White screen when playing games? Here’s how to get rid of it

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
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white screen when playing games

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Microsoft’s OS success and prevalence own a lot to gamers, as Windows 10 is a prerequisite for the majority of modern games. But, it’s also the prime example of Murphy’s law, with the plethora of various issues gamers regularly encounter. One of the more peculiar issues is the sudden white screen crash. Now, this wouldn’t be as strange as it is if the problem isn’t occurring only while playing games.

If the white screen flashes in unspecified intervals while in the game, make sure to follow these 8 instructions we noted below.

How to fix random white screen while playing games in Windows 10

  1. Check the hardware
  2. Update graphics drivers
  3. Disable integrated graphics
  4. Disable background apps
  5. Make PC isn’t overheating
  6. Check Power options
  7. Update Windows 10
  8. Reset Windows 10

1: Check the hardware

Sadly, when something as critical as this appears, we can’t immediately eliminate hardware as a possible culprit. There are various reasons why something like a white screen can appear.

However, since this is a distinctive problem that occurs during the gaming session, we can confirm that either display or GPU needs an inspection.

So, make sure that your HDMI cable is properly attached.  Secondly, make sure that the graphics card is in place. You can inspect these two by simply connecting your PC to an alternative monitor (especially if the laptop suffers from white screens) and confirming that the problem is or isn’t replicating.

If the error is still present, even on an alternative monitor, continue with the steps below. If that’s not the case, chances are that your GPU is failing and it requires some treatment or replacement.

2. Update graphics drivers

To be completely frank with you, drivers are far and beyond the most likely reason for the in-game white screen. Windows 10 and GPU driver dispute is a well-known matter. Especially since most of the system-induced generic drivers won’t cut it most of the time. With that said, you’ll need to get the proper drivers. Those are provided by GPU OEMs and are to be found on the dedicated support sites.

But before you start pursuing the right driver for your display adapter, we suggest taking these steps:

  1. Right-click Start and open Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Display adapters and expand this section.
  3. Right-click on your GPU adapter and uninstall it.white screen when playing games
  4. Restart your PC and wait until the system installs the driver on its own.
  5. Try starting the game and confirm there’s no white screen anymore.

Only if this fails, navigate to one of these support sites and download graphics drivers. Some older GPUs require legacy drivers so keep that in mind. Even if they aren’t natively supporting Windows 10, they still might work much better than the generic ones.

3. Disable integrated graphics

If you have a dual-GPU configuration, the problem might lie in the liaison between the two cards. Namely, in the planned scenario, the integrated graphics card (mostly Intel GPU‘s) covers the majority of graphics operations. Just non-graphics-intensive everyday chores. On the other hand, the dedicated graphics card (Nvidia or ATI) is there for the heavy-lifting processes, like games or rendering.

Sometimes, they mix up their roles and the issues emerge. This can, highly likely, cause the white screen occurrence. Since we can’t be sure, it’s advised to temporarily disable the integrated onboard graphics adapter and stick with the dedicated GPU exclusively.

You can do that in the Nvidia Control Panel/ATI Catalyst Center. Alternatively, you can uninstall its driver and disable the device in Device Manager. However, do that at your own risk as some alternative issues might emerge.

4. Disable background apps

We can’t neglect the impact an erratic background app or process can have on system performance.

It’s a far-fetched effort, but you can try and disable all of the third-party apps and look for improvements. Some of them might affect the GPU or hog system resources and inflict errors.

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Here’s how to disable background apps in Windows 10:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Disable all applications from the list to prevent them from starting with the system.white screen when playing games
  3. Restart your PC.

5. Make sure PC isn’t overheating

This fits perfectly in the first’s solution framework but we needed to make a special emphasis on this. Overheating can and will eventually inflict damage on your PC.

Over an extended period of time can even destroy certain sensitive components.

The common signs of overheating are crashes while gaming. Since the PC games are generally more hard on the resources. Especially on GPU and therefore display, which might result in a white screen error.

Cleaning dust and debris and replacing the thermal paste should help. Also, don’t shy from adding extra cooling fans. After you’ve done that, and the GPU temperatures are back to normal (around 70-80 degrees Celsius), the crashes should stop.

6. Disable antivirus

Certain third-party antivirus solutions might prove to be more troublesome than expected. Most of them work nicely when the PC is in an idle mode, but things change when more intensive processes take place. For that reason, we suggest disabling antivirus during the gaming sessions.

An alternative is to enable the Game Mode if available. Some antivirus solutions, like BitDefender, have specific modes or profiles for gaming. Once you’ve configured them, the likelihood of errors while playing games will substantially reduce.

7. Update Windows 10

Keeping Windows 10 up to date is of utmost importance. Especially if you’ve recently upgraded to the latest major update, as they’re, almost by the rule, full of bugs initially.

As we’ve already reported on more than a few instances, the April Update (1803) brought a lot of display issues, and this issue of yours with the in-game white screen crashes is somewhat related.

Luckily, Microsoft reacted accordingly and provided patches. So, confirm that your Windows 10 has all available updates installed. Even though those come automatically, it won’t take too much of your time to check for updates on your own. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Type Update in the Windows Search bar and select Check for updates.white screen when playing games
  2. Check for updates and install them.
  3. Restart your PC.

8. Reset Windows 10

Finally, if the issue is persistent, we can only recommend turning to recovery options and resetting your PC to factory values.

Of course, you’ll get to keep your files and settings, otherwise, we won’t suggest it. This nifty recovery option allows you to reset your PC to default system values in a matter of minutes. If the April Update indeed broke your PC, this should help you resolve it.

Follow these steps to reset your PC to factory values:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Update & Security section.
  3. Select the Recovery from the left pane.
  4. Under the “Reset this PC” option, click Get started.white screen when playing games
  5. Choose to keep your files and continue with the resetting procedure.

With that, we can conclude this article. We hope you’ve, with our help, managed to resolve the issue. If it’s reappearing, we advise taking your PC to service, as hardware is probably giving up on you. Also, be so kind and share the results of this long (and hopefully fruitful) troubleshooting in the comments section below.

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