A Suggested Fix for Thunderbolt Display Buzzing

About a month ago, my beloved Thunderbolt display began buzzing. After some research, it seemed that there could be all sorts of solutions. The one that seemed to almost always work was sending off the monitor to get the power supply fixed.

Apparently, there’s an issue with the power supply that can be confirmed if you crank up the display brightness. I cranked up my brightness and sure enough the sound was louder.

The buzzing didn’t start, however, until I was on my computer for a while (20-30 mins?) so each day when I came in, the silence would offer me some dim hope that maybe it fixed itself.

The Solution

I figured that if it was quiet at first, the reason it began buzzing was because it got too hot. If I could lessen the burden placed on the power supply, and thus reduce the heat, it should stop. I recently started powering an old Macbook Pro with my cable (tho the display displays what’s on my Mac mini). To solve the buzzing, I stopped using my Thunderbolt display to power my laptop. That reduced the heat and there’s no more buzzing.

Note that this worked, then it didn’t for like a day or two, but then it did again for good. Now, my Thunderbolt Display hasn’t buzzed for a full week. Let’s hope it keeps going. I love this thing and I’m totally distraught that Apple discontinued Thunderbolt production.

But it stopped working when..

Maybe it’s coincidence, but I was buzz free for like a whole month, then I lit a candle near my monitor and boom. Buzzing. Next day, no candle, no buzzing. WTF.


I’d suggest that, in general, people don’t use the built-in power cable if possible as it seems to lessen the lifespan of older power supplies. I didn’t have this issue until I powered that laptop for a couple months straight :(

Chrissy is a PowerShell MVP who has worked in IT for nearly 20 years, and currently serves as a Sr. Database Engineer in Belgium. Always an avid scripter, she attended the Monad session at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles back in 2005 and has worked and played with PowerShell ever since. Chrissy is currently pursuing an MS in Systems Engineering at Regis University and helps maintain RealCajunRecipes.com in her spare time. She holds a number of certifications, including those relating to SQL Server, SuSE Linux, SharePoint and network security. She recently became co-lead of the SQL PASS PowerShell Virtual Chapter. You can follow her on Twitter at @cl.

Posted in OS X & iPhone

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