You’ve probably heard of the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), a common Windows error screen displayed when a system fault occurs. It represents a critical hardware issue in your computer. With it, at least your computer will tell you that there’s something wrong.
But the B in BSOD doesn’t always stand for blue. The only thing worse than a blue screen of death is a black screen of death. And the only thing worse than a black screen of death is a black screen that doesn’t even throw you a bone by telling you what’s wrong.
A Black Screen of Death can prove to be more difficult to resolve as it doesn’t display an error message. It’s simply a black screen. Nothing at all appears on the screen. Other times, you may have a mouse and keyboard but no desktop environment.
So, what causes the black screen of death on Windows? Various issues can cause the Black Screen of Death. In this guide, we’ll give you solutions for the most common causes:
Causes and fixes of black screen of death
Check your drivers
Drivers are the most common causes of both blue and black screen of death. A black screen can appear if your graphics card driver is not working correctly.
If your CPU has an integrated graphics card, disconnect your monitor from the dedicated GPU and plug it in the integrated one. If the issue disappears, then uninstall your GPU drivers and reinstall them from scratch.
Is your Windows installation complete?
A possible cause of a black screen issue is that the setup process during a Windows 10 installation is not yet complete. If you have large data files from an earlier Windows installation, don’t be surprised if the setup takes up hours of your time. Those who operate older versions of Windows might think that they won’t be affected by the Black Screen of Death, but, unfortunately, they’re wrong. The issue affects just about everyone using a Windows PC today.
Wake Up Your Display
Your computer can also give you the black screen of death if Windows 10 isn’t detecting the display. The simple solution to this issue is to force it to wake up. Simply hit the Windows key on your keyboard, then hit the ctrl, shift and B.
Your computer is overheating
All computers generate heat. In many cases, overheating is caused by the video card or the processor. This heat must be removed to keep the system running; high temperatures can cause components to lock-up and become damaged. Fortunately, computers are built to shut down before that occurs.
Overheating will usually result in a featureless black computer screen, which may or may not be followed by a restart.
To stop this from happening frequently, open your PC and clean out the cobwebs. Use a vacuum to suck up obvious dust (avoiding internal cables, of course). A can of compressed air can dislodge stubborn dirt. Also, check that all fans are still working and replace any that aren’t.
Check connection issues
If the black screen appears before you can sign into the account, then it’s likely a connection problem between the display and computer.
In this situation, re-check the physical connection and make sure both ends of the video signal cable are connected correctly, and it’s using the correct output port.
Disconnect non-essential devices
Peripherals connected to the computer may be the reason for the black screen or black screen with the spinning dots during startup for a long time. (Usually, spinning dots during startup indicates that an update is installing, and you need to wait a few moments, but if it takes a long time, then it could be a compatibility problem with the hardware.)
If you experience something similar, disconnect all peripherals, including printers, cameras, removable drives, Bluetooth, docking station, and other USB devices from your computer.
Restart the device one more time, and if everything works normally, then the problem is one of the peripherals.
In conclusion, the Black Screen of Death is usually caused by a software error (or Windows Update) but can often be repaired.
Black screens that occur seemingly at random are usually the result of a more serious hardware problem. This will require component repair or replacement. Whatever the case, you can be sure to find a solution.