a reseller shop) and I really need my computer to finish some work as I do not have a backup one.
I certainly wanted a quick solution and thanks God I came up with this temporary fix: so before rushing to your closest Apple store you may want to try my solution.
My simple graphic card fix
- Go to “System Preferences” and select “Energy Saver”
- The “Automatic graphics switching” checkbox should be enabled.
- Work with the Mag Safe charger off (use your battery) and charge your computer when it is in sleep mode or turned off.
- The goal here is just disabling the discrete graphic card that is causing the issue – in my case the AMD Radeon HD 6490M.
- To make sure you are using the integrated graphic card, just click the Apple logo on top left side and then “about this mac” and the second tab “Displays”.
My MacBook has the Intel HD graphics 3000.
Alternatives to the fix
- Take your Mac to an Apple store for a free fix (remember until 12.31.2016)
- Use this app: gfxCardStatus – I did not installed it on my MacBook but it looks great
Tips for the battery of your Mac
- Turn the Bluetooth and the WI-FI off if you’re not using a mouse or other devices
- Restore to defaults the Energy Saver in the System Preferences