FIX OBS Black Screen Display Capture 2020 [SOLVED] 5 Easy Solutions

OBS Studio also known as the Open Broadcaster Software is a Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. I use OBS to record my Windows 10 Desktop. But since I got my new DELL XPS 15” I have trouble getting the settings right. Every time I try to record my desktop using the Display Capture function in OBS it only shows a black screen. Doesn’t matter what I tried the black screen would not go away. This issue took me many days to solve but I finally found the main problem. When you understand the root of the problem, you will never ever have to deal with the OBS Black Screen problem again. So today I will show you a couple of solutions on how you can fix OBS black screen display capture in 2020. Btw. the solution that worked on my XPS 15 was Solution 3.

Why is my screen black in OBS Studio?

To be more efficient modern Notebooks/Laptops are using 2 Graphic Cards. A dedicated graphic chip (GPU) like the Nvidia GeForce Series which can handle high performance graphics while playing games or working with video and 3D models. But this graphic card consumes a lot of power. And when you use your Laptop to just browse the web, being on the desktop or watching Netflix you don’t need this much of power. So this is when modern Laptop switch to the integrated GPU’s like the intel HD graphics series. This is how modern Laptops can become more efficient and the battery last longer. OBS STUDIO uses two graphic cards But why does OBS Studio shows a black screen when you record your desktop? The answer is pretty simple. OBS Studio does not understand which of the 2 graphic cards from your laptop it should use. To solve the black screen issue while using the display capture setting you need to tell OBS Studio which of the two graphic cards you want to use.

Get the newest graphics card driver!

It sounds so obvious but many problems appear when your Machine is not running on the latest drivers versions. So before you start make sure you run the latest driver updates on your Laptop.

5 different solutions on how to fix the OBS black screen

Solution 1: Use “Fit to screen” to create the red outline

Sometimes the most easiest fix for the OBS black screen is to go right click on the black screen. Under Transform chose “Fit to screen“. After you will get a red outline around your window which tells OBS Studio that you will record the whole frame. OBS Display Capture Fit to Screen red outline
FIX OBS BLACK SCREEN Solution 1: the red outline

Solution 2: Use “Run with graphics processor”

The next super simple Solution is right click on the OBS Studio icon on your desktop. Under “Run with graphics processor” you can chose which of you two graphic cards OBS should use when it starts. Many times the default setting is the more powerful GPU like in my case the NVIDIA processor. Test both graphics processor options before you continue with solution 3.
FIX OBS BLACK SCREEN Solution 2: Run with graphics processor

Solution 3: Use the “Power saving” setting

This is the solution that worked on my Dell XPS 15. Also since i published my YouTube Video, this is the solution the most people responded also helped them. Nevertheless there are Laptops where some of the other solutions is the fix. Step 1: Right click on the Desktop an choose Display Settings Windows 10 Display Settings Step 2: Scroll down and click in the right window on Graphics settings. Select graphic settings Step 3: Chose Classic app. OBS Studio select classic app Step 4: Search for the OBS Installation folder and select the obs64.exe file. The default installation path is: C:\Program Files\obs-studio\bin\64bit\ Select obs64 Step 5: Click on Options options for obs black screen Step 6: Here you can set the graphics preference for OBS Studio. To record your Desktop/Browser etc. you need to switch the setting to “Power saving“. If you want to record games, than you have to use the “High performance” setting.
FIX OBS BLACK SCREEN Solution 3: Power saving Setting
After this my OBS Studio with display capture setting was working how it supposed to be and the black screen was gone. FIX OBS STUDIO BLACK SCREEN 2020 SOLUTION worked solved

Solution 4: Use “NVIDIA Control Panel”

Step 1: Right click on desktop and go to NVIDIA Control Panel. nvidia control panel Step 2: Go to Manage 3D settings. manage 3d settings Step 3: On the right side of the window under Program Settings you can select a program to customize. Step 4: Search for OBS Studio. select obs Studio in programm settings Step 5: Now you can select the preferred graphics processor for OBS Studio. Same like in Solution 3, choose the Integrated graphics if you wish to record your desktop and the High-performance NVIDIA processor if you want to record games.
FIX OBS BLACK SCREEN Solution 4: NVIDIA Integrated graphics setting

Solution 5: Use “Run in compatibility mode”

The last solution is a trick how to get around problems that come based on driver and Windows Version issues. Step 1: Richt click on OBS Studio icon on Desktop and go to Properties. obs studio properties Step 2: Click on the button Open File Location. open location from obs studio Step 3: The file explorer will open and you can right click on the obs64.exe icon. and go to Properties. icon rightclick obs studio properties Step 4: Change to Compatibility and click the checkbox “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and choose Windows 7 and hit Apply.
FIX OBS BLACK SCREEN Solution 5: Use Compatibility Mode


This was the 5 most commen ways on how to fix OBS black screen display capture function. Pleas let me know in the comments which of the solutions worked for you. If it did not work for you, write me you Laptop model in which graphics card you are using. Also if you find another way to solve this issue i can add it to this article, so that other Creates can find the solution too.


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