How to fix a black screen with cursor in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
Last update:
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  • Most of the time the black screen with cursor error occurs before login on Windows 10.
  • In this case, you might want to try using a specific repair tool to get rid of the Windows 10 black screen with cursor after update.
  • Another solution would be to update your drivers, and we have the perfect tool to help you, check it out below!
  • Also, it may be necessary to take some action in the BIOS. To make sure you don't do anything wrong, read the whole article!
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Users have reported that they are getting black screen with cursor on Windows 10. Let’s see how to fix this problem, so keep reading!

You can also watch our video troubleshooting guide below to learn what methods to use in order to fix black screen issues on Windows 10.


How do I fix the Windows 10 black screen with cursor error?

  1. Update your drivers
  2. Use Windows Key + P shortcut to switch displays
  3. Uninstall your graphic card driver
  4. Disable onboard graphics from Device Manager
  5. Disable Dual monitor from BIOS / disable CPU Graphics Multi-Monitor
  6. Connect your monitor with both cables to your computer / connect additional monitor
  7. Update your BIOS
  8. Uninstall problematic applications
  9. Change display brightness
  10. Disconnect your second monitor
  11. Disable Secondary Output from Device Manager
  12. Set display output to IGFX
  13. Connect your monitor using HDMI
  14. Disable / enable dedicated card from BIOS
  15. Check your graphic card settings in BIOS
  16. Remove computer battery and reset your BIOS
  17. Disable Fast Startup
  18. Check additional displays
  19. Connect your monitor to integrated graphic card
  20. Uninstall problematic software before upgrade

1. Update your drivers

  1. Type device in the search bar and click on Device Manager.
  2. In the Device Manager expand the Display Adapter section.
  3. Right-click on your graphics device and select Update Driver.
  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver and software option.
  5. Windows will now search for any pending update and download it.
  6. Once the update is installed, check if Windows 10 fit the screen.

Updating drivers manually is a serious procedure that can be a bit time-consuming, and it does not give you the assurance that the system will find the latest drivers.

You can update your drivers by using a special third-party software tool. We strongly recommend that you use the software below to automatically update all your drivers in just a few seconds.

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  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for DriverFix to detect all your faulty drivers.
  4. The application will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

2. Use Windows Key + P shortcut to switch displays

  1. Press Windows Key + P shortcut to open the Project menu.
    project-menu
  2. Project menu will now open, but you won’t be able to see it. Don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal.
  3. Now press the up or down arrow key a few times and press Enter.
  4. If you are successful, your screen should appear. If your screen doesn’t appear, you might have to repeat this step a few times.

If you’re getting black screen before login on Windows 10, you might want to try using Windows Key + P shortcut to switch displays.

For some reason, after update to Windows 10, your project mode might change to Second screen only, and you need to change that by following our instructions.

We’ve had this issue, and it was fixed after 6 or 7 tries, so it crucial that you be persistent.

We have to mention that if your account is protected by password, you’ll have to log in first. To do this, press Space or Ctrl, enter your password and press Enter.

This can be tricky, because you’ll be doing this on black screen, so it might take you a few tries.

If you need more information on how to switch displays on Windows 10, take a look on this detailed guide.


3. Uninstall your graphic card driver

  1. Press File, and select Run new task.
  2. Enter devmgmt.msc, and press Enter to run it.
    devmgmt

If you have black screen with cursor issues, you can try pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del in order to start Task Manager. From Task Manager you’ll be able to start Device Manager.

If you can’t open it, you might have to access Safe Mode and uninstall install display drivers from there. To access the Safe Mode, do the following:

  1. While your computer boots keep pressing F4 or F8 (it might be a different key on your PC) to access Boot Options.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot, select Advanced Options, and choose Startup Settings.
  3. Your PC will now restart, and you’ll be presented with a list of options. Choose Safe Mode with Networking (or any other Safe Mode option).

In order to uninstall the drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X, and choose Device Manager from the list.
    device-manager
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your graphic card, right click it and choose Uninstall. If asked, make sure that you check Delete driver software for this device.
    confirm-uninstall-driver
  3. After you’ve uninstalled the driver, restart your PC. Windows 10 should start normally and black screen issue should be fixed.

4. Disable onboard graphics from Device Manager

  1. Locate your onboard graphics.
  2. Right click it and from the menu choose Disable.
    device-manager-disable
  3. Restart your PC, and check if the issue still persists.

If your computer has both onboard and dedicated graphics, make sure that you disable your onboard graphic from Device Manager.

To do that, you might have to access Safe Mode, if your Windows 10 won’t load. If Safe Mode won’t accept your password, easily fix it by following our guide.


5. Disable Dual monitor from BIOS/disable CPU Graphics Multi-Monitor

  1. While your computer boots press F2 or Del (it might be a different key on your computer) to access BIOS.
  2. When BIOS stats you need to find and disable CPU graphics function or Dual monitor function.
  3. Save changes and restart your PC.

