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Why Is My TV Screen Black? 9 Causes & Fixes (2023 Guide)

Why Is My TV Screen Black

Last night you watched one of your favorite shows and tonight you wanna continue with it.

You sit down, take the remote control, and press the power button.

The only thing is…the TV screen appears to be black.

You press it again…nothing…just a black screen.

What in the world?!

Before you get upset or frustrated…

Read on to find out:

  • 9 real causes of a black TV screen and easy fixes for each one.
  • What to do if you have only audio and how this can be the cause.
  • Whether energy-savings mode can be the issue and how to turn it off.
  • Why the remote control should be checked with the camera on your smartphone.
  • And a whole lot more…

Why is my TV screen black?

Your TV screen is black because the remote control is broken. Or the TV software is not up to date. It also can be that the cables or inputs are faulty. Another thing that can cause a black TV screen is the energy-savings mode or an activated sleep timer.

Black TV screen: 9 causes & fixes

#1: Remote control

The remote control is the first thing you should check.

What happens if you press the power button?

If your answer is “nothing”, look for the power button on the TV. And see if it works.

If the TV power button is also not working, it’s most likely not the remote. So you can read on to the next fix.

But if the TV’s button is functioning fine, you need to check the remote control. 

There’s a very easy way to check if the remote is working. You can do this via your smartphone.

’’Cool! How?’’

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Open the camera app on your smartphone.
  2. Point the remote to the smartphone camera and press a few buttons.
  3. Then look at the camera app and see if you see the light flashing from the remote.

For visual guidance, you can check out this video:

If the remote is not working at all, then check the batteries. See if they’re inserted correctly. 

Namely, that the plus symbol + on the battery matches the plus symbol + in the battery compartment.

You can replace the batteries as well. 

Pro tip: Don’t mix old batteries with new ones.

Also, make sure nothing is in front of the infrared sensor of the TV. For example, there shouldn’t be a cabinet, a soundbar, or something else in front of the IR sensor.

Finally, is the remote old? 

Are the buttons worn out? 

Are the letters and numbers hardly visible?  

Well, then you can simply replace it with a universal remote.

#2: Power

Another thing you should check is the power source. 

Is the current power socket broken or faulty?

To find out, try a different one.

Additionally, you can reset the TV by unplugging it for 5 min. Then plug it back in and see if it works again.

One more thing you should bear in mind is…

Energy-saving mode or power-saving mode

If you have a TV with energy-saving mode or power savings mode, it’ll turn down certain features to save energy. For example, by dimming the light or turning itself off. 

And let’s say you accidentally activated the energy save mode. Your screen will then appear very dark or black.  

’How do I turn it off?’’

Well, you can check the manual of the TV since every TV is different.

But to give you an indication of where you can look, we’ll use an example. 

Here’s how to turn it on and off on a Hisense Roku TV:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Navigate to Power.
  4. Select Auto Power Savings.

Then in the Power Settings select these two options:

  1. Go to Reduce Power After 15 Minutes. 
  2. Go to Turn Off After 4 Hours.

By pressing OK you can turn them on or off. Make sure both options are off and try it out.

You might also like: Why Is My TV Screen White? 5 Causes & Fixes 

#3: Change source 

If the TV screen is still black, try a different source. For example, change from HDMI 1 to HDMI 2. 

You can do this via the remote, by pressing the source button.

Also, change your connected device to a different source. Then try it out.

External devices

Additionally to this one, you can use a different external device. 

Just try it with a streaming device like a Fire TV stick or Chromecast. Or connect a computer or laptop via an HDMI cable and see if there’s no black TV screen.

#4: Cables and inputs

Check Your TV's Cables

Okay, this is mostly overlooked. However, if your TV screen is still black, then double-check the cables and inputs.


Start with the cables. 

’’Everything is already connected…I don’t see the point of checking this.’’

I understand, but it wouldn’t hurt to look for loose plugs. 

For example, check out the HMDI cable, it has a long plug. And let’s say you moved the TV stand last week and accidentally the HDMI cable got a bit loose. 

