Black screen on Windows 10


Windows 10 is not immune to black screen issues. This article will explain what the problem entails, how you might fix it, and what your options are if your computer can’t access Windows 10 anymore. Let’s get started by explaining the origin of this issue, its symptoms, and its potential causes.

What is a black screen on Windows 10 – Origin of the problem

First off: A black screen on Windows 10 is a pretty rare occurrence but some users have reported running into it during their time with Microsoft’s new operating system. If you Google search for “black screen in Windows 10” several results will show up containing people complaining about seemingly unexplained instances where their PC or laptop has been rendered completely useless simply because the screen turned black.

Black screen in Windows 10 does that mean?

If your device can’t access Windows 10 after booting up, then the cause of the issue might be hardware-related rather than due to a software glitch. Let’s take a look at some potential causes before we proceed to possible troubleshooting steps.

Possible Causes for why you are stuck on a black screen after booting Windows 10

a) Your computer’s display drivers are not working properly

b) Faulty graphic card

c) Faulty monitor

d) Processor is overheating

e) Overclocking too high or incorrectly

f) Some app or service automatically loading itself into startup causing issues

g) Bad RAM

h) Corrupted or missing system files

i) Bad motherboard

j) Severe virus/malware infection

k) Graphics card is not properly seated

l) Graphics driver is corrupted

m) Problem with Windows 10 installation

n) Incorrect BIOS settings

o) Faulty hard drive

p) External device(s)/component plugged into your computer preventing startup

q) Some hardware has failed to initialize during bootup

r) Intermittent power failure while your device was starting up

Fixing black screen issues with Windows 10

If the black screen problem is associated with an update by Microsoft, you can always roll back to the previous update. However, make sure your PC gets updated to the latest version of Windows 10.

If your computer is unable to boot up at all, make sure you have created a recovery drive, as having one already set up will allow you to access it without any problems.

Let’s dive in..

Basic troubleshooting

Is the computer switched on?

If we need to access our computer but we can’t because of a black screen, then we’ll first want to make sure that the computer is turned on. This might just be a case of the monitor being off or it could be that the power button on your computer stopped working.

See if you can access safe mode

You should also try pressing F8 during startup and choosing Safe Mode, then waiting for 10 minutes or so. After that, reboot your computer normally and see if the black screen persists.

Set the right date and time

If the black screen appears randomly after activating some setting/feature on Windows 10 system, please turn off the setting/feature firstly. If the black screen appears only when you log in to Windows 10, please make sure you set the correct time and date in Control Panel -> Clock, Language and Region -> Date and Time.

Check apps installed

If the black screen appears only after starting an app (for example, browser), or performing some task (for example, installing software) on Windows 10 system, please check if any program is preventing the computer from shutting down normally. Please end the process related to that specific program until you’ve fixed the cause of your problem.

If it looks like a software error and you’re able to access your computer again after restarting your monitor, then you’ll want to disconnect all peripherals from your computer, including your printer.

Check your power source

If the black screen appears at Windows startup, please check if your computer is connected to a power source properly. Please make sure the cable is plugged in and compatible with your computer’s battery mode.

If the above steps don’t solve the problem, try the below steps, but with caution. We would recommend our computer repair service to perform the below.

Try system restore

If you’re unable to access your computer in a working manner after a black screen issue has occurred, then there are a few things you can try to do: in the restart menu on the login screen, choose “Safe Mode,” and if possible, create a system restore point before this incident.

Advanced troubleshooting

1. Make sure that your device meets all system requirements (e.g. Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) version). Yes, it can be one possible cause of the issue; but it cannot guarantee a 100% solution for everybody since different manufacturers can use a different version of HAL.

2. Try to connect your laptop to a different power source (e.g. wall charger, etc.).  It might be the problem with the battery itself or with its connection to your computer’s motherboard.

3. Check BIOS settings for display-related parameters (i.e brightness levels, sleep mode, etc.) and make sure that they are set correctly before you attempt to boot OS again in Safe Mode.   Please note that you’d better change them back to their initial state before OS installation because OS will use default values anyway when it boots up successfully in Safe Mode.  For example: if the brightness level is changed in OS before the black screen issue appeared on your workstation, OS will restore it to the initial state, which means that your bright screen will be present during Safe Mode.  The same story goes for other display-related settings as well..

4 Cables: Make sure that all cables and cords are firmly connected to the appropriate ports to ensure that we’re getting visual signals from our computer. If we’ve made sure that the cords and cables are attached correctly and we still can’t see anything, then it’s likely an issue with our graphics card. If you’re still having problems with a black screen even though you’ve made sure that the cords and cables are attached correctly, then it’s likely an issue with the motherboard.

4. If all the above failed to help and it looks like a hardware failure, then you can’t do much but call in a computer technician.

If you have got Windows 11, try following the steps here.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...