Desktop Turns Black in Windows 10, 8.1 [Fix]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
10 Comments
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Have you ever tried working on your Windows 10, 8.1 PC and suddenly the desktop background turned black? Well after doing some troubleshooting on this issue I have discovered that there is a specific feature in Windows 10, 8.1 that is causing this malfunction to the system. Fortunately for us we can fix it very quickly.
fix black screen image in windows 8.1
The issue in Windows 8.1 that makes your PC’s desktop turn black is directly related to the “Show Desktop icons” feature, after playing a bit with this feature it seems that my desktop on Windows 10, 8.1 had turned black but don’t worry, there is a very easy way to fix the desktop and bring back your normal picture by following the guidelines posted below.

Tutorial on how to fix your desktop if it turns black on Windows PC

First of all, I am going to tell you how you got this problem in the first place.

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How you got the black desktop:

You have to check if the desktop is showing then click (right click) in an empty space on the desktop and select from the menu “View”. After you selected “View” then uncheck the “Show Desktop icons” to make your icons disappear from your desktop.

Now you will need to click (right click) again on the desktop and select from there “Personalize”. Now you will need to select from there a theme with more than one wallpapers. After this select again a single wallpaper theme like “Windows”.

After doing this you can close the “Personalize” window and the desktop will turn black.

How to fix the desktop if it turns black:

In order to fix the desktop we need to:

  1. Click (right click) on a free space on the desktop.
  2. Click (left click) on “View”.
  3. In the “View” menu check the “Show Desktop icons”.
  4. Now we need to go again to the “View” menu and uncheck the “Show Desktop icons” again.
  5. This should fix your desktop and turn it back to normal.

Other ‘desktop turns black’ issues and their fixes

This may not be the only issue that you might have and, in other cases, this fix may not work. Here are some fix-guides for other black desktop issues:

Above you can see how we can easily fix in just a few minutes our Windows 10, 8.1 desktop if it turns black. Although this is not a very troublesome error and it doesn’t affect your PC in any way other then the black screen it is still annoying if you want to customize the desktop and suddenly it turns black. For any thoughts on the matter write us below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • This, oddly enough, worked perfectly for me. Other people in the comments probably have a different issue but I would assume this only applies to people that, when hovering over icons and click-dragging, it messes with their desktop bg.

  • Yes done it exactly as said but nothing. No change what so ever. So what’s you next wild guess going to suggestion.

    • fastest way to fix it is to go to the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete), select Windows Explorer and then Restart the process

  • I have the same problem. i tried this little description how to fix this bug but it still not working on my. I was selecting between themes when i decided to create my own at the control panel when the screen went off after apply. I believe windows reboot is fix this bug.

  • I have experienced the black screen bug, I use my own pics as a desktop slide show, once I hide my desktop icons all is ok for awhile but eventually the screen goes black, it can be fixed as you noted above but not quite as fast, once I turn show desktop icons back on the screen remains black for several mins. then my pictures reappear and does fine till I repeat the steps, hide deksk top icons–this works for awhile the back to black again–Is there a permanent fix for this yet?