Troubleshoot black screen of death
black screen of death: Is your computer randomly flickering to a blank screen during the day or showing the feared black screen of death? Learn how to resolve the Windows black screen of death in the next paragraphs, as well as how PC optimization software can assist you in avoiding a black screen altogether.
Note: This article is about black or blank screens
We’ll examine a few potential causes of a blank or black screen:
- connection issues with your screen or monitor
- updating display adapter drivers problems
- problems with recent system instals or updates
Let’s check your gear and software while going through basic troubleshooting methods. The instructions on this page might appear difficult at first, but if you follow them sequentially, step by step, we’ll do our best to put you back on the right road. For several of the stages, you’ll start Windows in safe mode since it starts with less files and drivers, which can help you identify the issues. Continue reading and we’ll provide you additional information when you need it regarding safe mode.
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What is the black screen of death?
When a serious issue compels the operating system to shut down, your computer will display the Windows black screen, sometimes known as the black screen of death. You may encounter a blank screen when signing in, upgrading software, or even in the middle of a task.
What causes the black screen of death?
A catastrophic issue in your computer’s operating system that results in the “black screen of death” might be brought on by a problematic device driver, a flaw in the hardware, or a Windows software bug. Finding the source of the black screen is not always simple, but it is typically fixable.
Here are some typical reasons for a black screen in Windows 10:
- A Windows update gone wrong
- A faulty startup application
- Outdated or faulty drivers
- Connection issues between your PC and monitor
- Software defects
- Hardware defects
- Problems with your graphics card
- Loose cables connected to your PC or laptop
In the section below, we’ll walk you through each step needed to identify and resolve the problems causing the black screen of death, both before and after logging in.
If you get a black screen before logging in, there is likely a hardware problem or a faulty device driver to blame. If the blank screen appears after logging in, Windows is probably malfunctioning. This might be due to a problematic Windows 10 update or an issue with an installed application. Don’t assume that your computer will always malfunction.
Before signing in, we’ll first discuss options for a black screen. After that, we’ll talk about how to fix a black screen of death that occurs after signing in.
Solutions for a black screen of death — before logging in
The problem is frequently simple to repair if you have a black screen before the Windows login screen opens. Check out the potential fixes listed below to try to solve the problem.
1. Improve your startup programs.
If you only sometimes get a black screen, you can speed up boot time by turning off several starting components. All unnecessary programs may be disabled and put to sleep automatically with AVG TuneUp. To make the most of your RAM and CPU power and have more resources available at startup, AVG TuneUp has a built-in Sleep Mode.
2. Inspect your connections and wires
If everything runs smoothly until your computer suddenly displays a blank screen, there may be an issue with your monitor or computer cords. How to inspect your wires and other crucial connections is provided below.
Plugging in and out of your video wires
Your HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, and VGA visible wires should all be disconnected and reconnected. Blow inside the ports while you’re at it to remove any dust or other debris that could have become lodged there.
Change the cable.
Cables often plugged in and out wear down over time and finally break. If you use a laptop and an external display, it happens frequently.
Try connecting an alternative video cable, such as the one from your TV, that you are certain functions properly to see if it resolves the black screen issue. It’s time to purchase a new computer cable if the cable connection results in an image rather than a completely blank screen.
Change your monitor.
Another factor contributing to a black screen on your monitor is a malfunctioning or incorrectly configured display. If you have access to another display, try connecting to it. Or, switch to your TV instead of your monitor (or vice versa).
A resolution and monitor mismatch might be the blame for the blank screen. For instance, a projector unable to display high resolution may not be compatible with a gaming PC. Try connecting your Windows 10 computer to a conventional display if the projector connection causes a “boot error” to appear. If images normally appear on the ordinary monitor, the projector’s inability to show a very low resolution is most likely the cause of your issue.
3. Disconnect all extraneous accessories.
External hard drives, USB connections, Wi-Fi antennae, and VR headsets might occasionally interfere with a device’s ability to boot. If your laptop’s screen remains black after starting, unhook everything that isn’t required for your PC to function; keep your keyboard, mouse, and monitor connected. Then, restart your computer.
Try eliminating extraneous parts from a larger desktop computer, such as sound cards and additional RAM sticks. You may also replace the graphics card and entirely update your RAM if that doesn’t work.
4. Check the boot sequence and attempt a BIOS/UEFI reset.
Older PCs are powered by BIOS, whereas UEFI powers later versions. The basic hardware setting is governed by BIOS/UEFI, which also ensures the operating system launches.
Try restoring to the default settings if you’re seeing a black screen of death. Here is how to restart the BIOS or UEFI: Hit the power button to restart your computer after turning it off. You’ll be prompted to press a certain key at startup to enter setup (usually F2 or the DEL key). Repeatedly press that key.
You may now test these two options:
Reset everything to defaults
Locate a line that reads “Load defaults” (Optimized defaults or something similar). BIOS/UEFI may have a different appearance depending on your device, but the entry’s fundamental structure should be the same. Everything is returned to its default settings when this option is chosen.
Ensure that your computer boots from the hard drive.
The BIOS/UEFI is also responsible for how your computer boots up. If you need to install Windows, your computer might start from a USB thumb drive, a CD/DVD, a hard drive, or even a floppy drive. Ensure that the hard drive option is chosen in the Boot Priority (or First Boot Device) settings.
Running a CPU stress test is another way to assess the performance of your BIOS and UEFI. Your machine may have outdated BIOS/UEFI drivers if it fails the test and displays the black screen of death. With one of the finest free driver updaters available, updating your drivers is simple.
5. Start a Windows restoration
You should restart your computer numerous times if it starts with a blank screen. The Windows Startup Automatic Repair screen should automatically open after performing this many times.
