How To Fix Dell Laptop Black Screen but Still running & On Startup

How To Fix Dell Laptop Black Screen but Still running & On Startup

When your Dell laptop displays a black screen that is completely blank, working on the device may become problematic. The screen being black, you won’t be able to view what you are working on. The graphic drivers on your Dell laptop may not be properly connecting with the machine’s operating system. This is the major cause of the Dell laptop black screen issue. Sometimes your Dell laptop may turn on but its screen may remain black due to installation-related issues on Windows 10 OS or poor power supply. 

For fixing the black screen of your Dell laptop, unplugging and detaching its battery is often suggested. Along with this, you can also hold down the Power button of the device. On releasing it after 30 seconds, the laptop may turn on. Interestingly, we have found that other fixes such as restarting the graphic drivers, hard reset, or force restart can also work when your Dell laptop won’t boot up and show a black screen.

Other than the major cause of the black screen error, here, we have elaborated on more causes of this. Additionally, we have suggested the fixes that can troubleshoot the screen error on Dell Inspiron and other series of the brand.

To understand this particular issue, we believe that reading about the following will be essential:

What Causes Dell Black Screen on Laptop and Computer?

Many of you may be wondering “Why My Dell Laptop Screen is Black?  Knowing the causes of the issue on your laptop and computer can help answer your questions. The 6 common causes of the Dell laptop or monitor black screen include:

Why is my Laptop on but the Screen is Black?

1. Problem with Display: When the monitor or Dell laptop Won’t Turn on, first turns on the screen and after that if you get a black screen maybe it’s hinting towards damage in the monitor, video card, video driver, or the connecting cable. 

2. Overheating of Device: The second cause is overheating of the laptop/computer as a result of poor ventilation. 

3. Virus in System: When the Dell laptop screen goes black but is still running or the Dell desktop computer black screen is observed, there could be a virus/malware in the system.

4. Failure of Hardware: Hardware failure is the fourth cause of error soon after the system turns on.

5. Installation Issues on Windows 10: For Windows 10 users, not installing Windows completely on the system can result in the black screen error  problem of dell laptop.

6. Problem with Power Supply: Issues with the power supply on the Dell laptop or computer are the sixth cause.

Now that we have understood the causes. let us move further and explore the numerous easy methods to fix the problem. 

How to Troubleshoot Dell Laptop Black Screen?

The error of the black screen on your Dell laptop can be fixed by restarting the graphics driver, booting your device in the safe mode, starting over Explorer.exe, resetting as well as updating BIOS. As you can see, these methods are simple and you may even be familiar with a few of them. 

Below, we have provided more methods to troubleshoot the dell laptop black screen error. We will guide you with clear steps to perform each method. 

Fix 1 – Reboot/Restart Graphics Driver on Laptop

When your Dell laptop turns on but its screen is black, there is a good possibility of a poor connection between your device and the operating system. Restarting the graphics driver can improve the connection between them. We know a hotkey combination that can help you restart them and fix the error sooner than you can think. You can check it below.

1. On your Dell Laptop’s keyboard, press the “Windows” key, “Ctrl” key, “Shift” key, and the “B” letter key together. 

Fix dell laptop black screen error

2. Now, wait for the graphics driver to restart. Soon, the Dell black screen will be fixed. 

Fix 2 – Update Graphics Driver on Laptop

The problem of the Dell laptop screen goes black but is still running maybe because the graphics driver needs an update. Using a driver that is out of date may not be apt and may be responsible for generating more issues in the future. So, we will advise you to install the latest updates as soon as possible to fix the black screen error of dell laptop.

Fix 3 – Replace Display Panel on Laptop

Replacing the display panel can also troubleshoot your problem. Prior to replacing it, you need to be sure about the panel being problematic. To check the same, you can separate the battery and power cord from your device. In case the LED is static, an external monitor can be used for connecting to your PC. Ensure whether or not the display is visible on this monitor. In case the display can be seen, the display panel will have to be replaced. The following steps can also be adopted to overcome the issues of the black Screen.

