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How to Confidently Fix a Windows 10 Black Screen All by Yourself

Make Troubleshooting Easy With Our Black Screen Error Guide

As devices have gotten sleeker, smaller, and more powerful, fewer users feel empowered to fix their own devices. However, most operating systems offer tools to ensure that they can be fixed by an amateur but savvy users. If you’re dealing with a Windows 10 black screen, it may not be as dire as it feels.

Here are five ways you can fix your black or blank screen on your own.

1. Are You Installing Something?

If you’re working on installing software or if you have automatic installations set on your machine, a black screen is a sign that everything is going right. When you see your black screen, don’t panic.

Depending on the hardware you have, how old it is, or how much data you’ve got stored on it, your screen could be black for a while. Some installations take several hours.

If your machine is running, wait for awhile while it runs. Some machines make sounds that let you know that they’re running, reading, and writing data. Listen closely if you suspect that installation is in progress.

Sometimes, installations get stuck. Not every process goes off without a hitch and if it’s been several hours since you’ve been able to see something on your screen, it’s probably stuck. Most software and operating systems want to keep their users informed, so it’s rare that a screen stays blank for long.

In the case that your machine is stuck, consider shutting down your device altogether. Holding down the power button is the standard way to force a device to shut down. After this is done, unplug your power or remove your battery for a few minutes.

This resets your machine and ensures that your next attempt at installation goes smoothly. Often this is all that it takes and your machine returns to normal in a few minutes.

If your device gets stuck again, you’ll have to use a bootable USB device to ensure that your device updates properly

2. Check Your Video Connection

If you’re using a desktop computer, your screen connection must be secure to ensure smooth interactions with your PC. A black screen from a frayed connection looks good one day then suddenly doesn’t. If you’re running a new machine that’s given you no trouble at all, check that your wires are properly connected and that nothing is fraying or getting cut off.

Start with the power outlet your display is connected to. Try plugging into a different outlet. Adjust the power cable where it connects to your monitor. Sometimes a loose cable makes your display seem more faulty than it is.

Some PCs have different video outputs. Video drivers change and swap out at a moment’s notice, sometimes by user error, sometimes by machine error. Try another video output or display port with another cable before sending your machine to the repair shop.

For technically inclined users who install their own graphics cards, video connections can switch back and forth. The integrated video processor and the graphics card bump heads often. If this is your case, you’ll have to choose one as your primary method of displaying data.

Check that your computer detects your display at all. Hold the Window key and tap the P key twice. Then hit enter. Try this a few times to get through the different displays connected to your computer.

3. Wake Up Your Display

While problems with the hardware and the display occur from time to time, sometimes Windows 10 just doesn’t detect your display. If this is the case, you need to work on waking it up.

Sometimes, hitting a few keys or wiggling your mouse is enough to get the display up and running. If that doesn’t work, try a key combination to wake it up. Hit the Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B together in order to wake it up.

If this doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt to hit it a few times. Try and wait patiently. If you don’t get a response in a minute or so, move on to another method.

4. Disconnect Extra Devices

The devices connected to your computer may be the culprit of what’s affecting your screen. Disconnecting all the extra peripherals is the perfect place to start.

Disconnect everything and try getting your screen to light up. If this works, it’s time for you to play detective.

Start reconnecting each of your peripheral devices one at a time. Use them for a minute or two before connecting another one.

If you notice that your device goes black again, disconnect that device and restart your computer. Try reconnecting once your computer is back up and running again. If the problem persists, reach out the manufacturer of the device.

It’s unlikely you’re the first person to have this problem, so see what solutions they’ve come up with.

5. Start Your Computer in Safe Mode

If you’re dealing with an intermittent black screen, there are some solutions to help solve it. Booting up a computer in safe mode helps to start your computer without any of the problems it otherwise has. To boot in safe mood, you need to restart or shut down your computer first.

Start your PC up and wait for the sign-in screen. Hold down the Shift key and then click the power button that appears on the bottom right of your screen. Select “Restart”.

You’ll get an advanced startup menu. Choose “Advanced Options” and then “Startup Settings”. Then click the restart button.

Once you get to the Startup Settings screen, press 5 to choose Safe Mode with Networking.

If you find problems persist, call tech support.

A Black Screen Isn’t A Death Sentence

While your black screen is going to take the wind out of your sails, it’s a problem solved by amateur users all the time. Follow our gips before opening your wallet for tech support or major repairs.

If you’re dealing with a damaged laptop screen, follow our guide for more tips.