Fix: Xbox Series X / S Black Screen Issue

Xbox Series X and S are powerful consoles, but they can also run into problems like any other console. You would never want your console to fail, but they are a piece of tech at the end of the day. Many Xbox Series X and S owners have reported the Black Screen of Death issue.

For those unaware of this term, a Black Screen of Death is nothing but a condition when your display is completely black without any content. No matter how long you wait, the display remains black. The ‘Black Screen of Death’ problem can occur anytime such as while doing a system update or playing a game. Even when your console and the TV or monitor are running perfectly fine, you can’t be fully sure about this problem.

Fix: Xbox Series X / S Black Screen Issue

The black screen problem is one you would not want to face on any of your display devices. It is difficult to troubleshoot as you do not know the exact reason. It can occur because of incorrect configuration, hardware faulty, or software bugs or glitches. Most affected users end up scratching their heads after performing basic troubleshooting and lastly, they go for a replacement. This should be your last option as there are effective ways to deal with the ‘Black Screen of Death” problem. We will walk you through all the solutions in this troubleshooting guide.

Before quickly jumping on to the solutions, let us first understand what could be causing the black screen issue on your device. It will help you troubleshoot the problem more effectively.

Common Reasons for Xbox Series X / S Black Screen Problem

  • Loose cables: Often the black screen problem is a result of loose cables. Make sure all the cables, including the HDMI cable, are firmly attached to the right source.
  • Bugs or glitches: Your console or the monitor/TV may have software bugs or glitches resulting in a ‘Black Screen of Death’ situation. Restarting the device often does the trick here. However, you may need to reset the device if nothing works.
  • Hardware fault: The HDMI or power cable may not be working causing a black screen on the monitor. If not the cables, the HDMI port may not be working or the console’s motherboard may have hardware faults. You need to get it checked by a professional.
  • Incorrect display settings: You may have selected an incorrect resolution on your Xbox. For the console to work with your TV, the cable, TV, and your AVR system must support the selected resolution.
  • Power supply issue: The power cable of the console or the monitor/TV might not be working. Or, it could be defective, resulting in an improper power supply. You need to check the power outlet and surge protector as well.

So, these are several common reasons for getting a black screen on your TV/monitor when connected to an Xbox Series X or S console. Now that we know the reasons, let’s apply the troubleshooting steps to get your console and TV in order.

How to Fix Xbox Series X/S Black Screen Problem

We have jotted down the effective solutions to fix the Xbox black screen problem in this section. You may not have to try them all. Keep applying them one by one until you find the one that works for you.

1. Power Cycle Your Console

Common issues on your Xbox console can be easily washed away just by power cycling the device. It can fix software bugs and issues which could be causing the ‘Black Screen of Death’ problem.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Press and hold the “power button” for 10 seconds to turn off your Xbox console. Release the button when the LEDs turn off.
  2. Remove the power cable and the HDMI cable.
  3. Wait for a minute, and then connect all the cables to your console.

Now, turn on your console by pressing the “Xbox button” on the controller.
The device can take a longer time to restart. Now, connect one end of the HDMI cable to your console and another one to your TV or monitor. You should start seeing content on the display.

Unluckily, if the screen is still black, try power cycling your TV/monitor as well. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Unplug the power cable to turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the “power button” on the TV for 10 seconds. This should remove any residual power left in the device.
  3. Wait for a minute.
  4. Plug in the power cable again and turn on your TV.

2. Check the Connections

If power cycling the console did not help, perhaps something is wrong with the cables. Check for any damage to the power cables and the HDMI cable. Even small damage can cause issues. Therefore, carefully inspect the cables, especially the HDMI cable.

To make sure the HDMI cable is working fine, try using it on your computer. If the cable does not work on your PC, get a new cable. However, if there is nothing wrong with the cable, you have to try other solutions to restore the screen.

3. Set the Correct Input Source on Your TV

In a hurry to play your favorite game, you may have done the same mistake that many people do. Your TV won’t display anything if you have not selected the correct input source.

Check the back of your TV and remember the HDMI port to which the cable is connected to. Now, using your remote, select the right input source and you should start seeing content on the screen.

4. Inspect the HDMI Ports

A defective HDMI port could be the source of the problem. It can’t send or receive signals and thus won’t display anything on the screen. Check the HDMI ports on your console and the monitor/TV for any damage.

Sometimes, dust and debris get accumulated inside the HDMI port and cause many problems. Try clearing the HDMI ports and connecting the cable again to check if the problem is fixed.

