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Dell Laptop Screen Not Displaying Properly

A laptop screen that is not displaying properly will surely ruin your day. We depend on our laptops for everything from business to pleasure.

If your Dell laptop screen is not displaying properly, there could be a bad connection between the graphics drivers and the system setup. An outdated display adapter driver will cause screen issues. A recent Windows update may not have been fully installed.

Black dell laptop on the desk

Before you throw the laptop out the window, all hope is not lost for your laptop. This article will help you troubleshoot and narrow down some of the reasons why your Dell laptop screen is not displaying properly.

Dell Laptop Screen Not Working But External Monitor Does

Black dell laptop on the desk

For many of us, it is not convenient to hook our laptop up to an external monitor every time we use it. If your laptop screen itself is not working, here are some reasons why,

If your Dell laptop screen is not working but an external monitor does, there is a communications issue between the graphics driver and the laptop’s external display. An outdated driver can cause the laptop to not recognize the screen.

You can update or disable drivers by doing the following.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start button.

Step 2: Select ‘Device Manager’.

Step 3: Select ‘Display Driver’.

Step 4: Select ‘Intel ® HD Graphics’ or whichever graphics driver your laptop has installed.

Step 5: Right-Click on the driver and select ‘Disable’.

Windows Support Assist

Running the Windows Support Assist option will ensure that the drivers and the operating system are all current.

Step 1: Simultaneously press and hold the Windows logo key and the Q key.

Step 2: When the search box appears, type in ‘SupportAssist’. Yes, one word.

Step 3: Select ‘SupportAssist’ when it appears in the list of results.

Step 4: Click on ‘Start Now’ to run a full laptop test. SupportAssist will notify you of the results and of any further action to take.

Dirty Battery

We don’t often think of our laptop battery until it’s time to charge. But how often do we think about cleaning the battery? For most of us, the answer to that question is most likely never.

Unplug the battery cord from its power source and then remove the battery from the laptop. Inspect the battery for any signs of damage. Clean the metal contact of the battery and the battery compartment with a soft cloth and then remove any loosened debris.


A malfunctioning screen can be due to an operating system error within Windows. Restart the laptop to clear out any bugs in the operating system and to finish installing new software or drivers, if the process was incomplete.

Step 1: Simultaneously press and hold both the Windows logo key and the L key.

Step 2: When the Windows login screen appears, hold the Shift key and click on the Power button. This will restart your laptop in Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

Step 3: Click on ‘Troubleshoot’.

Step 4: Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the restart process.

LCD connections within the screen could also be loose. Adjust the laptop monitor up and down a few times to see if the screen starts working again. If it does, this confirms it is indeed a loose LCD cable and will need to be repaired.

Dell Laptop Screen Does Not Turn On

Black dell laptop on the desk

You turn on your laptop only to find you are staring at a black screen. Before you start seeing red from the frustration, here are some reasons why this is happening.

If your Dell laptop screen does not turn on, this could be the result of a faulty install of Windows 10, an outdated adapter driver, the laptop is overheating, there is a virus in the hardware, or there is a power supply issue.

There are various reasons why your Dell laptop screen is not turning on but here are some solutions to a black screen.

Forced Shutdown

Since the laptop screen is black, you will not be able to see the normal commands for restarting your laptop. Here is a work-around for that.

Step 1: Press and hold the Power button on the laptop until the power light turns off.

Step 2: Unplug the AC adapter and/or power cord from the wall outlet or other power source.

Step 3: You now want to drain any remaining power from the laptop. You will do this by, once again, pressing and holding the Power button for at least 60 seconds.

Step 4: Disconnect all external devices or peripherals connected to the laptop. USB flash drives, media cards, everything.

Step 5: Plug the battery back into its power source and power the laptop on.

Dell Laptop Screen Doesn’t Turn On After Sleep

Black dell laptop on the desk

When the laptop is asleep, it is in power-saving mode. This is a good thing. But when it is time to use the laptop, the screen needs to wake up.

If your Dell laptop screen doesn’t turn after sleep, this means there is faulty communication between the battery and the screen. Remove the battery and drain any remaining power from the laptop by pressing and holding the power button. Reconnect the battery and restart the computer.

Much like an alarm clock, we sometimes need some external help waking up. Disabling certain power-saving features will assist your laptop screen in waking up.

Disable Deep Sleep

The Deep Sleep feature on a Dell laptop is designed to reduce the amount of power being used when the screen is not in use versus when it is in regular standby mode. The following steps will walk you through how to disable this feature.

Step 1: Turn on your laptop’s On-Screen Display.

Step 2: Select ‘Others’.

Step 3: Select ‘Monitor Deep Sleep’.

Step 4: Disable the feature.

Sometimes power-saving options within Windows are more of a hindrance than a help. They can keep some programs or settings in a dormant state even when they are clearly being used.

Here is how you can disable that “power management”.

Step 1: Open the laptop’s Control Panel.

Step 2: Select ‘Power Options’.

Step 3: Select ‘Change Plant Settings’.

Step 4: Select ‘Change Advanced Power Settings’.

Step 5: Scroll down and select ‘PCI Express’.

Step 6: When the list of options opens, click on Link State Power Management’.

Step 7: Turn this setting off and then click ‘Save’.

Dell Laptop Screen Is Black After Login

Black dell laptop on the desk

When you power on your laptop, you expect to see a black screen – at first. But what does it mean when the screen stays black?

If your Dell laptop screen is black after login, there is a bad connection between the graphics drivers and the operating system. The graphics drivers will need to be restarted or updated to resolve the issue.

Thankfully, it is easier than it sounds to restart the graphics drivers. The following hot-key sequence will walk you through restarting the graphics drivers.

Simultaneously press and hold the following keys: Windows logo > Ctrl > Shift > B.

The laptop will automatically restart after this sequence. If the issue is not resolved when the laptop starts up, the graphics drivers need to be updated.

Update Graphics Drivers

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows logo and click on Device Manager.

Step 2: Double-click on Display Adapters.

Step 3: Right-click on the graphics driver and select Update Driver.

Step 4: Click on ‘Search Automatically For updated Driver Software’.

Dell Laptop Screen Not Turning Off

Black dell laptop on the desk

At first, it may not seem like a bad thing when the screen will not turn off but this is not good for the laptop. There is a risk of screen burn and even the battery can be adversely affected by the continual supply of power.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on March 23, 2022.

If your Dell laptop screen is not turning off, this could be due to an outdated BIOS, incorrect power settings within Windows, outdated or corrupted files, and also interference from third-party software and applications.

The best place to start troubleshooting this issue is to run the Windows Power Troubleshooter.

Windows Power Troubleshooter

The Troubleshooter will check your laptop’s timeout settings. These settings determine how long the laptop waits until the screen shuts off or goes into sleep mode.

Step 1: Open the Control Panel

Step 2: In the search bar, type in ‘Troubleshooting’.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on March 23, 2022.

Step 3: Select ‘Troubleshooting’.

Step 4: Under the tab System and Security select ‘Improve Power Usage’.

Step 5: Select ‘Power’.

Step 6: Once the scan is complete, close out the Troubleshooter or select ‘Explore Additional Options’ if needed.

Dell Laptop Screen Keeps Turning Off

Black dell laptop on the desk

When you are using your laptop you need the screen to stay on. What use is a laptop if the screen doesn’t work? If this is happening to you, the problem could be due to a power-saving setting.

If your Dell laptop screen keeps turning off, turn off the Power Saving settings found in the Control Panel. The video card driver may need to be refreshed or reset. Disconnect any external devices that could be causing interference with the screen.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 23, 2022.

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