Issue: How to fix black screen with cursor?
Hello. Something has happened to my Windows 10 computer – it suddenly crashed and, once booted, nothing was visible. I mean, it was just a mouse cursor that I can move, but nothing was visible, just pure blackness. How do I load back to my PC? Please help me fix this black screen issue!
Black screen with cursor, or otherwise known as a black screen of death error, is typically a result of a Windows system crash – it occurs during a critical error, and the OS is not capable of the boot back. As a result, all users see is a movable cursor, but nothing else is visible on the screen, apart from a black background. Many might believe that they are in a dire situation and that their Windows systems are broken. However, the issue is relatively common, and it is fairly easy to fix a black screen with cursor.
Typically, once users boot into Windows 10 (or another version of the OS for that matter), they can see the distinctive Graphic User Interface (GUI) components, such as the Start button and menu, taskbar, system tray, etc. However, once a critical error occurs, users cannot see anything else but a black screen with cursor. Consequently, they cannot use very basic functions of the system, such as loading programs, changing settings, viewing pictures or videos, etc. In other words, the computer becomes essentially useless.
It is worth noting that there are two types of Black screen with cursor issue:
- Users can log in to Windows, but none of the GUI are visible
- Users cannot login to Windows, as the operating system does not bypass the initial loading phase
In this article, we will provide solutions for both so you can fix Black screen with cursor regardless of whether you can boot into Windows or not.
How to fix black screen with cursor?
Unlike Blue Screen of Death errors, Black screen with cursor does not provide any information as to why the issue occurred, and there is also no error code which would help users seek answers online. Nevertheless, the black screen might happen due to a variety of reasons, including graphics drivers, hardware problems, malware infections, and much more.
Note: if you can boot into Windows, and do not want to waste time with this problem, or you are not that good with computers and want a quick fix, we suggest you try using ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 – a PC repair software that can fix many Windows issues automatically. If you are willing to proceed with manual solutions, check the them provided below.
Fix 1. Check for technical issues
First of all, we would like to point out that the Black screen with cursor can occur due to various technical issues, such as defective connection cable, faulty monitor, dual monitor issue, etc. Therefore, before you proceed and try to access Safe Mode, we suggest you check the following basics:
- Check for connection problems. Make sure that the cable connecting your monitor and computer is properly inserted. Additionally, you should check for cable damage visually (note, do that while the computer is off).
- Connect your computer to a different monitor and see if it works. If the latter is true, your monitor needs replacing or fixing.
- Disconnect all external devices, such as cameras, phones, printers, etc. Reboot and see if it fixes the problem.
- In some cases, corrupted hardware might cause Black screen with cursor. Thus, check computer components like graphics card, RAM sticks, as well as SSD/HDD for corruption by replacing them with alternatives that you know work well.
- In case you are using a laptop, shut it down and remove the battery. Press the Power button for 60 seconds and then reequip the computer with batter, and attempt to login to Windows once again.
- If you are using multiple displays, press Win + P to select PC screen only option. Check if a correct display is picked
Note: if you are able to access Windows, proceed with the fix number 2.
Fix 2. Reboot in Safe Mode
If none of the above helped to fix Black screen with cursor, you should access Safe Mode by following these steps:
- Reboot your machine
- Once the Windows logo shows up, press the Power button on your PC to interrupt the boot sequence
- Repeat the above step two more times – this should automatically boot you into Advanced Startup mode
- Now pick Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings and Restart
- After another reboot, pick F4/4 to access Safe Mode or F5/5 to access Safe Mode with Networking Access Safe Mode
You should be able to operate your machine as normal in Safe Mode. Thus, proceed with the fixes provided below.
Fix 3. Disable Fast Startup option
Fast Startup technically is a great addition to any Windows machine – it helps users to login into Windows faster once their computers wake up from the sleep mode. However, this function also has several negative effects on the computer in some cases, including the Black screen with cursor issue. Because the feature is turned on by default, most users are unaware that they are using it in the first place. Thus, follow these steps to disable it:
- Type in Control Panel into Windows Search and hit Enter
- Once Control Panel opens, select the Small icons view
- Click on Power Options Control Panel > Small icons
- On the left side of the window, select Choose what the power buttons do
- Select the Change settings that are currently unavailable option at the top
- Untick the Turn on fast startup (recommended) option and press Save changes Turn off fast startup
- Reboot into normal mode and see if Black screen with cursor is fixed.
Fix 4. Reinstall graphic drivers
Corrupted drivers can cause this issue. To make sure that the correct drivers are applied, you should reinstall them via the Device Manager:
- Right-click on the Start button and pick Device Manager
- Expand the Display adapters section
- Right-click on the currently installed driver and pick Uninstall device
- Tick the Delete the driver software for this device box
- Click Uninstall and reboot your PC
- Launch Device Manager once again
- Click on Scan for hardware changes at the top Reinstall graphics drivers
- Reboot once again.
Protip: if you a novice computer user, dealing with drivers can be time-consuming and rather difficult. Therefore, if you want a quick solution for any driver-related problems, we instead recommend using DriverFix. It can update your drivers automatically and also prepare backups in case something goes wrong, avoiding compatibility-related issues.
Fix 5. Restart Windows Explorer
- Press Ctrl + Shift + ESC to open Task Manager
- Pick More Details.
- Find Windows Explorer and right-click it
- Select Restart Restart file explorer
- A short flash will restart the Windows Explorer.
Fix 6. Reinstall recent updates
Windows updates can often cause various problems if they were not installed correctly, or they might simply be buggy. Here's how to uninstall recent Windows updates:
- Type in Control Panel into Windows search and press Enter
- Select Programs > Uninstall a program
- On the left side, pick View installed updates
- Right-click on the most recent update and select Uninstall Reinstall Windows updates
- Reboot your PC
- Right-click on Start, pick Settings
- Go to Update & Security
- Click on Check for updates – wait till Windows downloads and installs newest updates
- Reboot once again.
Fix 7. Use System restore
System Restore can be used to bring back the state of your computer into the earlier date. In other words, if you did not have a problem before, you should roll back:
- Press Win + R on your keyboard
- In the new window, type in rstrui.exe and press Enter
- Select Choose a different restore point and pick Next
- Tick Show more restore points
- Pick a restore point at which the problem was absent
- Click Next and then select Finish
- Your PC will restart and will be brought back to an earlier date. Note that you might have to reinstall some programs after this process.
Fix 8. Reset your computer
In nothing else helped, try to reset your PC – this option will not touch any of your personal files but will remove all the installed programs.
- Right-click on Start and select Settings
- Go to Update & Security
- On the left side, select Recovery
- Under Reset this PC, click Get Started
- Pick Keep my files option
- Proceed with the on-screen instructions to finish the process.
You can find more options available on our “How to reset Windows to factory settings” article.
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