[PC BLACK SCREEN] Does your PC show a black screen when turning on, starting Windows or launching software? Before rushing to a repairer, check a few points to try to solve the problem yourself.

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Your PC displays a black screen when switching on, starting Windows or when launching software? Before rushing to a repairer, check a few points to try to solve the problem yourself.

Over the years, PCs have become more and more reliable machines. Whether laptops or desktops, they have components robust enough to accompany you for several years. Windows on its side is not left out. After some youthful flaws, Windows 10 shows good stability and its crashes are rare.

Nevertheless, zero risk does not exist. And if, when turning on your machine, or shortly after, the screen remains black, an event has necessarily occurred since the last use which has leads the PC to no longer react normally. This can be hardware or software…or both. A badly connected cable, a device that you forgot to disconnect, a defective driver, a Windows update that went wrong… several avenues are possible to elucidate the mystery of the infamous black screen symptom and get your PC back in working order.

What to do when the screen stays black when turning on a PC?

Don’t pull out the screwdrivers just yet to disassemble your PC. A few simple checks and manipulations are often enough to find the origin of the problem and solve it.


  • This may sound too simple. And yet… A disconnected or incorrectly connected power cable and your desktop PC will never be able to start. So check the socket both on the mains and on the back of the machine. On a laptop, check that the battery is sufficiently charged or, if necessary, connect the laptop to an electrical outlet.
  • Your computer may also have a power management problem. Unplug the power cord. If it is a portable PC, remove the battery (if possible, otherwise, give up this operation). Press and hold the power button for about 30 seconds. Plug the power cord back in and restart the computer.


  • The BIOS (the firmware implanted directly on the motherboard) of some PCs is sometimes finicky. Just forget to remove a USB key still connected to the machine when switching off so that when you turn on the PC again, it gives you a black screen where only a white cursor flashes. Remove the USB key from its slot. Startup should resume as normal. If necessary, press the computer’s power button for several seconds to force it to shut down, then turn it back on.

  • Another device connected to the PC can also be the cause of the malfunction: a printer, an external hard drive, an accessory… If in doubt, unplug all the peripherals that are connected to the computer and try to turn it on. If it starts up normally, the culprit is hiding among your devices (or the cables used to connect them). Perform checks by connecting each device one at a time and observing Windows notifications.

The Monitor

  • If you’re using a desktop PC, make sure the monitor is powered on and active, although it usually turns on as soon as you wake up the CPU. Also check the correct connection of the cable (DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI, etc.) that connects it to the PC, as it can be done incorrectly.
  • If the screen lights up well (which you can easily check with an LED indicator) by displaying only a message like No Signal or No signal is that it is not receiving any video signal on the selected input. Select another input (HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, DVI…) on the monitor if you have the choice (some screens have several inputs, others only one). If the message persists regardless of the input chosen, the problem is with the cable or the source (ie the computer in this case).
  • Make sure Windows is loaded. To do this, press the keys Win + Ctrl + Shift + B. A beep should sound and the screen should dim before it lights up again. Windows is trying to refresh the display here.
  • Try connecting the PC to another monitor or TV using the correct cable. To do this, read our practical sheet for connecting a computer to a television or projector.
  • If the cable is plugged in (both sides) and the monitor is on, press the Win + P keys on the keyboard. Then press the down arrow key once and confirm with Enter. Your machine may have wanted to display Windows on a second screen (which does not exist). A situation that can occur when the computer has both a processor integrating a graphics circuit and a separate graphics. The keyboard shortcut allows you to switch to the main display.


If the computer emits a series of beeps and the screen remains completely black, your PC is experiencing a major hardware problem. Haven’t you just modified your configuration by exchanging or adding memory modules (Ram) or by changing the graphics card, for example? If so, the new component is either incorrectly installed or faulty. You will have to reopen your PC and check that everything is in place or, if necessary, put back the original components.

What to do if the screen goes black when loading windows?

If Windows loads normally and the screen goes black just before or after logging on, a hardware problem can be ruled out. A faulty driver is probably the cause of the problem.

Boot in safe mode

  • Before performing any manipulations, you must start the PC in safe mode (see our practical sheet Start Windows 10 in safe mode to learn all about the subject). If the computer is on and showing the login screen, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard, click the Power On/Off button and select Restart.

  • If the screen goes black before displaying the login page, force it. Hold down the On/Off button for 10 seconds to turn off the PC.
  • Turn the machine back on then, as soon as Windows starts launching, press the On/Off button again for 10 seconds to force shutdown. Repeat the operation once more (start then forced stop).
  • Turn on the PC one last time. Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard, click the Power button and select Restart.
  • When restarting, Windows displays an options screen. Click Troubleshoot.

  • In the new page that appears, choose Options Advanced.

  • Finally, click on Settings.

  • The page shows the selected Windows boot mode. Click the Restart button.

  • The computer restarts and displays a series of options. Press the 4 key (on the top row of the keyboard) to boot into Save fail mode.

Replace graphics card driver

  • With safe mode now enabled, the login screen should appear slightly distorted. Normally, Windows uses generic drivers to manage the components and peripherals of your PC including the graphics circuit. Access your session.

  • The desktop appears. The wallpaper is black, and all four corners say Safe Mode.

  • Type Manager in the Windows search box and choose Device Manager from the results.

  • In the window that appears, scroll down the Display cards tab and then right-click on the name of your component. Choose Properties from the context menu.

  • Click on the Driver tab. Note the installed graphics card model and driver version. This information will allow you to later download the version that best suits your configuration (your PC is currently not connected to the Internet, the Wi-Fi and Ethernet modules having been disabled when starting in Safe mode). Click Uninstall Device.

  • In the window that appears, check the Delete the driver software for this device box and click Uninstall.

  • Restart your PC normally. This time the Internet connections are active. Go to your graphics card manufacturer’s website and download the appropriate driver.

What-to-do-if-the-screen-goes-black-during-game launching a game?

As you’re about to start a wild game, the screen suddenly goes black while loading the game? System requirements may be higher than what your PC has.

  • Check the recommended minimum requirements for the game first. Try closing unnecessary applications running in the background to free up hardware resources, including RAM.
  • Also check that your graphics card driver is up to date and that the version of DirectX installed is at least equal to that recommended for the game.
  • If possible, lower the display quality (resolution, number of colors, quality of details, number of frames per second, etc.) in the game settings (there are usually options for this).< /li>
  • If the game is old, check that it is not set to special compatibility mode. To do this, in Windows Explorer, go to the game’s installation folder, right-click on the program itself (the file with the extension .exe), and select Properties from the context menu. In the Properties window that appears, open the Compatibility tab and change the available options (one at a time) to perform tests. These settings sometimes make it possible to run games or capricious on certain configurations.
  • Make sure as a last resort that there is no patch or update for the game that solves the problem by going to the publisher’s site.

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