How to Fix Black Screen on Windows 10

By | February 23, 2022

You’ve heard of the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), a common Windows error screen displayed when a system error occurs. But the B in the BSOD doesn’t necessarily mean blue.

The Black Screen of Death can prove to be more difficult to complete as it doesn’t display any error messages. It’s just a black screen, often with a movable mouse pointer, but no other Windows feature.

Here are some common causes and solutions for Black Screen of Death.

What causes a black screen on a computer?

Various problems can cause black screen of death. In this guide, we will provide you with solutions to the most common causes:

  • Incomplete Windows 10 installation
  • Windows Update
  • Software and driver errors
  • Display problem
  • Too hot
  • Power supply problem

All of the above can cause a black screen in Windows. Fortunately, almost all Black Screen of Death cases can be solved.

Installing Windows 10: Beware of Black Screen

If you install Windows 10, whether updating from a previous version or to a formatted hard drive, errors can occur.

Among them is the Windows 10 Black Screen of Death, which can happen in this case if:

  • Setup still in progress: In this case, check if the hard drive LED is blinking. Setup may still run, but is slow, which may be due to the age of the computer. Windows 10 will install within a few hours in most cases.
  • Setup crashes: If this happens and there is no HDD activity, turn off the computer by holding down the power button for five seconds. Disconnect non-vital peripherals, then turn them back on. Settings must be restarted; if not, and you’re updating from an old version of Windows, try installing with the media creation tool.
  • Device driver has failed: In this case, reboot the computer into Safe Mode. See the “Fixing the Black Screen of Death in Safe Mode” section below for more on this.

Installing Windows 10 and hitting the Black Screen of Death can prevent you from sticking around. If this is the case, and you are using old hardware, consider a free alternative operating system.

Windows 10 Update

On Windows 10 systems, Black Screen of Death can be caused by Windows Update that has not been completed.

What usually happens is that the system reboots as part of the update process and you are presented with a login screen. However, after entering your password, Windows 10 hangs with a black screen after login.

Responsive mouse; You may see some desktop icons; no taskbar. In short, Windows 10 is stuck with a black screen.

To solve this problem, simply hold down the power button on your PC or laptop to turn off the computer. A cold start will result in the system booting properly. If not, check out our tips on how to restore Windows 10.

Software Error Cause Windows Black Screen

The black screen error is often caused by a software glitch. This happens most often when dealing with programs that take over your entire screen. Common culprits are PC games, or media players running in full screen mode.

In this case, the computer should appear to be working fine. The diagnosis should be easily reproducible. Just launch the program for the game or media player, and view it in full screen mode.

However, solving problems can be difficult; if the bug is in the software, there may not be a solution. You can try to fix this by running the program at a different resolution.

Also, try running the software as administrator and, if the problem persists and the program is quite old, try enabling Windows compatibility mode.

Display Error or Broken Connection

Video errors are the most common cause of Black Screen of Death. No video output means black screen, whatever the case. Windows might even present a Blue Screen of Death but you will never see it!

Check your video connection before you worry too much. Make sure that both ends of your DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort cable are properly connected and that the cable is not damaged.

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Did you recently upgrade your monitor? If so, make sure your connection can handle the resolution. Some versions of DVI and HDMI cannot handle resolutions above 1080p.

If these easy solutions don’t work, you are likely dealing with a video adapter issue. If you have a discrete video card, try removing your card and connecting it to your motherboard’s integrated video (if it has such capabilities).

Is your monitor working? Then the video card is the problem. Try updating to the latest available driver version or, if you’ve just done so, reverting to the old driver. Also check the video card for signs of damage, such as a faulty cooling fan or charred electronics.

However, if the monitor does not work when connected to the integrated graphics, you may have a monitor problem. Check by connecting to another computer. If the monitor works with other PCs, but not with yours, then you may be seeing a hardware error elsewhere that is impacting the video card’s ability to work. Possible candidates include the motherboard, power supply, and hard drive.

Overheating can Cause Windows Black Screen Error

All computers generate heat. This heat must be removed to keep the system running; high temperatures can cause components to lock and become damaged. Luckily, computers are made to shut down before that happens.

This will usually result in a featureless black screen, which may or may not be followed by a restart.

In most cases, overheating is caused by the video card or processor. As mentioned, you should suspect the video card if you receive a black screen when the computer is otherwise working (fan is on, hard drive light is on, etc).

If the processor overheats, a black screen will usually prompt a reboot or automatic shutdown of the PC.

Overheating can often be remedied by opening your PC and cleaning the cobwebs. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any obvious dust (of course, avoiding the internal wiring) and use a can of compressed air to dislodge stubborn dirt. Also, check that all fans are still working and replace those that are not. If the problem persists after these steps, you may have a faulty cooler or a defective video card and/or processor.

Fix Black Screen of Death in Safe Mode

Hardware and driver issues resulting in the Black Screen of Death can be fixed via Safe Mode.

If your computer hangs with a black screen, restart the computer and hold F8 or Shift and F8. This should boot the computer into Safe Mode.

Can’t reach Safe Mode this way? Try shutting down the computer then restarting it during the Windows splash screen. On the third attempt, the system will automatically boot into Safe Mode.

With Safe Mode running, click the Advanced options button then Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. On the next screen, select option 4, Enable Safe Mode then wait for Windows Safe Mode to start.

Once booted, press Windows + X to open the Quick referensi menu, then select Device Manager.

Here, expand Display adapters then right click the device and select Disable.

Restart the computer to restart the Windows 10 installation. If successful, run Windows Update to download the latest device drivers and resolve the Black Screen of Death issue.

Computer Stuck on a Black Screen? Check PSU

A faulty power supply unit (PSU) can cause your PC to hang with a black screen.

PSU problems can be difficult to diagnose, and you will often resolve them simply through a process of elimination. If you’ve checked other hardware and none of the components are overheating, then the power supply is most likely the cause.

In some cases, the PSU may even be innocent. Upgrading to a new video card or power-hungry processor can impact the power supply. In short, your computer is not receiving enough power.

You can only know for sure by replacing the PSU. Since this is a last resort, work on the other solutions first.

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