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How to fix a Chromebook that's showing a black screen

It may be scary, but a black screen might have a simple solution.
By
February 3, 2024

Nothing is scarier than a Chromebook black screen. Did it break? Don’t panic; let’s go over some troubleshooting tips before trying to fix your computer. There may be a simple solution.

Editor’s note: We used an ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip running ChromeOS version 120.0.6099.272. Some steps may differ depending on your device and software version.

Check if the Chromebook is on

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 side profie 5
David Imel / Android Authority

It may seem like a silly suggestion, but sometimes a Chromebook black screen shows up because the device is turned off or asleep. Maybe you walked away longer than expected, and your settings turned off the device relatively quickly. Or your computer restarted due to a weird bug. Press the device’s physical power button to see if it returns to life.

You may also want to inspect the charger, if your computer isn’t turning on. Try another fast enough charger; try charging your device with it. If your Chromebook has a charging status light, see if it turns on when you plug it in. If the charger is to blame, you can only use another one. We have a guide for finding the best Chromebook chargers if you need some guidance.

Increase the brightness

Google Pixelbook Go logo in black closeup - Chromebook black screen

Taking the brightness all the way down can cause a Chromebook black screen. This often happens accidentally. If you’re getting a Chromebook black screen, just use the larger sun key in the top row of the keyboard to increase the brightness.

Make sure the Chromebook isn’t too hot

Heat is a common enemy for all tech gadgets, including Chromebooks. An overheated device is a common cause for a Chromebook black screen. This is because the system will automatically shut itself down to protect itself. And if you try to turn it on right away, it likely won’t turn on until it cools down.

That said, it is very hard to overheat a Chromebook, as it uses a very light operating system. If this happens, it is likely because of fast charging or external factors, such as using the Chromebook in a hot environment. Move to a cooler room, stay in the shade, or try to keep it in a place with enough airflow. Wait until it reaches more normal temperatures and try turning it on. If this is a common issue, you should also consider getting a laptop cooler. I’ve used the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB for about three years, and it works perfectly and has pretty lights!

Restart the Chromebook

asus chromebook plus display
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Oh, the good ol’ restart. It seems to kick all gears into place and fix most tech issues. You may want to try simply restarting the device to see if the Chromebook black screen issue gets solved. You can’t shut it down using software, as the display is blacked out. You’ll have to try a hard reset.

To perform a hard reset, simultaneously press the physical refresh and power buttons.

Check for Chromebook updates

Software updates often include performance improvements and bug fixes. The latter may be causing the black screen of death. Of course, you can only do this if the screen is working. If you manage to make the screen work, though, update the Chromebook ASAP.

  1. Launch the Settings.
  2. Click on the About ChromeOS tab.
  3. Select Check for updates.
  4. The device will look for available updates and begin updating automatically.
  5. When the update is installed, click on Restart if asked.
How to update a Chromebook

Reset all Chrome Flags

Chrome Flags can improve your experience, but these experimental features are also known for being buggy and unstable. You might be better off resetting them if you’re constantly encountering black screens on your Chromebook.

How to reset Chrome Flags:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Type in “chrome://flags” in the Omnibox, without the quotation marks.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Click on Reset all.
  5. Click on the Restart button when it appears.

Perform a Powerwash

A Powerwash is the Chrome OS equivalent to a factory data reset. If you’ve backed up all important files and are ready, follow the steps below.

  1. Launch the Settings.
  2. Expand the Advanced tab.
  3. Click on Reset settings.
  4. Next to Powerwash, select Reset.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process.
How to Powerwash a Chromebook

Seek professional help

Did you try everything, and the Chromebook black screen keeps returning? Maybe it’s time to consider the fact that this may be a more serious issue, such as a hardware malfunction.

If you can access your computer, try sending Google feedback by pressing Alt + Shift + I. Explain your problem and hit Continue. Fill in the rest of the info and hit Send.

You can also contact the Chromebook’s manufacturer if your device is still under warranty. Otherwise, you can try to make an insurance claim, if you purchased insurance for it and it’s still covered. Lastly, you may want to reach out to a repair shop.