Chromebooks are one of the best alternatives to the PC laptop or MacBook experience. Its best feature is that it just works. But like any other device, it has issues. One of the more popular Chromebook problems is a black screen. This is when the screen turns black (or blank) suddenly while you’re using it. Or when you turn it on your Chromebook, there’s no response from the display. But worse is when the black screen is a result of a fatal error that causes the operating system to shut down by force. Before sending your Chromebook out for costly repairs, let’s explore some possible fixes for a Chromebook black screen first.
Touch the bottom of your Chromebook. If you’re the type of user that likes to work with your Chromebook on your bed or couch, the air vents could be blocked, restricting air from the internals causing the screen to go black. If the bottom of your Chromebook is very hot, this is confirmation of overheating.
Set your Chromebook off to the side and allow 15 to 20 minutes for the device to cool down. Then restart your Chromebook. If it starts up normal, then the problem was because the internal temperature was too high. Do your best to use it on a hard flat surface so that it gets proper ventilation to prevent future overheating.
2. Broken Screen
The reason why your Chromebook’s screen is black could be because the display is broken. To test this theory, you’ll want to plug the Chromebook into an external TV or monitor.
Many Chromebooks are equipped with an HDMI or microHDMI port you can use to connect to the television or monitor. But some of the latest Chromebooks only have a USB-C port. In which case, you’ll need a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
If you see an image on the TV or monitor but not on the Chromebook display, this is a tell-tale sign your Chromebook needs a new screen. This can be the result of a bad LCD screen, which is highly likely. Or the result of a bad LCD cable, which is very unlikely.
As intimidating as it might seem at first, replacing these screens isn’t that difficult. You can find plenty of instructional videos showing you just how to go about it. Check out the current prices for a new Chromebook screen on Amazon.
You just need to make sure that the replacement screen is the same size as the broken one. You’ll also want to ensure the pin connection matches your Chromebook as they can be different depending on model. Typically, you can replace a touch screen with a non-touch screen, which might prove to be a cheaper option.
3. Try a Factory Reset
Sometimes the easiest way to fix an issue is by wiping the Chromebook. A factory reset (or Powerwashing) will wipe all data from your Chromebook.
But since it will continue running its current Chrome OS version, you won’t lose any information. Your settings and apps will automatically install when you log back in.
For the safety of all your most important documents, you’ll want to make sure you move anything saved locally on your Chromebook (like your Downloads folder) to your Google Drive for safe keeping while you Powerwash your Chromebook.
Here are steps on How to Powerwash or Factory Reset a Chromebook.
Or you could just:
- Go the taskbar in your Chromebook.
- Click Settings.
- And click Powerwash Restart.
4. Charge the Battery
Another reason why your Chromebook screen is black might be because it’s out of juice. We’ve been there, you forget to charge your laptop overnight. And when you try to turn it on the next day, black screen.
Just like a laptop, the battery is the main power source for a Chromebook. If it’s not working right, your Chromebook will experience issues. Connect your Chromebook to a power outlet. If the AC adapter has a red light when you plug it in, that means the Chromebook’s battery is low. You can fix this by plugging your Chromebook into a power outlet and allow it to charge for at least 10 minutes or until you get the green LED light.
Then try to turn your Chromebook on again. If either the battery or the charger isn’t working, you’ll need to replace it with a new one (more about this later). But if this doesn’t fix it, keep reading.
5. Force a Hard Reboot
If your Chromebook runs, but the screen is black, and the touchpad is also unresponsive. Or it shows other signs of being frozen or an inability to turn on. Try this keyboard shortcut to force the Chromebook to reboot allowing you to log in – it’s the software equivalent of removing the battery and power cord. How to Force a Chromebook to Reboot.
Press and hold the Power and Reload button at the same time (some convertible 2-in-1 Chromebooks have the power button located on the side of the device). The Chromebook should turn off and back on within 5 to 10 seconds.
6. Disconnect the Battery
This requires opening the Chromebook, disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. Then plugging the Chromebook into a power outlet to see if it will charge.
One sure fire way to completely remove all power from a Chromebook is to disconnect the power cord and battery. Most Chromebooks require opening the Chromebook to get to the battery for disconnection.
You can find how to videos on what’s involved for your specific Chromebook online. But use caution, doing this can void the warranty.
7. Disconnect USB Devices
8. Restart the Chromebook
If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, there are a few restarting options you can perform to see if you can get the screen back online.
