It’s normal to believe your PC has suffered an irreversible crash if your monitor goes black randomly. But I assure you that it’s not always the case. There are effective solutions to get your display back.

A monitor or laptop screen can suddenly turn black due to faulty cable connections, outdated GPU drivers, and other hardware and software issues. Keep reading, as I’ll cover these and other reasons in detail and show you how to resolve the problem for good.

Why Does My Monitor Keep Going Black?

People asking, “Why does my screen keep going black?” do not all experience the same issue. The following are different variants of the Windows 11 and Windows 10 black screen problem:

  • Screen or monitor keeps going black and coming back on.
  • Computer screen goes black, but the computer is still running.
  • External or second monitor randomly goes black.
  • Screen goes black due to a black screen of death.

The following reasons can cause any of those issues:

  • Cable connections: Your monitor’s power and display cables may be loose, faulty, or unplugged.
  • Hardware issues: Problems with the monitor itself, your graphics card, and other components, such as your RAM and hard drive, could also cause the black screen problem.
  • Software glitches: Outdated or corrupted graphics drivers, incompatible software, or even a Windows update can trigger a black screen.
  • Power settings: Your computer might be configured to turn off the display after a period of inactivity to save power.
  • Overheating: Your system might shut down the display as a safety measure if its internal components get too hot.

Related: Why Is My Computer Overheating? Top Reasons and Effective Fixes

These issues can happen on any display brand and model. So, whether you’re asking, “Why does my Dell monitor keep going black?” or dealing with an Acer or Samsung monitor black screen, you can resolve the problem by following the fixes that follow.

How to Fix the “Monitor Keeps Going Black” Issue on Windows

The best solution for you depends on the specific issue you face. For example, if you’re saying, “My computer turns on but the screen is black in Windows 11,” you have to start from the beginning by ensuring the problem is not due to a simple oversight.

  • Resolve connection problems

Loose or damaged cables are the most common causes of this issue. Start by checking the following:

  • Ensure your display cable is securely plugged into your PC and monitor. Try unplugging and replugging it firmly. 
  • Double-check that the power cable is plugged into both the monitor and a working power outlet. You can plug the cable into a different power outlet to confirm that the power source isn’t the issue.
  • Inspect the cables for any visible damage, such as fraying or bent pins. You can also try different cables to confirm whether your current one is damaged.
  • Perform a hard restart

A hard restart (or forced restart) can clear out the temporary memory or software glitches that might be causing the black screen. Here’s how to do it:

Performing the hard restart will not affect personal files or corrupt applications. However, it may close any unsaved work in open programs. So, ensure you save your work before you proceed.


  1. Hold down the power button on your computer until it shuts off completely.
  2. Disconnect your peripherals and unplug your computer from its power source.
  3. Wait for a few seconds, then press the power button again to restart.


  1. Shut down your laptop.
  2. Unplug it from the power source and remove the battery (if it’s removable).
  3. Hold down the power button for about 15–20 seconds to drain any residual power.
  4. Reinsert the battery and plug in the power cable.
  5. Turn on your laptop.

Move on to the next method if your screen is still black.

  • Check input settings

If you’re one of those saying, “My computer turns on but the screen is black in Windows 10,” you may be using the wrong signal source. Modern monitors have different input options, such as VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI. Some even have multiple HDMI ports.
While some of these monitors automatically detect display input, you may have to manually select a port.

You can use the monitor’s joystick to open the menu and select your preferred input option. The input option is usually a rectangle with an arrow pointing inward, typically from the left.

  • Check if your screen is faulty

The next step involves checking if your screen is faulty. You can test it by connecting it to a different computer, or vice versa.

For desktop monitors, try connecting the external monitor to a different PC or connecting your computer to a different PC.

If you use a laptop, try connecting it to an external monitor to confirm whether the built-in screen is defective.

If other monitors fail to work, your main display might be okay, and you may be dealing with hardware or software problems. Move on to the next step.

