We’re so dependent on technology in the modern era, and it has risen to such dizzy heights in terms of quality that it’s easy to be a little over-reliant. However, all it takes is something going wrong and suddenly it’s easy to see the fragility of tech and why, in all situations, you need protection and you need a plan of action to fix your problems. One of the most common issues is when your computer or laptop seems to just shut off. This is distinct from the ‘Blue Screen Of Death’, which is another common issue, in that in this situation there may not be any signs of life at all. The ‘Black Screen Of Death’ seems far more daunting, because it is often not accompanied by any sort of error message or even any means of solving the issue. The black screen feels far more intimidating, especially if you aren’t someone with any particular technical background. But, fear not, as hopefully by the end of this article you will have found a method to guide you through. Let’s get started.
- Restart Your Computer
‘Have you tried switching it on and off again?’ This is such a typical piece of advice that it’s almost become a joke. In all likelihood, you aren’t looking at this list without having tried the first entry on it already. But, just in case: powering down and powering back up can solve some problems associated with sudden crashes or losses of life.
- Remove Battery Restart
This is simply a version of number 1, that involves powering down you laptop and unplugging the charging cable before removing the battery for a minute, reconnecting it and powering it up again. Disconnecting the battery shouldn’t be difficult. If in doubt, look up a video. For PCs, unplug the power cable from the wall.
- Refresh Windows 10
If you’re having no luck, then this is the first of the more drastic measures. A clean installation of Windows 10 can solve all sorts of problems, including a black screen. And, there are ways to achieve this without losing files and other data.
- Put Install Media for Windows 10 on a USB stick or other drive (make sure it is clean)
- Attach the USB and Restart Your PC/Laptop
- Install clean edition of Windows 10
- Turn Off Fast Startup
For this method you will need to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode. To do that, Restart Your PC/Laptop and just as it is starting up hit F8 (or Shift+F8). Once in Recovery Mode you can navigate to Safe Mode from there. Once in Windows go to Control Panel, then search Power Options. In Power Options you will find Choose What Power Button Does. Click here and then untick the Turn On Fast Startup (Recommended) button. Press Save and then Restart.
- Updating Your Graphics Card Drivers
The Graphics Card is an important part of most Laptops and PCs. Failing to keep it up to date can lead to issues like a black screen. In fact, it can lead to all sorts of problems and can even pose a cybersecurity risk. So keep it updated! To check for updates go to Device Manager via the Start Menu and you will see if updates are required.
- Reset Windows 10
This is a bit of a last resort, since it is a complete overhaul of the system. You need to have the Install Media on a drive like in number 3, but this time, by navigating to Update And Recovery through the Start Menu, you want to choose ‘Reset Windows 10’. This will delete all files and downloads as well as re-installing Windows, but it could work.
- Check Your Monitor
Lastly, a simple one. A black screen can be more confusing than a blue screen because it can easily be mistaken for a technical issue when it’s just a loose monitor cable, or even a monitor settings issue. Make sure you check your display before doing a reset!
Hopefully, somewhere in this list, you’ve cracked the riddle of the black screen and are happily back to correct operation. It can be frustrating, even terrifying, when you run into these seemingly unsolvable technical issue, but there’s always a way to find a fix!
Michael Dehoyos is a tech specialist at Academic Brits. He assists people with their digital business projects as well as sharing his knowledge by contributing to numerous sites and publications.