How to get rid of White Screen of Death on Windows 10?

December 25, 2019 |

greater than 13 minutes

Windows users have come to accept the reality of errors occurring on their systems. That said, every error occurs for a reason, and in most cases, these errors can be easily resolved. Windows problems come in different formats, and while some can be tolerated, some cause serious panic and unrest. 

Errors that take up the entire screen are one of such problems that tend to cause serious confusion and concern. This is because these issues force users to restart their computers, causing them to lose unsaved work. The most common error screens are blue screen errors that indicate a fatal Windows glitch. That said, other problematic screens occur as well, such as the White Screen of Death. 

Some users have complained about their computers suddenly going white. This problem usually comes up once the user logs into their account or on the login page, and in certain cases, the problem erupts once an application is launched or when users try to perform certain operations. 

If you’re one such user experiencing this error, you don’t have to nurse your frustration anymore, as we have put together a comprehensive guide on resolving the sudden white screen on Windows 10 computers. 

What Is Causing the White Screen Issue on Windows 10? 

Multiple system issues can cause your screen to go white before you log in or after you log into your computer. Below, we’ll explain the underlying causes of the problem to give you a better understanding of the issue. 

Malware 

Malicious programs are known to cause many problems on Windows PCs, and the white screen error happens to be one of them. These threatening programs can cause certain applications to malfunction and mess with your system’s display.  

Windows Explorer 

Windows Explorer is responsible for the open windows on your computer, and it is one of the core system applications to launch once Windows starts. You could be facing the white screen of death error because Windows Explorer did not start correctly.  

A bad display card driver 

As you well know, your video card controls all the graphics rendering processes on your computer. Your graphics card won’t work properly without its driver software. This is why you’ll encounter different forms of display errors if your display adapter’s driver is missing, corrupt, or obsolete. The white screen issue can be traced back to a faulty video card driver. If this is the case, you can easily resolve the problem, using the fixes provided in this article. 

Your antivirus program 

There are cases where antivirus programs interfere with certain system processes and trigger the white screen of death. This could be because the antivirus program confused some system or third-party application files for malicious entities and quarantined them as a result. Some users found this to be an issue, and we’ll show you the steps involved in troubleshooting this particular problem to confirm whether your antivirus suite is the main culprit behind the white screen of death. 

Background applications 

Whenever your computer starts, some background processes, known as startup apps and services, launch automatically. Sometimes, these startup items can clash with one another or encounter serious issues. This could be why your system’s screen goes blank or white once you hit the Sign in button. The troubleshooting method to employ here is starting your computer in a Clean Boot state and isolating the problem startup. 

USB devices 

If you have some USB components, such as peripherals and storage devices attached to your computer when you start it up, one of these components could be the reason for the white screen problem.  

A problem with a recent Windows update 

If you start experiencing the issue after installing a Windows update, it could be that the update is causing compatibility issues on your computer. Whenever you perform an update, you’re also updating the drivers of certain devices, such as your monitor, network card, and printers, and if any of these drivers happen to be incompatible with your system, you’ll likely experience the white screen of death issue. Fixing the problem, in this case, requires you to go back to your previous Windows 10 version or update your drivers. 

An issue with your user account 

Some users narrated that they experienced the blank screen after logging into a particular user account, and when they tried signing in to a different account on their system, there was no white screen. This goes to show that the problem might be tied to your user account. You can fix the white screen issue, in this case, by migrating to a new user account on your system. 

System file issues 

You could be dealing with a corrupt or missing system file. It’s hard to point out which particular Windows file has encountered an error and triggered the problem, but you can fix the issue, in this case, by scanning your computer for faulty system files.  

A faulty monitor or display card 

The issue might be hardware-related. Your monitor might be problematic, or it could be that your display card has suffered physical damage. We’ll show you how to test whether the problem is related to a bad hardware device later on in the article. 

How to Resolve a White Screen of Death on Windows 10 

White screens of death can be tricky to get rid of because their causes vary widely. However, if you can use some of the root causes explained above to track your recent activities, you can get to know what fix to apply. For instance, if you began to see the white screen shortly after updating Windows, then you should ideally start with rolling back your update. 

That said, all hope isn’t lost if you can’t place a finger on the cause of the issue. The fixes in this article worked for many users. All you have to do is follow them one after the other until you apply the right fix for your system. 

Method 1: Force Restart Your PC 

The issue might be a one-off and caused by system glitches that will clear after a restart. Before you move on to the more complex methods, try forcing your system to shut down and then turn it back on. 

If your PC goes white on the Sign in screen or after you hit the Sign in button, try using the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key sequence to open the Windows Security Options page. If the page opens, go to the bottom-right corner, click the Power icon, and then click on Restart.  

If you can’t access the page, however, you can force your PC to go off by pressing and holding the power button. Once your system goes off, tap the power button to turn it back on. 

