My laptop computer screen is black

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope
Laptop

If your laptop screen is not displaying any image, there are several troubleshooting steps that might help you resolve the issue. Review each section below for steps that might help.

Note

If you are having trouble with a monitor for a desktop computer, please see our page about no display or black screen on a computer monitor.

Tip

If you see a white screen or a rainbow of colors, this could mean the video card in the laptop is defective. In this case, the video card would need to be replaced by an authorized repair center for your brand of laptop.

Computer is not booting

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 don't hear any sound, follow the steps in the link below before moving to the other sections on this page.

Operating system issues

If the computer boots up and displays a login screen for the operating system, but the screen goes black or blank after you log in, there may be an issue with the operating system. 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, erase your hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Brightness is set low or power setting

If the picture is partially visible, it is often the case that the laptop's brightness that is set low or is being turned down by a power setting. Make sure your laptop is not in a power saving mode by plugging the laptop into the wall. Next, try increasing the brightness on your laptop to verify that it is not the cause of your issue.

Try external display

Verify there is not an issue with the laptop graphics card by connecting a monitor or another type of 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 page linked above, 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.

Laptop Overheating

You can also check to see if the laptop is overheating. In most cases, a laptop shuts off when it overheats, however, it may only turn off the display by cutting power to the GPU (graphic processing unit).

Tip

An issue with overheating may be due to debris build-up on the fan, heat sink or vents. You can try using canned air to blow out the dust and dirt.

Another hardware issue

If after following the steps above the laptop still has a black or blank screen, there is a hardware issue. The list below displays 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 it repaired.

If the laptop is not under warranty, unfortunately, for most end-users, repairing a bad LCD 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 replace the screen. However, if you want to try to switch out the LCD yourself, there a few companies that can send replacement screens for almost any laptop.

Is there an on and off button for a laptop monitor?

No. The laptop screen should turn on with the computer.

Additional information