How To Fix Netflix Displaying Black Screen With Sound

Boasting 222 million paying subscribers, Netflix is among the most popular content streaming services in the world. No longer focused on DVD rental, Netflix now predominantly streams content on demand to smartphones and computers. With an easy-to-use interface and a strong back catalog, Netflix can be accessed both through an app and a browser interface. However, there are times when subscribers face technical problems.

Most recently, many Netflix users are finding themselves faced with a black screen while sound still streams. The Netflix interface in the app or browser works, and they're able to browse through the catalog as usual. But when they attempt to stream the desired TV show or movie the Netflix player shows up with no video, even though the soundtrack plays as normal. It's a frustrating glitch to have interrupt your Netflix & Chill time, but the good news is that, if the streaming service has been demonstrating such tantrums, there are a few easy solutions that can help fix it.

What causes the Netflix black screen error?

Like any app or service, Netflix can run into errors that leave users scratching their heads. Complaints such as issues with Netflix 4K streaming and this specific black screen with audio glitch are commonly reported on social media. Actually figuring out what's going on in the background, though, can be a challenge, though this particular black screen error is often believed to be caused by corruption of the app's system files or runtime memory glitches on smartphones (via SaintLad). For those streaming Netflix on a computer, a problem with the web browser itself might be causing the absence of video.

Alternatively, it could be down to a service outage. Netflix itself might be facing an issue with its servers, in the process affecting viewers on both smartphones and computers. An unstable or slow internet connection will also have an adverse impact on the streaming capabilities of your device. To diagnose it — and fix it — then, you may need to take a trial-and-error approach.

Check Netflix server status and internet connection

Instead of making changes to your device straight away, you should first check if Netflix is experiencing any outages. The Netflix server status page reflects any difficulties the platform might be facing, including reasons why you might not be able to access the service. While the official website might take some time to show the latest status update, user reports on Down Detector can also help diagnose an outage.

If there's no outage, the next step is to check your internet connection. The steps to troubleshoot that vary depending upon whether you're streaming content through a Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. Users on a Wi-Fi network should try rebooting the router and reconnecting the device to the network. Those on a cellular connection can try enabling and disabling the airplane mode. If the connection is working, running a speed test shows the available bandwidth: Netflix requires a minimum download speed of 1 Mbps. Assuming everything looks fine, try streaming Netflix again.

Fixing the Netflix black screen error on smartphones

If you're accessing Netflix on a smartphone, checking the app store on that device is a good first step. Sometimes, updating Netflix to the latest version is all it takes to fix the Netflix black screen error with sound. Android users should open the Google Play Store and search for Netflix to do so. If there are any updates, instead of the 'open' button, users will see an 'update' button beside the app's name. Similarly, the Apple App Store also shows an 'update' button if there is one available.

If that doesn't help, Android users can try clearing the app data. To do so, head over to Settings > Apps > Netflix > Storage > Clear Data. Both Android and iOS users can try reinstalling the application, which should download new files from the respective app stores, and in the process restore any resource files that might be corrupted (via Netflix). Finally, if Netflix still doesn't show any sign of improvement, try rebooting the smartphone. If the problem persists after that, you can report the issue to Netflix.

How to fix the Netflix black screen error on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

For users who stream on their computers, according to Netflix there might be a problem with the web browser causing the black screen error with sound. First, users should check if there is an update for the web browser. Those using Google Chrome should click on the three-dot menu at the top right corner of the interface, click on 'More' and select 'About Google Chrome.' If the screen that appears contains an update button, click on it. Once the update is finished, relaunch Chrome and open Netflix to check if the error persists. The process of updating Mozilla Firefox is similar.

The second thing that users can do is clear the web browser's cache. In Chrome, open Settings and search for 'cache.' The results should show an option that reads 'Clear Browsing data.' A dialogue box with the option 'clear data' will open upon selecting. Click on it to clear any cached data and try streaming Netflix again. For those who use Mozilla Firefox, open 'Privacy & Setting,' click on 'Cookies and Site Data' and click on 'Clear Data' to clear the cache. 

How to fix the Netflix black screen error on Safari and Edge

If you're streaming Netflix on Mac, clearing the cache is equally easy. First, click on the 'Safari' tab at the top left corner and then click on 'Preferences.' In the menu, select 'Advanced' and mark the box beside 'Show Develop menu in menu bar' at the bottom. Following this, a 'Develop' tab will appear on the screen. Click on the tab and select 'Empty Caches'; that will clear the temporary data saved by the browser. Doing so should fix the Netflix black screen error with sound on Mac. If the web browser is still not able to access content on Netflix, you can try streaming via another web browser, such as Google Chrome. 

For those who use Microsoft Edge, finally, click the three-dot icon at the top right corner of the display and select 'Settings.' Select 'Privacy, search, and services' from the menu on the left, and scroll down to locate the section about browsing data, which contains 'Choose what to clear.' Click on the option and mark the boxes beside 'Cookies and other site data' and 'Cached images and files.' This should delete any temporary files that might be causing the browser to malfunction and fix the Netflix streaming error; if not, the next step is reporting the issue to Netflix.