1. Perform the power draining function that starts with removing the power cord and the battery. After removing the battery, drain the remaining power by pressing the “Power” button for at least 10-20 sec. After the draining, turn on the power with the help of a power cord.

2. Check if there is any indication of LED over the power button.

3. If you find that the LED on the “Power button” or the “Caps lock” key is static, then try connecting an external monitor to your system to verify the operations of the external monitor.

4. If the external monitor shows the display, then you need to replace the display panel or the display cable.

5. If the LED on the “Caps lock” key blinks with some gap, then you need to perform the BIOS recovery. For this, turn off the laptop and connect it to the power chord.

6. Press the “Ctrl” key and “Esc” key until the Bios recovery page appears.

7. Once the page appears, select the “reset NVRAM” and press “Enter”.

8. To start with the recovery process, click “recover BIOS” and press “Enter”.

Fix 4 – Force Shut Down Laptop

Many users complain that their Dell laptop’s screen goes black randomly. If this is happening with your device too, then we will suggest you to force shut down your laptop. Initially, you can separate every external device which has been connected to your laptop. After keeping your laptop off for at least 20 seconds, you can take off the AC adapter while keeping the battery intact at the same time. Now, its battery has to be drained.

Let us see the complete procedure to force shut down the device to fix the black screen.Let us see the complete procedure to force shut down the device to fix the black screen.

1. Detach the external devices connected to your Dell laptop. 

2. Next, power off the device for 20 seconds.

Power button - dell laptop black screen

3. Remove the AC adapter and battery intact.

4. Press and hold the device’s “Power” button for a minute to drain the battery.

5. Connect the charger and battery again. 

6. Now, start your laptop. The Dell black screen won’t be there.

Fix 5 – Boot Laptop into Safe Mode

Dell black screen on startup is quite a common issue. When you boot your device into the safe mode, the chances of seeing the problem in which your Dell laptop won’t boot up and show a black screen will reduce. Booting this device requires you to first shut it down and then hold the “Power” key. Then you can subsequently press the Shift and 8 keys for launching the Recovery Mode menu. Using this menu, you can make certain selections for starting the Safe Mode. Afterwards, the booting of your laptop can be executed in this mode.

1. Turn off your device.

2. Press its “Power” button to turn it on.

3. On your Dell laptop’s keyboard, hold the “Shift” key and press the “F8” key until you see the “Windows Logo” on screen. Then you will enter the “Recovery Mode” menu. 

4. In case the “Recovery Mode” menu does not appear, perform the steps again.

5. Click on “See advanced repair options” in the “Recovery Mode” menu.

6. Now, tap on “Troubleshoot”.

7. Head to “Advanced options”.

8. Next, click on “Windows Startup Settings” and press “Restart”.

“Windows Startup Settings” and Press “Restart - Dell Black Screen

9. Your Dell laptop will restart. Afterwards, select “5” or “F5” from the list of options. Now, you will be in “Safe Mode” with a network connection. 

10. Use your laptop usually.

Quick Note: This method will work great for Windows 7 users. 

Fix 6 – Connect External Display for Laptop

Connecting your laptop with an external display can help you stop seeing the black screen issue. To connect it, you can open the display list. This list can be viewed using the combination of Windows and P keys on the keyboard. The display can be chosen by browsing through this list.

Let’s now see in detail what you need to do for connecting it.

1. On your device’s keyboard, tap the “Windows” key and the “P” letter key at the same time. 

win+p - Dell Computer Black Screen

2. The display list will appear. Select a suitable option for your device.

3. Now, tap the “Down arrow” key or the “P” letter key to choose the display.

4. Finally, press the “Enter” key.

Fix 7 – Restart Explorer.exe on Laptop

You may know that Explorer.exe manages several processes on your Dell laptop. When Explorer.exe does not work smoothly, you may see a Dell laptop black screen with a cursor. Restarting the explorer.exe process can be an excellent idea for removing the black screen issue. Via the Task Manager, you can select Details or Processes. After selecting Explorer.exe, you can use the End Task option. Finally, you will have to restart your laptop.