Tap Restart. Go to Advanced settings and choose System Restore if it doesn’t resolve the black screen problem.
Create a bootable Windows 10 drive, plug it in, and apply the disk-boot advice from above to ensure your computer starts from the USB drive if the Windows repair doesn’t work.
Choose a system restore point that is a few days old after the system restore program has launched.
Then, press Next while Windows restores all required files and puts everything back in working order. Some applications or updates you installed after the restore point but before you encountered the black screen of death might need to be reinstalled.
6. Enter Safe Mode
Windows Your PC will start up in Safe Mode with the fewest drivers or open apps possible, preventing a black screen. Safe Mode implies that just Windows starts up, removing any distraction from pointless drivers or apps.
Using the instructions listed above, start the Windows Repair program to enter Safe Mode. Click Startup Settings this time. Select See other recovery options, then click Startup Settings if you don’t see that option.
Then select Restart. You’ll see the Startup Settings screen a little while later.
To start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, hit the number 5 key on your keyboard.
You may begin ruling out possible causes for the black screen of death. Use these two strategies:
First, remove any programs that can obstruct your boot, like as network drivers, audio drivers, and graphics drivers.
Then, utilize Task Manager to disable each starting item. Go to Startup by selecting Task Manager from the context menu on your taskbar. Click on each item in this tab and choose Disable to disable it completely.
Now do a standard system reboot. Reverse the options mentioned above one at a time if the dark screen has vanished and everything is functioning. Activate one item in Task Manager, restart the computer, and check that everything functions. Repeat the same with the following item in the list after that. This will enable you to locate the application obstructing a system reboot.
7. In Safe Mode, roll back or update all drivers.
As was already noted, a bad device driver can prevent a system from booting. Remove any problematic device drivers from your computer to remedy the issue—click Device Manager from the context menu of Start.
Visit the troublesome device driver (usual drivers like display adapters, network adapters, or sound, video, and game controllers). Roll back the driver by double-clicking the entry, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, and then select the Driver tab. To confirm, click Yes.
If that is unsuccessful, upgrading your drivers may be able to resolve your Windows black screen issue. See our comprehensive guide on locating and installing device drivers.
Get AVG Driver Updater and perform a free scan if you want to update your drivers right now and keep them updated automatically. The simple-to-use dashboard of AVG Driver Updater will assist you in finding and updating any obsolete or defective drivers, resolving any remaining driver problems, and returning your machine to peak performance.
Solutions for a black screen of death — after logging in
You may still identify the source of the black screen using one of the options below if it appears after you log in (you input your password, and then nothing appears).
Here’s how to fix a black screen on Windows after logging in:
1. Disable all automatic applications
After logging in, if you get a black screen, your Windows operating system is having trouble loading your desktop and icons. Typically, a program that is loading automatically is the culprit. Select Task Manager by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys.
Use the instructions above to boot into Safe Mode if you can’t use Task Manager because of the black screen. Go to Startup in Task Manager and turn off each component. Restart your computer and make sure everything is operating correctly.
As part of routine PC maintenance, check Task Manager. It’s simple to speed up PC boot time and prevent the black screen of death by disabling resource-hungry programmes during startup.
2. Start explorer.exe
The application explorer.exe (Windows Explorer) is responsible for loading your desktop and icons. If the application doesn’t load, Windows Explorer won’t launch immediately after logging in, and you’ll see a blank screen with a moving pointer.
This is how to remedy that:
To open Task Manager, first press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard (or Ctrl + Shift + Esc to activate it immediately).
Click File in Task Manager and choose Run new task. After entering explorer.exe, click OK.
You should now see your desktop again.
Why is Windows Explorer not loading correctly? To solve this, you must make changes to the Windows Registry, the brains of the Windows operating system. Make a backup of your PC or a system restore point before making any modifications. (You may also clean up and fix damaged registry entries on your Windows PC using a specialist registry cleaning program.)
Here’s how to modify the Windows Registry to make Windows Explorer launch properly:
Press R while continuing to hold down the Windows key. Regedit should be typed in the Run box. Press Enter.
Next, navigate to the HKEY LOCAL MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > Winlogon folder (also known as a key).
Double-click Shell on the right side of the screen. Verify that explorer.exe appears in the Value data column. Enter explorer.exe if the field is empty or already contains anything else.
If the Value data portion contains additional text, it may include malware, a virus, or other potentially undesirable applications. Google the program’s name and conduct some research to find out. You should do a virus check immediately if nothing comes up in your search.
A powerful antivirus tool, such as AVG AntiVirus FREE, will thoroughly scan your computer to look for any dangerous malware. The virus will then be removed, and defenses will be established to identify and prevent potential future threats.
3. Install a new graphics driver
Your graphics driver may be at blame if your computer screen continues going black seemingly at random. To ensure that your graphics card functions correctly, routinely update all AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA drivers. Visit our guides on monitoring GPU performance and updating your graphics drivers for further details.
4. Switch between screens
You risk mistakenly switching to an unlit screen if your PC link to many displays or even a VR headset (which Windows recognizes as a monitor). Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard while pressing P when you see a blank screen. You can choose between the various display modes as shown. Download Avg
Avoid the black screen of death with PC TuneUp.
This advice should have assisted you in fixing your black screen issues. If all else fails, you might need to completely einstall Windows because the problem is probably more severe or unfixable. Otherwise, keep your system up-to-date by doing monthly maintenance to help avoid problems like the “black screen of death.”
Use AVG TuneUp for PC to keep your computer as clean, efficient, and fluid as possible. The Automatic Maintenance function of AVG TuneUp adjusts your computer weekly, while the Sleep Mode option turns off unwanted programs. Additionally, the integrated Software Uninstaller removes programs that can prevent your system from booting. Try AVG TuneUp right now to put an end to Windows black screen problems.