Fix: Black Screen after Installing Nvidia Graphics Driver in Windows

The Nvidia black screen issue occurs when a segment of users attempt to update their drivers via Nvidia Experience. Typically affected users hear a ‘click’ noise before the screen goes black and the installation is aborted. This problem is confirmed to occur on both Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

Black Screen after Installing Nvidia Driver
Black Screen after Installing Nvidia Driver Fix

This problem is most commonly caused by a DCH driver that’s throwing this error when you try to update it with a standard Nvidia driver package. Other potential causes include a faulty GPU extender, a custom BIOS firmware or a driver inconsistency.

Below you have a list of confirmed fixes that you can deploy to fix the black screen issue affecting Nvidia driver installations:

1. Replace Nvidia DCH driver with Standard Drivers

If you’re on Windows 10 or Windows 11, there’s a big chance this issue is caused by the DCH driver.

Note: There are a lot of user reports confirming that the DCH driver from Nvidia is causing a lot of instability when G-Sync is being actively used or when users attempt to use a variable refresh rate. 

Since there’s nothing inherently different between the Nvidia Standard and the Nvidia DCH Display drivers that are packaged with the new universal Windows driver package, you can most likely avoid this issue entirely by replacing the DCH driver with the standard equivalent.

To do this, you will first need to use the DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) tool to remove every remnant file from the DCH installation, then install the Standard Nvidia Driver.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Open your preferred browser and visit the official download page of the DDU tool.
  2. Once you’re inside the correct location, scroll all the way down to the Download Locations menu and use one of the available download mirrors to download the Display Driver Uninstaller package. 
    downloading the DDU package
    downloading the DDU package
  3. Once the download is complete, extract the contents of the zip file.
  4. Next, unplug the internet cable from your PC or disconnect it from the Wi-Fi network.
    Note: This is necessary in order to prevent your OS to reinstall the DCH drivers before you are done with this procedure. 
  5. Press Windows key + R to open up the Run box.
  6. Type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Program and Features menu.
    Open the Programs and Features menu
    Open the Programs and Features menu
  7. At the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access. 
  8. Inside the Programs and Features menu, click on the Publisher column to order all installed programs based on their publisher. 
  9. Once the list is ordered correctly, scroll down to all the currently installed Nvidia drivers and uninstalled everything systematically by right-clicking each item and clicking on Uninstall.
    Uninstall every Nvidia driver
    Uninstall every Nvidia driver

    Note: Keep in mind that as you are conducting this procedure, some screen flickering is to be expected. Don’t worry as this is completely normal. 

  10. Next, reboot your PC in safe mode to ensure that the Display Driver Uninstaller will run with maximum efficiency. 
  11. Once your PC boots in Safe Mode, right-click on the main DDU executable and click on Run as Administrator.
    Run DDU as administrator
    Run DDU as administrator
  12. From the UAC (User Account Control) context menu, click on Yes to grant admin access. 
  13. At the first DDU screen, select your GPU from the drop-down menu (under Select Device Type). 
  14. Next, click on Clean and restart to begin the process of cleaning up your DCH Nvidia driver.
    Clean and restart as administrator
    Clean and restart as administrator
  15. Once the operation is complete, restart as instructed.
  16. At the next startup, reconnect your Internet cable (or connect to Wi-Fi again) and access the official Nvidia Download directory
  17. Scroll down to the NVIDIA Driver Downloads section and select the Product Type, Product Series, Product, Operating System, and Language according to your particular scenario. 
    Downloading the Standard Nvidia driver
    Downloading the Standard Nvidia driver

    Note: On this directory, you will only find standard Nvidia drivers, so you won’t run into the risk of reinstalling the DCH driver. 

  18. Click the Search button and wait until the list of compatible drivers is generated.
    Download the correct driver
    Download the correct driver

    Note: Depending on what you’re using your GPU for (gaming or video editing/rendering), select between the NVIDIA Studio Driver and the GeForce Game Ready Driver. Avoid downloading the Beta Release driver since it’s often unstable and will cause additional issues. 

  19. Click on the driver that you want to download, then click on the associated Download button. 
  20. After the driver is downloaded locally, open it with administrator access and follow the on-screen prompts to install it locally. 

2. Replace GPU Extender (if applicable)

If replacing the DCH driver with the standard Nvidia drivers didnțt work in your case and you’re using a GPU extender, there’s a big chance you’re dealing with a hardware issue.

There are a lot of faulty GPU extenders out there that have now been confirmed to cause this problem on and off regardless of your GPU manufacturer.

Faulty GPU extender
Faulty GPU extender

If you are using a GPU extender, get in contact with the retailer that sold it to you and see if you are eligible to send it back. Chances are if you brought it from Riser, you can take advantage of the callback program and return it even if your warranty is void. 

3. Revert back to standard BIOS (if applicable)

If you previously had a custom BIOS installed specifically for your overclocking needs, this is likely the cause of why you are getting this black screen. 

Customized BIOS flashes are known to conflict with new NVIDIA update drivers especially since they changed their packaging method.

If this scenario is applicable, you can fix the issue by reflashing your BIOS to the original BIOS flash provided by your manufacturer.

Flashing your BIOS
Flashing your BIOS

Important: This operation will be different depending on your motherboard manufacturer. Consult the official documentation before attempting to flash your BIOS. If you’ve never done this before, leave this task to a certified professional as you run the risk of bricking your motherboard. 

4. Add the NoLockScreen to registry (if applicable)

If the screen goes black immediately after you reach the initial login screen where you need to log in with your user account, you might be able to circumvent the issue completely by disabling the Lock screen entirely with a minor registry tweak.

Important: Be cautious when modifying the registry. Inadvertently removing or altering registry values might render your computer unstable. We recommend that you back up your register ahead of time.

Here’s a quick guide on adding the NoLockScreen fix to Registry Editor to avoid the black screen during every startup:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. 
  2. Next, type ‘regedit’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Registry Editor with admin access.
    Open up the Registry Editor
    Open up the Registry Editor
  3. When you see the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant administrative privileges to Registry Editor. 
  4. Inside the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

    Note: If the Personalization key doesn’t exist, right-click on the Windows key and click on New > Key to create it. 

  5. Inside the Personalization key, right-click on an empty space and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Create a new DWORD value
    Create a new DWORD value
  6. Rename the newly created DWORD to ‘NoLockScreen’, then double-click on it and set its base to Hexadecimal and its value data to 1
  7. Click OK to save the changes then restart your PC and see if the issue is now fixed. 

5. Connect to VGA output (if applicable)

If your GPU has a VGA output and your display is compatible, try connecting your monitor using the VGA output and see if you finally get a signal.

Chances are you’ll find that all functions are working properly while you’re connected via VGA.

Using the DVI port
Using the DVI port

If this workaround works, simply use the VGA connection until a new driver version is available for your NVIDIA GPU. When a new update is available, update as instructed and see if the problem is fixed afterward.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.
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Expert Tip

Fix: Black Screen after Installing Nvidia Graphics Driver in Windows

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