Samsung TV Black Screen of Death – How to Reset It

Author: Richard Clyborne | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

You’re finally chillin’, about to catch up on your favorite series, and all of a sudden..  nothing. I mean, quite literally nothing. Black screen. Ugh. You’ve heard about it but now is not the best time.

Luckily, the dreaded issue of your Samsung TV’s black screen of death usually has an easy fix. Following a few steps to power cycle your TV for one minute, it will probably correct itself after this reset. In rare cases, this could be a bigger issue that takes a few more hoops to jump through to resolve.

How to Reset Samsung TV with Black Screen

The quickest method to get rid of the black screen of death and get your Samsung TV back up and running is to power cycle it.

  • Step 1: Unplug the TV from the wall outlet.
  • Step 2: Allow TV to remain unplugged for at least 60 seconds – no less!
  • Step 3: While the TV is unplugged, press & hold the power button for a minimum of 30 seconds.

Note: It’s important that you hold the power button located on the TV itself. Pressing the power button on the remote won’t work. If you’re unsure about the location of the power button on your TV, here’s an article I wrote already, covering all potential locations of the power button on a Samsung TV.

It’s important that you don’t rush through these steps. You want to be thorough here. This ensures a complete reset of the system.

Plug your TV back into the wall and see if this has resolved your issue. More often than not, this trick will have you kicked back to relax again swiftly.

If that doesn’t cut it, there are a few more things you can try to get your TV back to normal.

Double Check for Faulty Equipment

Bad Outlet

The issue could be as simple as your TV not receiving power due to a faulty power outlet. You can rule this out by checking if the red standby light turns on when you plug your TV’s power cord into the outlet. If it doesn’t, that means your TV is not receiving any power.

The quickest fix is switching to another outlet. Try plugging the TV power cord into another nearby electrical outlet to be sure the problem is not within the specific outlet.

If it fixes the issue, and you still want to use your original outlet, check for bent prongs or burnt markings surrounding the outlet to see if there are any noticeable signs of faultiness. If you can’t figure it out yourself, it might be helpful to call an electrician.

Malfunctioning Input Devices

Be sure any external hardware connected to your TV, such as a Roku or an Amazon Fire Stick, is working as expected.

The easiest way to make sure that the TV itself is fine is by using the TV remote. If you can access the TV menu using the remote, that means the black screen issue isn’t due to the TV itself. So, you can move to checking other things like your input devices, HDMI cables and other external elements.

Also, if you are using an HDMI extender, try bypassing it and connecting the input device directly to the TV. This will eliminate the chance of the extender being the culprit.

Watch Out for these Common Cable Issues

Sometimes the issue is caused by a faulty HDMI cable, although you should get an error on the screen if it’s not being detected by the TV at all. Still, check the cable for these signs:

  • Awkwardly bent
  • Exposed wires/separation of wiring
  • Broken ports
  • Loose or wiggly connections

Unplug each cable and plug it back into its port to make sure the connection is firm. Also, check that the HDMI cables are plugged into their corresponding ports.

The defect may not be obvious and require you to replace the cable entirely. After you’ve inspected those key points on the cables and replaced them as needed, try to operate your TV again to determine if the issue is corrected.

Faulty Ports on the TV

The problem could even be with the specific HDMI port on the TV itself. If this is the case, switching to an alternate port will allow you to quickly check if the earlier port is the culprit.

Almost all TVs have multiple HDMI ports, so choosing another one involves just a quick swap.

Confirm Correct Input Mode

Once it’s confirmed that there’s no issue with the power outlet or the TV itself, you can move on to other troubleshooting steps.

After making sure all connections are secure, select the correct INPUT (‘also known as ‘SOURCE’) on your TV. The input you select should correlate with the port being used for your device.

For example, if your cord is plugged into the slot labeled ‘HDMI 2’, then select ‘HDMI 2’ on your television as well. If you are unsure which port the device is using, go ahead and switch through each input to determine the correct one and check if your TV starts displaying anything.

Tip: While troubleshooting, try to use the control buttons – such as ‘POWER’ and ‘INPUT’ that are located on the TV, instead of the remote. If you are only able to use the remote to perform these actions, replacing the batteries could be necessary to rule out a non-functional remote.

TV Settings & Features that Trigger a Black Screen

If the black screen of death is haunting you or keeps occurring at random, there may be some settings inside the menu you can adjust to avoid this in the future. If you are still able to access the menu on your screen, these settings are worth taking a look at.

Disable the Sleep Timer and/or Energy-Saving Mode

Some settings are excellent for saving energy and keeping the TV from running all night. That being said, changing these can help guarantee these features are not interfering with the picture on your screen.

The exact flow for this process will differ, but you can typically adjust these under:

  • Menu > Settings > Time > Sleep Timer
  • Menu > Settings > Eco-Solution > Auto Power Off

Once you’ve located these settings, turn both these features off.

