How to Fix the Oculus Quest Black Screen of Death

Try these tips if you can't see your account screen or the game

The black screen of death is an error that some users experience when using the Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2. This error manifests as a black screen, either totally black or lit up with nothing on it. In some cases, the Oculus logo may appear before the black screen kicks in. Several issues can lead to the black screen of death, including dead batteries, stuck updates, corrupt firmware, and even hardware issues.

Causes of the Oculus Quest Black Screen of Death

A few issues can cause the Oculus Quest black screen of death. If the batteries are dead or don’t have a sufficient level of charge, that can prevent the headset from turning on. Stuck or interrupted firmware updates can also result in a black screen. For example, if you’ve changed your Oculus password and your Oculus can no longer log in, it may get stuck attempting to update, which will cause the black screen of death. If the firmware is corrupt, or the hardware itself is damaged, that can also cause a similar black screen problem.

How to Fix the Oculus Quest Black Screen of Death

To fix your black screen problem and get your Oculus working again, try these fixes:

  1. Make sure to charge the headset. If the headset has no charge, you’ll see nothing but a black screen. Plug the headset into a compatible USB charger, and leave it alone for a while. If it doesn’t seem to be charging, try a different charger, or make sure you’re using a compatible charger. The Oculus charger outputs 2A, so using a lower amperage charger will result in a longer charge time.

  2. Try opening the Oculus menu. While faced with a black screen, try pressing the menu button on your left controller and the Oculus button on the right controller. If this gives you access to the menu, try opening an app to see if that fixes the black screen problem.

  3. Check the Oculus app. Load up the Oculus app on your phone, and log in if it doesn’t log in automatically. Check to see if the app sees your headset, and try launching a game from the app. After launching the game, put your headset on and check to see if the black screen problem has been corrected.

    If you seem to be experiencing a boot loop problem in addition to the black screen of death, this is the most likely cause.

  4. Leave the headset on and plugged in. If you have tried charging the headset and still see nothing but a black screen, and you’re sure you’re using a compatible charger, leave it alone for at least 30 minutes. If the headset is attempting to update, then leaving it alone while plugged into power may allow it to finish the update and return to regular operation.

    Make sure you've successfully logged in to the Oculus app as described in the previous step, your phone sees the headset, and everything is on Wi-Fi. If the headset needs an update, it may take a long time, depending on the speed of your network. You can also attempt a manually update the Quest or Quest 2 using the app.

  5. Check the proximity sensor. Between the lenses in your headset, you’ll find a small proximity sensor. Try covering the sensor with your thumb to see if the black screen goes away. If that doesn’t work, try cleaning the sensor with a dry microfiber cloth.

    If the black screen goes away when you cover the sensor with your thumb, but not when you’re wearing the headset, check for gaps or damage that could be allowing light to pass through the foam insert or spacer.

  6. Perform a hard reboot. If pressing the power button results in a black screen, press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds. Holding the power button down will cause the Oculus Quest to undergo a hard reboot, which can fix many issues like the black screen of death.

  7. Boot using the bootloader menu. If you can’t perform a hard reboot with just the power button, try performing a hard reboot from the bootloader menu.

    1. Press and hold the volume down and power buttons for at least 10 seconds.
    2. Highlight boot device using the volume buttons.
    3. Press the power button to hard reboot your Quest.
  8. Perform a factory reset of the Quest or Quest 2. Doing this is an extreme measure, as it removes all of your data from the headset and returns it to an original factory state. Make sure you’ve exhausted all of your other options before attempting this fix. You will need to re-download everything, and you will lose all of your saved data.

    1. Press and hold the volume down button and power button for at least 10 seconds.
    2. Highlight Factory Reset using the volume buttons.
    3. Press the power button.

What if the Black Screen of Death Persists?

If you’ve tried all of these fixes, and you still experience the black screen of death, then there is probably an issue with your hardware. This scenario is particularly likely if you perform a factory reset and still have the black screen of death or if you are unable to access the bootloader and can’t perform a factory reset at all. In all likelihood, you will need to contact Oculus for additional assistance and have your headset repaired or replaced.

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