Your Windows PC showing a black screen after boot/sign-in or in the middle of work? You are not the only one. Many users have encountered similar errors, and it’s not even peculiar to Windows 11 and has existed in the previous Windows versions as well.
Most users who encountered the error reported that while the screen went black, they had a moveable cursor on the screen, making the error even more strange. However, there’s nothing to be concerned about since most of the time, it’s a trivial issue that’s leading to the error, and simple troubleshooting would help fix it.
In this article, we have listed some of the most effective fixes to resolve the black screen issue on Windows 11.
1. Check the Connections & Monitor
This fix works well for those using a desktop or an external monitor. One of the reasons behind the black screen issue is loose connections. Check your monitor for any loose connections and reconnect it. Also, check the cable for damages.
If you have a spare monitor, try connecting it and check if the error is fixed. In case it does, it’s probably the monitor that’s behind the error.
If you use multiple monitors, try disconnecting the others and use just one. This has worked for many users. Also, you can switch monitors, say, make your primary monitor the secondary and vice-versa.
In case none of the above fixes work, it’s probably not the monitor but another issue that’s leading to the black screen error. Hence, move to the next fix.
2. Restart the Graphics Driver
When the screen turns black, you pretty much cannot do anything. To resolve the underlying issue, you will have to first get things back up and running. But, how do you do that?
Restarting the graphics driver using the WINDOWS + CTRL + SHIFT + B keyboard shortcut has proven highly effective. When you restart the graphics driver, the screen flickers for a second, and you may hear a beep sound, an indication that the graphics driver has been restarted successfully.
3. Change Projection Settings
If you found the monitor to be working fine and the display didn’t light up even after restarting the graphics driver, it’s probably the projection settings at fault. If you have chosen the wrong projection settings by mistake, it will lead to a black screen error on Windows 11.
To fix the issue, press the WINDOWS + P keyboard shortcut to launch the projection settings. Since the screen has turned black, you wouldn’t be able to see it, but you can still use the arrow key to change the setting.
After you have launched the ‘Projection Settings’, use the arrow keys to change the display option and press ENTER to select it. Wait for a few seconds to see if it works. In case the screen remains black, repeat the process. It may take a few minutes before you get the right display option, but it will surely get things back on track.
4. Update Windows 11
Once you are done fixing the black screen issue, it’s time we resolve the underlying issue that led to the error in the first place. Your prime approach should be to update the Windows. In many cases, it’s a bug that’s preventing Windows from functioning effectively and leading to the black screen issue.
To update Windows 11, either right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the ‘Quick Access Menu’, and then select ‘Settings’ from the list.
In ‘Settings’, select the ‘Windows Update’ tab from the left.
Finally, click on the ‘Check for updates’ option to scan for any available updates.
In case an update is available, it will be downloaded and installed on your computer. Once the installation is complete, restart the computer and check if the black screen issue occurs again.
5. Update Graphics Driver
If there was no update available or it didn’t fix the issue, it’s likely that you are running an outdated version of the Graphics Driver. In this case, it’s recommended that you update the driver to fix the error.
To update the Graphics driver, search for ‘Device Manager’ in the ‘Start Menu’, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
In ‘Device Manager’, double-click on the ‘Display Adapter’ option to view the adapters listed under it. Next, right-click on the listed adapter and select ‘Update driver’ from the context menu.
You will now be presented with two options, either let Windows search for the best available driver on the system or manually browse and install one. We recommend choosing the first option and letting Windows find the most suited driver for your system.
After selecting the first option, wait for Windows to scan the system for the best available driver. Many a time, Windows wouldn’t find an update, but it does not necessarily imply that one is not available. Many manufacturers do not submit the update with Microsoft for approval and directly upload it on their website. In this case, you will have to download the updated version from the manufacturer’s website itself.
But before you download the update, you have to identify the current driver version. To find that out, right-click on the adapter and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.
In the properties window, navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab and note down the version mentioned next to ‘Driver Version.
Once you have the current driver version, search the web to update using ‘Manufacturer Name’, ‘OS’, and ‘Driver Name’ as the keyword. Locate and open the manufacturer’s website from the search results. Now find the latest driver update and download it.
To simplify things for you, we have listed the download page’s link for the three manufacturers.
After downloading the update, double-click on the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. Now, restart your computer and check if the black screen error is fixed.
6. Uninstall Malfunctioning Applications
If none of the above fixes have worked, it could be a problematic application leading to the black screen issue. But, how do you identify the application that’s leading to the issue? It’s a hit-and-trial technique, but you could narrow down your search using some simple tips and save time.
Recall the first time you encountered the back screen error on Windows 11, and identify the installed apps around the same time, say up to a week earlier. It’s most likely that either of these apps causing the black screen error and uninstalling them should fix the issue.
To uninstall the malfunctioning app, press WINDOWS + R to launch the ‘Run’ command, enter ‘appwiz.cpl’ in the text box, and then either click on ‘OK’ or press ENTER to launch it.
Now, identify the apps that were installed when you first encountered the error using the ‘Installed On’ column. Now, select the app and click on ‘Uninstall’ at the top.
If any prompt or confirmation box pops up, choose the suitable response.
After you have uninstalled the app, restart the computer and check if the error persists. In case you encounter it again, the app you earlier uninstalled wasn’t the culprit. So now, repeat the same process until you have found the problematic app. Once it’s found, you can re-install all the other safe apps.
7. Clean the System Components & Inspect Hardware
If the above fixes have not worked, the black screen issue could be due to the over-heating of the system. The CPU fan blows out the hot air, thus keeping the system cool. However, dust may build up in the fan over time and affect its performance. In this case, the system may heat up real fast, thus leading to the black screen error.
Also, it’s recommended that you get the other components cleaned and inspected as well, such as graphic card, RAM, and power supply unit. Carbon build-up in the RAM can also lead to the black screen issue.
We recommend seeking professional aid when cleaning and inspecting various components since a minor lapse on your part can lead to a major fault. Once you have gotten the system cleaned and checked for any hardware damage, the black screen error should be fixed.
The Black Screen error on Windows 11 renders the system unusable and can lead to loss of unsaved data and affect your experience. The above fixes will help resolve the issue and get things back on track.