5. Disconnect External Devices

Xbox console offers multiple ports to connect external devices. Although the console is designed to work with multiple external devices, they can, sometimes, conflict when the system is trying to update the firmware. To make sure this is not the case with your console, temporarily remove all external devices. Leave the ethernet cable, power cord, and the HDMI cable connected. Check if the black screen problem is sorted.

6. Change the Video Resolution

You may be getting a black screen because the resolution of your console is different from your TV resolution. Try powering on your console in the low-resolution mode to fix all sorts of resolution problems.

Before lowering the resolution, clear the console cache by following these steps:

  1. Turn off your Xbox console by holding down the power button for 10 seconds.
  2. Unplug the HDMI cable and the power cables. Remove all external devices as well.
  3. Wait for a minute and then plug in all the cables.
  4. Press and hold the power button for another 10 seconds.
  5. Turn on your console.

After performing these steps, we’ll lower the console’s resolution to 640×480 by following these steps:

  1. Turn off your console by pressing and holding down the power button for 10 seconds.
  2. Now, press and hold the power button and the Pair button for about 10 seconds.
  3. Your Xbox console should boot up in low-resolution mode (640 x 480).

Playing your favorite game in a low-resolution mode won’t give you goosebumps. So, here are steps to change it:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open “Guide”.
  2. Go to “Profile & system” and tap on “Settings”.
  3. Navigate to the “General” tab.
  4. Tap on “TV & display options”.
  5. Select “Advanced” under “TV & display options”.
  6. Go to the “Video fidelity and overscan” section.
  7. Select “TV resolution” and choose from the list of supported resolutions.

After selecting a new solution for your TV, the screen may go blank for a few seconds. A confirmation message should appear asking you to keep or revert the changes. If the new resolutions work well, select “Keep changes” otherwise select “Revert” to keep the old resolution.

It is recommended to match your TV’s resolution with the resolution value in the console’s settings.

7. Update Your Console Offline

If you still can’t see content on your screen, try updating the console. Since the screen is completely black, you can’t see the content and therefore we will not be using the console settings to update it. Instead, we’ll use a USB drive. Make sure it has at least 6GB of free storage.

Once you have the USB device ready, follow these steps:

  1. Plug your USB drive into your Windows PC.
  2. Now, format the device to NTFS format. For this, right-click on your USB drive in File Explorer, select Format > File system > NTFS, and click “Start”.
  3. Download the Offline System Update file OSU1 by clicking here.
  4. Right-click on the downloaded file and select “Extract all” to unzip the file.
  5. Navigate to the .postcode file and copy the “$SystemUpdate” file.
  6. Paste the copied file to the root directory of your USB drive. Apart from this file, there should not be any other file on your USB drive.
  7. Unplug the USB drive from your computer.
  8. Turn off your console by holding down the power button for 10 seconds. To ensure the console is completely turned off, disconnect the power cable.
  9. Plug in the power cable.
  10. Press and hold the “Pair button” and then press the Xbox button on the console.
  11. Keep holding the pair button until you hear two beeps. It usually takes around 15 seconds.
  12. The console will power on and directly take you to the “Xbox Startup Troubleshooter” screen.
  13. Plug the USB drive into the USB port on your Xbox console. As soon as you insert the drive, the Offline System Update option becomes active.
  14. Select “Offline system update”.

When the update installation is finished, the console should restart automatically. You will have to connect your console to the internet during the system setup process. Once the update is finished, remove the USB drive.

8. Factory Reset Your Xbox Console

Factory resetting your console should fix all sorts of software issues on the device, which can fix the black screen issue. Try factory resetting your console using the Troubleshoot screen.

Here are the required steps to follow:

  1. Turn off your console by holding down the power button for 10 seconds. To ensure the console is completely turned off, disconnect the power cable.
  2. Plug in the power cable.
  3. Press and hold the “Pair button” and then press the Xbox button on the console.
  4. Keep holding the pair button until you hear two beeps. It usually takes around 15 seconds. The console will power on and directly take you to the “Xbox Startup Troubleshooter” screen.
  5. Select the “Reset this Xbox” option. You can choose to keep games and apps or remove everything.

Wrapping It Up

Despite having everything you need to start a gaming session, if you can’t play your favorite game, it can be frustrating. Thankfully, there are ways to fix the Xbox Series X/S black screen problem which we have mentioned above. We hope one of the solutions as mentioned above did the trick for you.

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