How to fix Huawei P20 Pro black screen issue (Black Screen of Death)

One of the common problems across many Android devices is Black Screen of Death issue. In this post, we show you the troubleshooting steps that you can try when faced with this problem on the Huawei P20 Pro.

Problem: Huawei P20 Pro screen stays black and won’t turn on

Hiya. I bought the Huawei P20 Pro when it first came out last year and up until recently it has been flawless. A few weeks ago the issue started, after being outside in the cold, the phone would have a black screen but flicker flashes of light occasionally. It would normally do this for about an hour and then magically would sort itself out. I reset the phone back to factory settings as soon as I had the chance and this completely fixed the issue, up until today.

At 7:30 the alarm went off (in my not cold bedroom) and then the screen went black and it started flashing again. This time it took 2 hours to come back on, it sorted itself out for all of 5 minutes, and then went black again. Unfortunately, I cannot remove the back of the phone to remove the battery so when it has the black screen I really can’t do anything other than turn it off again, or reset it, which does not seem to help at all. (When the screen is black, notification sounds still come through) Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

Solution: The problem possibly lies with the screen assembly only. It may have hit a snag or error and Android is unable to resolve it by itself. Or, there may be a hardware malfunction that prevents the screen from working properly. To know what the exact reason is, we suggest that you follow our solutions below.

Solution 1: Force reboot  the device

The Huawei P20 Pro has a non-removable battery pack so understandably, you will be unable to disconnect the battery to restart it. In order to achieve the same result though, you can  just hold down the power button until the screen goes black. If the cause of the problem is a temporary bug, this reboot may help.

If the problem remains after this type of reboot, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Solution 2: Drain battery and restart

In some cases, an Android device may benefit from another form of forced reboot. This time, instead of using the Power button, you can wait for the battery to run out of juice. Then, once that occurs, you can begin charging the device again and force it to turn on. When doing this solution, be sure to charge the device for at least 30 minutes before turning it back on. Any less than that runs the risk of not having enough energy in the battery, which may cause boot up issue.

Solution 3: Try booting to Safe Mode

Another good thing that you can try in this situation is to see if booting to Safe Mode helps. The aim is to check whether or not there’s a third party app causing the problem. On safe mode, your device only runs preinstalled apps while blocking third party ones. So, if the screen works normally again on safe mode but returns to its problematic state when you reboot to normal or regular mode, that’s an obvious sign that there’s a problem with one of the apps.

To see if a downloaded app is causing a problem, try to boot the device to safe mode.

  1. Turn off the phone. If you can’t turn the phone off normally, wait until the device runs out of power. Then, charge it for at least 30 minutes before doing the next steps.
  2. Turn on the phone.
  3. Once the Huawei logo screen is displayed, press the Volume Down button repeatedly until you see Safe Mode at the bottom of the screen. If you are unsuccessful, repeat Steps 1-3 until you get it right.

If the screen works after Step 2, then there must be an issue with your apps. If nothing happens after Step 1, or if you are unable to boot the device to Safe Mode at all, proceed to the next solutions.

Should the screen work on safe mode and you want to know how to identify the problem app, you need to use the process of elimination to narrow down the culprits. To identify which of your downloaded apps is causing the problem:

  1. Exit safe mode by restarting your device.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. If the problem returns, boot to safe mode again.
  4. Uninstall an app. Start with the most recently downloaded one.
  5. After each removal, restart your device and see whether removing it solved the problem.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 until you’ve identified the culprit.
  7. After you remove the app that’s causing the problem, you can reinstall the other apps that you removed.

Solution 4: Boot to Recovery and clear the cache partition

In some cases, a black screen issue may be a result of a system cache issue. To ensure that your phone’s system cache is in top shape, consider doing cache partition wipe. This will force the device to delete the current cache and replace it with a new one over time. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  2. With your phone turned off, press and hold both the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Let go of the buttons when the Honor logo appears.
  4. Shortly after seeing the logo, the EMUI screen shows up with the recovery mode options.
  5. Press the Volume Down button to scroll to and highlight Wipe cache partition option.
  6. Then press the Power button to confirm selection.
  7. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to and highlight the next options and Power button to confirm selection.

Solution 5: Factory reset

Wiping your phone should be tried if none of the solutions above has not worked so far. You should only attempt this solution if you were able to successfully boot the phone to Recovery Mode and wipe the cache. If nothing happened after clearing the cache partition, factory reset may fix it.

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  2. Then turn the phone while holding down the following key combination: Power Button, Volume Up Button
  3. Hold down the buttons until the Huawei logo disappears from the display and the screen turns black.
  4. You can now release the buttons.
  5. This will now display the boot menu after a moment.
  6. Go to the entry “Wipe Cache Factory Reset ” with the volume keys then select it using the power key
  7. Reboot the phone once the process has completed

Solution 6: Send the phone in (Repair)

As an end user, there’s only so much that you can do. As mentioned earlier, one of the possible reasons for this problem may be hardware malfunction. While phone screens are highly susceptible to damage when dropped or exposed to elements, they are actually one of the reliable components in any device. The thing is, they still can become bad due to other factors including internal errors. Should nothing change even after you factory reset your device, consider getting your phone repaired.