A non-responsive or inactive television screen can cause momentary panic in anyone who has the misfortune of experiencing it.
For several consumers, the LG TV has become their newest technological headache with a screen that prefers to stay in the dark, quite literally.
There are a number of quick fixes online, though due to the high demand for a competent list of solutions, we’ve decided to make a comprehensive guide for frustrated folks trying to catch Jeopardy!
We will be going over every solution you can find including power cycling, resetting the television, firmware updates, checking cables, making sure the television is plugged in, and every other simple fix. Additionally, we will focus on specific solutions for LGTV that start broad and get more specific as we continue.
For the sake of not missing any steps, try to follow the solutions in the order of how they are presented.
If your television still isn’t working, we will cover the warranties provided by LG and the steps you can take to fix, replace or repair your television.
What Causes a Black Screen on LG TV?
This question has a lot of answers, though typically it is just a result of a lengthy lifecycle for a television. Tech isn’t known for its decades of longevity and after a while, the screen’s clarity will begin to fade as the TV reaches the later parts of its life.
This does not mean that the television is broken, but it does indicate that you will have to monitor it more carefully going forward.
If you are operating a newer device that shouldn’t be nearing its natural end, it can be a result of incompatible software, buggy software, or even an issue that can be solved with a simple power cycle or reset. It could also be as simple as your TV remote isn’t working and you haven’t realized it yet, so you think the screen is broken.
The Backlight May be Broken
Before you go into the solutions, you should check that your backlight isn’t broken on the television. The backlight is what brings light to the screen, so even though it may be dark, images can still appear without illumination.
To check if your backlight is broken, simply shine a light on the screen and see if the image appears. If you can see images with a flashlight on the screen, your television will need to be replaced as your backlight is broken.
Whatever the case, the chance that your LG has gone to pasture is slim. If it is indeed time to buy a new product, the solutions provided will make certain of that.
If you follow the fixes below and still have the dreaded black screen, you can contact LG for repair or even a replacement depending on how far out its been since you purchased the product.
How To Fix A Black Screen On An LGTV
It is pretty important that you follow these solutions in order to get the best results. We have organized these in a way that allows the later solutions to be more effective after having completed the previous steps.
You should also be prepared to unplug several cables, get into the back of the television and possibly even move it depending on how it is situated.
Check Cables & Plug
Before we get into all the mess of power cycling, restarting, and checking for updates – let’s see if the cables are securely inserted. The simplest way to do this is to go through each connected plug or cable and make sure they are inserted snugly into their respective ports. Equally important, make sure that the ports they are inserted into are correct. If you have a black screen, it is possible that you inserted cables into the wrong ports.
The best way to check if cables are damaged or frayed is to look across the length of the cord for any visible damage. The most important part of the cable is almost always going to sit at the end, however. If you remove a cable and it pops out without any resistance, chances are it may be loose and can come undone very easily. A lot of plugs will tend to lean downwards if they are not fitting correctly, so be wary.
If you have a suspect cable such as an HDMI that you don’t have much confidence in, it could prove useful to try and swap it out for a different HDMI cable. Any cable you find on a modern LGTV can be cheaply replaced with a quick Google as well, so don’t fret if you can’t immediately find a replacement cord.
The HDMI Cable Is In The Wrong Port
If you have a black screen without any ability to access television menu features, you can skip this step. If you have no signal, or your screen is black, but you can access the TV Menu, it may be that your TV is set to the wrong HDMI setting. On average, most LGTVs have around 3 HDMI ports, though a few have four.
There are two very simple ways to test this: you can either use your remote to change the Source or you can switch the HDMI cable to a different port manually. While either of these will work fine, in the interest of covering all bases – we will be going over both briefly.
To change the HDMI setting with a remote, do the following:
- On your remote, select the Source button which is likely in the top-right corner.
- Cycle through the different HDMI channels, waiting about 10 – 15 seconds each for a visual response.
- Continue until you have completed a full circle of all channels or until one shows the screen.
To change the HDMI setting manually, follow these steps:
- Turn your television around so you can see the HDMI cable and ports.
- Switch the cable into a different port and wait for about 10 – 15 seconds.
- Repeat step two until all ports have been exhausted or the television screen starts responding.
This is a familiar issue that almost everyone has wasted far too much time trying to alleviate. Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution.
If your television is still giving you an ominous black screen, continue to the next solution.
Use The Power Button On The LGTV
This is a definite, “Is it plugged in?” solution, though in the interest of being thorough – we included it. The theory is that your television actually works fine, but your remote may be broken or out of batteries.
The easiest way to check this is to use the power button on your television to see if the screen pops to life. If the screen does start working, fantastic!
You will need to either get new batteries for the remote or purchase a replacement remote. There is no shortage of options when it comes to remotes, just make sure it is compatible. The best bet would be to find a universal remote control that works with most televisions, particularly LG. A brief google search brought up this remote that is compatible with nine different models of LGTV.
In the meantime, you will be forced to use the television menu if your remote batteries aren’t the problem. If you have a smart TV, you can download the Smart TV Remote app which allows you to use your phone or tablet the same as a handheld remote. Not ideal, but useful until a replacement comes.
Unplug The LGTV
While some people may advise simply restarting your television back to factory settings, this can remove a lot of saved settings. So for the sake of saving you a headache down the road, let’s try a less intense option first.
Power cycling is what it is typically called and it is little more than removing the LGTV from its power source and waiting about five minutes.
- Unplug the television from the electrical outlet.
- Fetch a cup of coffee and allow five minutes to pass.
- Plug the television back into the electrical outlet.
- Push down on the Power button for 15 seconds after it has been turned on. Do this before anything else.
