How to Fix Discord's Black Screen Issue?

Discord, a leading platform for community interaction and gaming communication, has revolutionized the way we connect online. However, Discord users often encounter a common issue: the black screen, particularly during streaming. As the problem varies from case to case, this article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to resolve these Discord's black screen issues, ensuring your streaming experience is seamless and enjoyable.

Kevincy Kevincy | Jan 25, 2024

What Causes the Black Screen on Discord?

Here are some of the common reasons why you may see a black screen instead of your shared content on Discord:

  • Outdated Graphics Drivers: Old graphics drivers can lead to display issues in many applications, including Discord.
  • Incorrect App Settings: Sometimes, the problem lies within Discord's settings or the settings of the application you are trying to stream.
  • Hardware Acceleration: While designed to enhance performance, this feature can sometimes cause display issues.
  • Permissions and Administrative Rights: Discord might lack the necessary permissions to capture the screen properly.
  • Issues with Streaming Platforms: Specific issues related to DRM-protected content from platforms like Netflix or Disney Plus can also cause a black screen.
  • Blocked by Firewall or Antivirus: Overly restrictive firewalls or antimalware programs can block Discord and lead to black screen when trying to stream.

Now that you know the possible causes of the black screen stream on Discord, let's explore some easy fixes you can apply to resolve this frustrating problem.

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In-Depth Troubleshooting Guide for Discord Black Screen

How to Fix Discord Black Screen Issue

1. Restart Your Computer and Discord

Sometimes a small glitch in the Discord app interrupts screen sharing. Restarting both Discord and your computer usually resolves this. This clears any temporary glitches causing black screening issues.

Once your PC boots back up, launch Discord again and check if screen sharing works properly without black screens.

2. Update Discord App

Regular updates are vital for any application, and Discord is no exception. These updates not only bring new features and improvements but also fix known bugs and compatibility issues that could be causing the black screen problem.

  • Windows & Mac: Usually, Discord updates automatically upon startup. However, you can force a check by completely closing the app (including from the system tray) and reopening it. Discord will check for updates upon launch. You can also right-click Discord icon on your taskbar, and select "Check for Updates".
  • Mobile: For Android and iOS, check the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for updates.

3. Update Graphics Drivers

Outdated or corrupt drivers are a leading cause of display issues. Ensure your graphics drivers are up-to-date by visiting the manufacturer's website and downloading the latest drivers.

  • For Nvidia GPUs, open GeForce Experience and click "Driver" to check for updates.
  • For AMD GPUs, use Radeon Software to update your graphics drivers.
  • For Intel graphics, go to Device Manager > Display adapters and update drivers

After installing the newest graphics drivers, restart your PC and try streaming again on Discord. Updated drivers improve compatibility and performance for video streaming and screen capturing.

4. Disable Hardware Acceleration

While hardware acceleration is beneficial, it can sometimes cause issues with screen sharing. To disable hardware acceleration in Discord:

  • Click on the User Settings gear icon.
  • Navigate to "Advanced".
  • Turn off the "Hardware Acceleration" toggle.
  • Restart Discord and try screen sharing again without hardware acceleration enabled.

If the black screen persists, turn hardware acceleration back on, as sometimes toggling this setting forces Discord to detect displays correctly.

5. Adjust Discord Settings

Incorrect settings within Discord can hinder its ability to stream content properly.

  • Go to Discord's User Settings.
  • Navigate to "Voice & Video" and scroll down.
  • Ensure that the "Use our latest technology to capture your screen" option is enabled.

Also, play around with the video codec settings to see if that resolves the issue.

6. Run Discord as Administrator

Running Discord with administrative rights can resolve permission-related issues. Right-click on the Discord icon and select "Run as administrator" to grant it the necessary permissions.

For an old OS, right-click on the Discord icon > Properties > Compatibility. You can run the compatibility troubleshooter to fix it, or change another compatibility mode to have a try.

7. Add Exceptions in Firewall and Antivirus

Overly restrictive firewalls and antivirus programs can block Discord from accessing necessary game processes or applications and displaying black screen instead. To fix this:

  • For Windows Firewall, add exceptions for Discord under Allowed Apps.
  • For 3rd party firewalls, add Discord to the exceptions list.
  • For antivirus programs, add Discord to the exclusions list.

This allows Discord unrestricted access to your streaming content.

8. Turn Off Overlays in Discord and Games

In-game overlays provided by Discord and the game itself can sometimes conflict and cause black screening. As a possible workaround, you can try turning off the overlays:

  • In Discord, disable in-game overlay under User Settings > Game Overlay
  • In the game's settings menu, disable any overlays provided by the game

9. Adjust Screen Share Resolution

Discord automatically captures and shares your entire display resolution by default. If you have a higher resolution monitor, try lowering the shared screen resolution to 1080p or 720p instead to resolve bandwidth-related black screening problems.

