Laptop Stuck on Black Screen After Sleep (Windows 11/10)

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Sleep mode is an essential feature in modern laptops, designed to preserve battery life and save time. But what happens when you’re ready to resume work, and your laptop screen remains stubbornly black? This issue is more common than you might think and isn’t restricted to a single brand. Users of Dell, Lenovo ThinkPad, Acer, ASUS, HP, MSI, and many others have reported encountering a black screen of death when attempting to wake their machines from sleep mode. It’s as if the computer has crashed after entering sleep mode.

In this guide, we’ll explore several troubleshooting steps that can help restore your laptop’s screen back to its vibrant state. From power settings and graphics drivers to potential hardware issues, we’ll walk you through each potential solution, ensuring you have a clear path forward.

Laptop Stuck on Black Screen After Sleep Windows 11 10

Understanding why a laptop might stay black after sleep

Before we jump into the solutions, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of why this issue might arise. A black screen can result from a range of factors, such as:

  1. Software glitches: Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the hardware but the software. This could be due to a recent update, corrupted system files, or even third-party applications interfering with the sleep-wake cycle.
  2. Driver issues: Outdated or incompatible drivers, especially graphics drivers, can often lead to black screen problems.
  3. Power settings: Incorrect power management settings might prevent the laptop from waking up correctly.
  4. Hardware malfunctions: Less commonly, a hardware issue like a malfunctioning RAM stick, hard drive, or even the motherboard can cause the black screen.
  5. External devices: Sometimes, peripherals like USB drives, external hard drives, or even a second monitor can interfere with the laptop’s wake-up process.

Linked issue: Second Monitor Keeps Going to Sleep (Fix)

How to fix the laptop black screen after sleep issue

Since the cause of the issue can vary, we recommend that you try the following solutions in the order presented to efficiently troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

1. Reset power configurations to default

Sometimes, power schemes can get misconfigured due to various reasons, causing issues when waking up from sleep. Resetting them to Windows’ default settings can often resolve such glitches.

  1. Press the Windows key, type “cmd” to search for the Command Prompt. Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator”.Command Prompt Run as Administrator
  2. Once the command line interface opens, type in powercfg -restoredefaultschemes and press Enter.Reset power configurations to default in Windows 11
  3. After the command completes its execution, restart your laptop to check if the problem persists.

Might be useful: How to Stop Windows 11 From Turning Off Screen or Sleeping

2. Set power plan to “Balanced”

If you’ve made numerous adjustments to your power settings over time, these changes might be the culprits behind the black screen after sleep issue. While the first solution restores all power plans to their default configurations via a command line, if you’re hesitant or unfamiliar with the Command Prompt, you can opt to manually set your power plan to “Balanced” through the Windows GUI.

However, keep in mind, manually adjusting to the “Balanced” plan won’t revert any custom settings within that plan to default. If there have been specific configurations made to the “Balanced” plan, the command line approach in the first solution might be more effective.

  1. Press Win + S on your keyboard to open the search bar.
  2. Type “choose a power plan” into the search box and select it from the results.Choose a power plan in Windows 11
  3. Among the listed power plans, select the “Balanced (recommended)” option by clicking on its corresponding radio button.Laptop black screen after sleep fix
  4. Close the Control Panel and restart your laptop.

Setting your power plan to balanced ensures that the system neither overexerts nor underutilizes its resources, maintaining an equilibrium that can potentially resolve wake-up issues.

Useful tip: How to Keep Laptop On When Lid is Closed in Windows 11

3. Update your GPU driver

Across various forums and online communities, including platforms like Reddit, many users facing the black screen after sleep issue have pinpointed their troubles to bugs and compatibility issues with the graphics drivers. If you haven’t already tried so, updating the graphics driver can potentially rectify the problem.

There are generally three methods for updating your graphics card in Windows 11 or 10. For more comprehensive instructions, please see: How to Update Graphics Driver in Windows 11.

  • Manually download the latest drivers from NVIDIA or AMD websites.Update graphics driver
  • Update the GPU driver via Device Manager in Windows.How to update graphics driver in Windows 11
  • Update through NVIDIA GeForce Experience.Update graphics driver Nvidia

Regularly updating your GPU drivers can address any underlying bugs or compatibility issues, reducing the likelihood of facing problems such as the black screen after sleep issue.

4. Rollback your graphics driver

Sometimes, the root of the issue isn’t an outdated driver but rather a newly installed one. If you’ve recently updated your graphics driver and started encountering the black screen issue post-sleep, it’s possible that there’s a bug or compatibility issue with the latest driver version. In such cases, rolling back to an earlier driver build or the stock build (the driver installation that originally came with your laptop) might be the key to resolving the problem.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and choose “Device Manager”.Open Device Manager via Win X
  2. Expand the “Display adapters” section.
  3. Right-click on your graphics card and select “Properties”.Graphics driver properties in Device Manager
  4. Navigate to the “Driver” tab.
  5. Click on the “Roll Back Driver” button. If it’s grayed out, this means there are no previous versions of the driver to rollback to.Roll back graphics driver to previous version Windows 11
  6. A prompt will appear asking for a reason for the rollback. Select the most appropriate reason, and proceed with the rollback.
  7. After the process is complete, restart your laptop.

Rolling back drivers can often be a useful solution when a newly introduced driver version has unintended bugs or compatibility issues, making it crucial to have the option in your troubleshooting toolkit.

