How to fix Windows 11 black screen issue

Kazim Ali Alvi
by Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take a look at the hardware, although... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The black screen issue in Windows 11 renders your PC unusable and requires quick and effective troubleshooting.
  • Outdated graphics drivers, misconfigured projection settings, loose connections, amongst others, are known to cause the issue.
  • If you are unable to boot Windows in normal mode, switch to Safe Mode or restart the graphics driver in order to get things up and running.
Windows 11 black screen issue
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Windows 11 is prone to errors, as was the case with previous iterations. Whether the frequency of encountering glitches has gone up or down will be evident in the days to come.

After upgrading to Windows 11 many users have reported encountering a black screen. They would find it strange and intricate, however, it’s most likely a trivial bug or misconfigured setting behind the problem.

We have seen the black screen issue in Windows 10 as well, and the causes and fixes remain pretty much the same except for a few variations.

If you have encountered the problem, fret not! You have come to the right page, we have the most effective fixes to resolve things in no time.

However, before we delve into the actual solutions, let’s first understand what causes the error, an important aspect when troubleshooting.

What causes the black screen issue in Windows 11?

That’s an important question you must ask each time you troubleshoot an error. Once you have an understanding of the underlying issues, troubleshooting becomes a cakewalk.

The factors that cause the black screen issue are listed below:

  • Problems with the graphics adapter or its driver
  • Loose or incorrect connections
  • Issues with the current build of Windows
  • Problematic or incompatible apps
  • Issues with the hardware, most likely the monitor
  • System infected with malware

What should be your approach when troubleshooting black screen issue?

Ideally, you should first take into consideration loose connections and a faulty monitor, since they’re most likely to cause this inconvenience. If the connections are in place, the next thing to look out for is related to software issues.

We have listed the fixes accordingly, and it’s best if you execute them in the sequence mentioned here for a quick troubleshooting experience.

How do I fix the Windows 11 black screen issue?

1. Check for loose connections

Before you proceed further, make sure the monitor is turned on. Verify that it’s properly connected to the power source, and the power light turns on, in case there’s one present.

Next, make sure the connections to the monitor are correct and firmly put. You can simply unplug the connections and firmly replug them. This fix generally works for a lot of users.

When you have a spare monitor available, try connecting it to the system, in case the problem lies with the monitor itself. If the black screen issue is fixed after connecting the new monitor, get the old one repaired or replaced and use the new one in the meantime.

Also, if you use multiple monitors for display, switch the primary monitor to the secondary and the secondary to the primary. If this doesn’t work, try using a single monitor and see if things work.

2. Unplug all non-critical accessories

If you encounter the Windows 11 black screen on boot, it could be due to faulty or incompatible hardware connected to the system. In this case, it’s recommended that you disconnect any non-critical peripheral or device leaving just the monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected.

After disconnecting the peripherals, restart the PC and check if the issue is fixed. This method is also likely to fix Windows 11 black screen before login.

That’s all you can do with the connections and the monitor. If nothing here works, the problem most likely lies with the software, hence head to the fixes listed next.

3. Restart the Windows 11 PC

  1. Press the Windows key to launch the Start Menu.
  2. Click on the power button and select Restart from the flyout menu.Restart Windows 11
  3. After the PC restarts, check if the black screen issue is fixed.

When you restart the computer, it reloads the OS and eliminates any bugs that are causing the black screen issue.

4. Change the projections settings

  1. Press Windows + P to launch view the available projection modes.Projection mode
  2. Use the cursor keys to navigate through them and hit ENTER to select one.
  3. Even if the screen remains blank, keep scrolling through the listed modes and select each one until you get the right projection mode. It may take a few a attempts but once you get it right, the black screen issue will be fixed.

5. Uninstall problematic applications

  1. Press Windows+ I to launch Settings.
  2. Select Apps from the tabs listed on the Apps
  3. Click on Apps on features on the right.Apps & features
  4. Locate the app to uninstall, click on the ellipsis next to it, and select Uninstall from the flyout menu.Uninstall app
  5. Click Uninstall on the prompt that pops up.

Incompatible or malfunctioning apps are known to cause the black screen issue. And the simplest fix here is to uninstall the problematic app.

But, the real task here lies in identifying the problematic app. A simple way to do that is to recollect when you first encountered the error and identify the apps installed or updated around the same period.

If you have a list ready, start with the ones that are most likely to cause errors and work your way down the list until the problematic app is found and the black screen issue fixed. You can now safely reinstall the other apps.

6. Update the graphics driver

An outdated driver is likely to cause some trouble, and when it’s the critical graphics driver, the trouble would be more severe. Many users have reported being able to fix the black screen issue by updating the graphics driver.

There are primarily three ways you can update the graphics driver, using the Device Manager, downloading a newer driver version from Windows Update, and manually downloading the update from the manufacturer’s website.

6.1 Using Device Manager

Note icon
When using the Device Manager, Windows will only scan for updates that are already downloaded to the system. Thus, the chances of finding a newer version are bleak. However, owing to the simplicity and minimum risk, this should be your prime approach.

  1. Press Windows + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select Device Manager.Device Manager
  2. Double-click on Display adapters to expand and view the devices under it.Display adapters
  3. Right-click on the display adapter, and select Update Driver from the context menu.Update driver
  4. Select Automatically search for drivers in the Update Driver window that appears.Search automatically for drivers
  5. Wait for Windows to scan and update the driver, in case a better version is available for installation.