Also, if you have the CPU Graphics Multi-Monitor option, it’s also suggested that you disable it in order to fix this issue. After you’ve disabled this option, save changes and restart.


This is the only BIOS access guide that you’ll ever need! Bookmark it for future troubleshooting.


6. Connect your monitor with both cables to your computer/connect additional monitor

This is a bit of unusual solution, but users have reported that it fixes the black screen before login problem.

According to users, if you have a monitor with two connectors, such as DVI and HDMI, you need to connect your monitor using both DVI and HDMI cable.

After you’ve done that, you can turn on your computer and check if the problem is resolved.

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Some users also suggest that you might be able to fix this issue by attaching an additional monitor, so if you have an extra monitor, try connecting it to your PC.

Even if this doesn’t fix the problem, your second monitor should work without any problems.


7. Update your BIOS

Some users claim that you can fix black screen with cursor after update by updating your BIOS.

Updating BIOS is a procedure for advanced users, and if you don’t do it properly, you can cause permanent damage to your hardware, so please keep that in mind.

In order to perform BIOS update, you need to go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of BIOS for your motherboard.

In most cases, there should be an instruction manual on how to update your BIOS, so make sure that you read it carefully.

If you don’t know how to update your BIOS, please ask an expert to do it for you in order to avoid any potential damage.

If you want to update BIOS on Windows 10 yourself, just follow the exact steps from our guide to make sure that everything will go as planned.


8. Uninstall problematic applications

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. Click File, and select Run new task.
    file-new-task
  3. Enter appwiz.cpl and press Enter to run it.
    run-appwiz
  4. Programs and Features window will now open, and you’ll be able to uninstall problematic applications.

If you have issues with black screen with cursor after Windows 10 update, then find out that certain applications such as antivirus, third-party firewall, iCloud, Cisco VPN client, or IDT Audio, can cause this problem.

In order to fix this problem, it’s advised that you uninstall those applications from your PC.

If you can’t access Task Manager, you should enter Safe Mode and try this solution again.

Sometimes, these applications can leave their files in system32 directory (for example, IDT Audio creates IDTNC64.cpl file and moves it to system32 folder).

In order to completely fix this problem, you might have to find the problematic file and delete it manually or by using Command Prompt.

Be very careful while doing this, because you don’t want to delete any core Windows 10 files.


9. Change display brightness

  1. Press the Windows Key + X, and type Power Options.
  2. Choose Power Options from the menu.
    power-options
  3. Find your current plan, and click Change plan settings.
    change-plan-settings
  4. Now click on Change advanced power settings.
    changed-advanced-power-settings
  5. Locate Display brightness setting and make sure that you set display brightness to 99% or 98% when your device is plugged in.
  6. Save changes and restart your PC.

Users have reported that they are having issues with black screen on Windows 10 after they connect the AC adapter to their laptop.

In most other cases, the laptop works fine, but after the user connects the AC adapter, the screen goes dark. This is caused by the display brightness problem, and you can fix it by following thee above steps.

If you are having trouble changing the display brightness, then you should check out our helpful guide and get the things done with ease.


10. Disconnect your second monitor

In certain cases, black screen with cursor on Windows 10 can be fixed by unplugging your second monitor.

Nvidia users have reported that unplugging the second monitor has fixed this issue for them, so make sure that you try it out.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you want to read more about Black Screen of Death errors, check out our wide collection of guides.

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After login i started task manager with ctrl alt del. Then start new process, launched explorer with admin PRIVILEGEs… problem solved..

Press Ctrl-Alt-Del, open Task Manager, select File, Run new task, type “explorer.exe” in Open: field, check box to “Create this task with admin priv.” This kick starts Windows and gives a GUI to work with. It’s only a temporary fix. Typically with Windows 10, once you’re at this point you can do some updates to repair your issue.

I don’t get it. How will we do all those things on Windows when we’re locked on a black screen where only mouse pointer works but we’re unable to do anything or login?

Of every black screen w/ cursor issue I’ve ever seen in my time repairing computers, none of them were able to access any of these suggestions. No keys do anything. You turn it on and it goes to a black screen with cursor. There is no getting to safe mode. There is no accessing bios. There is no ctrl alt delete. There is no booting from a different drive. Just blackness with a cursor.

I followed solutions 2 and 3 and not only did the black screen persist, but now I seem to be unable to find the GPU (when I check for hardware it only shows the onboard graphics card but not the nvidia one).

How can i recover it?

Thanks

All these “solutions” require the user to be able to access their computer while it’s in an unusable state.

Accessing Bios and F8 can be done. If you have other kind of problem or forgot to restart system then of course you’re unable to do such steps.

This happened to me just now: Black screen and cursor, couldn’t seem to do anything even after restarting. But I hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete and opened task manager and ended the task using the most CPU (32%) “Service Host: Local Service (Network Restricted)” > “Windows Audio”. My profile instantly loaded properly and my start up programs booted, everything fixed. Weird problem to encounter…