What if your second display keeps going black? Follow our guide on how to fix second monitor detection problems.
  • Check your power settings

Before I start going through the more advanced methods, let’s check if your screen or monitor keeps going black because of your power settings. Some power settings, especially on laptops, configure your computer to automatically turn off the screen after a specified period.

These settings take effect if certain situations are met, such as when you’re out of battery power.

This fix is reserved for people whose monitors go blank randomly and then come back on after they press their keyboards or move their mouse.

Follow these steps to check your current settings:

Windows 11:

  • Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
  • Select System in the left pane and click Power & battery on the right.
System power and battery
  • Expand the Screen and sleep section after the Power & battery page opens.
  • You can now change the time option beside the Turn off my screen and Put device to sleep options.
Power and battery screen and sleep

Windows 10: 

  • Open the Settings application.
  • Click System on the Settings home page and select Power & sleep in the left pane of the System page.
  • Choose a longer period or Never under each menu.
system screen
  • Check display settings

If you notice your main display going black whenever you connect an external screen, it could be due to your current external projection preferences. You may have set your computer to display to the external monitor only.

Tap the Windows and P buttons simultaneously and change the Project option to something else.

PC screen only
  • Reset your monitor

Sometimes, a monitor’s internal settings can become corrupted or misconfigured, leading to display issues like a black screen.

Resetting the monitor to its factory defaults can often resolve these problems.

The exact menu layout and reset procedure can vary depending on your monitor’s brand and model. You can refer to your monitor’s user manual for specific instructions if the steps below don’t help.

Follow these steps:

  1. Locate the menu button: Most monitors have a menu button often labeled Menu or with a gear icon. In some cases, such buttons are not labeled and may bring up options allowing you to enter the monitor’s menu.
  2. Find the reset option: Use the menu and navigation buttons to navigate through the on-screen display (OSD) and find the option to reset the monitor to factory settings. This option might be under a section called Settings, Advanced, Extra, Reset, or something similar.
  3. Confirm the reset: Once you find the reset option, select it and confirm your choice. The monitor should restart to complete the process.
  • Check for faulty RAM

Faulty RAM modules can trigger the monitor blackout. You may need to reseat your RAM sticks or replace any faulty ones (if you use multiple).

If your monitor keeps going black while you use your PC, you can run Windows Memory Diagnostics to check whether a RAM module is bad. Our guide on how to check Windows Memory Diagnostic results will walk you through the process from start to finish.

However, you may have to physically reseat or test your RAM modules if the display issue prevents you from accessing your computer.

Reseating the RAM slot

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your computer and unplug it from its power source. 
  2. Open the case, unlatch the RAM slot’s lock mechanism, and carefully remove the RAM stick. 
  3. Now, install the RAM stick back (remember to unlatch the locks first). Do the same if you have more than one stick.
Some PCs, especially compact systems, may have one lock mechanism.

If you use a laptop, ensure you remove your battery or disconnect it once you open the laptop case. Most notebook RAM modules are held in place by clips on either side. Carefully push these clips outward simultaneously to release the RAM stick. It should pop up slightly.

Testing RAM modules

The next step involves troubleshooting each RAM slot if you use two. 

First remove one module (let’s call this stick A), then restart your system with the second one (stick B) to check if the display problem persists. If nothing happens, reinsert stick A, remove stick B, and restart your PC.

If the monitor is still blank, remove both modules and try using another one.

Some modern laptop RAMs are soldered to their boards, making it almost impossible to replace or even upgrade system memory. You can contact your OEM in this case for assistance.
  • Update the graphics card driver

I once experienced constant flickering after changing a faulty RAM module and thought my aging laptop screen was finally about to give out. But the issue was nothing a simple graphics card driver update couldn’t fix.

The driver is the main software utility responsible for the communication between Windows and your GPU. If it is out of date or corrupted, you’ll continue experiencing display problems.

You can resolve the problem by updating or reinstalling the driver.

If you use an NVIDIA driver, you can follow our guide on updating NVIDIA graphics drivers. In the same vein, our complete guide on updating AMD drivers will also show you ways to install the latest software components for your AMD GPU.