Perform a simple restart of your Chromebook before attempting any other type of restart. This way you won’t lose any data or unsaved information. Just restart your Chromebook normally.
If you’re still facing a black screen, this may be because your Chromebook hasn’t been shut down in some time. In this case, it needs a hard restart – hold down the power and refresh button simultaneously for about 10 seconds. This will give your Chromebook a hard restart.
9. Let the Battery Run Down
A black screen on your Chromebook could be the result of numerous issues. Issues that can take care of themselves once the Chromebook resets. You can help your Chromebook reset by simply letting the battery rundown to completely empty. Doing this usually flushes whatever issues was causing the Chromebook not to work properly. Then just charge it back up and you should be good to go.
10. Increase Screen Brightness
Like standard laptops, Chromebooks have a brightness adjustment feature that allows you to turn the screen brightness up or down. The lowest brightness level results in a black screen. To turn up the screen brightness, press the bigger cogwheel key on your keyboard. If this was the issue, your screen will get brighter.
11. Leave It Un-Plugged Overnight
All you have to do here is connect your Chromebook to a power outlet. Then open the lid. If nothing happens, just leave your Chromebook plugged into the power outlet with the lid open overnight. And when you come back to it the following day, you should find the logon screen.
12. Force Your Chromebook to Turn On
Sometimes the reason for the black screen is simply because the Chromebook won’t turn on. This is when you try the power button several times and nothing happens, and you know the battery is charged.
Chromebooks require that they be plugged into a power outlet when you use them for the first time. It’s possible that the black screen is result of your Chromebook reverting back to this state.
- Close the Chromebook’s lid.
- Plug your Chromebook into a power outlet using its AC adapter.
- Then, open the Chromebook’s lid and press any keys.
After a few seconds your Chromebook should come back to life again. This also should make the power button usable again.
13. Update the Chrome Operating System
Chromebooks update automatically. It’s vital that your Chromebook is updated to keep up with the latest version of the OS. These periodic updates fix bugs, Chromebook related issues and features.
If you receive a message that says something like Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Google can show you how to recover your Chromebook.
14. Faulty Chromebook Hardware
Plug in your Chromebook to a power outlet to see if the light comes on.
Orange or Red = charging
Green or White = charged
No Light = bad news
Some Chromebooks let you know its charging with a blinking LED light. Basically, any color light lets you know that your Chromebook is accepting power. No light at all likely means you have a bad charger, charging port or a motherboard issue.
You can test to make sure the reason why your Chromebook isn’t able to charge isn’t the result of the power cable or AC adapter by finding another power cord you can use to try and charge your Chromebook. If using another power cable charges your Chromebook, then you know you just need a new power cable.
Since Google has forced all manufacturers of Chromebooks to standardize their USB-C charging, power cables for all Chromebook are relatively universal. You can buy a replacement charger for pretty cheap on Amazon.
Faulty Power Connections
But if that’s not the issue, another possible culprit could be the power connection on the Chromebook. Replacement DC power jacks can be purchased on Amazon too.
While not terribly difficult to replace, the act of replacing them can be time consuming. Nevertheless, there are plenty of how to videos out there to help you along.
If the motherboard is the issue, however, we’re afraid there’s not much that can be done. Unless the Chromebook is covered under warranty or it’s a high-end model. It likely won’t be worth the effort of trying to replace it.
Faulty Hard Drive
If the lights on your Chromebook turn on when you press the power button, but you can’t access Chrome OS. Your hard drive may be the cause of the black screen. You can try to reinstall the operating system or replace the hard drive with a new one.
If, however, no lights come on when you hit the power button. Connect the Chromebook to a power outlet and try turning it on that way. If this doesn’t work, the motherboard is likely the issue. If the device is still under warranty, you can try sending it in for repairs.
15. Likely Need a New Battery
Specifically, if you notice that your Chromebook battery won’t charge past 1% no matter how long you leave it plugged into a power outlet. It’s likely that you need a new battery. Fortunately, Amazon sells replacement batteries for many laptops, including Chromebooks.
Even if the Chromebook works well enough when you plug it into a power outlet. Overtime the battery can begin to swell or get worse or damaged, taking your Chromebook with it. A good sign of this is when you notice that the keyboard is beginning to bulge up. Remove the battery at once and replace it, even if you’ll only be using the Chromebook when it’s plugged in.