1. First, tap the “Ctrl” key, the “Shift” key, and the “Esc” key on your Dell laptop’s keyboard. The “Task Manager” will open.

2. Tap the “Details” tab. Windows 7 users will have to tap the “Processes” tab.

3. Now, choose “Explorer.exe”.

4. Tap “End task”.

end task - dell laptop turns on but screen is blackend task - dell laptop turns on but screen is black

5. Now, restart your Dell Laptop. You will not see the error anymore.

Fix 8 – Reset BIOS on Laptop

Our research reveals that corrupt BIOS settings are one of the top causes of the Dell laptop’s black screen. Therefore, resetting BIOS will quickly resolve the problem. BIOS can be started over by restarting your laptop. Then you can press F2/F12 after seeing the Dell logo. You can release the key when you see Entering Setup. This is accompanied by heading to the Default Settings via F9. Afterwards, you can exit the BIOS screen and save the changes.

1. First, restart your device.

2. Tap the “F2” key or the “F12” key when the “Dell Logo” appears. Keep tapping the key until the “Entering Setup” appears.

3. Now, for loading the “Default settings”, tap “F9” or the “Alt” key and the “F” key together. You can also press the on-screen “Load defaults” button.

4. Next, tap on “ESC” to leave the BIOS screen.

5. Click on “Save and Exit”.

6. Hit the “Enter” key for saving the changes. 

7. Now, you will have to restart your Dell laptop to eradicate black screen error. 

Fix 9 – Update BIOS on Laptop

When your Dell laptop turns on but the screen is black, updating the BIOS to the latest version will be recommended. You can go to the Support Page of Dell. After downloading the recent updates for the same, you can install them with the help of the instructions available on the display.

1. Visit the “Dell Support Page”.

2. Download the recent “BIOS” update for your device.

3. You will be provided with the instructions to install the update for BIOS. Follow these.

4. Now resume your work without the black screen bothering you.

Quick Note: You can also take the help of the “Dell BIOS Updates Guide” for a better understanding of the entire process. 

Fix 10 – Clean the Reinstall Windows on Laptop

Another great fix for the error Dell laptop screen goes black but is still running is to clean reinstall Windows. Before you do that, turn off the laptop and connect the recovery media to it. Start your device and quickly push the F12 key when you see the logo of the brand. This key needs to be pushed for some time for initiating a one-time boot.

1. Turn off your Dell laptop and connect it to a DVD or USB as the recovery media.

2. Start your Dell laptop. 

3. Press the “F12” key when you see the “Dell Logo”. 

4. Keep pressing the “F12” key until the “Preparing one time boot” menu is visible.

5. Now, tap “UEFI BOOT” and choose the media type for your device. 

6. Next, choose the “Keyboard language” as you like. 

7. On the “Choose an option” screen, tap on “Troubleshoot”.

8. Choose the “Recover from a drive” option. Once the procedure is complete, the Dell laptop black screen will be fixed.

Quick Note: Before you perform this method, we will advise you to backup your data in an external storage device as it will be erased during this procedure. 

How to Troubleshoot Dell Inspiron Black Screen?

The Dell Inspiron black screen error is not new. Users often report that on this model, the Dell laptop turns on but the screen is black. In the sections coming up, you will discover 2 foolproof methods for fixing the error. These methods include hard resetting or force restarting and removing the third-party programs on the Dell Inspiron laptop. These methods will aim at alleviating the causes of the issue on this model.

Fix 1 – Hard Reset/Forced Restart Inspiron Laptop

The Dell Inspiron black screen can be easily corrected by a hard reset or force restart. Push the Power keep and keep on pushing it until you witness the power light going off. When your device turns off, detach the adapter or power cord. In case it is possible, you can try taking off the battery too. Also, detach all the external devices that may be connected to your laptop. After some time, you can connect everything again and start the device using the Power key.

