How to fix black screen in Dell laptop?

Fix black screen in dell laptop

Whenever you power on your laptop, you expect that it starts smoothly to work. But on some day we face some unexpected issues which blocks us completely without any clue how to solve it.

When you turn on your laptop and suddenly you see just a complete dark screen and nothing else you may get panic!! Because no error message or error code displays on screen to tell you what is the problem and how to start troubleshooting it.

This problem is called “Black Screen of Death“. It’s an empty black screen, just with a movable mouse pointer and nothing else. This problem is becoming more common these days on Windows 10, especially in Dell and HP laptops.

If you are facing same issue then you don’t need to worry about it.

This guide includes solutions with detailed steps how to fix black screen issue in dell laptop. That will assist you to how to troubleshoot and get rid from this and allow you to continue to use your laptop.

1) Possible reasons for Black Screen in Dell laptop

There are two possibilities when you are facing black screen issue:

  1. You pressed power button of your laptop and your laptop is NOT booting up. In this situation, you are not able to see Laptop logo and Windows logo during boot.
  2. In the second case you will see your laptop is booting. But it is stuck in some middle of the process before it is completely usable.

Be sure to differentiate between these two problems that you are facing. Because the first case is purely hardware problem where faulty or damaged hardware is not allowing to turn on your laptop. Second one is software problem which require different steps to solve it.

I have listed down all the possible causes why your laptop is turned to black box whether it is hardware or software problem.

Case 1: The common causes of black screen related to Hardware include:

  • Damage of Motherboard
  • Connection problem of RAM with Motherboard
  • Display Issue
  • Power Supply Issue
  • Dead battery

Case 2: The common causes of black screen related to Software include:

  • Windows Update
  • Software and Driver errors
  • Overheating – In many cases, overheating is caused by the video card or the processor.  In most cases, a laptop shuts off when it overheats.
  • Attack of virus

Now, implement below solutions one by one to fix black screen in dell laptop.

2) Solution 1 – Reinstall RAM Stick(s)

Follow this step if your laptop is not showing Dell and Windows logo when you turn on your system + You are enough confident and have tools to open your back panel of laptop.

There’s a chance a component in your laptop has become loose inside the case for some reason.

If you’re comfortable opening your laptop, remove the screws panel from back side and make sure the components are properly seated in their respective sockets.

There are a few things to consider before you begin removing the memory sticks.

Precautions before you begin:

  1. Disconnect any network or USB cables from the notebook.
  2. Disconnect AC power and remove the battery.

Instead of writing instructions, I am sharing video tutorial (How to replace RAM).

3) Solution 2 – Hard reset

Generally, the faulty hardware can cause a black screen on a laptop.

Hard resetting your laptop is one of the best ways to remove any conflicting settings because it clears all information from the computer’s memory without erasing any personal data.

Follow below steps to hard reset your laptop:

  1. Turn off your laptop by pressing the power button for a while.
power-button-turn-off
  1. Unplug the AC adapter(Power cable) from your laptop.
unplug-ac-adapter
  1. Disconnect all external connected peripheral devices such as USB storage devices, external displays, and printers.
remove-usb-and-other-devices
  1. Disconnect all the internal peripheral devices like battery and RAM attached to these devices.
remove-battery-and-ram
  1. With the battery and power cord unplugged, press and hold the power button for 1 minute and then release. It will drain any residual electrical charge from the capacitors.
  2. Attach the battery back into the laptop and plug in the charger. Don’t reconnect any other hardware components.
  3. Press the power button to turn on laptop.

Check if the black screen in your dell laptop is resolved. If the problem has been resolved then turn off the laptop and connect the hardware devices one by one until you find the one causing the problem.

4) Solution 3 – Restart explorer.exe process

Explorer is a process that manages the Windows GUI including the start menu, taskbar, desktop, and File Manager.

If it is closed accidentally which can make your desktop and taskbar invisible, and you get the black screen issue in dell laptop. To restart explorer.exe, follow these steps:

  1. Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” buttons at the same time on your laptop keyboard. It will bring Task Manager on screen.
fix_laptop_black_screen_processes
  1. Click on the “Details” tab and then scroll down to locate the explorer.exe process. Select it and the click “End Task” button. If you don’t find then jump to next step.
Task manager in Windows 10
  1. In the Task Manager  click “File” > Choose Run new task.
  2. Type “explorer.exe” and hit Enter.
Create new task in task manager
  1. Now the process will start running, and check if the black screen issue is fixed or not.
  2. Restart your laptop.

All the solutions below require you to boot your laptop in safe mode. So before proceeding further boot your laptop in safe mode.

5) Solution 4 – Boot laptop into the Safe Mode

If restarting “explorer.exe” did not work to fix black screen problem then you should try booting up the system into Safe Mode. With the Safe Mode we can work on basic troubleshooting and fix any problems preventing Windows from booting up.

