The Xbox Series or Xbox One Black Screen of Death is a clear sign of damage. There’re ways to fix it, though, and we’re covering everything you need to know to restore your console.
In summary, the “Black Screen of Death” is an error that results from power glitches and bugs. However, if the console doesn’t get past it after a reset, it means the console has the wrong configurations.
It’s a common problem on the Xbox Series or Xbox One, nonetheless. Xbox Insider members are extra vulnerable to bugs and glitches, sadly.
Reasons For The Fix Xbox Series / Xbox One Black Screen of Death
- Failed startup: Like most devices, the Xbox does a full system check on every startup. It validates the software and surveys the state of the hardware. But the system could fail to run the entire startup process, so you will see a black screen instead of the Xbox starter animation. A hard reset could do the trick.
- Power glitch: similarly, the Xbox may not get proper power from the outlet, or there’s a random bug preventing communication. Power cycling the console could fix the issue.
- Wrong configurations: there could be a wrong configuration of the Xbox One or Xbox Series. It’s an unclear problem we’ve seen from several users. Notably, changing the resolution fixes the issue.
- Wrong updates: a potential culprit is faulty updates. The console may have installed only a part of a package, interfering with the dashboard. A factory reset is perhaps the only solution.
- Software corruption: likewise, there could be a number of bugs and glitches on your system. Again, a factory reset could be your only option.
- Connection: HDMI cables can be faulty. Changing the cable, and even changing the HDMI port can fix the issue.
How To Fix Xbox Series / Xbox One Black Black Screen Of Death?
You may need an extra USB flash drive or external drive, empty, and 4GB of space. Lastly, you’ll need a Windows computer with an internet connection to download the Xbox factory reset file. Finally, you must be ready to lose your data.
We’ll start with the easy fixes and then move towards advanced solutions. Bear in mind the Xbox One and the Xbox Series have the same user interface (UI) and software. Therefore, they have the same issues and troubleshooting.
Power Cycle the Console
Before moving towards a factory reset, you should try a hard reset of the console:
- Hold down the Xbox button at the front for 10 seconds to turn the console off.
- Unplug all of its cables for 30 minutes
- While you’re at it, hold the power button for 30 seconds to drain its power
- Plug everything back on after 30 minutes
- Press the Xbox button on the controller to turn it back on
If it doesn’t work, go ahead with the follow-up solutions.
Disconnect the Console From Xbox Live
The Xbox Series or Xbox One black screen of death comes when the console fails to connect to online servers. So, ignoring the connection may solve the issue and handle everything normally.
However, this is a temporary solution. Once you’re in this state, you’ll need to perform an offline update of the time. However, you can still play your games.
Here’s how to do it, but only assuming that your entire screen is not black:
- Turn on your console.
- Press the Xbox button to open the guide
- Go to Profile & System
- Go to Settings
- Go to General
- Go to Network Settings
- Select Go Offline
RT + Y
We’ll continue with a quick tip we often find in Reddit. In particular, we’re refreshing the dashboard with your Xbox controller.
- Power cycle the console
- Turn on your console.
- Wait until you see the pins moving on your screen.
- Press RT + Y on your controller simultaneously. It will give you control of the console.
- Pres RT + LT + Y simultaneously. It will refresh the dashboard and the store. Additionally, it may restart the console.
- After it restarts, press the Xbox button quickly and go to another tab, away from the dashboard.
- Go offline. You can also disconnect the etherned cable, or turn off the WiFi
- Disconnect your external drives and plug them back in
This should bring everything back to normal. You may need to do a factory reset or an offline update if it doesn’t.
Factory Reset the Xbox From the Console
No matter the cause, a factory reset can solve the issue. If you can access the Xbox’s menu, here’re the steps:
- Turn on the console
- Press the Xbox button, and quickly go to Profile & System
- Go to Settings
- Go to System
- Go to Console Info
- Select Reset console
The Xbox will ask you to keep your data and apps or reset everything.
Factory Reset the Xbox With Black Screen of Death
If the console only shows a black screen, you need extra steps to factory reset the Xbox One or the Xbox Series.
Through this process, you will lose all data. That includes games you downloaded, synced accounts, devices, and saved data. Yet, Microsoft stores save data, trophies, and similar on the cloud, so you can get that back once you re-download the games.
The first step is getting an extra drive with at least 4 GB of space and your Windows PC.
- Insert your external drive or USB drive into your Windows computer
- Open File explorer
- Go to This PC
- Right-click on the drive and select format
- Select the NTFS option and click Start
- Wait until the process finishes
This process will wipe your drive clean. Please make sure you save its data elsewhere.
The next step is downloading the Xbox factory reset file:
- Put the drive into your PC
- Download the Xbox Reset Factory Default file on your PC.You can check this official tutorial to download it.
- Select “Save“
- Open a new folder, and put “Factoryreset.zip” on the new folder
- Right-click the zip file, and select “extract here.” Press Okay.
- The extract process will copy the
$SystemUpdateinto your folder. Copy this file into your external drive. There should be no other files on the storage.