1. Press the “Power” button until the power light closes and the Dell Inspiron Laptop gets shut.

2. Remove its AC adapter/power cord from the power source. You can also remove the battery if possible.

3. Remove the external devices connected to the Dell Inspiron Laptop.

4. Now place back the battery and tap the laptop’s “Power” button for 20 seconds.

5. Also, plug in the AC adapter/power cord.

6. Press the “Power” button again to turn on the laptop.

When your device turns on, the Dell laptop screen goes black randomly error on this model will get solved.

Fix 2 – Remove Third-party Programs on Inspiron Laptop

Dell Inspiron black screen or the Dell laptop won’t boot up black screen error on this model can be resolved immediately by removing or even repairing the third-party programs. These programs may be corrupt and cause problems such as the Dell Inspiron black screen error. Should you wish to remove them, use the Programs option in the Control Panel to opt for Programs and Features. Repair/remove the third-party programs afterwards.

Consider the 6 steps given here to remove or repair these programs.

1. Go to the “Start” menu.

2. Click on “Control Panel”.

3. Open “Programs” and select “Programs and Features”.

Programs and Features -dell inspiron black screen

4. Choose the third party programs you want to repair or remove.

5. If you can see the option of “Repair” then click on it. If not, then tap “Change”.

6. Go through the on-screen instructions to finish the process for fixing the Dell laptop black screen on Inspiron.

How to Troubleshoot Dell Computer Black Screen? 

In this part of the blog, we will tell you how to fix the Dell computer black screen error with easy methods like checking the connection and refreshing it, detaching additional devices from the device, as well as clearing issues with Windows Explorer.

The 4 methods given here come with instructions too. Read every method carefully to fix the error in no time.

Fix 1 – Check Connection on Windows 10 Computer

There may be connection problems with your Dell computer having Windows 10. Problems with the connection will cause the Dell computer black screen issue and also restrict you from signing into your account. So, check that the established connection is receiving proper signals, the monitor is connected to power, and the output being used is correct. When the same has not been verified, the error may continue to persist.

Fix 2 – Refresh Connection on Windows 10 Computer

Refreshing the connection on Dell Computer with Windows 10 will help you settle the Dell monitor black screen problem. This will comprise restarting the video driver. It can be restarted by holding the Windows, Ctrl, Shift, and B keys at once. After using the shortcut, wait for a moment to let the connection refresh.

Take a look at the steps for this fix to make no mistakes while performing it.

1. Press the “Windows” key, “Ctrl” key, “Shift” key, and the “B” letter key at the same time.

2. The video driver will get restarted. Now, wait for the connection to be refreshed. Soon, the problem will be settled.

Fix 3 – Remove Extra Devices Connected to Computer

To escape the Dell computer black screen error, we will suggest you to remove any non-essential devices such as your printer, camera, and USB connection to the system. Then restart the Dell computer. In case you are wondering why such a measure is suggested, let us tell you that, at times, these additional devices may be carrying certain bugs. By connecting them to your computer, you may be inviting troubles of this kind.

Fix 4 – Resolve Windows Explorer on Computer

In the last fix, the readers will be suggested to clear any issues with Windows Explorer by restarting it. You can move to the Task Manager. In More Details, you will come across Processes. Using this option, Windows Explorer can be selected. Then you can choose the option of Restart. The issues will get resolved. Along with that, the error of the black screen will also get fixed.

1. Open the “Task Manager” by pressing the “Ctrl” key, “Shift” key, and “Esc” key together. 

2. Tap “More details”.

3. Click on “Processes”.

4. Right-click on “Windows Explorer” and click “Restart” to remove the error.

dell laptop screen goes black but still running

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming to the section of FAQs, let us now go through the queries Dell users often ask us. These queries may attempt to help you further in understanding the problem.

