Occasionally when I close the lid on my laptop, it doesn’t come back. The hard drive light is blinking and it shows signs of life like the caps lock light lighting when I hit the key. But the screen remains black and I can’t do anything. Before you power down and risk losing work, try this if you experience the Windows 10 black screen after hibernate.
The magic key sequence is Win+Ctrl+Shift+B to fix the Windows 10 black screen after hibernate. It resets the graphics driver and usually brings the machine back to life from the black screen of death.
Checking for vital signs with the Windows 10 black screen
This trick only works if the machine shows signs of life. By that I mean the various LEDs on the computer light up, and the computer responds to certain keypresses. Caps lock has been a reliable thing to check since way back in 1981. Hit the caps lock key and see if the caps lock light lights up. If it doesn’t, the computer is crashed, or not powered on at all.
But if you see the hard drive light flickering occasionally, and the caps lock key responds, and you’re able to use the touch-sensitive buttons on the keyboard to connect and disconnect from wifi and change the volume, the computer is running. The problem is the graphics driver crashed. But the poorly documented key sequence Win+Ctrl+Shift+B will fix it.
Some computers do seem to be more prone to this than others. If this happens to you a lot, you might want to write down that key sequence on a piece of tape or a mailing label and stick it somewhere on your laptop. Stick it somewhere inconspicuous, unless you really hate your laptop. If you have a Lenovo, you might want to write down the scroll lock equivalent on the same label.
Congratulations, now you’re part of a super secret troubleshooting society. I know, you didn’t ask to join this club, you just want to get your work done and get home.
What to do if Win+Ctrl+Shift+B doesn’t work
If the Win+Ctrl+Shift+B key sequence to reset the graphics drive doesn’t work, and the computer shows no other signs of life, you’ll have to power it down and power it back up. If the computer doesn’t want to power up, here’s a trick for HP and Lenovo laptops. My tricks often work on other brands too, I’m just most familiar with HP and Lenovo.