You will be needed to enter the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) first to enter safe mode. To do this, you will required to turn on and turn off your laptop repeatedly:

  1. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds to turn off your Dell laptop.
  2. Press the power button again to turn it on. You will be needed to follow this cycle (Turn On / Turn Off) 3 times.
  3. After the third attempt to boot has failed, Windows 10 will show “Preparing Automatic Repair” and “Diagnosing your PC” messages on screen.
Automatic repair
  1. After entering the Recovery Mode menu, choose See advanced repair options > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Windows Startup Settings > Restart.
safe-mode-winre-steps
  1. When computer restarts, you will be prompted by the Advanced Boot Options menu. It enables you to boot your Windows in Safe mode, Safe mode with networking, Safe mode with cmd.
Laptop statrtup options
  1. Press “5” to select “Enable Safe Mode with networking” entry.

Did your laptop boot in safe mode successfully? If yes, then the problem is likely to be Windows update, third-party software or computer virus. You may then proceed to troubleshoot your dell laptop with below solutions.

6) Solution 5 – Roll Back a Windows Update

If you recently installed a Windows Update or you think Windows may have done that in the background it may have caused a conflict that made your laptop unusable.

If that’s your case, you should try to roll back your Windows system to the previous version. System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows the user to revert their computer’s state to an earlier date when the system was running perfectly.

1. Open Start, search for “Recovery”, and click the top result.

search-recovery-in-windows-search

2. Click on “Open System Restore” link.

open-system-restore

3. Click the “Next” button.

use_restore_point_w10_wizard

4. The next page will show the automatic and manual restore points. Select the “Show more restore points” (It will be visible if you have so many restore points.) option to see any automatic restore points created before any software installations.

Select the restore point of the most recent date which is before Windows update or application installation. Click on “Next”.

select-and-roll-back-windows-update

5) Next, you are asked to confirm the restoration. Read the details and click on “Finish”.

Finish restore point wizard

Windows will restart your PC and begin the restoration process. It can take a few minutes to reinstate all files/registry. When your PC comes back up, you will be running at your selected restore point.

Most of time this fix solves problem. I hope it worked!

Want to learn more about Restore Point? Read this tutorial on How to use system restore point in Windows 10

7) Solution 6 – Remove Third-party Programs

Did you have recently installed any new software in your laptop and afterwards your laptop is showing black screen? Then you must remove that software from laptop. Uninstalling that software can resolve black screen issue immediately.

You just required to follow normal uninstall process using control panel and restart your system.

  1. Go to the “Start” menu and search for “Control Panel”.
Search-Control-panel
  1. Select “Uninstall a Program”.
Select-Uninstall-Program
  1. Choose the third party programs that you recently installed.
  2. Follow the on screen instructions to finish the process.
  3. Restart laptop.

8) Solution 7 – Update your Graphics/Video Driver

Missing or outdated video card driver in your laptop can be culprit of black screen in dell laptop. You should check that the video card drivers in your laptop are up to date and update them if they are outdated.

You can download the latest version by visiting the manufacturer’s website and update those that aren’t. However, the best way to update the graphics drivers on your computer is to use a “Driver Easy” software .

Driver Easy is a free driver updater tool for Windows that has access to millions of device drivers at the click of a button. It automatically detects the drivers that need an update and allows you to easily update them. Follow these simple steps to update the drivers:

  1. Download Driver Easy software in your laptop from this link.
  2. Run installation Setup. System will ask for confirmation to run this file or not. Click on “Run” button.
Security-warning-while-running-drivereasy-application
  1. Select your preferred language and click “Ok”.
Select :anguage in driver easy setup
  1. Click on “Install Now” button and it will start to install files on your laptop.
DriverEasy software - Click install now
  1. Once it’ done launch the application.
Launch-Driver-Easy-application
  1. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
drivereasy scanning your system
  1. When the scan is complete, locate the graphic driver and click on “Update”, or click on “Update All” to update all drivers that are missing or outdated.
drivereasy update all driver

Restart the computer when the process is complete and check if the problem has been resolved.

9) Solution 8 – Diagnostics your Dell Laptop

Dell Diagnostics utility finds the most common problems and tells you how to fix them. This comprehensive test take a more in-depth look at your hardware to find problems that are not easy to identify.

  1. Browse to the Dell Official Support website.
  2. Click on “Download and Install SupportAssist” button to download Dell SupportAssist to Run Diagnostic Tests.
Download-Install-suport-assist-tool
  1. It will open popup which asks you are agreed with terms and condition to download tool.
Download-dell-support-assistant
  1. Launch Support Assistant tool. It will take few minutes to install application.
System-check-Suport-assist-tool
  1. Once installation is done search “SupportAssist” and select the program.
search-support-assist-in-windows-10
  1. After tool has launched, click on “Start now” to initiate scan.
start-now-to-scan-system
  1. When scanning is completed follow on screen instruction to move further.
diagnostics-dell-laptop

10) Solution 9 – Install Dell Command Update

Dell Command Update is a standalone application that provides updates for system software that is released by Dell. This application simplifies the BIOS, firmware, driver, and application update experience for Dell client hardware.