1. Why is my Dell laptop screen black?

Display problems form the number one reason for your Dell laptop’s screen to be black. Other than these, hardware failure, power supply issues, an overheating device, etc., can also result in a similar problem.

2. How to reboot a Dell laptop with a black screen?

You can execute the procedure to hard reset your Dell laptop when its screen is black. You can push the Power key and keep pushing it. Along with that, you can remove the adapter, power cord, connected external devices, and its battery. After a while, you can connect them again and press Power to start your Dell laptop.

3. How to start a Dell laptop when the screen is black?

When the screen of your Dell laptop goes black, you can either hard reset it or force restart it. The laptop should start and the screen should get fixed. 

4. Why does my Dell laptop’s screen keep going black?

When factors like poor ventilation around your device, the continued presence of virus, incomplete installation of Windows, etc., are not dealt with, your Dell laptop’s screen may keep going black.


This blog has been filled with amazing fixes for getting rid of the Dell computer/laptop black screen issue. These fixes have been selected as per the causes that can lead to this issue. Based on our extensive experience in removing the errors of this type, we have found that working on the causes is the best way to ensure that the errors get removed from the root. After implementing these fixes, you would have been amazed by their effectiveness. Drop your thoughts and let us know which fix worked the best for you.

Before you go, do you know what to do when your Dell laptop won’t turn on? Or do you want to learn How to reset Dell laptop? When it comes to Dell laptops, we know it all. Read our guides and see how these can help you.

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Chene Ackerman
3 years ago

I tried every single method and mine is still doing the same thing. I have a Dell CORE i7. It is second hand. I don’t always have the problem. Some days are fine, but other days the screen goes black while the laptop is still running and then the laptop switches off. It used to do it more often when I had windows 10 on it but then I switched back to windows 7.

Michel John
3 years ago

Wonderful man. 2nd method worked like wonder! Thank you man! Love you!

3 years ago

I tried all steps above. Eventually, I ran Safe Mode and did a System Restore to a point 2 weeks ago. You may need to know the system admin password for this. It ran the restore and Boom!! Now, to determine what caused it to begin with. At least this was a quick fix to be able to get the machine back on line and backed up. I’m suspecting an outdated video driver.

Robert Flipo
3 years ago

Bought a new Dell Inspiron 15 a couple of years ago. It was a complete lemon since new. Today, it had a blank screen. Went on Dell troubleshooting website, and wasted hour with their nonsense, such as ‘click on the start button and select shut down from drop down menu’. Hello? What start button. I’ve got a blank screen!
Looked at your site and used method 2, and it was working in 3 minutes. Thanks!

3 years ago

I have a DELL Inspiron 17 which gets black screen from time to time. I used Method 2 above and it got fixed. Thank you!

3 years ago

My dell laptop when open showing dell logo then it is showing for checking media fail.Keep on showing like this.What is the problem

3 years ago

I recently bought a Dell Inspiron 15 3584 Intel Core i3 7th Gen 15.6-inch FHD Laptop (8GB/1TB HDD/Windows 10 + MS Office H&S ). I was in irritation condition once Dell Laptop Black Screen as whatever command I tried to give the laptop would not respond. After a lot of research and reading a ton of blogs I was satisfied after executing the steps mentioned in the second solution.

3 years ago

none of these options worked

3 years ago

This fixed my problem quickly & easily.
Thank you!

Joe Ioane
3 years ago

Hello my lap is on but nothing appears on the screen its all black out but the power light is on and the cpu fan only spin when the lap turn on and then go off

3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Ioane

Hello did u find out to resolve this issue ?

I have exactly the same issue power on, black screen, and cpu fan only spins when it tuns on and off.

Let me know. Thanks

1 year ago
Reply to  mummy

once you log on safe mode . open the device manager and uninstall make sure you delete all the hd 3000 drivers ( not just uninstall ) and Generic PnP Monitor Driver and then turn off and turn on the laptop . then you will need to disable windows update or it gonna install it back and you will face the same issue