How to Fix a Black Screen After Updating Windows 10

Windows 10 updates generally revolve around bug fixes and speed accelerations. However, some PCs can face a bug after updating Windows. While it sounds ironic, it is true that some users are facing a “black screen” after rebooting their systems post an update. 

Though Microsoft has been downplaying the issue stating that it is a rare case scenario faced by a small number of users, survey reports state otherwise. Despite the users blaming the updates and installations, the issue may be caused by outdated drivers, hardware problems, or custom configurations. Whatever may be the cause behind the blank screen, Microsoft has assured a solution. 

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Best ways to Fix a Black Screen Problems

While Microsoft is investigating the issue, we have come up with some practical workarounds that will ensure that the issue of computer black screen on startup in Windows 10 is resolved. These methods are easy to follow and do not require technical expertise. But, before we start with the solutions, here is a list of checks you would want to run. 

Battery Recheck (For Laptop and Notebook Users)

Battery Recheck

This might sound irrelevant but updating Windows software can consume a lot of battery. If your PC is not connected to a charger and runs out of battery during installation of the new update, it may blank the screen for power saving down. Also, ensure that your mouse and keyboard are connected properly and charged if they are battery operated. If you find the PC is not connected to the charger, connect it and then hover a finger over touchpad or move the mouse around and press any key on the keyboard to wake up the screen. 

Connection Recheck (For PC Users)

This is another issue you would want to rule out before diving into the list of solutions. There is no benefit in going through the list of fixing hardware and software problems if there are, in fact, none. If your device’s screen is blacking out even before you are able to sign in to your Windows account, then it may be a connection problem between the display and computer. If this is the case, make sure that both ends of the signal cable are properly connected. 

Read also:  iPhone Black Screen of Death? Here Is the Real Fix

Visual Output Recheck 

In addition to checking the connection between the monitor and display, also confirm that the monitor is receiving power and using the correct output. 

Often times, when driver updates with the Windows, it includes changes which for unknown reasons can send video signals to the wrong port. There may be multiple video outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA) that can render you confused. Take the help of the manufacturer’s support website page to get exact details. You can also try to switch connections to different ports. 

If possible, try connecting your monitor to a different computer just to ensure that you are not dealing with a broken display or video card. Despite how unlikely the possibility of this issue might seem; checking will rule it out completely. 

Method 1 – MS-Suggested Workaround

When the issue was highlighted, Microsoft responded with a quick workaround that the tech-tycoon assures will work effectively. It is simple and does no harm to give a shot. 

  • When the screen blacks out, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete

    Ctrl + Alt + Delete

  • The power button will appear at the bottom-right corner of the screen
  • Click on the power button 
  • “Restart” the system

Rebooting the system should fix the temporary bug causing the blank screen. The Windows will then be able to restart normally without the screen blacking out. 

If this Microsoft-provided solution does not solve the problem then there are a few others that are most likely to work. 

Method 2 – Restart the Graphics Drivers 

Another way to clear the blank screen off your Windows device is by restarting the system’s graphics drivers. 

In many instances, the blank screen is a result of a broken connection between Windows 10 and the display. Since, when the Windows updates, several other elements like driver and graphic also update with it, it is likely that the connection was lost and needs to be re-established. To do that, all you need to do is press Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B hotkey combination. 

Once you give the command, the monitor will make a beeping sound to indicate that it is refreshing the connection with the monitor. 

This method might fix the problem. 

Method 3 – Switch Between Displays 

Assuming that Windows 10 is responding to the commands you are putting in, press Windows key + P on the keyboard. If you are using a notebook, you can also press F4 key with a Project menu icon on it. Either of the commands will open the Project menu with four different screen display options. You can switch between these four displays by either pressing “P” or “F4” and then enter key to see if the black screen disappears. Repeat the process four types to cycle through all possible settings. 

press f4

Method 4 – Force Restart the PC 

This method proves to be effective in many cases – whether it is a temporary bug causing a glitch or minor hardware issue. Since it is unclear what may be causing the screen to blackout after a Windows 10 update, force restarting the PC is a shot worth taking. All you have to do is long-press the power button until the PC shuts down. Repress the power button to restart it. It is recommended to wait a few seconds before restarting the PC. 

restart pc

There is a good chance that the issue will be solved. However, if it isn’t, make sure you try it at least twice before concluding the method to be futile.

Method 5 – Disconnect All Other Devices 

If your PC is connected to any of the non-essential devices via Bluetooth or USB, ensure to disconnect it and then restart the PC. Peripheral devices can be a reason for a black screen. They can also cause a black screen with the spinning dots during startup after Windows update. These peripherals can also include printer, drives, USB, or hard disk. After removing these devices, restart the computer to see if the display is working properly. 

Method 6 – A Windows Explorer Fix 

If after the update, you see a black screen after signing into your account, you might be able to use the mouse. If so, then the issue causing this black screen problem resides with the Windows Explorer process. 

To fix this issue, follow the guide provided below. 

  • Open Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + Esc

    Ctrl + Shift + Esc 

  • If you are viewing Task Manager in compact mode, click on “More Details”
  • Locate and select the “Processes” tab 
  • Right-click the “Windows Explorer” option
  • Select the option to “Restart” it

This should let you access the desktop again in a normal way. However, if this process does not work as expected, you can terminate it and use another method mentioned below. 

  • Give the Ctrl + Alt + Delete command to open Task Manager
  • In case you are viewing Task Manager in Compact Mode, click “More Details”
  • Right-click “Windows Explorer” 
  • Select “End Task” (only for when this option is available)
  • Click the “File” menu
  • Select “Run new task” 
  • Type “explorer.exe” and click “OK” 

Once you take all the steps stated above, the display should start working normally. 

Method 7 – Go Back to Reinstalling the Previous Version

 If nothing so far has helped, it is best to roll back to the previous, perfectly-working version of the Windows operating system. You can do this with the help of the three-fail boot method. Follow the instructions provided below:

A black screen prevents you from using the Recovery options via the Settings app or through Safe Mode. However, what you can do is manually prompt the system into the recovery environment. 

  • Press the physical power button to start the PC
  • As soon as the Windows logo appears, press the power button again to interrupt the startup
  • Repeat step 1 and 2 thrice to trigger the system’s recovery environment

The system will now open with an Advanced Startup screen. You can use the options on the screen to roll back to the previous OS version.

Alternatively, you can also use USB installation media to start the PC in an Advanced Startup setting environment. All you have to do is,

  • Start the PC using the USB installation media
  • Click “Next”
  • Select “Repair your computer” 

Once, you have followed the steps, continue with steps below to go back to an earlier Windows 10 version.

  • Click “Troubleshoot”
  • Choose “Advanced options”
  • Select “Uninstall update”
  • Click “Uninstall latest feature update”
  • Provide sign-in credentials
  • Choose to “Uninstall feature update”

Taken that the problem was caused after updating the system, uninstalling the updates should definitely be able to resolve it. 

Conclusion: How to Fix a Black Screen After Windows Update

If your Windows boots to black screen, this article is for you. From simple connection resets to major troubleshooting guides, there are 7 practical solutions here to solve the black screen problem. Whether it is a laptop black screen on startup or computers, you will find a relevant method to work for your Windows device. Technical troubleshoot processes are provided with step-by-step guides to make them easier to follow. No investment, billing, or expertise is required to repair the issue of Windows 10 black screen after update.

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