Windows 10 Bug Causes Connected Monitors to Go Black

A bug in Windows 10 Version 2004 is causing external monitors to go black when users try to draw using certain apps. Learn about this bug and what Microsoft is doing about it.

Having to stop working on your computer because your screen suddenly goes black is frustrating. So, too, is trying to figure out why it happened. A black screen can be the result of many issues, such as a misbehaving graphics card or a bad connection between the computer and the display. Even software updates can introduce bugs that make computer screens go dark.

Computer experts usually recommend that you first check for a bad physical connection when your screen goes black. However, if you are running Windows 10 on a laptop or tablet and you have an external monitor connected to it, you might want to first find out what version of Windows 10 your device is running. That’s because the Windows 10 May 2020 Update — the update that installs Windows 10 Version 2004 — introduced a bug into the operating system.

The bug only seems to rear its ugly head when Windows 10 Version 2004 users try to draw. Microsoft noted that “If you have a device running Windows 10 Version 2004 with a built-in screen (such as a laptop or tablet) and a connected external display set to Duplicate your primary screen, you might see both monitors flicker and the external monitor go black if you try to draw using an Office app (such as Word). This can also happen with some other apps capable of drawing, such as Whiteboard.”

Microsoft is in the process of fixing the bug. It plans to roll out the fix in a future version of Windows 10. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not indicated when that might be. In the meantime, you can restart the device to get the external monitor working again.

Greytype flickr photo by Joybot shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license