Monitor Goes Black For A Second

Have you noticed your computer monitor going black for a brief moment before coming back on? This flashing black screen issue can happen suddenly and be annoying. However, there are usually simple fixes you can try before assuming the worst about your monitor.

That flashing black screen can disrupt your work or entertainment. You may worry your monitor is broken but don’t panic yet. More often than not, there is a straightforward solution that won’t require expensive repairs or replacement. Let’s look at some potential causes and easy solutions.

One common cause is outdated graphics card drivers. Over time, drivers can develop glitches. Updating to the latest version from the manufacturer’s site can fix it. It could also be a connectivity issue between the monitor and the computer. Check all cable connections are fully secure. Additionally, your monitor settings may need adjusting. Try lowering the screen refresh rate or turning off energy-saving modes causing it to turn off too quickly.

What Causes a Monitor to Go Black for A Second?

What Causes a Monitor to Go Black for A Second?

Outdated Graphics Card Drivers

Graphics card drivers allow your monitor to communicate properly with the computer. When drivers are outdated, they can cause flickering or timeouts. Updating to the latest version from the manufacturer can resolve this.

Loose or Damaged Connection Cables

Signal cables connecting your monitor to the graphics card or laptop port may be loose or damaged. Check all cables are fully plugged in securely. Replace any that look worn.

Overheating Components

Dust buildup inside the computer monitor can cause overheating. Clean any vents and interior areas. Also, check for adequate airflow around the monitor and computer tower.

Improper Monitor Settings

The refresh rate, resolution, or energy-saving settings may be pushing your monitor’s capabilities. Try lowering settings in your display control panel.

Faulty Monitor or Graphics Card

If connections and settings check out, the black screening may point to a failing component like the monitor backlight or graphics card. Further troubleshooting or even replacement may be needed.

Fixing Monitor Goes Black for a Second: 

The first thing to try when a monitor flashes black is updating its graphics card drivers. Go to the device manufacturer’s website to download the latest version. This addresses many software-related issues. You should also check that all video cables are fully and securely connected between the monitor and the computer. Try different ports if possible.

Make sure any vents are clear of dust buildup as excess heat can cause brief shutoffs. Adjusting power settings and enabling or disabling screensavers are also worth testing. Turning off fast startup or energy-saver modes may remedy quick blackouts. These simple hardware and software tweaks often do the trick.

Most Common Fixes

1. Examine Monitor Cable Connections

One of the most basic yet common causes of a monitor flashing black is loose or poor cable connections. The monitor relies on cables to receive the video signal from the graphics card or other video output source. If cables are not fully and securely plugged in at both ends, it can lead to intermittent loss of the video signal and the monitor displaying a black screen briefly before reconnecting. Taking the time to fully examine all cable connections can reveal if they need to be tightened, or replaced, or if are making proper contact.

Things to check include:

  • Visually inspect both ends of the video cable (usually VGA, DVI, HDMI) for any bends, cracks, or looseness
  • Gently try wiggling cables while the monitor is on to see if the black screen occurs, indicating a loose connection
  • Fully unplug and reseat both ends of the cable, pushing firmly into place until it clicks
  • Try using a different cable or port if available to narrow down the potential problem
  • Ensure cables are not trapped or facing excessive pressure that could cause intermittent connectivity issues

Let me know if another format such as a table would be preferable. The key thing is fully examining the monitor video cable connections for any issues.

2. Factory Reset the Monitor

Monitor BrandReset Button LocationReset Instructions
DellBack bottom edgePress and hold the button for 5-10 seconds until the on-screen menu appears.
LGBack bottom edgePress and hold the button for 10 seconds until the LED indicator blinks twice.
SamsungCenter backPress and hold the button for 5-10 seconds until the brand logo displays on screen.
AcerBack bottom edgePress and hold the button for 5-10 seconds until the on-screen menu appears.
AsusCenter backPress and hold the button for 8-10 seconds until the on-screen menu appears.