10. Select the Display You Want to Share

When you initiate screen sharing in Discord, it will let you pick which monitor or application window to capture from a dropdown list. Carefully verify you have selected the correct display you want viewers to see instead of an incorrect one resulting in a useless black screen.

11. Clearing Discord Cache

Clearing the cache can remove outdated or corrupt files that lead to issues like the black screen during streaming, and forcing Discord to create fresh, error-free data. Make sure Discord is completely closed. This includes exiting the app from the system tray or menu bar. Then locate the cache folder and delete cache files:

  • Windows: Press "Win + R", type "%appdata%/discord/Cache" and hit Enter.
  • Mac: Open Finder, press "Command + Shift + G", type "~/Library/Application Support/discord/Cache", and hit Enter.
  • Android: Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Discord > Storage & cache > Clear cache.
  • iOS: It's better to delete Discord app and then reinstall it through App Store. To do this, tap Settings > General > iPhone (or iPad) Storage > Discord > Delete App

12. Disable VPN

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can sometimes lead to a black screen issue on Discord, particularly when streaming. To fix VPN-related black screen issues:

  • Disable VPN: Temporarily disable your VPN and try streaming on Discord to see if the issue persists.
  • Switch VPN Servers: If you must use a VPN, try switching to a different server. Sometimes, certain servers may have better compatibility with Discord.
  • Check VPN Settings: Look for any settings within your VPN application that might be restricting network traffic or bandwidth and adjust them accordingly.
  • Opt for Gaming-Friendly VPNs: If a VPN is essential for your needs, consider using VPNs that are optimized for gaming. These tend to have better compatibility with platforms like Discord.

13. Specific Fixes for Streaming Services

Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime: These platforms use DRM (Digital Rights Management), which can prevent screen sharing. A workaround is to use browser versions of these services and try streaming from websites.

Crunchyroll and Paramount Plus: Ensure you are using updated versions of these apps. Sometimes, using the web version of these platforms can also bypass the black screen issue.

14. Update Windows and Reinstall Discord

If the black screening persists despite trying all usual fixes, there may be an underlying Windows issue at play. Ensure Windows is fully updated using Windows Update then download and reinstall Discord with admin privileges. This will eliminate any corrupted files or registry issues causing problems.

15. Additional Troubleshooting

If the above steps don't work, try the following:

  • Bandwidth Issues: If your internet bandwidth is low or Discord lags when multiple people are screen sharing, it can cause temporary black screening. Check your bandwidth usage when this happens.
  • Overloaded CPU/GPU: A CPU/GPU running too many intensive tasks can affect screen sharing performance. Close other programs to free up resources when facing black screen issues.
  • App Conflicts: Try closing other applications during your streaming sessions if closing Discord and reopening it doesn't work. Common problematic apps include OBS, Xbox Game Bar, etc. Either disable them or close them entirely before sharing your screen in Discord.

16. Reaching out to Discord Support (The Final Step)

If all else fails, contacting Discord support is a sensible last resort to resolve the black screen issue. They can provide more personalized assistance.

Clearly describe the issue and provide specific examples with Discord username and ID. Stay patient and courteous because support team handles a high volume of requests every day. If Discord support requires more info or suggests solutions, respond promptly and follow their instructions. They might ask you to perform specific tasks or provide additional data to diagnose the issue.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Why does Discord show a black screen when streaming Netflix?

A: This is often due to DRM protection that prevents screen capture of such services. Try to stream from the Netflix website instead of its app.

Q2: What should I do if only a specific application shows a black screen when streamed on Discord?

A: Check if the application has any known compatibility issues with Discord, and try running the application in windowed mode.

Q3: Does restarting Discord fix black screen?

A: Restarting Discord can help troubleshoot black screen if it's caused by a minor software glitch. But for recurring black screens, you need to address the root cause like driver updates, game conflicts etc.

Q4: Why does Discord only show a black screen on startup?

A: This could be due to issues with your graphics drivers, Discord settings, or a need for administrative permissions.

Q5: Discord screen shows black but sound works on stream, how to fix?

A: This points to a GPU-related problem where Discord is able to capture audio but not video. Try updating your drivers, tweaking hardware acceleration settings, lowering sharing resolution, closing other apps hogging the graphics card, or upgrading your PC hardware like installing a better GPU.

Q6: Does changing Discord's server region help in fixing the black screen issue?

A: Sometimes, server latency issues can cause streaming problems. Switching to a different server region closer to your location might help.

Wrapping Up

Facing a black screen on Discord, especially when you're eager to share content, can be frustrating. However, with the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Remember, the solution might vary depending on your specific situation, so it's important to try different methods. With patience and a bit of technical know-how, you'll be back to seamless streaming in no time.

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