How to Fix Laptop Screen Black But Still Running

Why is my laptop screen black but still running? Will I lose all data? Don’t worry, in this guide, we’ll show you how to recover lost data and how to fix laptop screen went black but still running


By Lucas / Updated on March 18, 2024

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When the graphics driver is corrupted or there is a problem with the LCD backlight, the laptop screen will appear black. To test the display, you can connect an external monitor and restart the computer. If the image is displayed on the external monitor, the graphics driver may be conflicting with the laptop LCD, causing the laptop to black screen but still running.

In this post, we’ll explore why laptop screen is black but still running and how to fix this issue with five practical ways. And also, we’ll help you to recover data if anything wrong occurs.

Why is laptop screen black but still running?

After logging in with the cursor, it is common to see the laptop black screen of death, no display, no options, nothing. Based on years of experience in the IT field, users often encounter the problem of "LED light, hard disk spinning, no display" of the laptop, especially when Microsoft pushed the Windows operating system update.

Here, we find the top 5 possible reasons for this issue:

1. Faulty Display Connection
Sometimes, the connection between the monitor and the laptop's motherboard can be loose or damaged. This can cause a black screen even if the laptop is still running. Imagine it like a TV, if the cable is not plugged in correctly, you will not see anything on the screen.

2. Screen Backlight Issue
The backlight of your laptop screen can malfunction, causing the screen to appear black even when power is still being supplied.

3. Graphics Card Problems
If the graphics card in your laptop is malfunctioning or connected incorrectly, it may cause the screen to go black.

4. Software or Driver Errors
Additionally, operating system errors or outdated graphics drivers can cause a black screen. This is similar to your computer crashing or dying because your software is not working properly.

5. Hardware Failure
And in some cases, hardware components other than the monitor or graphics card, such as the motherboard or power supply, may malfunction and cause the screen to turn black.

Additionally, many users have found that this issue can also be related to a Windows reset or component reset, which erases hard drive data. You can start by performing a quick reboot attempt: press and hold the power button on the device for 10 seconds to turn it off, then unplug the adapter. After 30 seconds, plug the adapter back in and restart the device. If you still see a black screen, try the methods in this guide.

Try to solve laptop screen black but still running

Fix 1. Best to do: Recover data from laptop black screen

There may be a risk of data loss during the process of resolving the issue. Therefore, if you are concerned about your data, try to access your hard disk and back up your important files from the beginning!

We recommend the easiest data recovery solution - the "Recover Data" utility of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional for accessing the hard drive while the laptop screen remains black. You can use it to restart your computer from a USB bootable drive and recover data if the operating system is not functioning properly or the system disk is damaged.

Step 1. Open the installed AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. On the main interface, click Recover > Recover Data in turn.

Recover Data

Step 2. Choose the drive where the data you want to recover saved and click Start Scan.

Recover Windows Data

Step 3. After scanning, all lost data on the drive will be listed. Then, tick the target file and click Recover file.

Select Recover Data

Step 4. Here, choose the proper path to save it.

Select Saved Path

Step 5. When the recovery is finished, close the software and go to the target location to find the files.


Fix 2. Hard reset the laptop

When a laptop has difficulty booting or has other glitches, the manufacturer should allow you to perform a hard reset or factory reset. If you don't know how to perform a hard reset, try contacting the manufacturer or asking for help on the official support forum. This method will delete data and apps, but it's still worth a try since it solves most problems with a blank or black display. Here, we're using hp laptop as an example.

Step 1. Completely shut down the computer and unplug the power cord. Then disconnect all externally connected devices including USB drives, monitors, headphones, docking stations, etc.

Step 2. Open the laptop's battery compartment and remove the battery.

Step 3. Now, press and hold the power button for another 15 seconds to ensure that the laptop is drained of all current.

Step 4. Install the laptop battery and connect the power cord, while still not connecting any external devices.

Step 5. Turn on the computer using the power button and see if you can access the startup menu.

When you can access the startup menu, use the arrow keys to select Normal Startup Windows and press Enter to confirm. Then you can reconnect your devices back to your computer.