If your screen is back on, the problem has been resolved. Should you find the issue persisting later on, return to the article and try a few other solutions. If your screen is still dark, you are still far from having to replace your television.
Turn off Quick Start+
For several folks that have experienced this issue, a lot of the practical solutions have proven to be ineffective. This solution is for those that have started experiencing the issue while trying to connect an external device or even a good bit after the device has been connected.
An often underrated method of getting past this annoying issue is turning off Quick Start+ in the settings.
To turn off Quick Start+ from the settings menu, follow these steps:
- Click on the Settings menu from your remote.
- Select the General tab from the dropdown menu. For some, this may actually be hidden in All Settings which is an ellipse (…) on the right of the screen.
- If Quick Start+ is not in this dropdown menu, select Additional Settings.
- Navigate to the Quick Start+ tab and switch it to Off.
Quick Start+ is an option that allows your television to remain in standby mode when shut off so it can boot up quicker when powered on. While this will eliminate startup time, it can also result in the black screen we are dealing with as well as an increased electric bill.
Readers may have to contend with a few more seconds of wait time before watching their shows, but the screen will at least show up.
Brighten The TV Screen
For those that are experiencing a dim or darkened television, this may be due to your picture settings being too dim. To alleviate this, you will need to go into settings and turn up the brightness.
This is likely not the fix if your screen is completely dark, though we will list it for those that may need it. Before doing this, try to eliminate any light pollution in the room to get a more honest look at the picture quality.
To brighten the picture on your LGTV, follow these steps:
- With your remote, select the Settings, Home, Menu, or Start options from your remote. If you do not have access to your remote, you can use the menu interface on the TV itself to get to settings.
- Select All Settings which is likely towards the bottom of the menu screen.
- Select Picture from the list of options.
- From here, try to boost the Backlight and Brightness as high as it will go. If the image starts to appear vividly, this is the issue.
- Change the brightness and backlight to your desired settings and exit the menu.
If it did solve your dark screen, keep a mental note of this process as it can save you from falsely diagnosing your smart TV as broken. Past this, we will start making more drastic changes to your television that tend to work as universal fixes (especially the factory reset), so don’t lose hope.
Update The Television
It may seem a bit pointless to update your television when the screen doesn’t work, though this issue may be the result of bugs or errors arising from older software.
How long this process will take largely depends on how big the updates are (if you need them) and how quick your internet is. It is important that you allow the television time to complete the installation and fully restart before you try any other steps or interactions with the LGTV.
To update your Television, follow these steps:
- Select the Settings button on your television remote. Depending on your remote, this could also be Menu, Home, or Start. Once a settings screen pops up, you have selected the right button.
- Navigate to the bottom of the menu until you get to All Settings, and click on it.
- Select General (Wrench icon) which should be towards the left center of the screen.
- Find the option that says About This TV, and click on it.
- Press the Check For Updates button.
- If an update is present, it will say Download and Install. If it does, select it and allow the update to download and restart your television.
When the restart is complete, test the screen to see if it is back to normal. If not, there is still one last step – though things are starting to look grim past here.
Restart LGTV To Factory Settings
Before we get into the steps to restart your television; if you have any passwords or settings you can’t remember it’s important you jot those down now.
This will remove any saved settings on your device, including corresponding apps that may come with the television. No one enjoys the idea of having to start from scratch with any smart device, but it’s a better alternative than breaking out the warranty or paying for repairs or a replacement.
To factory reset your LGTV, follow the steps below:
- Select the Settings option on your television remote. This may be different on your remote, so look for a Home, Start, or Menu option if you can’t find a settings button. If you don’t have a remote, you can do all the steps on your LGTV’s menu interface. This will typically be on the front or side of the television.
- Navigate to the All Settings option, most likely found at the bottom of your settings menu as a cog icon.
- Click on the General tab, which is typically a wrench icon towards the middle of the menu.
- Choose the Reset option which will likely prompt you to enter a four-digit passcode.
- If you haven’t already set a pin code, the default is “1234” or “0000” depending on the TV model.
Wait for your television to boot back up and test to see if you are getting visuals. If the screen is still black, the bad news is you will likely have to get a professional to fix the television or even get it replaced.
For more information on how to handle a defunct television, take a look below to see the options you have available.
Warranties, Replacements, and Repairs
Sometimes tech just ceases to work through no fault of our own. If you have gotten here, it’s probably a good idea to fetch your warranty if you have it lying around.
The majority of LG warranties are around 2 years, specifically for televisions. If your television falls within the warranty period, you may be able to get it replaced free of charge.
If you are past your warranty, you can look into reaching out to a professional to try and fix your television or look into getting it replaced. The cost of getting a television repaired can range anywhere from $60 – $400 depending on how far gone it is and how ambitious the repair guy may be. Because of this, depending on how expensive your television originally was – it may be preferable to opt for a new television.
The LGTV customer service line is (800) 243-0000.
For out-of-warranty repairs, you can contact their technical support at (888) 376-6825.
LG only services televisions greater than 32” so if you have a more dainty screen, you may be out of luck. They also provide a detailed list of all the locations they service. You can make a service request here.
For most folks, this issue is quickly fixed with the above solutions, though with tech it can be hard to find answers that work for everyone.
LG lists their televisions as having around 30,000 hours of playtime before the television begins to die. While manufacturer specifications can be ambitious at times, this is a comforting statistic.
If you were to watch television eight hours a day, this would result in a decade-long lifespan for your LGTV. So outside of accidents, negligence, or technical errors – you should get a lot of use out of your TV.
For other How-To articles, tech fixes, product reviews, and more; check out other articles on Swift Moves.