If the problem persists, move on to the next fix. 

Method 2: Confirm That Your Connections Are Good 

Still on basic troubleshooting steps, make sure your cables are connected properly and aren’t damaged. You should do this if your system goes white screen right from when you hit the power button. 

If you’re using a laptop and an external monitor: 

Temporarily detach your computer if it’s in a docking station, and once you undock it, make sure its lid is properly open. If your laptop’s display is working, then your external monitor or cable might be faulty. 

Turn your external monitor on, and then connect your laptop to the monitor using a display cable. If the display still doesn’t show up on the screen, try using another external monitor to confirm whether your current monitor is bad. If the issue still occurs, then change your cable. 

If you’re a desktop user: 

Make sure your display cable is properly connected, and if it is, try connecting the cable to a different monitor to check for the issue. If the problem persists, change the cable and check again. If nothing works, move on to the next fix. 

Method 3: Restart Windows Explorer 

If you’re experiencing the white or blank screen once you sign in, the issue might be related to Windows Explorer and restarting it might resolve the issue. To restart Windows Explorer, you have to go through Task Manager. Follow these steps: 

  1. Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete combo and select Task Manager on the next screen. You can also use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc combination to summon Task Manager. 
  2. Once Task Manager opens, locate Windows Explorer, right-click it, and then click on Restart in the context menu. 
  3. If using that method doesn’t restart Windows Explorer, go to the top-left corner of Task Manager, click on File and choose “Run new task.” After that, type “explorer.exe” (without the quotes) into the text field and click OK. 

Method 4: Log into Another User Account 

If you have more than one user account on your computer, try logging in to another user account and check if your screen goes blank. Some users reported that they only experienced the issue on a single account.  

If you have only one user account, restart your PC in Safe Mode and create another user account, then check if the error persists. Here’s what you should do: 

  1. Press the power button on your PC and hold it down to turn off your system. 
  2. Press the power button again to turn on your computer. Once your computer’s manufacturer logo flashes on the screen and the Windows boot animation appears, force your system to go off again by pressing the power button and holding it. Repeat these steps until the “Please wait” message and the Windows 10 logo show up. 
  3. Click the Advanced Options button when the Automatic Repair screen appears. 
  4. Click on the Troubleshoot tile once you see the Choose an Option screen. 
  5. Now, select Advanced Options under Troubleshoot, and then choose the Startup Settings option once the Advanced Options screen shows up. 
  6. On the Startup Settings screen, click the Restart button. Once your system reboots and the Startup Options screen appears, choose the number beside Safe Mode or Safe Mode with networking (if you want to use the internet). 
  7. Once your PC boots up in Safe Mode, head over to Settings >> Accounts and then create a new user account under the Family & Other Users. 
  8. Reboot your system normally and try logging in to the new account. 

Method 5: Install the Latest Version of Your Graphics Card Driver 

As we mentioned earlier, the white screen problem might be caused by a faulty display driver. Being the conduit for the communication between your OS and graphics card, your video card driver can trigger display issues once it encounters any issues. 

Graphics card drivers begin to cause problems when they become corrupt or outdated or when they go missing. Getting rid of the white screen problem, in this case, requires you to update the driver of your display card. Some users were able to resolve the issue after applying this fix, and you’ll likely find your system whole again once you update your driver.  

There are many methods involved in updating the graphics card driver on a Windows 10 machine. You’ll find them below: 

Use Third-Party Software to Update Your Graphics Card Driver 

We’ll start with the simplest method to install the most recent version of your video card driver. Using a tool such as Auslogics Driver Updater, an application that automates the whole process, will save you a great deal of stress and work in your favour. This is because you’ll get to find out whether your display driver is missing, faulty, or outdated, and when you do, its latest version will be installed automatically in just a few clicks.  

The tool will start by scanning your system for problem drivers, and once it detects any, it’ll automatically download and install their latest versions from a database that is regularly updated with recent manufacturer-recommended drivers. If your display driver is corrupt or missing or outdated, it’ll appear in the list of problem drivers once the tool completes its scan. Here’s a guide on how to use Auslogics Driver Updater: 

  1. Follow this link to download Auslogics Driver Updater.  
  2. Open File Explorer, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the tool’s installer, and run it.  
  3. When the installation wizard appears, choose your preferred language and click on the Install button.  
  4. Once the installer completes the installation, allow the program to launch automatically.  
  5. Normally, the tool will begin to scan your computer for problem device drivers once it launches for the first time. If the scan doesn’t commence, however, click the Start Scan button.  
  6. Once the scan completes, your video card driver will appear in the list of problematic drivers if it’s missing, faulty or outdated.  
  7. Click on the button that prompts the tool to download and install the latest driver. Reboot your PC once the program updates your driver.  

