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The black screen with a cursor appears mainly when Windows explorer fails to startup correctly. Fortunately, when this happens, users can still access some Windows Features, which makes fixing it easier. 

The error is generally seen in Windows devices after installing the system updates. Additionally, it can also appear if certain registry settings related to Windows Explorer are altered.

To fix the issue, users can restart Windows explorer, make alterations in the registry and use other fixes, which we will discuss in today’s article. 

Reasons For Black Screen With Cursor on Windows 

Some of the probable reasons for the Black Screen with Cursor are listed here:

  • Issues with the App Readiness Service
  • Corrupted or Outdated Graphic Drivers
  • Windows Explorer system processes affected by Malware
  • Applications Interfering with the startup process
  • Issues with the Windows updates

How to Fix Black Screen With Cursor on Windows 

To begin with the fixes, start by checking the display cables if they are properly connected. Disconnect the monitor and plug it back and see if the issue still persists. You can use the spare cables in case the fault is with the cables. If you are using a dual monitor setup, unplug the second monitor and restart the computer.

Restart / Run New process for Windows Explorer 

The black screen with a cursor is generally encountered if the system process for Windows explorer fails to start or function properly. Users can restart this process or run a new process altogether.

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to enter the lock screen.

  1. Open the Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Users tab and expand the list of the running background processes.
  3. Find Windows explorer and right-click on it.
  4. Click on Restart. This might fix the black screen issue and show you the Windows desktop screen.
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    If this doesn’t do the job, try running a new explorer.exe process.
  1. Go to the File tab of the Task Manager.
  2. In the list of processes, find Windows explorer.
  3. Right-click on it and select End task.
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  4. Click on Run new task.
  5. Type explorer.exe and check on the Create this task with administrative privileges.
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  6. Click on OK. 

Reset Graphic Drivers

The Graphic drivers tend to suffer some temporary glitches once in a while. This can result in various display issues, including this one. It is recommended that you perform a reset the driver and fix the issues with the display. 

Just press Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B to restart the driver. Your screen will go completely black for a few seconds, and the graphic driver will restart, which can fix the issue. 

Boot Into Safe mode

Booting into safe mode will load the Windows with minimal drivers and features. If some newly installed services, updates, or application has caused the black screen issue, booting into safe mode will bypass it. This is just a temporary fix to the problem; however, it will be easier for you to try other fixes after booting into safe mode.  

  1. Go to the Lock screen by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete. 
  2. Click on the Power options.
  3. While holding down the Shift Key, click on the Restart Button. The device will now restart and boot into the Recovery Environment.
  4. Go to  Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
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  5. Click on Restart. 
  6. You will have the Safe mode options to choose from.
  7. Press F4 or 4 to Enable Safe mode.  
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Disable App Readiness Service

The app readiness service prepares the applications for the users while they log in to the Windows device. The service sometimes may fail to load the applications and freeze the Windows screen with just a black screen. To fix this, you can try disabling the service and check if the issue persists.

  1. Press Windows key + R, type services.msc and hit enter.
  2. Search for App Readiness Services and double-click on it.
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  3. Change the Startup type to Disable and Click on Apply to save changes.
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  4. Restart the computer and see if it solves the issue. Renable it by following the same steps if it does not fix the black screen issue. 

Check Registry Value

The  User shell has a record of the configurations set in the operating system. It is responsible for loading explorer.exe, which gives the Graphical interface to Windows. However, Malware and Viruses can affect the registry and alter the entry of explorer.exe, which can lead to a black screen. 

To check the String value for the explorer.exe,  

  1. Press Windows Key + R to start Run.
  2. Type regedit,and hit enter.
  3. Now, Go to this Registry directory.
    ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon
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  4. Find a null-terminated string(reg_sz) named Shell and double-click on it to edit.
  5. Check the value data field. Type explorer.exe if it wasn’t there earlier and Click on OK.
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  6. Restart the device and check if the black screen issue is solved. 

Note: This fix is only applicable in the case you experience the Black screen with a cursor while on the Login prompt.

Perform DISM and SFC Scans 

These kinds of errors on Windows generally prompts if there are some sort of system file corruption. These can be caused by malware or some other reasons. To get the system files fixed, you can use the DISM  and SFC scans.  

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  2. Type cmd and Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the command prompt with Administrative privileges.
  3. Now, use these command lines one by one to run the DISM and SFC scans. 
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    sfc /scannow
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Update GPU and Display drivers

The issues with the display can be very well generated by the GPU and the monitor drivers. Especially if these drivers are corrupted or out of date, these sorts of issues become very common. 

Therefore, Updating the drivers ensures compatibility with the system and also gets rid of the issues with the display. 

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type devmgmt.msc and hit enter.
  2. Go to the Display adapters and right-click on your GPU.
  3. Click on the Update Driver option.
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  4. Click on Search automatically for driver. 
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  5. Now, follow the prompt and update the GPU drivers. Follow this similar process to update the Monitor driver. 
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Uninstall Conflicting Applications 

If you encountered this problem after installing an application, it’s possible that the software package is interfering with system operations and affecting the startup. Uninstalling the application, in this case, can fix the problem for you. 

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and hit enter. 
  3. Find the application in the list and click on Uninstall.
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  4. Follow the prompts to remove the application. 

If the issue has been generated after the latest system Windows updates, you can uninstall them as well.

  1. Go to the View installed updates section from the left panel of the Programs and Features.
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  2. Find the latest installed updates and click on Uninstall.
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Perform System Restore

If you have created a restore point before the black screen issue emerged, you can revert the system back to working condition. The system restore will remove the drivers, applications, and updates installed after the creation of the restore point. 

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type rstrui.exe, and press enter. 
  2. Click on Next.
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  3. Select the saved restore point and click on Next. 
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  4. Finally, click on Finish to start the restore process. 


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