How to fix your Windows 10 PC that’s having the black screen issue [Troubleshooting Guide]

The Windows 10 is the newest addition of Microsoft to their operating systems. It has proven it’s reliability but like its predecessors, it has its own issues that may occur unexpectedly. The most common issue that you might encounter is the black screen which is considered a complex issue since you can’t see any error messages on the screen and it may seem like it’s turned off but it’s not.

We can’t determine right away what’s causing the issue because it may occur any time without warning. It may occur after an update, during installation of the OS, broken graphics card and display connection issues. We can consider it a hardware-related issue if none of these are present as well. We recommend you continue reading this post to learn about the issue and how to perform troubleshooting procedures that might fix it.

Before we go to our troubleshooting, if you found this page because you were trying to find a solution to a different problem, then visit our Windows 10 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common Windows 10 problems and errors. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions and troubleshooting methods we suggested. If they don’t work for your or if you need further assistance, fill up our PC issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting Windows 10 Black Screen issue

The purpose of this troubleshooting is for us to know what the real problem is, what triggers it and what needs to be done to get rid of it once and for all. However, we cannot guarantee that we can fix the problem especially if it’s hardware-related because we cannot perform further tests that could help us gather more information. In which case, we suggest you bring the PC to a local shop and have a tech take a look at it. Now, for our troubleshooting, here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Make sure to check every possible connections in you PC

When turning on the PC and you are not seeing anything on screen then try checking all connections. You can follow the list below where to start:

  1. Block out or no electricity – There are times that we are not aware of block out or no electricity at home. This is a common and easy mistake by PC owners, before making a conclusion make sure to check by turning on TV or anything just to check.
  2. Power cord – You have to check both monitor and system unit power cord if they are plug in long outlet (4 to 6 plugs) or wall outlet. If not, then plug it and make sure it’s not loose. NOTE: Some system unit power supply has its own power switch, make sure to check it and turn it on.
  3. Check graphics connection – For desktop PC owners, VGA or HDMI are common connection used. Make sure to check it if the cord was attach correctly or loosen at back of the system unit and the back of the monitor. NOTE: If you are using a TV monitor, try to check if you are in the correct input, you can use the remote and change the input to VGA or HDMI either which of the two you are currently using.

Step 2: Black Screen during Installation or update

When black happens during the update or installation of OS, then you can disregard the first step. Updating or installing an OS can sometimes experience black screen as part of the process and normally comes back. However, if the black screen continues in a long period of time then the best thing that you can do is to wait for it to finish, it may take some time to finish. After an hour or two and no progress, then you can interfere by shutting it down.

You can long press the power button until its off or unplug the power cord directly. Then start the installation process again. Make sure also to disconnect other peripherals such as printer, webcam, scanner and leave the keyboard and mouse only.

Step 3: Boot in Safe mode and use USB/DVD recovery drive

If the issue still occurs, then boot in safe mode for diagnostic procedure. For owners who don’t have a recovery drive, you can go to the microsoft website using a working PC and download the file and use either USB or DVD to save the file. The steps are provided how to save it on the website. And once you’re ready, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure the PC was shut down
  2. Turn on the PC. Insert the media installation that you created in USB port or DVD drive.
  3. Under the Choose an option, click Troubleshoot
  4. Click Advanced Options
  5. Click Startup Settings
  6. Click Restart. Wait until your PC restarts.
  7. Under Start up settings, select 5 or press F5 on keyboard to choose Enable Safe mode with Networking option. NOTE: If your PC wont display anything after choosing Safe mode with Networking then repeat the steps 1 and 2, then select 3 or press F3 instead to start your PC with low resolution.
  8. If it works and your PC is in Safe mode, then open Device Manager
  9. Type device manager in the search box
  10. Click Device Manager, then click arrow to expand.
  11. Under the Display adapters there might be two options, the default display adapter (e.g. Intel(R) HD graphics family) and the added adapter (e.g. Radeon™ HD 5470M). If so, then we need to disable the added adapter first.
  12. Right-click the added adapter (e.g. Radeon™ HD 5470M)
  13. Click Disable
  14. Click Yes
  15. Restart your PC and remove the USB or DVD media installation. NOTE: If it doesn’t work and the black screen still occurs then follow the steps (1 to 10) and enable the added adapter again.

