It can be frustrating when you open Microsoft Word and the screen is completely black. Not being able to see your documents makes Word unusable. Here are the main reasons why Word may appear black and how to fix this issue.
What Causes Microsoft Word to Turn Black?
There are a few potential causes for Word turning black:
Enabled Dark Mode
Microsoft Word has a Dark Mode feature that makes the background dark and text light. If you have Dark Mode enabled, it will make Word look black.
High Contrast Theme
Windows has high contrast themes that maximize color contrast for accessibility. If you have a high contrast theme set system-wide, it could make Word render black.
Outdated Graphics Drivers
Faulty graphics drivers can cause display issues like Word turning completely black. Outdated drivers may be unable to handle Word properly.
How to Fix Microsoft Word Showing Black
If Microsoft Word is black on your PC, try these troubleshooting steps:
1. Disable Dark Mode
If you prefer the normal white Word background, switch out of Dark Mode:
- Open Word and go to the View tab
- Click on Switch Modes > Light Mode
This will restore the standard white background.
2. Turn Off High Contrast Theme
To disable the high contrast accessibility theme:
- Go to Settings > Accessibility
- Under Contrast themes, select None
Then the theme will no longer impact Word.
3. Update Graphics Drivers
Outdated graphics drivers can cause display glitches with Word. Update them:
- Go to your graphics card manufacturer’s website
- Download and install the latest driver
This will likely fix any Word rendering issues.
Additional Ways to Troubleshoot Microsoft Word Display Issues
If the problem persists, try these additional troubleshooting steps:
Repair or Reinstall Microsoft Office
Corrupted Office installs can prevent Word from displaying properly. Consider repairing or reinstalling:
- Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features
- Select your Office version
- Choose Modify > Repair
If that doesn’t help, uninstall then reinstall Office fresh.
Disable Hardware Acceleration
Hardware acceleration can sometimes conflict with Word.
- Open Word > File > Options > Advanced
- Uncheck Disable hardware graphics acceleration
- Restart Word
Update Windows and Check for Malware
Make sure Windows and Office are fully updated. Also scan for malware, which could be interfering with Word.
Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
Boot into clean boot state in Windows, which disables non-Microsoft services. If Word now displays properly, it points to a conflict from a startup program or background process.
Preventing Microsoft Word Black Screen Issues
To avoid this happening again:
- Keep Office and Windows up-to-date
- Don’t use unsupported visual themes
- Maintain stable graphics drivers
- Run regular anti-malware scans
This will help prevent Word display problems in the future.
What to Do If Microsoft Word Keeps Going Black
If you still have issues with Word after trying these troubleshooting steps, it likely points to file corruption or a deeper system configuration problem.
Further steps to take include:
- Create a new Word user profile
- Scan and repair Office file associations
- Refresh the PC to reinstall Windows without deleting personal files
- Reset the PC to factory settings if necessary
In some cases, the system may need professional repair or replacement if Word continues exhibiting black screen errors.
Key Takeaways on Fixing Microsoft Word Display Issues
Having Word turn black makes it impossible to view or edit documents properly. This is typically caused by visual modes like Dark Mode, high contrast themes, or faulty graphics drivers. Updating software and drivers will resolve many cases. For persistent problems, repairing Office, disabling hardware acceleration, malware removal, or refreshing the PC may be necessary. Staying on top of updates helps avoid issues in the first place.