Related resource: How to Roll Back Windows 11/10 Update to Previous Version

5. Windows Update

Windows updates aren’t just about introducing new features or changing the interface. They often come packed with bug fixes, performance improvements, and compatibility updates. If your system is lagging behind in updates, it’s possible that the black screen issue is already addressed in one of the newer patches.

  1. Press Win + i on your keyboard to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click on “Update & Security”.
  3. In the Windows Update tab, click on “Check for updates”.Check for Windows Update
  4. If updates are available, allow them to download and install.
  5. Once all updates are installed, it’s recommended to restart your laptop.

Staying updated ensures you have the latest fixes and improvements from Microsoft, potentially resolving not just the black screen issue but other underlying system glitches as well.

Also see: “Turn off hard disk after: (minutes)” setting in Windows 11

6. Disable ULPS (Ultra Low Power Savings)

ULPS, or Ultra Low Power Savings, is designed to optimize power consumption by deactivating all but the primary GPU in multi-GPU systems. However, as efficient as it sounds, ULPS has been reported by users to sometimes lead to problems like crashes, stutters, and yes, the black screen issue after waking from sleep.

While certain software tools were once able to control ULPS, updates from AMD, especially post the Crimson edition, shifted the ULPS control settings deeper into the system’s registry. As a result, manual registry editing has become the standard method to toggle ULPS. If you’re considering this, it’s important to proceed with caution; unintended changes to the registry can lead to other issues. Before making changes, always ensure you’ve created a system restore point, have a backup, or are entirely confident in your actions.

  1. Click on the Start button, type “regedit.exe”, and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.Run Registry Editor as Administrator
  2. Once in the Registry Editor, press F3. In the search box that appears, type “EnableUlps” and press Enter.
  3. Continue pressing F3 until you locate a registry entry named “EnableUlps” under a subfolder named “0000”.
  4. Double-click on this entry and change its value from 1 to 0.Laptop Stuck on Black Screen After Sleep
  5. Keep using F3 until you discover another “EnableUlps” entry within a “0001” subfolder.
  6. Again, double-click this entry and modify its value from 1 to 0.

Deactivating ULPS via the registry can potentially resolve the black screen after sleep issue on laptops, but it’s essential to monitor system behavior post-change to ensure no other disruptions emerge.

7. Potential hardware issue, specifically GPU

While many issues with black screens post-sleep stem from software or settings, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, the problem can be hardware-related, especially concerning the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Over time, or due to overheating, power surges, or physical damage, the GPU might start exhibiting issues, including failing to wake up from sleep.

Steps to diagnose:

  1. Check for any physical damages to the laptop, especially around the display and GPU area.
  2. Listen closely for any unusual noises or clicking sounds that might indicate a hardware malfunction.
  3. Connect an external monitor to the laptop. If the external monitor displays the content correctly while the laptop screen remains black, it might point towards a GPU issue.Laptop monitor black screen when wake up from sleep mode
  4. Boot into the laptop’s BIOS or UEFI settings (typically by pressing keys like F2, F10, or DEL during startup, but this can vary based on the brand – Dell, Lenovo, ThinkPad, Acer, Asus, HP, MSI, etc.). If the screen displays the BIOS correctly, it’s less likely to be a complete GPU failure.

If you suspect a GPU problem:

  1. If your laptop is under warranty, reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support.
  2. If out of warranty, consider taking the laptop to a professional technician for further diagnosis and potential GPU replacement.

Suggested read: GPU 100% Usage When Idle or Gaming (Good or Bad)

8. Check RAM using MemTest

In some rare instances, the laptop’s inability to wake up properly from sleep could be attributed to memory errors. RAM (Random Access Memory) is crucial for various system functions, and any malfunction or error within the RAM can lead to unexpected behaviors, including the black screen issue after sleep.

MemTest is a popular utility designed to test and diagnose RAM issues. Running this tool can help determine if your memory sticks are the culprits.

Steps to use MemTest:

  1. Download the latest version of MemTest86 from their official website.
  2. Follow their instructions to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD.
  3. Restart your laptop and boot from the USB or CD/DVD containing MemTest86. This usually involves pressing a specific key (like F12, F8, or ESC) during startup to choose the boot device. This key might vary based on the laptop brand—Dell, Lenovo, ThinkPad, Acer, Asus, HP, MSI, and so on.
  4. Once MemTest86 starts, let it run through all the tests. It might take several hours depending on the amount of RAM and the number of passes you choose.Run MemTest86 to check laptop RAM
  5. Carefully observe the results. If MemTest86 detects errors, it indicates potential issues with one or more of your RAM sticks.

If RAM issues are detected:

  1. If you’re comfortable working with laptop hardware, consider turning off the laptop, unplugging it, and carefully reseating the RAM sticks. Sometimes, simply reseating them can resolve minor issues.
  2. If reseating doesn’t help or if you’re not comfortable with the process, consider replacing the malfunctioning RAM stick. If under warranty, reach out to the manufacturer first.


In most instances, the black screen dilemma upon waking a laptop from sleep mode boils down to GPU drivers or power plan configurations. It’s often recommended to start by updating, rolling back drivers, or tweaking power settings. Only when these conventional methods don’t produce results should one consider advanced solutions, such as disabling ULPS, which requires registry editing. It’s always wise to tackle the issue step by step, ensuring that simpler solutions have been exhausted before moving on to more intricate ones.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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