How to fix black screen with cursor error in Windows 11

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
  • Does the screen turn black when you sign in to Windows 11 with just the cursor visible? We have the best fixes to get things up and running in no time.
  • The problem can be caused by misconfigured projection settings, issues with the display adapter, loose connections, or faulty hardware.
  • If you are unable to boot Windows normally, switch to Safe Mode to execute the fixes listed here.
Black Screen with Cursor
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We have often encountered BSOD issues on Windows, but a black screen error is something strange to most users. Add a movable cursor to the equation and things get even stranger.

In this article, we will tell you all there is to know about the black screen with cursor issue and the most effective fixes for it.

When you encounter it, you are unable to perform any task, and to many users, it may seem like a major problem, however, it’s quite the contrary. Although the nature of the error is intricate, the causes and fixes are rather simple.

As is the case with most errors, a basic understanding of the underlying issues is imperative before we delve into the actual solutions. Once you understand the cause, the troubleshooting will be a cakewalk.

Go through the following sections and by the time you reach the end of the article, the black screen with cursor issue would be fixed.

What causes the Windows 11 black screen with cursor issue?

There is a bunch of aspects that lead to the black screen with cursor issue. While some of them are related to the software, others arise due to problems with the hardware. Given below is a list of the most common underlying causes that lead to the issue:

  • Outdated or corrupt drivers
  • Misconfigured settings
  • Malfunctioning monitor or faulty connections
  • Incompatible applications
  • Misconfigured multiple monitors
  • Running an outdated version of Windows

With a basic understanding of the issues, you are in a far better position to proceed to the troubleshooting.

When do I encounter the black screen with cursor issue?

This is a fairly important question and we have the answer. Based on the feedback submitted by users on various platforms, a trend can be identified in this regard. Most of them reported encountering the Windows 11 black screen after login.

While it was just a black screen with a cursor for many, others had a Windows 11 black screen with the language bar visible. These are the few variations you may find when dealing with the black screen issue on Windows.

Another observation that was made in these forums was that a lot of users first reported Windows 11 black screen with cursor after update. This could be due to a bug in the update itself or a bunch of other reasons.update Windows

Whatever be the case or cause, executing the following fixes will resolve the issue on your PC.

How do I fix the Windows 11 black screen with cursor issue?

1. Check the connections

Your prime approach when dealing with issues with the display should be to check the connections. In most cases, it’s a loose connection or faulty cable that’s the real culprit. hdmi cable

A quick fix is to unplug the cable at both ends and then plug it back in firmly. Also, check the cable for damages, and if any are found, replace the cable. This fix works for those using a desktop or an external monitor connected to the laptop.

2. Check the monitor

If you have a spare or additional monitor, try connecting it to the system and verify if the issue is resolved. In case the issue lies with the monitor, it should be fixed after you replace it.

For users with multiple monitors, change the primary monitor to secondary and the secondary to primary. This has worked for several users.

Another fix that has worked for some users is to connect the monitor with both HDMI and DVI cables if there’s an available port. While this may sound strange, it’s worth a shot.

If none of the fixes here work, the problem lies with the software. Head to other fixes to resolve the Windows 11 black screen with cursor issue.

3. Change the projection mode

  1. Press Windows + P to view the various projection modes.projection modes
  2. Use the arrow keys to select another mode and press ENTER to apply the changes.
  3. Repeat the process until you get the right projection mode and the black screen with cursor issue is fixed.

If you have misconfigured the projection settings, it would lead to a black screen with cursor issue. In this case, selecting the right mode will fix the error for you. Moreover, this fix can be executed even while the screen is blank/black.

4. Update graphics driver

Running an outdated version of the graphics driver can also lead to a bunch of display-related issues. There are three ways you can update a driver installed on your Windows 11 PC.

You can either update the driver via the Device Manager, Windows Update or by downloading the update from the manufacturer’s website.

4.1 Using Device Manager

Note icon
When updating a driver via the Device Manager, you can only install the updates already downloaded on the system.

  1. Right-click on the Start button in the Taskbar and select Device Manager from the Quick Access Device Manager
  2. Double-click on Display adapters to expand and view the devices under it, right-click on the graphics adapter and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver
  3. Select Search automatically for drivers to let Windows install the best available driver on the system.Search automatically for drivers
  4. Wait for the update to be installed.

If Windows couldn’t find a better version on the system, you can look up one in Windows Update.

4.2 Using Windows Update

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app and select Windows Update from the tabs listed on the left.Windows Update
  2. Select Advanced options on the right.Advanced options
  3. Click on Optional Updates.Optional Updates
  4. If there’s a driver update available, tick the checkbox for it and click on Download & install.

If you couldn’t find a driver update listed in the Windows Update section, the only other way is to scan the manufacturer’s website for it.

4.3 From manufacturer’s website

First, we need to find out the current driver version in order to identify if there’s an update available on the web.

  1. Launch the Device Manager, locate and right-click on the graphics adapter, and select Properties from the context menu.Graphics Adapter properties
  2. Naviagte to the Driver tab and jot down the driver version.note the driver version
  3. Go to Google or any other search engine of your preference.
  4. Search for the driver name along with Driver Update suffixed to the keywords.
  5. Locate and launch the manufaturer’s website from the search results, verify if there’s an update available and download it.
  6. Double-click on the downloaded file to launch the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
  7. Restart the computer after updating the driver for to changes to come into effect.
  8. Check if updating the driver fixes the black screen with cursor issue on Windows 11. If not, head to the next fix.

