The Black Screen Conundrum: Causes and Quick Fixes

January 5, 2024 | Blog

According to a new research study, our computers malfunction between 11 percent and 20 percent of the time. One of the prevalent issues faced during a malfunction is a computer black screen problem, whereby the computer is stuck on a blank black screen.

When faced with a computer black screen issue, it can feel incredibly frustrating and irritating, and who can blame you? Black screens are a bane to the existence of computers, but fortunately, they are fairly easy to fix if you can identify their cause. 

In this blog, the team from My Computer Works has shared the causes of a black screen and how to fix it quickly. Armed with this information, you’ll never again feel the unique rage accompanying a black computer screen. 

Black Screen Frustrations – The Potential Causes

Unfortunately, no matter when it happens, a black screen ‘of death’ can be an incredibly frustrating experience, especially if you’re unsure how to address the problem. 

If you’re facing a black screen display issue, there are ways to fix it, but to fix a black screen, you need to know what caused it in the first place. Luckily, we’ve got you covered and have shared the potential black screen causes below: 

Hardware Failures and Malfunctions

Often, your computer’s black screen could be because of hardware failures and malfunctions. 

Below are a few examples of hardware failures and malfunctions that cause black screens: 

  • Your computer’s graphics card might not be in the correct position, and this could cause a black screen. 
  • Your monitor might have loose cables that are not connecting to your computer properly, causing a black screen. 
  • Your monitor or other connected external device might be malfunctioning, leading to the black screen you are experiencing. 

Software-Related Issues and Conflicts

There are many different types of software-related issues and conflicts that could cause you to experience a black screen. 

You can address many of these problems yourself, but sometimes, it’s worth hiring a professional to fix the issue if the tech problem is too advanced. Below are a few of the common software issues and conflicts commonly faced: 

  • Your Windows OS could be causing the black screen. Often – especially with Windows 11 PCs – a black screen occurs because of faulty Windows updates or because of corrupt and missing system files. 
  • Your computer has malfunctioning and outdated graphics drivers or software applications. For example, if you have an outdated Windows Explorer app that doesn’t run properly, this could cause your black screen. 

Setting Configurations

Often, misconfigured settings cause black screens. If you recently changed your computer settings, this could be why you’re experiencing a black screen.

For example, fiddling with the projection setting could cause a black screen, and so can changing the boot configuration data store setting. If you’re unsure what setting is causing your black screen, it might be time to talk with a tech expert. 

Black Screen Display issues – Quick Fixes

Now that you know a few common causes of a black screen, it’s time to discuss a few quick fixes you can try at home. 

Should any of the below fixes not work, the team at My Computer Works is only a call or email away and is ready to help you solve your black screen of death promptly:

Cable Inspection

Sometimes, your computer cables between your monitor and it become loose or faulty, leading to a black screen, as mentioned earlier. To fix this issue, all you need to do is check the following:

  • Examine your video cable for external damage. If there is damage, replace it to fix the black screen.
  • Check if your video cable is firmly connected to your computer and monitor. The best way to do this is by removing it completely and then plugging it back into both devices. 

If there is no damage and the cables are connected properly, you must test both the cable and monitor:

  • To test if the cable is the issue, use another one and plug it into a TV or different laptop. If it works, you know the other original cable is the issue. 
  • To test the monitor, use the working cable on it and a TV. If the TV shows a connection but is still black, your monitor is the issue. Getting a new one will resolve the black screen.

Boot Process Troubleshooting

Another solution to a black screen, if the issue is related to a malware attack, faulty updates, or softer-related issues, is to use the boot process troubleshooting interface to fix it. 

To reach the boot recovery menu, you must use Ctrl + Alt + Del when rebooting a computer. Once you are in this menu, you can navigate through the various BIOS selections to try to find the issue. 

Typically, this safe mode menu will let you find viruses, corrupted files, and outdated drivers that could all be causing your black screen. 

Restore and Repair Techniques

One of the easiest ways to fix a black screen if your computer has failed to start multiple times is to use the restore and repair technique when it has entered Automatic Repair Mode. 

When your computer enters the Automatic Repair screen on its next boot-up or restart, you will need to follow these steps to prompt a System Restore to resolve your black screen: 

  • Select Advanced options on your computer screen. 
  • Choose troubleshoot. 
  • Select Advanced Options again. 
  • Choose System Restore to revert to a Windows state that was previously working. 

After following the above steps, your black screen should be resolved. If it’s not, try using the Startup Repair or System Image Recovery techniques in the Automatic Repair mode interface.

Prevent A Black Screen With Routine Maintenance 

As they say, prevention is better than a cure, and one of the best ways to prevent a black screen is to routinely maintain your computer. Usually, completing the following maintenance often will prevent a black screen issue from arising:

  • Perform virus and malware scans and get rid of any that are present on your computer. 
  • Clear cluttered caches to prevent glitches that lead to a black screen. 
  • Test and regularly check hardware and software to ensure no issues like outdated drivers or loose cables are present. 

In addition to the above, you should consider having routine services done on your computer by an expert IT professional who can prevent and fix black screens. 

Wrap-Up On Black Screen Causes and Quick Fixes

Now you know the main causes of a computer’s black screen and a few of the possible quick fixes you can try. Should these fixes fail to help, you might have to consider calling in the cavalry – an IT expert. 

At My Computer Works, we have the knowledge and skills needed to help you fix a black screen. Better yet, we also have the tools to help you prevent one from even occurring. So give us a call here and let us help you. 

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