If nothing happened, then try reinstalling the graphics driver if it can resolve the issue. Out of date drivers are sometimes cause a black screen. Here’s how to do it, go to Device Manager > Display adapters > right-click item > Uninstall > OK > Restart PC > Let your PC install a new updated driver.

However, if you are seeing one option only, then you are using the default graphics. There are only two ways for you to try if it will fix the issue. You can choose from either Roll Back driver or Uninstall driver options, or try both. Here’s how:

  1. Follow above steps (1 to 10)
  2. Under the Display adapters, right-click the item (e.g. Intel(R) HD graphics family).
  3. Click Properties
  4. Click Driver
  5. Click Roll Back
  6. Click Yes. It will restore the driver back to the state before an issue occurs and mostly fixed the issue.

However, you can also try uninstalling the driver and let the PC find the latest driver and automatically install it.

  1. Under the Display adapters, right-click the item  (e.g. Intel(R) HD graphics family).
  2. Click Properties
  3. Click Driver
  4. Click Uninstall
  5. Click OK

Once done, restart you PC and remove the USB or DVD media installation. See if the issue was resolve.

Step 4: Create a new administrator account while in Safe mode

For some reasons, the black screen may occur if something was wrong with the current admin account. And since we’re running in safe mode, windows won’t allow you to create another admin account using the account Settings, so you have to do it in CMD or command prompt. Here’s how:

NOTE: We are using “newuser” and “admin” as an example name, You can change it to your liking.

  1. Open command prompt, type cmd in the search box
  2. Right-click the item and click Run as Administrator
  3. Type net user newuser /add then press enter
  4. Type net localgroup administrators admin /add then press enter
  5. Restart your PC and login to the new created account

If the black screen disappears using the new created account, then the issue must be on the old account. If not, then we recommend a full reinstallation of the windows 10 OS and start new.

In case the issue was resolve, then we recommend to transfer all the files from the old account to the new one. Here’s how to move your files to your new account:

  1. Press Windows key + E to access File Explorer
  2. Click This PC on the left pane
  3. Double-click C: drive to open it
  4. Double-click user folder, then from there you can start locating the important folders from the old account where you save your files.
  5. In case you encounter a dialog box that says “You don’t have permission to access folder” just click Continue. It will go through.

After location all the folders, you need to open another window in the new account, this will be the location you will be transferring the old files.

  1. Press Windows + R on the keyboard
  2. Type %HOMEPATH% on the search box
  3. Another window will appear belonging to the new admin account you are currently logged in. Here we recommend you to choose “Desktop” to easily locate all the files you just transferred and transfer it to where you want it to be afterwards.
  4. Once your ready, then start copying the files.

NOTE: After transferring the files and apps, you may need to test them if it will run. In some cases, some apps needed to be reinstalled because they are only usable per account. Some might need to be reactivated and enter the serial number or activation number, make sure that you have them.

Then you have to start deleting the old account, here’s how:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click Accounts
  3. Click Family & other people
  4. Under other people, click your old account
  5. Click Remove
  6. A dialog box will appear, make sure to read them carefully and understand it before removing the account. This will avoid regrets in future.
  7. Click Delete account and data.
  8. That’s it!

Just like I said before, if all these procedures failed then we recommend to reinstall the OS and start new. You can try bringing your PC to the nearest service center to let the tech handle the issue.

Connect with us

We understand that for many computer users, troubleshooting is really difficult that’s why we’re here to help you find a solution…for free. All we need is information about your computer and the problem. Just fill up our Computer issues questionnaire here and give us the information we need. Also include your own observation on how and when the problem started or what you were doing when the problem emerged. We will help you find a solution to fix your problem or advise you what to do.

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