Windows

How to fix black screen problem in Windows 10

You surely came here because you had a black screen when trying to start or after starting the system in Windows 10. This problem does not display an error code or message that provides clues to fix it. That is why below I will be giving you some suggestions so that you can solve it.

The black screen error when starting the system can occur for many reasons, being one of the most annoying problems in Windows 10. It can be related to any of the following circumstances:

  • A recent graphics driver update.
  • Feature update with compatibility issues.
  • It could also happen as a result of a buggy system update.
  • Or it could be a problem related to the display hardware, the connection, or the video adapter.

Whatever the reason, there are several ways to determine the cause and fix it, even without access to the desktop.

I – Check screen connection problems

If you have this problem, the problem could be due to hardware or software failures or a combination of both. Here are the steps to try to check and troubleshoot the display hardware connection.

#1. Check connection problems

If you see a black screen before logging in, it may be a connection problem between screen and computer. Then you should start by doing the following checks to rule out possible connection or hardware problems:

Verify that both ends of the video cable are connected correctly and in the correct output port. Disconnect the cable at both ends, reconnect it, and move the mouse to see if the screen wakes up.

If your computer has multiple video outputs, try changing the connection to a different port. Sometimes a driver update could include changes that send the video signal to the wrong port. Then move the mouse or press any key on the keyboard to activate the screen. 

If you have a discrete graphics card and an integrated one, try changing the connection to the integrated one to confirm if the problem is with the discrete card. After a system or BIOS update, the discrete video card may be disabled. In this case you will have to re-enable it in the motherboard settings.

If you are using an external monitor, try increasing the screen brightness in the built-in monitor settings. This may also be the reason for the black screen. Taking advantage of being in the configuration menu, I also suggest you verify if the monitor uses the correct input.

If your problem is with a laptop, use the keyboard shortcut to brighten the screen. Many notebook computers use the Function key (Fn) and one of the function keys (such as F8 or F10).

You can also try connecting the monitor to a different computer or using a different video signal cable (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA, or Thunderbolt). This way you can rule out that it was a damaged screen or video card, or a damaged cable.

#2. Detect screen

A black screen may occur as a result of the system losing connection with the screen. You can use the Windows keyboard shortcut + Ctrl + Shift + B  to restart the video controller and update the link to the monitor.

On Windows tablets, you can wake up the screen by pressing the volume up and down buttons simultaneously three times quickly. When you do, you’ll hear a beep and screen flicker indicating that Windows 10 can respond to the command and is re-establishing connection to the screen.

Assuming Windows 10 responds, you can still use the Windows + P shortcut  to open the Project menu . Then press P  again and then Enter  to switch between the different display modes and see if the black screen disappears. You will need to repeat this last 4 times to cycle through all available screen modes.

If you don’t see anything on the screen, press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds to turn off the device. Then press the power button again to reboot the system.

#3. Disconnect non-essential devices

Connected peripherals could be the reason for the black screen or dots spinning indefinitely when trying to start the system.

Rotating dots usually indicate that an update is being installed and you should wait. But if it lasts too long, it could be a hardware compatibility issue.

If you are having these problems, you can start by disconnecting peripherals such as printers, cameras, removable drives, Bluetooth, etc. Then restart the device, and if everything works normally, the problem is one of the peripherals connected to the PC.

In that case, you can determine what the problem is by reconnecting the devices one by one and testing each time. When you identify the peripheral with problems, unplug it and restart the computer.

II – Fix Windows 10 black screen after startup

Sometimes the black screen appears after logging in to Windows 10 and with the mouse pointer active. In this case it could be a problem with the Windows Explorer process.

To resolve problems with the Windows Explorer process, follow these steps:

Use the keyboard shortcut  Ctrl + Shift + Esc  to open the Task Manager.

Click the More details button   (if you are in compact mode) and go to the Processes tab  .

Select the Windows Explorer service  .

Click the Restart button   in the lower right corner.

After doing this you should be able to access your desktop again. If it doesn’t work for you, then you can try other ways to restart Windows Explorer by going to the link.

III – Fix black screen with safe mode in Windows 10

Windows 10 black screen issue could be software related. If you don’t have access to the desktop, you will need to use Advanced Startup to start Windows 10 in safe mode.

