Google Hangouts Black Screen when Sharing Screen

Some Google Hangout users are encountering an issue when attempting to share their screen with an audience. Whenever this occurs, the audience can only see a black screen and the cursor moving (but they can’t see anything from the host actual screen).

Google Hangouts Black Screen when Screen Sharing

What to do to Fix Black Screen on Hangouts when Sharing Screens?

Google pushed several different updates aimed at improving the functionality of Hangouts with Google Chrome. If your browser is not updated with the latest patches, you should update it and see if the issue is resolved automatically.

Another potential scenario that might cause this issue is bad locally cached data that Chrome ends up storing for Hangouts. In this case, the issue can be resolved by leaning Google Chrome’s cache and cookies from the GUI menu or by deleting the data manually via File Explorer.

However, in some cases, the issue can also be caused by a corrupted Google Hangouts Extension. In this case, you should be able to get the issue resolved by reinstalling the extension and restarting your browser.

Note: Here’s how to completely disable Google Hangouts.

Method 1: Updating Chrome to the latest version

For some affected users, this issue seems to only occur with outdated Chrome versions. Unless you’re purposely trying to maintain an older Google Chrome build, your first stop when attempting to fix this issue would be to ensure that you’re using the latest version of Google Chrome.

Over these past months, Google has released several updates whose Changelogs included improvements and bug fixes for their Hangouts app.

Here’s a quick guide on updating your Google Chrome version to the latest version:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the action button (three-dot icon) in the top-right corner. After you arrive at the correct location, go to Help > About Google Chrome.
    Click on Apply Google Chrome
  2. After you manage to get to the next window, Google Chrome’s updating function should automatically scan to see if a new version is available.
    Update Google Chrome
    Update Google Chrome
  3. In case a new version is available, it will be automatically installed and you will be prompted to restart your browser once the operation is complete.
  4. Upon restarting your browser, repeat the action that was previously causing the Google Hangouts ScreenShare Black Screen issue to see if it’s now fixed.

In case you’re still encountering the same problems, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Cleaning Chrome Cache and cookies

As it turns out, the Google Hangouts Screen is often caused by a bad temporary file that ends up being caused by your browser. IN most cases, a cookie or a web cache is identified as responsible for creating this Black Screen issue. To fix it, all you need to do is to delete the current Cache and cookies that your browser is currently storing.

Here is a quick guide on clearing the cache and cookies from your Chrome browser in order to fix the Google Hangouts black screen issue:

  1. First things first, open up your Google Chrome browser and click on the action button (three-dot icon) in the top right section of the screen.
  2. Once you manage to get inside the Settings menu, scroll down all the way to the bottom, then click on the Advanced drop-down menu to force the hidden items to show.
  3. After every Advanced Settings menu is visible, scroll down to the Privacy and Security tab.
  4. Once you see the Privacy and Security tab, click on the sub-item called Clear browsing data.
  5. Inside the Clear browsing data menu, click on the Basic tab, then ensure that the boxes associated with Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files are enabled.
  6. Next, set the Time range to All time, then click on the Clear data button to start the process of deleting your Chrome’s cookies and cache.
  7. Wait until the operation is complete, then force a computer restart.
  8. Once the next startup is complete, see if the issue is resolved by doing another screencast with Google Hangouts.

In case you already this and the issue is still ongoing, move down to the next potential fix below for other fixes that might help you fix the issue.

Method 3: Deleting temporary files in Temp

As it turns out, in some situations, simply clearing your Google Chrome browser cookies will not be enough. This happens due to the fact that Chrome has a tendency of storing a few temp files in %TEMP%..\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage. If this happens, clearing the cookies and cache will not be enough to resolve the issue.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the Google Hangouts Black Screen issue by deleting the entire Local Storage folder belonging to Google Chrome and restarting your computer.

Here’s a quick guide on deleting the locally stored temporary files belonging to Google Chrome:

  1. Ensure that Google Hangouts and every instance of Google Chrome (including background processes) are closed.
  2. Open File Explorer and paste the following location inside the navigation bar at the top and press Enter to land directly into the folder that might be causing the problem:
    %TEMP%..\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage
    Navigating to the local Temp folder of Google Chrome
  3. Once you arrive inside the folder that might be holding the temporary files that ends up causing the issue with Google Hangouts, press Ctrl + A to select everything inside, then right-click on a selected item and click on Delete from the context menu to get rid of every temporary folder that might cause the inconsistency.
  4. Once every Chrome-related temp file is cleared, restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
  5. At the next startup, see if the issue is resolved by attempting to do another screencast with Google Hangouts.

Note: Here’s what to do in case your Windows 10 computer doesn’t allow you to delete temp file. 

In case the same issue is still persisting, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Reinstalling the Google Hangouts Extension

If you’re encountering this problem solely on Google Chrome (Hangouts app works fine on different browsers), chances are the extension powering Google Hangouts contains badly cached data that ends up causing the black screen issues when the user screen shares.

In case this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix this issue by reinstalling the Google Hangouts extension for Chrome and restarting the browser.

Here is the step by step instructions on doing this on Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the action button in the top-right corner. From the context menu, click on More Tools > Extensions.
    Opening the Extensions menu via the Action button

    Note: You can also paste ‘chrome://extensions/‘ directly into the navigation bar and press Enter to get there instantly.
    Note 2: Here’s what do do in case you see the Network_Failed error while attempting to download the extension.

  2. Once you’re inside the Extensions tab, scroll down through the list of installed extensions and locate the entry associated with Google Hangouts.
  3. When you manage to Google Hangouts extension, click on the Remove button associated with it and confirm at the next prompt.
    Deleting the Google Hangouts extension
  4. After the extension is uninstalled, visit this link (here) and click on the Add to Chrome button in the top-right corner of the screen.
    Reinstalling the Google Hangouts extension
  5. At the confirmation prompt, click on Add extension and wait for the operation to complete.
    Adding the Google Hangouts extension
  6. Once the extension is reinstalled, initiate another screen Share with Google Hangouts and see if the issue is now resolved.

In case the same issue is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 5: Using a different browser

If none of the methods above have allowed you to fix the issue and you don’t want to update your Chrome version (for various resources), you’re only chance of using Google Hangouts normally is to use a different browser.

Keep in mind that although Hangouts and Chrome are developed by the same parent company, Hangouts will work on any browser (not just Chrome).

Several affected users that were also encountering this issue have confirmed that they managed to fix this issue by using any of the other browsers below:


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.