This is a fairly intricate method of updating the driver and carries a certain amount of risk, in case of any lapse on your end. However, it’s also proven to be one of the best ways of updating the driver when all else fails.

Even more, you can give a try to a specialized tool such as DriverFix designed to check for driver updates and make them automatically so that you can avoid such issues in the future.

5. Reinstall graphics adapter

  1. Launch the Device Manager.
  2. Double-click on the Display adapter to expand and view the devices under it.
  3. Right-click on the graphics adapter and select Uninstall device from the context menu.Uninstall device
  4. Tick the checkbox for Attempt to remove the driver for this device and click Uninstall
  5. Restart the computer and Windows will automatically install a fresh set of drivers for the device.
  6. Check if you still encounter the black screen with cursor issue.

If the current graphics drivers are corrupt, it too could lead to the Windows 11 black screen with cursor issue. Reinstalling the graphics driver will fix that.

6. Update the OS

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings.
  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed on the left.
  3. Click Check for updates to scan for any available updates.Check for updates

If any updates are available, they will automatically be installed on your PC. It’s recommended that you restart the PC for the changes to apply effectively.

When you are encountering the issue due to a bug in the current version, updating Windows 11 will most likely fix it. With each update, Microsoft releases patches for bugs in the previous version.

7. Uninstall problematic applications

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run command.
  2. Enter appwiz.cpl in the text field and click OK to continue.launch Programs and Features
  3. Select the problematic application and click Uninstall at the top.Uninstall app

Easy, right? The actual task here is to identify the problematic application, otherwise, you would end up uninstalling a bunch of critical ones that had nothing to do with the black screen with cursor issue in the first place.

A simple trick to identify the problematic application is to recollect when you first encountered the errors and then make a list of apps that were installed around the same time.

If you are able to come up with a list, start uninstalling the apps until you identify the one that’s actually causing the issue. You can then reinstall the other apps.

Certain antiviruses are also known to cause the issue, hence, it’s recommended that you look out for those.

8. Disable fast startup on Windows

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Control Panel in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result.Launch Control Panel
  2. Select System and System and Security
  3. Click on Power Options.Power Options
  4. Select Change what the power buttons do from the options listed on the left.Change what the power buttons do
  5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.Change settings that are current unavailable
  6. Untick the checkbox for Turn on fast startup (recommended) and click on Save changes at the bottom.Disable fast startup

If it was the fast startup that caused the black screen with cursor issue, your PC should now work fine.

9. Launch Elevated File Explorer

  1. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to launch Task Manager.
  2. Click on the File menu and select Run new task.Run new task
  3. Type explorer.exe in the text field, tick the checkbox for Create this task with administrative privileges, and click OK.Launch File Explorer in Task Manager

10. Perform a system restore

Note icon
If the above fixes didn’t help, performing a system restore would be an ideal course. To restore your system, you need to have a restore point. And, in order to fix the issue, the restore point should be created prior to when you first encountered the error.

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Create a restore point in the text field, and click on the relevant search result.Create a restore point
  2. Select System Restore.System restore
  3. Click Next.Click Next
  4. Select a restore point from the ones listed, and click on a restore point
  5. Review the details and click Finish
  6. After the PC restarts on completion of the restore process, check if the black screen with cursor issue is fixed.

Many users don’t manually create a restore point, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that a restore point does not exist. Windows automatically creates a restore point before a major update if the relevant settings are in order.

When you restore the system, it will affect the settings and application but will not remove the files stored on the drive. This ensures minimal loss of data.

11. Inspect and clean the hardware

Dust buildup is known to affect the performance of the PC, particularly because it affects the hardware. The CPU fan tends to run slower or ceases to function altogether. Carbon build-up on RAM too is a major problem.

This calls for regular cleaning of the system. However, it’s recommended that you consult a professional in this regard for the best results. Dust buildup is known to cause the black screen with cursor issue on Windows 10 as well.

When you get the components cleaned, make sure you get them inspected for damages. In case one or more components are damaged, either get them repaired or replaced.

12. Update BIOS

Updating the BIOS is a fairly intricate process, and it’s recommended that you seek professional help. In case things go wrong during the update, it would render the PC useless.

But, you should go for BIOS update only after none of the above fixes have worked since it involves both patience and risk.

In addition, there are ways you can fix a BIOS update gone wrong. If an update doesn’t install properly or the process is interrupted, you wouldn’t be able to boot Windows.

What do I do if I am unable to execute the fixes on my PC?

With the Windows 11 black screen with cursor issue, this isn’t much you can do except either stare at the scene or restart the computer with the hope that it boots normally this time.

To get things up and running, even if temporarily, in order to execute the fixes, you can restart the graphics driver by pressing Windows + CTRL + SHIFT + B.

After pressing the keyboard shortcut, you should hear a small beep and the screen may momentarily flash which indicates that the restart process is successful.

If restarting the graphics driver doesn’t help, boot the Windows 11 PC in Safe Mode to execute the fixes. Once the issue is resolved, you can revert to normal mode.

When nothing else works, you can try resetting Windows 11 to its factory settings. Doing so is a sure-shot fix for most of the issues you will come across, given the error is software-related.

These are the most effective fixes that should get your Windows 11 PC up and running in no time. But, the trick to quick and effective troubleshooting is to identify the underlying cause and apply the relevant solution.

The black screen with cursor issue in Windows is not new, it’s been present on the previous OS as well and the fixes pretty much remain the same except for some minor changes.

Let’s know your experience and the solution that worked for you in the comments section below.

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