6.2 Via Windows Update

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings.
  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed on the left.Windows Update
  3. Click on Advanced Options.Advanced options
  4. Click on Optional updates under Additional options.optional updates
  5. Verify if there’s an update available for the graphics driver. If there’s one, tick the checkbox for it, and click on Download & install.

After installing the updated version of the driver, check if the black screen issue is fixed. In case the issue persists or a driver update isn’t listed, try searching for one on the web.

6.3 Via the manufacturer’s website

Note icon
Before looking through the available options on the manufacturer’s website, you first have to find out the current driver version in order to identify if an update is available.

  1. Launch the Device Manager.
  2. Click on the downward arrow before Display Adapter, right-click on the graphics adapter, and select Properties from the context menu.Graphics adapter properties
  3. Navigate to the Driver tab and jot down the Driver version.driver version
  4. Open Google or any other search engine, and search for the driver update using Driver Name and OS (Operating System) as the keywords followed by Update Driver.
  5. Locate the manufacturer’s website from the search results and open it.
  6. Verify if a newer driver version is available, and download it.
  7. After downloading the driver, double-click on the file to run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

These are all the ways you can update the graphics driver on Windows. If you find them tricky or time-consuming, you always have other options to consider.

A quicker way to update the drivers, including the graphics driver, is to use a third-party tool. We recommend DriverFix, a truly reliable and intuitive software solution for keeping your drivers up-to-date.

7. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows+ I to launch Settings.
  2. Select Windows Update tab from the left.Windows Update
  3. Click on Check for updates.Check for updates
  4. Windows will now scan for any available updates and download and install them to your PC.

8. Roll back Windows Update

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings.
  2. Go to the Windows Update tab and select Update history from the right.Update history
  3. Select Uninstall updates near the bottom.Uninstall updates
  4. Select the last update and click on Uninstall at the top.Uninstall the desired update

If you started encountering the Windows 11 black screen after install, it could be due to a bug in the new version. In such cases, it’s best that you roll back to the previous version of Windows and wait for another version to release.

After the release of the newer version, you can safely update the Windows since Microsoft is likely to identify the issue and release a patch for it in the subsequent updates.

9. Run SFC scan

  1. Press Windows+ X to launch the Quick Access menu.
  2. Select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the list options.Windows Terminal (Admin)
  3. Click Yes on the UAC prompt.
  4. Click on the down arrow at the top, and select Command Prompt.launch Comand Prompt tab
  5. Enter sfc /scannow and hit ENTER to start the scan.SFC scan

The SFC (System File Checker) scan fixes any corruption in system files by replacing them with their cached copy stored on the system.

10. Perform a system restore

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.
  2. Enter create a restore point in the text field, and click on the relevant search create a restore point
  3. Click on System Restore.System restore
  4. Click Next in the system restore window that appears.Click Next
  5. Select a restore point from the list and click on Next.choose a restore point
  6. Verify the restore settings and click Finish to start the restore Finish
  7. Your system will restart during the system restore process, hence it’s recommended that you save any open files to avoid loss of data.
  8. After the system is restored to a previous point, check if the Windows 11 black screen issue is fixed.

Many users wonder whether they have a restore point stored on the system if they haven’t created one manually. Also, the restore point has to be created before you first encountered the error.

With the right settings in place, Windows will automatically create a restore point before performing any major task, for instance, downloading and installing updates.

11. Clean the hardware and look for faults

Dust is one of the biggest threats to your PC. Dust buildup takes place over time and affects the functioning of the system. The black screen issue is one of its byproducts.

In this case, it’s recommended that you unscrew the CPU and clean the various components. Do remember to clean them lightly as the use of force can damage the fragile components.

Carbon build-up on RAM is another factor you must look out for since it’s known to directly lead to the black screen issue. Also, check for any faulty components and get them repaired or replaced.

If you are not comfortable doing the job, it’s recommended that you seek professional help, since a minor lapse on your end can lead to an even bigger issue.

What can I do if I am unable to execute the fixes?

Many users have reported being unable to execute the fixes because they couldn’t access the apps due to the black screen. And, that’s indeed true!

In this case, you should first restart the graphics driver using the Windows + CTRL + SHIFT + B keyboard shortcut. When you press the keys, there will be a small beep and a momentary flash on the screen, an indication that the graphics driver has been reset.

You should now be able to access the various apps on your Windows 11 PC and execute the fixes.

In case the problem persists, switch to Safe Mode. When you boot Windows into Safe Mode, only the critical drivers and services are launched, thus allowing you to perform advanced troubleshooting.

What can I do if none of the solutions listed here work?

It rarely happens that the fixes listed here won’t help you get rid of the black screen error, but if that’s the case with you, reset Windows 11 to its factory settings. In case the issue lies with the software and is not easily detectable, resetting the Windows should take care of it.

If it remains present after resetting Windows 11, you should seek professional help since the problem, in all likelihood, lies with the hardware itself. And, that’s not something you would be able to solve with the basic tools at your disposal.

The Windows 11 black screen on startup or at any other stage can easily be fixed with the methods mentioned above. And, it’s imperative that you do so since it renders the computer unusable.

If you follow the right approach and apply the troubleshooting tips in the sequence that they are mentioned here, it wouldn’t take much time to get rid of the problem.

Let’s know which fix worked for you in the comments section below. Also, if you know other tips that aren’t listed here, do drop a comment mentioning the same.

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