Use Device Manager  

Using Device Manager is another way to update your graphics card driver. While this is the most common method involved in performing driver updates, it isn’t entirely reliable. Nonetheless, you can attempt to use the program to update your display driver. You should employ this method, especially when the white screen prevents you from doing anything on your system. Follow the guide below: 

  1. Boot your system in Safe Mode: 
  • Press the power button on your PC and hold it down to turn off your system. 
  • Press the power button again to turn on your computer. Once your computer’s manufacturer logo flashes on the screen and the Windows boot animation appears, force your system to go off again by pressing the power button and holding it. Repeat these steps until the “Please wait” message and the Windows 10 logo show up. 
  • Click the Advanced Options button when the Automatic Repair screen appears. 
  • Click on the Troubleshoot tile once you see the Choose an Option screen. 
  • Now, select Advanced Options under Troubleshoot, and then choose the Startup Settings option once the Advanced Options screen shows up. 
  • On the Startup Settings screen, click the Restart button. Once your system reboots and the Startup options screen appears, choose the number beside Safe Mode or Safe Mode with networking (Since you might require an internet connection to download the driver). 
  1. Once your computer boots up in Safe Mode, press the Windows key and the X key together and click on Device Manager in the menu that appears on the left edge of your screen.  
  2. Once Device Manager opens, click on the arrow beside the Display Adapters drop-down.  
  3. Right-click your graphics card under Display Adapters and click on Update Driver.  
  4. Once the Update Driver window appears, select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option. 
  5. Windows will now carry out an online search for the latest version of your display driver. The driver will be downloaded and installed automatically once Windows finds it.  
  6. Now, restart your system and check if your system’s screen still goes white when you sign in.  

Update Your Graphics Card Driver Manually 

If using Device Manager doesn’t work, you might have to update your driver manually by downloading and installing the latest version from the internet. Go to the website of the card’s manufacturer, search for the most recent driver for your card, confirm that it matches your card’s model, and then download it. Once you save the installation package of the driver to your system, double-click it and follow the instructions in the wizard to install it.  

You can also go to Device Manager (in Safe Mode if you don’t have access to your PC), right-click your video card under Display Adapters and select Update Driver. Click on “Browse my computer for driver software” and point Windows to the folder where you saved the driver.  

Method 6: Use System Restore to Undo System Changes 

The white screen issue might be related to a recent change you made to your system, such as the installation or uninstallation of a software program or driver. You can return to a restore point to resolve the issue. Follow these steps: 

  1. Press the power button on your PC and hold it down to turn off your system. 
  2. Press the power button again to turn on your computer. Once your computer’s manufacturer logo flashes on the screen and the Windows boot animation appears, force your system to go off again by pressing the power button and holding it. Repeat these steps until the “Please wait” message and the Windows 10 logo show up. 
  3. Click the Advanced Options button when the Automatic Repair screen appears. 
  4. Click on the Troubleshoot tile once you see the Choose an Option screen. 
  5. Now, select Advanced Options under Troubleshoot, and then click on System Restore. 
  6. Once the System Restore wizard opens, follow the on-screen instructions and choose a restore point when things worked well. 

Method 7: Start Your System in a Clean Boot State 

Some third-party applications are designed to launch automatically once your computer boots up. One or more of these background processes could be causing interferences that trigger the white screen error. Restart your computer in a Clean Boot environment to prevent these startup programs from launching and troubleshoot the issue. 

Performing a Clean Boot is a neat troubleshooting trick that has become popular in recent years. Some users employed this technique to resolve the white screen problem. Here’s a guide that breaks down the procedure into easy-to-follow steps:  

  1. Launch the System Configuration dialog window by opening the search bar beside Start, typing “msconfig” (without the quotes) and clicking on System Configuration in the results.  
  2. Switch to the Services tab once the System Configuration dialog window appears.  
  3. Tick the checkbox that reads, “Hide all Microsoft services” to exempt Windows services from whatever you’ll do.  
  4. Now, click on the Disable button to prevent all the services in the list from launching the next time Windows starts. 
  5. Next, head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.  
  6. The Task Manager window will appear, showing the Startup tab.  
  7. One after the other, click on each startup program and click on Disable.  
  8. Once you disable every last startup program, close Task Manager, go back to the System Configuration dialog and click on the OK button.  

Now, reboot your system to check for the problem. If the problem disappears, then one of the startups that you disabled is behind the issue. What you need to do now is to enable a single startup item, reboot your system, and then check for the white screen issue. You have to do this for every single item, restarting your PC each time you enable a program or service. The last program you enable before seeing the white screen again is the culprit.  

Conclusion 

We’re confident that you can now use your system without worrying about the white screen issue. If you still experience the issue, try uninstalling your antivirus (you can go through Safe Mode), and if that doesn’t work, uninstall your previous Windows update. 

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