  1. Visit this Dell command update page.
  2. Select the appropriate download option.
select-dell-command-update-download-option
  1. It will open page with description. Click on “Download File” link.
Download-dell-command-update-file
  1. Double click on the downloaded application. It will open an installation wizard. Click on “Install” button.
Click-on-Install-button-Dell-command-update
  1. It will prepare to install necessary files on your system. It will take some time to install. The reason is setup is also downloading and installing drivers on system parallelly.
Dell-command-update-installation-startup
  1. You can check the log file as well which shows all drivers installation status once installation is done.
Dell-command-update-installation-log
  1. Finish the installation and reboot laptop.
Finish-Dell-command-update-wizard

11) Solution 10 – Disable Fast Startup

Fast Startup is a Windows feature designed to reduce the time it takes for the computer to boot up from being fully shut down. Disabling fast startup may fix the black screen problem on your laptop. To do so, follow the steps below:

1. Press the Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialog.

2. Type powercfg.cpl and hit Enter. The Power Options window will appear.

Run powercfg

3. Click “Choose what the power button does” from the column on the left.

Power options

4. If you see that the Shutdown settings options are not editable then click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

Power option change setting

5. Scroll down to “Shutdown settings”, uncheck the box for “Turn on fast startup” and then click on “Save Changes”. Restart your computer and see if your laptop screen works properly.

Turn on fast startup

Restart laptop to see if solution worked or not.

12) Solution 11 – Reset BIOS

Another problem for black screen in dell laptop corrupted BIOS settings or it required to update BIOS version as per the latest Windows update. Hence, updating or resetting BIOS can fix this problem.

  1. Restart your Dell laptop and when Dell logo appears, press F2 or F12 keys repeatedly until you see the Entering Setup label on screen.
Dell statrtup logo
  1. Press F9 to load default settings. You may need to find a label which restore a default settings (at the bottom of the screen) and need to press that key accordingly.
Reset BIOS
  1. The system will ask for confirmation. Select “Yes” and press enter.
  2. press the ESC key to exit BIOS. You have to make sure that you select the “Save and Exit” option before you press the Enter to save the changes before exiting BIOS.

Once your system reboot the BIOS settings will reset.

13) Solution 12 – Update BIOS

If resetting BIOS did not work then, It’s to update BIOS version in your laptop. This process is not much long. You just need to download an application from official website and execute that program in your laptop.

Below are the steps which will assist you to install applicatiion:

  1. Go to Dell Support Page.
  2. Enter a Service Tag, Serial Number, Service Request or Model of your laptop.
Dell Suport page

Find your service tag on your back side of your laptop or in bios settings. For detail check this video on How to find a Dell Service Tag

  1. Navigate to “Drivers & Downloads” tab.
Navigate-to-Download-tab
  1. Find and Download BIOS drivers.
Search-and-download-BIOS-driver
  1. Double click on the downloaded application and complete the installation by following on screen instructions.
  2. Restart your laptop.

14) Solution 13 – Install antivirus in safe mode

If updating the video driver does not work then, you should scan your system with antivirus software to check and fix virus, malware or Trojan. The virus can be injected into system by emails, USB drives, visiting different websites, running malicious program and more.

  1. Run the Antivirus software and perform full system scan. For Windows 10 users go with inbuilt Microsoft’s Windows Defender antivirus. If you are using older version of Windows then I would recommended to with Bitdefender antivirus.
  2. Scan the system and restart the system and check if the problem has been resolved.

15) Solution 14 – Format Laptop

The last option what you can do by yourself is to format and install fresh OS in the laptop.

Formatting your laptop will remove all glitches and problems from your system. But here, all the software installation will be required which you had before format.

Make sure to take backup before starting this process.

16) Solution 15 – Reach out to Dell Support

If none of the solution worked then it is the hardware problem in your laptop and you need to reach out to a nearest service centre of the Dell and submit your laptop to them to investigate further.

You can find out nearest help centre by visiting Dell Support website after entering service tag or model number.

That’s it. I have covered lot of fixes to fix black screen in dell laptop. I hope after reading this guide, you would be able to fix your problem easily by one of the solutions listed above.

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About the Author: softwaretrickadmin

I am a professional software developer and founder of softwaretricks.net. I have a passion for troubleshooting and solving software problems on Windows and Linux. I love to write articles for installation steps and troubleshooting software problems. I am always ready to accept challenges!!