Black screen at Windows startup: all solutions

You turn on your PC, but instead of starting Windows 10, the screen remains black. Let's not panic, this is one of the most common problems faced by users who have updated the Microsoft operating system: a black screen that immediately makes you jump to the worst conclusions.

It can happen that Windows 10 freezes at startup or after login, let's see how to take action in both cases and what could be and causes of the black screen on the desktop or laptop.

When the black screen appears after login

The startup seems normal, the operating system starts and the black screen appears only after selecting the desired user and entering the password. No hardware is broken - or at least it shouldn't be - and it won't help to reboot the pc. We can do some small checks as appropriate to try to fix the situation and make the much-hated black screen at Windows 10 startup disappear.

1. On the black screen of the computer there is the mouse pointer

In addition to the presence of the pointer, it also moves regularly on the monochrome background: in this case we have to press the keys CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER so that the Windows 10 Task Manager appears. At this point click on File, Run new task and type explorer.exe in the "Open" box and finish the operations by clicking Ok.

Now the pc should optimize the OS startup and restart the device: the problem of black screen at Windows 10 startup should be solved. If waiting for optimization becomes nerve-wracking, we can check the process and timing by going to the Processes tab, click Disk and wait for the Service Host process: Startup Optimization to disappear.

2. The problem could be an external hardware device

It sounds absurd, but the black screen of the pc after logging in, could depend on a hardware device. To check this, try unplugging all the devices one by one: if the black screen disappears, we will have found the cause of the problem. To solve the problem, we need to update the hardware drivers, which can usually be downloaded, ready to install, from the hardware manufacturer's website.

3. When Windows 10 black screen appears for the wrong screen

We tried unplugging everything, but Windows 10 screen remains black? The advice we can give is to restart the pc in safe mode. The next time you boot up, a menu will appear with three options, namely Continue, Troubleshoot and Shutdown PC: choose Troubleshoot, Advanced Options and finally Startup Settings to restart. At this point, pressing the F5 will activate Safe Mode, from which you can access the Control Panel and choose Display. Now we can check the settings: maybe Windows 10 doesn't start and we see a black screen because we didn't select the correct screen.

4. The computer screen remains black: is it a matter of video card drivers?

If we couldn't solve the problem, we can try uninstalling the video card drivers. To do this, we need to return to Windows 10 Safe Mode and go to Device Manager, double-click Video Card, right-click on the name of the graphics card and uninstall. We then restart the pc normally, the operating system - if this is the problem - will automatically reinstall the correct driver and we should no longer see the black screen when Windows 10 starts.

5. Windows 10 confuses the many video cards

If we have multiple video cards on the PC, it might happen that Windows 10 can't select the correct one to use. This requires a manual insertion of the video card from safe mode to try to eliminate the black screen from the pc. Let's press the Windows+R key combination and type regredit.

Now press CTRL+F and type EnableUlps, and so we can go looking for a DWORD value called EnableUlps, let's double-click on it and set it to 0. It is possible that there are additional EnableUlps instances and we need to change all of them to 0, except for the EnableUlps_Na value, which should not be changed at all. Have we solved the problem of black screen at Windows 10 startup?

6. Let's try a clean Windows 10 startup

Like any other Windows version, Windows 10 at startup can have several drivers, services and third-party programs loaded, which make the pc get into confusion and make the much-hated black screen appear on the pc. We always go back to safe mode, press Windows+R and type msconfig to disable all third-party programs that have been loaded automatically. Obviously we try to disable them one at a time, so that we can find the root of the problem.

7. Maybe it's the fault of software that changes the appearance of the GUI

Black screen at Windows 10 startup might depend on applications like UXStyle and StartlsBack, programs that change the appearance of the GUI, especially the shell - i.e. File Explorer. In this case, to get rid of the black screen and permanently cancel the problem, simply uninstall them. Also some anti-malware that have not been updated could be the cause of the black screen at Windows 10 startup: uninstall them and try to reboot.

Windows 10 stuck at startup, before login

Even when I turn on the pc and the screen remains black before the "login" screen, there are checks I can do. Obviously you will need to work in safe mode all the time, but how do you get there? It should be enough to do a couple of forced reboots when the system logo appears, at this point - around the third reboot - should appear the message Preparing for automatic recovery and then just wait for the appearance of the Windows 10 boot menu.

As mentioned before just go to Advanced Options and Troubleshooting to access Safe Mode. Se non riuscissimo ad accedere al menu, possiamo usare un supporto d’installazione di Windows 10 scaricabile per risolvere il problema della schermata nera sul pc portatile o fisso. A questo punto dobbiamo andare per tentativi per evitare che lo schermo rimanga nero all’accensione del pc, sempre partendo dalla modalità provvisoria.

  • Premere la combinazione di tasti Windows+R quindi digitare powercfg.cpl. Cliccare quindi su Specifica comportamento pulsanti di alimentazione e scegliere Modifica le impostazioni attualmente non disponibili. In corrispondenza di Impostazioni di arresto, togliere il segno di spunta dalla casella Attiva avvio rapido.
  • Se stiamo utilizzando una scheda video dedicata ma la scheda madre avesse una scheda grafica integrata, premere sempre Windows+R e digitare poi devmgmt.msc. Scegliere poi Schede Video e selezionare con il tasto destro del mouse la scheda grafica integrata per disabilitare il dispositivo. Se al successivo avvio di Windows 10 lo schermo dovesse rimanere nero, si dovranno disattivare uno alla volta tutti gli altri driver video.
  • Se abbiamo già verificato che lo schermo è impostato come predefinito, dobbiamo provare ad aggiornare il driver della scheda video, Dalla schermata Gestione dispositivi (Windows+R, devmgmt.msc), basta cliccare con il tasto destro sulla scheda video, scegliere Aggiorna driver quindi fare clic su Cerca il software del driver nel computer indicando il driver aggiornato precedentemente prelevato dal sito del produttore.
  • Proviamo a creare un nuovo account utente per far partire Windows 10 e eliminare la schermata nera. In fact, just a corrupt user account could be the cause: to solve it you have to create a new user account in safe mode.

We have tried them all, but every time Windows 10 starts up the screen remains black: the last thing to try is to reset the PC by typing Reset PC in the Windows 10 box and then go to the Start button. Alternatively, we can completely reinstall Windows 10 without losing our data. In fact, you won't lose either your data or the programs you installed, even though they can't be run directly (apart from the "portable" ones).

All the contents of the system folders - so not only Windows but also Program files, Program files (x86) and Users - will in fact be the subject of a full backup in the Windows.old folder. The data and any configuration files of the individual applications (after their reinstallation), can then be conveniently restored from the folder Windows.old.

If in the automatic restore we don't find the boot options?

It may happen that after rebooting a couple of times, in the restore menu that appears after the word Preparing for automatic restore, the functionality for accessing Safe Mode is not available. How can we solve the black screen problem in this case? Don't worry, every problem has its solution. Click on Advanced Options, Command Prompt and type: bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

This will reactivate the old Windows startup menu, which can be called with the F8 key - like in Windows 7 but not supported for Windows10. Once in safe mode we can try to fix the problem with the directions given above and finally solve the black screen of Windows10.