- Safely eject your external drive.
Lastly, we’re using this file to factory reset your Xbox One or Xbox Series console. Here’re the steps:
- Unplug the console’s network cable if you’re using one
- Power off the Xbox
- Unplug the power cord, wait for 30 seconds, and plug it back in
- Plug your external USB drive into the console.
- Press and hold the Pair button and the Eject button on the console simultaneously. It brings up the Xbox Start troubleshooter.
- There’s no Eject button on the Xbox One S All-Digital or Xbox Series S. Instead, you’d have to simultaneously press the Pair button on the console and the Xbox button on your controller.
- Hold the buttons for 15 seconds. You should hear two power-up tones after 15 seconds. Otherwise, the process is not working. Additionally, if you listen to sounds akin to “powering down,” it failed as well.
- Release the buttons after the second beep.
- Remove the flash drive after the console restarts. The restart may take several minutes. Also, if you’re using a wired connection, plug the network cable back on.
- When the console starts, it will guide you through resetting the console.
As for where are the buttons on the Xbox consoles:
The Xbox One’s Pair button is at the front left, below the power button. Then, the Eject button is right next to the disk tray.
The Pair button is on the front, next to the USB port on the Xbox Series. Then, the Eject button is above the disk drive on the Xbox Series X.
Lastly, on the Series S, the Pair button is at one of the sides, next to a USB port.
The Pair button is the one you use to sync your controllers.
Update the Console Offline
Assuming you can’t see the screen, you may need to update your console offline. As I said above, a failed update may cause the problem.
An offline update is similar to factory resetting the console. However, you need 6GB of space on your external drive this time.
- Plug your external USB drive on your Windows computer
- Format the drive to NTFS format
- Download the correct system update file. Check above to find the one you need.
- Right-click the file and extract it on your computer
- Copy its $SystemUpdate to your drive
- Safely unplug the drive from your computer
- Power off the console, unplug its power cord and wait for 30 seconds
- Press and hold the Pair and Eject button on the console simultaneously. If there’s no Eject button, press and hold Pair and the controllers Xbox button
- Hold the buttons for 15 seconds until you hear two beeps.
- The console will power up and go to the Xbox Startup Troubleshooter
- Plug the USB drive into the Xbox
- Select Offline system update. The option won’t be active if you don’t put the drive with the file on the console
- The console will update and restart. It may take several minutes. If you’re using a wired connection, please connect the ethernet cable into the console.
After the update, the console should return to the home screen. You can remove the USB drive.
If you’re getting an error like above, you need to perform a factory reset or take your Xbox to service. Or it means you selected the wrong system update file.
Try selecting the troubleshoot option from the menu.
Factory Reset the Xbox With the Troubleshooter
You can try resetting the Xbox to default by using its troubleshooter.
- Power off the console
- Unplug the power cord for 30 seconds, and plug back in
- Press and hold the Pair and Eject button. As you already know, it could be the Pair and Xbox button on the controller (Xbox Series S and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition).
- Hold the buttons for 15 seconds until you hear a second beep
- The console will go to the Startup Troubleshooter.
If the screen is still black, try the solution above. Otherwise, select the option Reset this Xbox. It will allow you to choose to Keep games and apps while erasing corrupted data.
If you don’t remove all of your data, you will need to continue with an offline or online update. Otherwise, the console will return to the home screen and guide you through setting the device back up.
Reset the Resolution Settings
The next solution is performing a cold boot and resetting the resolution.
- Turn off the console
- Unplug its power and HDMI cable
- Unplug the HDMI cable from your TV
- Wait for 30 seconds
- Plug every cable back
- Hold the power button of your console for ten seconds. Then, turn the Xbox back again. It performs a cold boot and clears the console’s cache.
To lower the display settings, here’re the steps:
- Remove the disk from the Xbox, if there’s one
- Press and hold the Xbox button on the console for five seconds. It will turn off the console.
- Press and hold the Xbox button and the Eject button simultaneously for ten seconds until you hear a beep. It will boot the console at 640 x 480 resolution.
There shouldn’t be a black screen problem if the resolution was the problem anymore. So, you can now go ahead and change the resolution again.
Bear in mind it should match your TV’s resolution. Yet, the Xbox One and the Xbox Series have an option to detect it automatically. Here’re the steps:
- Press the Xbox button to open the guide
- Go to Profile & system
- Go to Settings
- Select Display & sounds
- Go to Video Output
- Go to TV Resolution
- Choose the automatic option
Enable 24Hz Output Option
You may be getting the black screen of death while watching Blu-Rays. To fix the issue, you may need to enable the 24Hz option.
Here’re the steps:
- Turn on your console
- Press the Xbox button on the controller to open the Guide
- To go Profile & System
- Go to Settings
- Go to Display & sound
- Select Video output
- Inside the menu, select Enable 24Hz
Last Ditch Try
If all else fails, you have two final options, the last resort.
First, get a new HDMI cable. But before that, try the cable with your PC or their devices, and see if it works.
The second try is, sadly, taking your Xbox to service. There’s nothing else we can do.