Fix Black Login screen in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Last Updated on March 23, 2018

As you might know, I recently upgraded all my PCs to Windows 10 anniversary update. Initially, there were no complaints, but after a few days of using it has made me realize the early adopter’s pain.

This time, it is the login screen. Essentially what’s happening is that the lock screen is just black.

Windows 10

By design, it should pull up a picture from somewhere on the internet and show it as the background pic for the lock screen. But sometimes, generally when the internet is choppy or when I have just turned on the PC, the login screen doesn’t show anything. Only a bare black screen with date, time and some agenda show up, depending on the settings, of course.

black login windows 10 anniversary update

Fix Black login screen in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Fixing this issue is however quite easy. It requires a bit tinkering with the settings, though. The culprit here is the animation settings in the System properties. You can access these settings via the Control Panel or the Settings app. All you have to do is set the option of animating the windows while minimizing and maximizing set to Enabled. Let’s see how to do that.

  • Right click on My Computer on the Desktop and click on Properties.
  • In the left sidebar, click on the Advanced system settings link. It will open the System Properties box.
  • In the Advanced tab, click on Settings under the Performance heading.

Animate windows 10 anniversary update

  • Check the “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” checkbox and click OK.

This will enable all the animations which show when windows are minimized or maximized. Now, the login screen will not show with a black image. It will now show some popular image of something from the internet. You can verify whether this is working or not by pressing Windows key + L to lock your current session. This will show your login screen with an image instead of the previously shown black screen.

Edit: Our friend Dave in the comments section has said that the above steps didn’t fix the black login screen for him. However, with his assessment, he was able to fix it anyway. I’m putting the content of his comment here. Try them if the above steps didn’t work.

Go to Settings > Personalization > Lockscreen.

Scroll to the bottom and set “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” to Off, then close the window. That’s it.

Edit: If you are still having this black screen problem on your PC, please read this comment by our friend Matt. That might do something for you.

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Written by Utkarsh

Utkarsh Bhatt is a certified tech expert and software engineer for a Fortune 500 Company. He was born in 1995, making him one of the oldest members of the team at EFX. Utkarsh loves solving technical issues and is always the first to jump on any problem that needs solving. When he’s not coding or debugging, he enjoys playing video games (especially Super Smash Bros.) and watching cartoons.

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40 thoughts on “Fix Black Login screen in Windows 10 Anniversary Update”

  1. I had this same issue as well since the anniversary update. I already had that setting set though. However, I unchecked it and re-checked the box and set it back from “Custom” options to “Let Windows choose whats best for my computer”. The lock screen was still working after I set it back to the way it was initially was when I had the black lock screen issue.

    • I updated to the Anniversary edition some time ago. All was working relatively well – it is Windows 10, after all – then suddenly experienced this issue. Like you, I already had the animate Windows minimize/maximize setting enabled. Following your lead, I unchecked and rechecked the box and – fingers still crossed – the issue is resolved. Thanks for saving me hours of aggravation.

  2. The fix does not work for me. I have unchecked the box, pressed Windows+L, no change checked the box , pressed Windows +L no change, same blank screen with question whether I like what I see. In the following menu there is no option: “I really do not know, because I do not see anything” to choose. This is like in a couple of Windows before, when whatever happened you were directed to the Systems Administrator without asking who the system administrator was. In this case I was a system administrator and I kept on asking myself to no avail.

    • A lot of these so called fixes are just workarounds. They work for some people while frustratingly don’t for others. Quality control with Windows 10 doesn’t seem like a high priority thing with Microsoft these days. If this doesn’t work, try restarting a few times, resetting the PC, or just disabling the lock screen. Try that out, and let me know if that works or not. I hope that helps. 🙂

  3. Thanks, I fixed it by playing with the above instructions for setting for animating windows. . At the end I seemed to put it back to what it was at the beginning. But somehow it is fixed.