As a result, it can look to the naked eye that it’s fully plugged in, but in fact, it’s only halfway in.

So, double-check the cables and replug them in, just to be on the safe side.

Also, look for cuts or strong bends in the cables as well as the connectors. 

Optionally try it with a different HDMI cable or replace it


This one is often overlooked but needs to be checked as well. 

For example, the room is dark and you’re trying to plug in the TV coax cable from the TV box. You notice some resistance, but you can’t really see what the hold up is and you’re trying to force it in.

Better start over and plug it in very gently. You see, by forcing it you can damage the pin that’s inside of the input or from the TV coax cable.

Also, look for built-up dust in the inputs. They’re a good place where dust can get stuck and this can screw with the signal.

#5: Update software

If you have a smart TV, you have to keep it up to date.

From time to time the manufacturers release updates. They gather glitches and bugs from customers and fix them by releasing updates.

’’Thanks for the tip…but I don’t think I ever had to do it and I thought it would update itself.’’

You can always check this in the settings from the TV. Better safe than sorry.

For instance and to give you some guidance, I updated a Toshiba Fire TV. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press Home.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select Device & Software.
  4. Go to About.
  5. Select Install System Update.

If there’s an update available, install it. Wait until the process is complete and you’re good to go for the coming period.

Read also: 5 Ways To Make Your TV Less Bright

#6: Audio only 

Although it’s a bit odd, some TVs have this option: Audio only. 

This means you have audio but with a completely black screen.

They built this feature for people who want to listen to a CD. But don’t like to be distracted by the picture.

Makes sense right?

‘’Kind of…but how do I get the screen back to normal?’’

To turn it off, you need to check the manual. Every manufacturer has its own menu for this.

But, for some guidance here’s how to do it on a Toshiba LED TV from 2020:

  1. Press the Menu button.
  2. Go to Options.
  3. Select Power Management.
  4. Select Audio Only.
  5. Highlight Off and press Enter.

Then you’ll have the screen back as normal.

#7: Sleep timer

If the TV went black all of a sudden it’s possible the sleep timer was activated.

The sleep timer is a function where the TV turns itself off. 

For example, you wanna watch TV till late at night. But chances are, you’ll fall asleep during the show. Then you can set up a sleep timer. 

Most TVs give you a heads up when it will turn off by showing a timer or a moon symbol on the screen.

You can turn it on or off in the settings by checking the TV manual. 

And for some reference, here’s how to turn it on or off on a Hisense Roku TV:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select Time.
  4. Go to Sleep Timer.

Then turn it off and you’re done.

#8: Factory reset

I kept this one as one of the last fixes. Because a factory reset takes your TV back to its default settings. Like it was just fresh out of the factory.

But since the screen is black and the other fixes won’t do, it’s time for the good old factory reset.

Warning: After a factory reset all the personal settings will be deleted.

To do a factory reset, check out the TV manual.

To give you some guidance, here’s how to do a factory reset on a Hisense Roku TV:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Advanced System Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Navigate to Advanced System Settings.
  5. Go to Factory Reset.

Then to continue with the factory reset by using the on-screen number pad to enter the number code that’s being displayed on the screen. Then confirm by pressing OK.

The TV will restart and then you can set it up again from scratch.

#9: Contact support

If the above didn’t do the job, it’s time to contact the support department of the TV manufacturer.

At this point, it’s most likely the hardware from the TV and this needs to be checked by a technician.

These 2 things that should be checked:


Some LCD TVs have a backlight to illuminate the image on the screen. If the backlight is broken, it can cause a black TV screen and needs to be replaced.

Since this is part of the hardware, it’s better to be checked and replaced by a technician.


Capacitors are also part of the hardware and they store electrical charges. 

It’s similar to a battery, but it stores energy in a different way. And if they’re broken they can cause the black TV screen.

Better let this be checked by a technician as well since it’s part of the hardware.

I hope you now know a bit more about why your TV screen is black and how to easily fix it.