After reset:

  • Power cycle the monitor by unplugging it for 30 seconds and then replugging
  • Check if the flashing has stopped, if so the issue was a buggy firmware/setting
  • If needed, set up fresh display options, resolution, etc. as desired

3. Reconfigure Power Settings


The power settings on a monitor can sometimes be too aggressive, causing it to briefly turn off or flash the screen. This is typically due to short timeout durations.

Accessing Settings

To adjust the settings, access the on-screen display menu. Navigate to the ‘Power’ or ‘Setup’ section to view options.

Key Settings

Some common settings to check include:

  • Sleep/Power off timer: Increase the minutes of inactivity before shutting off
  • Screen/monitor timeout: Lengthen the time before the screen darkens
  • Fast startup/eco modes: Disable energy savings modes if enabled

Testing Changes

Make one adjustment at a time and test the monitor. Give it time to see if the flashing stops.

Reboot and Recheck

Once finished, reboot the PC for the full effect of the changes. Verify the black screen issue is resolved by normal use.


Finding the right balance of performance and energy savings can resolve intermittent black screens from overly cautious power settings. Start with making them a bit less aggressive.

4. Update or Rollback Your Graphics Driver

Graphics drivers are responsible for allowing the graphics card and monitor to communicate properly. Outdated or incorrect drivers can sometimes cause black screen flashing issues.

Updating Drivers:

  • Go to your graphics card manufacturer’s website (e.g. Nvidia, AMD) and search for your model
  • Download the latest recommended driver version
  • Run the installer file and follow the prompts to update the drivers
  • Restart your computer after installation
  • Check if the black screen flashing persists

Rolling Back Drivers:

  • If updating did not help, you may need to roll back to a previous version
  • Windows Device Manager can uninstall and revert to earlier drivers
  • Alternatively, download drivers for different dates from the manufacturer’s site
  • Repeat installation and reboot, testing after each rollback

Driver issues won’t always be resolved right away. Be patient and methodical in trying different compatible driver versions.

5. Disable Conflicting Software

Certain programs running in the background can potentially cause conflicts that result in a monitor flashing black briefly.

Identifying Conflicts:

  • Think about recently installed applications
  • Overlapping tools like screen savers, desktop widgets, streaming software
  • Conflict checkers can scan for problematic startup items

Disabling Software:

  • Right-click the desktop and select Task Manager
  • Select the Startup tab and disable recently added programs
  • Uninstall any recently installed potentially conflicting software
  • Try disabling your screensaver or widgets temporarily

Testing Changes:

  • Restart your computer after disabling the software
  • Give it full use and see if the issue still occurs
  • Re-enable one thing at a time and test each change

Isolating conflicting software requires patience. However, removing potential interference points can resolve hard-to-pin-down issues.

6. Try Windows System Restore

System Restore can roll back Windows to an earlier point if a recent software or update change causes glitches.

Accessing System Restore:

  • Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
  • Select “Open System Restore”
  • Choose a restore point from before the monitor issue arose

Running System Restore:

  • Click “Next” to initiate the rollback process
  • Your PC may reboot one or more times during the restore
  • Once completed, sign back in to Windows

Testing After Restore:

  • Use your monitor normally for a while after restore
  • Check if the black screen flashing issue is now resolved
  • If it persists, restore did not solve the culprit software change

While restoring has risks, it can occasionally fix problems by rolling back whatever caused the new behavior. Just be sure to choose a restore point from when the monitor worked properly.

7. Undo Overclocking

  • Overclocking involves increasing CPU/GPU clock speeds and voltages outside manufacturer specs for extra performance
  • It can make systems unstable over time, sometimes triggering visual glitches like a monitor briefly flashing black
  • To undo, enter the computer BIOS by pressing a key like Delete or F2 on startup before Windows loads
  • Navigate to the overclocking settings section, which varies by motherboard manufacturer
  • Reset CPU ratio/multiplier, bus speed, core voltages back to default “Auto” settings
  • For GPU overclocks, use software like MSI Afterburner to undo the overclock and reset to stock speeds/volts
  • Save BIOS changes and exit, then go back in to ensure overclock settings are stuck at defaults
  • If issues persist, try clearing the CMOS which resets all BIOS settings – check the motherboard manual for jumper/button location
  • Give the system a thorough test after each change to see if flashing stops before undoing more settings
  • Undoing may cause performance reductions but ensures stability if overclocking introduces inconsistencies
  • Ruling out overclocking as the root cause helps guide further troubleshooting steps if needed

8. Check for Internal Hardware Issues

If software/driver issues have been ruled out, there may be a physical component causing the black screens.

