Apple Cinema Display Error Codes

Apple corporation engineers provided a signal system to inform the user about possible faults and errors which can occur to their Cinema Displays. Apple Cinema Displays use their power LED (lower right corner) to inform a user about faults and errors. If any of them occurs, the LED will blink in a certain Morse-style pattern.

Apple Cinema Display Error Codes

The Apple Cinema Display is a line of flat panel computer monitors developed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Apple Cinema Display was released in September 1999. The early display and its newer models were available in different sizes. The Apple Thunderbolt Display was introduced in July 2011. This 27-inch flat panel monitor is the only display currently marketed by Apple Inc.

Pattern Meaning

short, short, short – The display is detecting wrong video format or an unsupported resolution. Verify that your equipment is compatible and restart the computer. If the issue continues, reset the PRAM. After resetting the PRAM, if you still see this error, shut down the computer, power cycle the Cinema Display, and turn on the computer.

short, long, short – Make sure you are using the correct power adapter with the display. This alert will only appear on displays built in 2004 or later which require an external power adapter.

short, short, long – The display is detecting a backlight error. Check your display’s power connections and restart the computer. If the problem continues, contact Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.


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