Once you start in safe mode, you can try various solutions for the black screen problem. For example, reinstalling the graphics driver, removing buggy updates, changing system settings, and more. Let’s see in detail below.

#1. Try a clean boot of the system

Windows 10 typically loads a number of services, drivers, and applications when the system boots.

Clean boot instructs Windows to start with only a minimal set of services, drivers, and applications. This can help determine if any of these items are the cause of the black screen in Windows 10.

A clean boot is similar to safe mode, but allows you to re-enable one service or software at a time to more accurately identify the problem.

To clean boot Windows 10, follow these steps:

Open Start, search for msconfig and select the System Configuration item in the results.

Select the Services tab and check the option Hide all Microsoft services.

Then click the Disable all button and then the Apply button .

Now go to the Windows Startup tab and click on the Open Task Manager link .

Already in the latter and being in the Home tab , select each application and click the Disable button in the lower right corner.

Finally close everything and restart the system.

The above will not solve the problem, but it will give you an idea of ??where to start looking to solve it. If after restarting Windows 10 the black screen no longer appears, you will know that the problem is with one of these processes.

In this case, follow the steps to enable the items one by one and restart the system to isolate the problem:

Open Start, search for msconfig and select the System Configuration item in the results.

Select the Services tab and check the option Hide all Microsoft services.

Check one of the services, click the OK button and restart the computer.

Once the system boots and the black screen does not appear, repeat the steps for each item until you can determine which one is causing the problem.

Re-enable startup items

If none of the services appear to be the problem, follow these steps to re-enable startup items:

  • Open the Task Manager.
  • Go to the Home tab , select an app, and click the Enable button in the lower right corner.
  • Close the Task Manager and restart the computer.

After completing the steps, repeat the instructions for each item until you discover the application causing the black screen.

#2. Reinstall or roll back the graphics driver

The black screen in Windows 10 can appear due to problems with the graphics driver installed manually or through Windows Update. Even a previously working driver may have become corrupted causing this issue.

Reinstall the graphics driver:

To reinstall the graphics driver, follow these steps:

Start the system in safe mode.

Use the Windows + X keyboard shortcut and select Device Manager.

Expand the Display adapters branch , right-click on the video adapter and select the Uninstall device option .

Click the OK button and reboot the system.

When the computer restarts, Windows 10 will try to reinstall the graphics driver automatically. This should fix the black screen problem, if it was such a driver.

Roll back to previous controller

If the problem occurs after installing an update, it is possible to revert to the previous version of the driver. To do so, follow these steps:

Start the system in safe mode.

Use the Windows + X keyboard shortcut and select Device Manager.

Expand the Display Adapters branch , right-click on the video adapter and select the Properties option .

Then select the Driver tab and click the Revert to previous driver button . If this is not active, it is because the system does not have an older driver.

Select a reason to roll back the driver, click the Yes button, and restart the computer.

Windows 10 will uninstall the driver and the previous version will be restored.

#3. Disable fast startup

The Quick Start feature allows devices with certain hardware configuration to start the system faster. However, a malfunction of the same could cause the black screen in Windows 10. In this case you should disable it in the following way:

Open start and look for Control Panel.

Now click on  System and Security  and choose Power Options.

Select the option  Choose the behavior of the on / off buttons in the menu on the left.

Click the Change settings currently unavailable link .

Uncheck the Enable fast startup (recommended) option  , click the Save changes button,  and restart your computer.

If the black screen was due to fast startup, after performing these steps and restarting the system the problem will be solved.

#4. Create new Windows account

A problem with your current user account could also be the reason for the black screen in Windows 10.

To determine if your account is causing problems, while you are in safe mode, you can create a new local account. If doing this no longer displays the black screen, then the problem is related to your old user account.

Instead of troubleshooting the old account, I recommend transferring your files to the new account.

IV. Fix black screen with Windows 10 System Restore

You can use the System Restore function to undo system changes using one of the available restore points. This could help you fix the black screen problem in Windows 10.

System Restore will only work if it has been previously enabled and configured. You will not lose your files, although there is a possibility of losing some settings, updates or recently installed applications.

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