How to fix Skyrim black screen in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Quick solutions to fix Skyrim black screen issues

  1. Close the game
  2. Reboot your computer
  3. Update your video drivers
  4. Reinstall DirectX
  5. Set your GPU to high performance
  6. Clean boot your computer

Skyrim is still one of the most popular games today, besides the fact that it was released four years ago. And of course, a lot of people who play Skyrim switched to Windows 10, but some of them reported strange black screen issue which appears while they’re playing the game.
skyrim windows 10 wind8apps

Solutions to fix Skyrim black screen issues

Solution 1: Close the game

First thing you should do if the screen in Skyrim goes completely black is to safely leave the game. Since you don’t see anything on the screen, you’ll have to do the following to get to your Desktop:

  1. Press Alt + Tab to access the taskbar
  2. Now click on the task button and create a new Desktop
  3. Open Task Manager in the second desktop and force-close Skyrim
  4. Get back to the first desktop and it should be closed

Solution 2: Reboot your computer

After that just restart your computer and run the game again and it should work normally. I tell you that because I played Skyrim on Windows 10 (on not such a powerful computer) for hours and I didn’t notice a single issue.

So Skyrim is completely compatible with Windows 10, and if you still get the black screen when you open the game, then this problem is not Windows 10-related.

Solution 3: Update your video drivers

You can also try other solutions like updating your graphics driver. GPU manufacturers roll out new driver versions as soon as a new game is out. You can install the latest graphics driver updates by running Windows Update or you can get them directly from your GPU manufacturer’s website.

Solution 4: Reinstall DirectX

Many gamers confirmed that re-installing DirectX fixed their in-game black screen problem. You can download the latest DirectX version from Microsoft’s official website.

Solution 5: Set your GPU to high performance

If you own an NVIDIA-powered computer, go ahead and change the preferred graphics processor settings from Auto-select to High performance. Many players confirmed this quick workaround solved their problem.

Solution 6: Clean boot your computer

In-game black screen issues may occur if other programs are using too much computer power, leaving too little for your game. You can quickly fix this by clean booting your machine so that it uses only a minimum set of drivers and programs.

  1. Go to Start > type msconfig > hit Enter
  2. Go to System Configuration > Services >  check the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ check box > Disable allhide all microsoft services
  3. Go to the Startup tab > Open Task Manager
  4. Select each startup item > click Disable > close Task Manager > restart the computer

disable startup programs

Microsoft pays attention a lot to gaming in Windows 10, therefore the majority of newer games are compatible with the system, including Skyrim, as one of the most popular games of the past decade.

However, you can also try the solution which helped League of Legends players to get rid of the black screen, but I’m not sure how effective it will be for Skyrim.

If you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in August 2015 and was revamped and updated in October 2018 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • Zero help at all. Basically just saying to restart your PC everytime Skyrim locks up. This isn’t much of a solution. I used to be able to alt+ctrl+delete and open task manager, then force close whatever program. Now, when I open task manager, I can’t even “target” or put the task manager in the fore screen. This forces me to have to sign out or restart windows 10 entirely. With any other operating system I was able to just force close games and programs. However,this does not seem to be the case with Windows 10. And I thought Vista was bad.