What should you do when your computer screen turns black for no apparent reason? Panic and rush to call a computer services company? If you maintain your cool and try the basics, this won’t be necessary. Screen going black on your computer may seem like a nightmare, but it could mean something as easy as needing to change the brightness settings.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, read on to learn how to troubleshoot further – if you find that your monitor blacks out repeatedly or just once in a while for no apparent reason, there is something wrong with the video card (GPU). If this is the case, then there are some things that you can do to fix it.
What Makes a Computer Screen Turn Black Randomly?
Many factors contribute to the random behavior of the screen turning black often. Therefore, determining the actual reason isn’t an easy task. However, the problem is either a software or hardware issue.
Here are a few reasons that might make your screen turn black randomly:
Unstable Power Supply
Your computer’s motherboard must receive a particular voltage per its specifications to function optimally. If your power supply unit is unstable, you’ll often experience an issue with your screen where it turns black.
A Malfunctioned Video Cable
A malfunctioned VGA/HDMI is often associated with the computer screen turning black and returning to normal. Therefore, if you are faced with such a situation, check the cables to ensure they are okay. You can quickly check the cables using a different cable (Borrowed or bought).
It is better to eliminate reasons one by one by checking the basics.
Suppose you are using a laptop; the battery can cause the screen to turn black often. You will most likely witness the issue when installing a new app on your computer. If this is the case, you’ll remedy the situation by replacing the battery.
Note: Ensure you test your computer with a borrowed battery before purchasing a new one to avoid losing money if the battery is not the cause.
Different computers have varying capabilities. If your computer is not meant for heavy tasks such as debugging, video editing, high-end games, or App development, you better stick to what it can do.
Such tasks consume a lot of power and might take down your machine. However, such instances are rare.
Fixing a Computer Screen that Goes Black Randomly
If you are a DIY geek and know something about electronics, you can try the following hacks and see whether you’ll solve the issue. You can equally try the hacks even if you don’t know much about electronics but have the guts!
Check the Cables
If your computer screen suddenly turns black, it could be because the cables are broken or disconnected. This can be common with old laptops that have been dropped or had items placed on top of them. In this case, they require a simple fix by checking all cables to ensure they are plugged in correctly.
If you have a desktop computer, you may check that the video card’s connectors are connected to the computer’s motherboard correctly. The cables could be disconnected if you have a laptop and the screen goes black when you close the lid. To fix this, open the cover and ensure they are still connected.
Check to ensure it is turned on if they are plugged into a power source. If it is plugged into an outlet, ensure it is plugged in completely.
Adjust the Brightness and Contrast
Your computer screen’s contrast and brightness may be too high, and this can cause the screen to go black. To fix this, open your computer’s settings and lower the brightness and contrast levels.
If you don’t see the brightness or contrast settings, then press the “Fn” key on your keyboard and then press the “F8” or “F9” key. This should make the brightness and contrast settings appear on your screen.
If you see these settings but don’t work, ensure they are not set to “off.” If they are on but don’t work, you may have a problem with your computer’s motherboard.
Test the Computer’s RAM
Your computer’s memory could be faulty, causing the screen to turn black. To test this, you can download a program like Memtest86 and run a test on your computer’s memory.
If it finds a faulty memory unit, you will have to replace it. You can purchase a new memory unit from any computer store or online. Make sure that you get the correct type of memory for your computer.
You should also make sure that you install the memory unit correctly. If you don’t know how to do this, take your computer to a computer repair shop and ask a technician to do the installation for you.
You can try resetting your computer’s RAM if you don’t want to spend money on a new memory unit. To do this, shut down your computer, unplug it from the electrical outlet, and then press and hold the “Ctrl” key and “Alt” key on your keyboard and then press the “F10” key. This will reset your computer’s memory.
Run a Diagnostic Test
If the cables are connected correctly, the brightness and contrast settings are normal, and the computer’s RAM is working, the problem could be with your computer’s motherboard.
You should run a diagnostic test on your computer to determine if this is the case. You can run diagnostics by pressing the “F10” key as you turn on your computer. If a blue screen appears with an error message, take your computer to a computer repair shop. If it doesn’t, you should restart your computer and try again. If it still doesn’t appear, there may be something wrong with the motherboard.
Update Your Video Driver
Sometimes, the video card’s driver may be outdated. This can cause the computer screen to go black. To update it;
- Go to your computer’s Control Panel and select “Programs and Features.”
- Click “Installed Updates.”
- Select “Update Driver.”
- If a new driver is available, click “Yes” to update it.
- If the computer screen turns black after you update the driver, restart your computer and click “No” when the installation asks if you want to update the driver. This will allow you to install the old driver and solve the problem.
Check for Overheating
The computer’s CPU may be overheating, and this can cause the screen to go black. To check whether this is the case, press the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard, then the “Esc” key, then click “Processor” to select Processor, and then click “Health.”
This will show you the temperature of your CPU. If it is too high, you may need to clean the computer’s fan. If you don’t know how to do this, take your laptop to a computer repair shop and have them clean the fan. If you have cleaned the fan, but the problem persists, you may need to replace the CPU.
Turn off Overlocking
If you have overclocked your computer, the screen may go black. To turn off overclocking, press the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and then press the “Fn” key and then press the “F8” key.
This will open your computer’s BIOS settings. Go to your overclocking settings and make sure that they are turned off. If you can’t tackle the issue, take your computer to a computer repair shop and ask them to turn off the overclocking for you.
Uninstall CPU Intensive Software and Apps
When your PC is overwhelmed to perform some tasks due to low configuration, it will momentarily shut down, resulting in a black screen. To ensure your computer functions optimally, uninstall intensive applications and software meant for high-end machines.
If you use Windows and experience a screen that goes black often, consider updating the OS version to overcome glitches and bugs.
Replace Your Laptop’s Battery
Your laptop’s battery status can result in a black screen. If the battery is old and you’re performing a CPU-intensive task such as installing software, a black screen might appear suddenly, and the machine restarts again. If you experience such a situation, consider replacing the battery.
Remedying the Situation Using Task Manager (Windows 10)
If you use Windows OS and your screen turns black suddenly, create a new instance of Window explorer by doing the following;
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc simultaneously to open the task manager.
- Click on the option displayed on the newly opened window at the left bottom, and the task manager will expand.
- Click on Processes, and select the name column to sort processes by their names.
- Right-click on the Windows Explorer option, and click End Task to close the current Explorer instance.
- Click the File >Run new task.
- Enter Explorer in the dialogue task and a new instance of windows explorer will be created.
Note: Creating a new instance of windows explorer is the most powerful solution, but you risk losing all your data unless you saved it before the screen turned black.
How Do I Avoid the Issue of My Monitor Going Black
- Avoid installing third-party applications and applications from unofficial sources.
- Avoid opening too many applications simultaneously as they may slow down your system.
- Shut down the system properly after finishing your work.
- Update the operating system regularly.
Screen going black on your computer may seem like a nightmare, but it could mean something as easy as needing to change the brightness settings. If this doesn’t solve the problem, read on to learn how to troubleshoot further. Check the cables, adjust the brightness and contrast, test the computer’s RAM, run a diagnostic test, update your video driver, check for overheating, and turn off overlocking. If the problem persists, contact your computer services company and have them investigate the issue.