My laptop computer screen is black

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

Computer is not booting properly or loading into operating system

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 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 laptops 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 video adapter by connecting a monitor or other display to the laptop. If the external display works fine, it's an issue with your laptop display.

If an external monitor is also not working with the laptop and you've read through the above link, the internal video adapter or cable is defective and not the display.

Other 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 in warranty, it's recommended you contact the laptop manufacturer for directions on how to get the laptop repaired.

If the laptop is not in warranty, unfortunately, for most end-users repairing a bad LCD on a laptop can be too complicated or may result in further damage if not done properly. Which is why for most users, we suggest having a repair shop repair the laptop. However, for those users who want to replace their LCD themselves, below is a listing of companies that can send replacement screens for almost any laptop.

Additional information

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