Be that as it may, Auslogics Driver Updater is your best option for dealing with and preventing driver-related problems. Since GPU drivers can run into problems when they experience conflicts with other drivers, it’s a good idea to keep every other device’s software in tip-top shape. Driver Updater will help you do that, as it’s configured to update or roll back every Windows-related driver.
  • Fix overheating problems

Computers have safety mechanisms that allow them to shut down certain components when they start overheating.

Preventing and dealing with overheating issues, especially when gaming or running other CPU- or GPU-intensive applications, can help resolve the problem.

You can follow our complete guide on resolving laptop overheating problems to fix the issue in your probable computer. 

You can also cool your desktop PC down using the instructions in our piece that covers the reasons and remedies for overheating computers.

  • Restore windows

Software changes, such as installing or removing a Windows Update, driver update, or software application, may be the cause of the black screen problem, especially if you started experiencing the issue after such actions. Performing a system restore will help in this case. 

This feature allows you to revert your system to a previous point in time before the changes were made.

Important notes about System Restore:

  • System Restore only works if you have previously created restore points. If you haven’t, the option to restore will only be available if Windows created an automatic restore point after installing an update.
  • You won’t lose your personal files, but the System Restore utility will remove any programs or drivers installed after the restore point you select.

Follow these steps to restore Windows:

  • Go to the Start menu or click the search button in the taskbar.
  • Type “Restore” and click Create a restore point.
Create a restore point Restore
  • Click the System Restore button after the System Properties dialog window opens.
  • Select Next under Restore system files and settings.
Restore system files and settings
  • Choose your restore point on the page that follows and click the Next button. The Scan for affected programs button allows you to see applications that will be removed or downgraded.
system restore scan for affected programs
  • Select Finish and allow Windows to restore your computer to a previous date.
  • Your computer will now restart and begin the process.

Read more: System Restore Not Working in Windows 10

  • Manually undo recent changes

As I mentioned earlier, a program or driver update you recently installed might be the cause of the problem. You have to remove those updates or applications if you did not create a restore point before then.

If you recently installed a Windows update, the Windows restore fix explained above will help you uninstall the update since Windows automatically creates a restore point.

You can follow our guide on rolling back device drivers to remove the driver update you installed. To uninstall a program, go to the Settings application, select Apps > Installed apps (or Apps & features), search for the program, select it, and click Uninstall.

Installed apps
  • Fixing black screen of death errors

If you’re on Windows 11 and see a black screen with a bunch of write-ups that you don’t understand, you may be experiencing a BSOD (black screen of death in this case).

It’s a version of the blue screen of death problem, which indicates a fatal error that Windows could not recover from. You can follow our guide on BSODs to learn why they happen and how to resolve them.

If you’re experiencing the black screen issue on Windows 7, read our piece on how to get rid of the Windows 7 black screen for good.

Windows Black Screen: Explained and Fixed

Your days of asking, “Why is my computer screen black?” should now be long behind you. Fixing cable connection problems, troubleshooting your monitor, checking power settings, and resolving the hardware and software issues we worked on are the best solutions to the Windows 11 and 10 black screen problem.


Why does the external monitor keep going black?
The display may be going blank due to basic settings and connection problems. Hardware and software issues could also trigger the black screen.
Can overheating cause monitor blackouts?
Yes, your computer can forcibly shut down if temperature levels get too high.
Can BIOS/UEFI settings cause my monitor to go black?
While this is rare, it is possible. Some UEFI display or overclocking settings can directly or indirectly cause monitors to suddenly go black.
How do I know if black screens are due to a bad graphics card or the monitor itself?
You can try connecting your computer to a different monitor to confirm whether the issue is from your PC or the monitor itself. If the monitor is fine, your graphics card would be a likely culprit since it manages your system’s display output.
Can I test my monitor’s power supply to see if it’s causing blackouts?
Yes. You can try using a different power outlet to confirm whether it’s the cause of the problem.