What to do if my computer screen is black?

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The monitor does not display anything.

This article provides solutions for the following situation:

If you start or restart your computer, your monitor will remain black, but all lights will turn on and you will hear the device start up. So the device seems to have booted up, the indicator lights are on and you can hear the fan running, but the screen remains black, even after some time.

No display on the desktop computer.

Possible solutions and causes:

  • Make sure you have turned on the computer and the monitor.
  • Check that the computer is NOT in standby mode or in a power saving mode.
  • Make sure the power cord is securely and firmly connected to the computer and the electrical outlet.
  • Repeat this step for the monitor.
  • Check the socket’s voltage.
  • If the monitor has a loose video cable, try borrowing one if you don’t have a second video cable yourself, the cable may be defective.
  • If you have a flat-screen LCD monitor, unplug the monitor power cord, wait about 30 seconds, plug it back in and turn on the monitor. In this way, the electronics of the monitor are reset.

Black screen on laptop and tablet.

If the screen of the laptop or tablet remains black, it is best to first follow the next steps:

  • Check that the battery is installed and that it is sufficiently charged.
  • Connect the device to the mains with the correct adapter.
  • Check the socket voltage.
  • Is there power in the outlet? Then the indicator light (if present) of the adapter should be on. If not, the adapter may be defective.
  • Check the connection cables of the AC adapter.
  • By the way, are you 100% sure the device is on?
  • You can check the latter by shining a flashlight on the screen to see if windows has started. Do you see the desktop background? If so, the CCFL lamp of your device is probably broken. This takes care of your screen’s lighting. Solving this malfunction is something you cannot do yourself. So on to the repair shop.

No display on desktop computer, laptop and tablet.

  • When the computer is in standby mode, move the mouse or press any key to activate the device, the monitor light will turn green.
  • When the device is in energy-saving mode, press the on/off button. After a short time, the indicator lights will switch on and you can use the device.
  • A screen saver is active. Press any key to reactivate the display. If necessary, adjust the properties of the screen saver.
  • Consult your device’s documentation. If it is a tablet or laptop, check that the battery is installed and that it is sufficiently charged.
  • Some devices have two video ports. One on the motherboard (on board video) and another on a more advanced video card inserted in an expansion slot.
  • Read the installation instructions and make sure that all cables are properly connected. Always connect the monitor to the video card if it is present. If one video port does not work, connect the monitor to the other. The number of video ports depends on the version of your computer.
  • Check that the power cords are not defective. Check if there is voltage in the socket. (connect another electrical appliance and see if it works). Try resetting the computer. Press the on/off button for at least 10 seconds. Wait a few seconds and press the power button again to start up the computer.

Desktop and laptop: Disconnect peripherals.

A faulty device sometimes prevents the computer from starting up.

  • Remove peripherals (equipment such as a printer, an external hard drive, other USB storage media, etc.) to rule out the possibility that this is causing the problem.
  • Disconnect all peripheral devices from the device except the monitor, mouse and keyboard.
  • Restart the computer and see if the problem is resolved.
  • If not, restart your computer without a mouse and keyboard.
  • If the problem is still not resolved, please contact the supplier of your computer.

Remove additional internal hardware. (additional memory, a network card, etc.)

Remove any internal hardware you have added. If you have had the hardware installed by a company, it is wise to have the internal hardware removed by this company. Start up the computer and check if the problem is solved.


This article covers most possible causes and solutions regarding black screens on computers, laptops and tablets. So, basically there’s a good chance that we were able to help you out. However, if this is not the case, we recommend you to read this excellent article written by the HP support department. Good luck!

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