Why Your Second Screen Goes Black When Gaming

Is your second screen in your gaming setup going black while you are gaming? If that is the case, then this guide is just for you. Below, I will go into detail and the different routes that you can take in order to locate the source of the problem and show you exactly what you need to do in order to fix it.

I have personally experienced this myself, especially when I play games in Fullscreen, and have done some pretty in-depth research into the different solutions regarding this common problem. So, everything that I will be sharing with you below will be both from research and personal experience in solving the problem myself.

Similar Article: Why does my gaming monitor lose signal?

Driver Issues

First and foremost, let’s talk about display driver-related issues. This accounts for the large majority of problems that cause your second screen to go black while you are gaming. In the majority of cases, display issues are caused by compatibility problems in your display drives. Luckily, this issue is really simple to solve.

The solution

All you need to do is uninstall your display drivers from your PC. To do that, you need to go to your device manager and navigate to your display drivers. After you successfully uninstall your display drivers, reset your PC. Once it boots back up, it will automatically install any missing drivers.

This will essentially provide you with a fresh, updated copy of the display drivers. Alternatively, you can just update your display drivers manually from the software that you use for your GPU. For example, if it’s Nvidia, the software is called GeForce Experience.

Settings

Another possibility for why your second gaming monitor turns off while gaming is only a matter of the setting preferences that are already in place. What this means is that if you play a game in full-screen, the GPU settings are probably set by default to dedicate all the power to make your gaming experience as smooth as possible. Thus, making the screen on your second monitor black while you are gaming on the primary monitor.

The solution

Of course, you can change that depending on which GPU you are using. To name a few of the popular ones, Nvidia and AMD, you can simply download their relevant GPU software and make the changes from within.

The Cables That You Use

This one is actually super rare. In fact, I highly doubt that this is causing any issues, however, it is possible.

Back in the day, I used to run a double monitor setup. My main monitor was at 144 Hz and the secondary was at 60 Hz. Every time I would play a game on my 144 Hz monitor, my 60 Hz monitor would go black. Both were connected to a 2070 GTX GPU with the only difference that my 60 Hz monitor was using a standard HDMI cable while the 144 Hz was using an HDMI 2.0.

The solution

As soon as I changed to an HDMI 2.0 from the standard HDMI on the second (60 Hz) monitor, the problem just disappeared. It is worth mentioning that both monitors were in fact 144 Hz, I just never bothered to make both 144 Hz.

So, yes, on one-off occasions, the cables that you are using can for whatever reason cause compatibility issues under different circumstances.

Your GPU

If you are running a little older GPU, there is a pretty big chance that if you are trying to play a newer game, your graphics card will be pushed to its limits. Thus, if you have a dual monitor setup, all your GPU is doing is redirecting as much power as possible to the game so that it can run as smoothly as possible.

Now, if you have an issue where your screen goes black and even worse, your PC crashes, this can easily be an overheating problem. Sometimes, if your GPU is too warm, in that case, your PC may automatically shut off in order to preserve the GPU from frying.

The solution

Have nothing but your game open. Close all the tabs; all the random bits and bobs that you might think are irrelevant but in actual fact suck a little bit of power out of your GPU. At the end of the day, if that or nothing from above fixes the problem, it is only fair to say that you could benefit from a newer, more powerful graphics card.

About Petar Petrov

Based in North Wales, UK, Petar has spent a large portion of his life gaming since the release of the Xbox 360. Today he is a Content Manager at PureGaming and is actively sharing his experience, knowledge, and research through helpful articles, guides, and reviews.