Checking Cables:

  • Inspect video cable connections to monitor and GPU for fraying or looseness
  • Try a different cable if available to see if the issue follows the cable

Testing Other Ports:

  • Connect the monitor to another video output on the graphics card like HDMI or DisplayPort
  • See if the flashing occurs, which would point to the GPU as the potential culprit

Checking Components:

  • Remove the graphics card and inspect for damage, reseat it securely
  • Check for signs of overheating on the card and CPU cooler fins
  • Try another GPU if available to isolate any hardware faults

Repairs or replacements may be needed if black screens continue across different software/driver solutions and ports. Narrowing down the issue helps determine the next course of action.

9. Make Sure You Have the Latest Windows Updates Installed

9. Make Sure You Have the Latest Windows Updates Installed

Keeping Windows updated helps fix issues. Check for updates by opening Settings then Update & Security. This screen shows available patches for quality, security, or new features. Downloads may take time due to size but are important to keep your system stable and secure.

Install any available updates by clicking the Download and Install button. Windows will automatically install and prompt you to restart when ready. Restarting applies changes fully so issues can be accurately tested afterward.

Sign back in after restart to put the system through normal use. Check if the black screen flashing on the monitor occurs still. Having all patches installed rules out any bugs addressed in newer versions as a cause. An updated Windows helps narrow the troubleshooting process.

10. More ways to fix this issue

There are a few other potential causes to check if the problem persists.

Reset Monitor Settings:

  • Access the on-screen display menu by pressing buttons on the monitor
  • Reset the monitor to factory default settings
  • Check manufacturer instructions for the reset process

Test on Another PC:

  • Connect the monitor to a different computer to see if the issue follows
  • This helps determine if it’s monitor or PC-specific

Update BIOS:

  • Outdated BIOS can potentially cause visual glitches
  • Check the manufacturer’s site and update to the latest version if available

Replace Cables/Adapters:

  • Swap HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI cables with new ones to troubleshoot interference
  • Try different power bricks if using a laptop

Replacing components is a last resort if all else fails. Methodically checking and changing variables helps isolate causes.

Frequently Ask Questions

Why does my screen keep going black for a few seconds Windows 11?

Could be graphics drivers, overheating, or corrupt Windows files. Update drivers, clean dust, and use System Restore.

Can you fix a black screen monitor?

Yes, through troubleshooting steps like updating drivers, checking cables/ports, rolling back updates, and replacing components if needed. 

Why does my monitor go black for a second when I play games? 

Possibly overheating the GPU or power supply. Ensure proper ventilation and try lowering game graphics settings.

Why has my second monitor gone black?

The cable, port, or monitor may be faulty. Test with a different cable, port, and another monitor to isolate the issue.

Why does my monitor keep blacking out randomly?

Outdated graphics drivers or Windows. Try updating them. Could also be a loose cable or the monitor going bad. reconnect/replace cable or monitor.

Why does the screen go black for a second?

Common causes are overheating, bad power supply, outdated drivers, or virus infection. Check temperatures, update drivers, and run virus scans.

Final Thoughts

Resolving a monitor that briefly goes black can take patience and careful testing. Many potential software, hardware, and settings issues must be methodically ruled out. Following the various troubleshooting steps will help isolate changing variables that cause instability, like outdated drivers, software conflicts, or BIOS overclocking. Persevering through solutions will pinpoint the root problem and get the display functioning reliably again.

While frustrating, a black screening monitor issue is solvable. Taking it step-by-step from checking basics to testing components will reveal the cause. Having ruled out all other possibilities helps decide if repair or component replacement is needed. With the process of elimination, the display can be restored to normal operation.

Leave a Comment