  4. found the fix for black screen before logging in.. None of the above listed fixes were doing it.
    1. click Action Center in lower right corner of taskbar (rectangular icon)
    2. click All Settings, then Personalization, then Lock Screen
    3. scroll to bottom and set ” Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” to Off, then close the window. Black Lock Screen is gone

  5. The solution works, atleast untill i reboot my machine, then the issue is back again.. Dave’s fix is really not an option for me seeing as i want the picture to display on both lock screen and sign-in screen… 🙁

    • I think that you will need to wait a bit for Microsoft to officially fix this problem. The solution proposed in the article is just a workaround. Be patient.

  6. I think that it´s not a fix, only a workaround since every time I have the black screen and I change the option of Visual Effects to another option than back again to my default and just click apply, the black screen is temporarily fixed, but this is back a few hours again.

  7. This fixes doesn’t worjk at all. Try locking your account 3 times in a row. Every 3 times lock screen goes blank. Than 2 times it seams ok and the third time it’s blank again. Also you can’t scroll down your lock screen to input password by pressing any button on a keyboard you have to use mouse. It seams that lock screen app is broken in this build and there is nothign we can do about it until next update. Damn I want Windows 7 back.

    • Windows 10 works like a cesspool of crap for some people. I mean, it has given me literally zero problems since the last year that I’ve been using it. Some people can use the method written in the post to fix the black login screen problem. It’s working for them. I guess, you’ll need to wait for Microsoft to push a fix officially.

      You can use clean install method to go back to Windows 7, but that will require you to have a retail disk for the OS. You can try that if you have it. Make backups, though.

  8. I had this issue on 2 systems. I actually had to use both methods for it to work.

    On the 1st PC:
    1st, unchecked and rechecked “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing” which did not fix it. 2nd, i switched “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” off ad back on which didn’t fix it. 3rd, i switched “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” off, locked my computer, logged back in and switched “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” back on. So locking between off and on is an important step.

    On the 2nd PC:
    1st, i switched “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” off, locked my computer, logged back in and switched “Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen” back on, this didn’t fix it until i did step 1 from the 1st PC. Once both steps were followed it was fixed.

    My conclusion is that both adjustments are required to reset windows into making the lock screen behave normally.


    • Good work Matt. I think I should include this bit in the article itself so that other people can benefit from it. Thank you for your input.

    • Thanks for sharing, Matt. I performed the same as you did for the 2nd PC. Once all steps were complete, it worked as expected.
      I previously fixed with only the “Animate windows…” checkbox. This only lasted about a week before reverting, though.

    • This has been driving me nuts for months now.
      I thought I tried this already but maybe I missed a step.

      Now it is working properly after doing both steps and locking between untoggling and retoggling settings.

  9. So far i didn’t find any permanent solution for this problem. This is really bothering. Break the windows 10 experience.

    • Well, there is no permanent solution to this. I guess you can use your PC offline (by not signing in while setting up Windows) to avoid the login screen situation. MS is releasing the Creators update soon. Let’s hope that this will be fixed in that.

  10. Strange but true.

    Suddenly, a few weeks ago my login screen went white but this did not bother me.

    I found that Excel 2003 – which I rarely use – had lost all colour making working with it difficult.

    I assumed the worst and after some playing around decided to do a reinstallation of Office 2003. Would not reinstall, so had to logon in as Administration to successfully reinstall. Noted that the Administration logon screen was NOT white. Tested Excel 2003 and there was colour.

    Used your procedure and regained my normal login screen.
    Excel 2003 regained its colour.

    So many thanks!

    • Success was short lived.

      Window 10 reverted to a white logon screen despite “Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing” being checked.

      Login screen for Administration still OK.

        • Hopefully, working now.

          Used the extended method given by Matt and summarized below:
          Control Panel>All Control Panel Items>System>>Advanced System Settings>>System Properties>>Performance>>Advanced>>>Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing

          Turn off and on

          Start and l – for lock screen check
          Control Panel>Personalization>Desktop Background (listed at bottom)>Lock screen

          Turn off and on

          Check lock screen

          Another computer was updated to Creators. IOBit programs gave problems. Stopping them initiating at startup caused Creators not to boot. Fortunately I had older disk image. Will wait until MS decides to give Creators as a standard update – and hope for a much better outcome.


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