Fix 3. Connect another monitor to test the display

A defective graphics driver or LCD backlight issue may cause the screen to remain dark. To test your display, connect an external monitor and restart your computer. This test is useful if the display is dark but you can hear the computer operating. Most monitors and other display devices can be connected via VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort.

Step 1. Connect an external display. The HDMI link also carries audio. HDMI audio is lost when using a DVI to HDMI converter or cable.

Step 2. The computer screen does not appear on the external monitor, press "F4" until the image appears.

Step 3. When the image appears on the external monitor, there may be a problem with the graphics card driver and the notebook LCD. Download and install the latest graphics card and chipset drivers.

Step 4. Then, you can hear operating noise but can't see any images on either monitor, now, replace the monitor or have the laptop serviced.

Fix 4. Reinstall your memory

Insufficient or loose memory connections on your computer might occasionally result in your laptop screen going black while still operating. To accomplish this, you will need to reinstall your computer's RAM. Please be aware that this procedure may provide unexpected outcomes. Computer newbies are advised to seek expert advice.

Step 1. Turn off the laptop, and then disconnect the power cord. Before beginning any procedure, touch a grounded metal object to discharge static electricity.

Step 2. Remove the cover to access the memory.

Step 3. Remove memory modules on the laptop.

Remove laptop RAM

Step 4. Reinsert all memory modules.

Step 5. Perform any tests to verify that the laptop can start up and run in the Windows operating system.

Fix 5. Restart your laptop in Safe Mode

Safe Mode can assist fix difficulties with starting your computer without loading third-party device drivers, allowing your laptop to function properly even when the screen dims.

Step 1. To enter the Windows Recovery Environment, force shut down and restart twice.

Step 2. Navigate to Troubleshooting > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.

Startup settings

Step 3. After restarting the computer, a menu of options will display. To start the computer in safe mode, select 4 or F4.

If your computer does not display a black screen in safe mode, there might be a problem with the laptop's internal components. You should continue to attempt the procedures listed below.

Option 1. Reinstall graphics card driver to solve laptop screen went black but still running

When your laptop's graphics card launcher is outdated or improperly set up, the "laptop screen goes black but still runs" issue may occur.

1. Follow the steps above to enter the Windows recovery environment, then click Numpad 4 or F4 in Startup Settings to enter Safe Mode.

2. Select Device Manager from the enlarged menu that appears when you right-click the Start button.

3. In the Device Manager box, select Display Adapters. Select the graphics driver from the enlarged list.

4. Right-click and select Uninstall Device from the enlarged menu, then click Uninstall again in the confirmation window.

Update graphic driver

Option 2. Change settings in Nvidia PowerMizer

Nvidia PowerMizer is a power management program that extends battery life and reduces power waste by optimizing notebook computer power consumption. According to customer comments, utilizing this program can assist address the problem of "laptop screen black but still running". If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, this is a solution worth trying.

1. First, boot into Windows Recovery Environment and press number key 5 or F5 to enable Windows Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe mode with network

2. Download, install and launch Nvidia PowerMizer. In the Nvidia PowerMizer window, set Battery and Power to Medium and disable Overheat Slowdown.

3. Exit Safe Mode and restart your computer to check if the problem is fixed. If this doesn't work, move on to the next step.

Option 3. Change screen saver settings

According to the comments of some users, the screen saver option may be the cause of the "Laptop screen is black but still working" issue. To do so, you need to update this parameter.

1. Enter Windows Recovery Environment using the steps above, then press number key 4 or F4 in Startup Settings to enter Safe Mode.

2. To customize your desktop, right-click anywhere on the screen and select "Personalize" from the expanded menu.

3. Go to the "Lock screen" tab on the left panel and select "Screen saver settings" at the bottom of the right panel.

4. Change the screensaver to None and click Apply and OK to save changes.


Even if your laptop screen goes dark but is still working, do not worry, try the methods listed above to solve the problem effectively. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional has a clear interface and simple operation to help you recover important data. In addition, this software also offers features such as disk cloning and partition cloning, giving you more options when facing computer problems and protecting your data from accidental loss.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.