My laptop computer screen is black

LaptopFollow the steps below to help solve or locate the cause of a black or blank laptop computer screen.

Computer is not booting properly or loading OS

Although you may not be able to see anything on the screen, listen to the laptop and make sure it sounds as if the computer is booting. If it does not seem to be booting properly or it sounds different, follow the steps in the link below before trying any of the other steps on this page.

If the computer boots up and displays a login screen for the operating system, like Windows or Mac OS, but the screen goes black or blank after selecting a user profile or entering a password, there may be an issue with the operating system itself. A system file may have become corrupted, preventing the operating system from loading and resulting in the black or blank screen.

Try restarting the computer first, to see if it is a temporary issue and resolves itself with a reboot. If the problem persists, you may need to repair or restore the operating system through a recovery console, accessible with the operating system installation disc.

Brightness is set low or power setting

If the picture is partially visible, often it is only the laptop's brightness that is set low, or a power setting is decreasing the brightness. Make sure your laptop is not in a power saving setting by plugging the laptop into the wall. Next, try increasing the brightness on your laptop to verify it is not the brightness causing your issue.

Try external display

Verify there is not an issue with the laptop graphics card by connecting a monitor or other display to the laptop. If the external display works fine, it is an issue with your laptop display.

If an external monitor is also not working with the laptop and you have read through the above link, the internal graphics card or cable is defective and not the display. You may need to have the graphics card, or motherboard replaced. Take the laptop to a computer repair shop to see if it can be repaired.

Another hardware issue

If after following the above steps the laptop still has a black or blank screen, your laptop has a hardware issue. Below are the most common hardware failures.

  1. Loose or disconnected cable
  2. Bad LCD power inverter.
  3. Bad CCFL or backlight.
  4. Bad LCD.

If your laptop is under warranty, it is recommended you contact the laptop manufacturer for directions on how to get the laptop repaired.

If the laptop is not under warranty, unfortunately for most end-users, repairing a bad LCD on a laptop can be complicated or may result in further damage if not done properly. It is recommended that you take the laptop to a repair shop and have them fix the laptop. However, if you want to try to replace the LCD yourself, below is a listing of companies that can send replacement screens for almost any laptop.

Laptop Overheating

You can also check to see if the laptop is overheating. While typically a laptop shuts off when it overheats, it may only shut off the display, due to the graphics chip shutting off.

An issue with overheating may be due to dust or dirt build-up on the fan, heatsink or vents. You can try using canned air to blow the dust and dirt out and make it easier for the laptop to expel any heat that is generated.

Additional information

  • See our laptop definition for further information and related links on this term.