Update the Software

Almost all modern Samsung TVs receive software updates from time to time. If your TV is connected to the internet already, it normally updates automatically. Otherwise, you may need to manually apply these updates through the Settings menu.

To perform a software update (also known as a firmware update), open the Settings menu. Under Support. Select “Update Software” or “Apply Software Update” and accept the available updates for your TV. Updating your TV’s software to the latest version could be the fix your TV needs.

Factory Reset Your Samsung TV

Before moving on to more technically advanced solutions, try doing a factory reset.

Note that this will delete all existing settings, apps and other stored files/media (in case of smart TVs). After a factory reset (also called a ‘hard’ reset), you’ll even need to re-enter the details for your WiFi and user accounts, such as your Google account.

To access the option to perform a factory reset, follow either of these two (varies by model):

  • Menu > Settings > General > Reset
  • Menu > Settings > Support > Self Diagnosis > Reset

You’ll be asked for a PIN at this point, which by default is 0000 for your Samsung TV. Confirm the reset and wait while your TV reboots to see if your problem has disappeared.

“But I Can Hear Sound?”

In some instances, the screen will be completely dark (it’ll appear as if the TV is turned off), but you’ll know the TV is powered on because you can hear it.

I’ve covered the connection issues & power cycling that can resolve this, but there can be other causes behind this issue that require the replacement of parts within the TV. I’ve covered those in more details in this post.

Backlight Failure

All Samsung TVs (except only OLED TVs, which are still very uncommon) have a backlight. It basically illuminates to make the content of the screen visible to the naked eye.

To rule out a faulty backlight, a simple test can be done by shining a flashlight directly onto the TV screen – performed easier in a dark room.

You’ll need to look closely to see if any picture appears dimly beyond the glow of your flashlight. You can also browse the menu or volume settings to help you find something displayed on the screen.

Another tell-tell sign that the backlight has gone bad is when the black screen is only on one side. If half of your TV screen is correctly displaying an image, you can be almost certain that you’re experiencing a backlight failure.

This means that a certain strip of lights (typically LED) has gone out. Only half of your picture is being illuminated properly behind the screen.

Both of these are indicators that you are probably experiencing a backlight failure.

Replacing Backlight LED Strips

This could be a tedious job, but if your warranty is already over and you’re confident in your abilities to disassemble & reassemble the hardware, then you could consider taking this project on.

You can find replacement LED strips online by searching for your TV model number. Usually, it costs between $80 to $200 depending on the model and quantity of LED strips.

Once you’ve got the correct materials, you will need to carefully remove the outside panel and then another inside panel (which houses the main boards) to access the LED backlight strips.

While doing this, you must be sure to be extra careful not to put pressure on the delicate screen underneath the housing for the lights.

More Complicated Causes for Black Screen of Death

If you don’t see any picture at all when performing the flashlight test, the problem could be the screen itself. This could mean you need to replace or repair components such as the T-CON board, the power control board, or other major parts of the TV.

You can often find replacement parts online, available on marketplaces such as eBay. If you are familiar with working on electronics, replacing these are pretty simple tasks and can save you big bucks on repair costs.

Before you begin replacing any components on the TV, be certain you’ve exhausted all of the other suggestions mentioned, as the assembly necessary can make this solution risky.

I would NOT recommend this for 99.9% of people. For an out-of-warranty TV, you’re better off taking it to a third-party service center.

Contact Samsung Support/Warranty Department

Be aware that trying to fix hardware issues inside your TV yourself can void its warranty. Always reach out to Samsung about the status of your warranty before you start doing any kind of handyman work on your TV. They may be able to help you more than what you originally expected.

If you are incapable of doing the repairs yourself, Samsung does provide technical support, including repairs. This could get pricey, mainly due to the cost of labor, but ensures a certified tech handles your device.

It’s helpful to compare the cost of buying a brand new TV before you accept a repair quotation from Samsung directly. Often upgrading to a new TV makes more sense than having your existing one repaired.

Bottom Line

The black screen of death on your Samsung TV can be truly frustrating, but it’s most often an easy fix away. The chances that you’ve already found the answer to your problem by reading this far are very high.

You can try a variety of things to fix the issue yourself. Soft reset your TV, check all cable connections and input settings, adjust eco-friendly settings and check for hardware issues such as a faulty backlight.

If you’ve tried all these suggestions, my guess is that your TV is back in business. How many did you try before you were able to get cozied back up on the sofa?

The last option is contacting Samsung support. For complicated problems, if your TV is still within its warranty period, there’s nothing better than getting it repaired at a Samsung authorized service center.

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About Richard Clyborne

Richard is a guitar player and music producer from Denver, CO. Apart from touring extensively with his band, he has briefly worked as a session musician and recorded at several prominent recording studios across Colorado.

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