The Oculus Quest and Quest 2 are the most popular VR products on the market, but even these aren't immune from technical difficulties. A fairly common issue users are experiencing is the Oculus Quest black screen of death, which is mostly found in laptops, Chromebooks and even Xbox. This seems to render the Quest unable to turn on or be used.
Luckily, there are fixes you can try, that may turn this from a black screen of death, into a black screen of short-lived annoyance. That's got to be better, right?
How to fix Oculus Quest black screen
Because there are multiple different reasons for this issue to arise, it follows that there are several different things to try as potential remedies. Here are the best ones to try:
- It may seem obvious, but make sure the battery hasn't just gone completely flat. We know it can take 2.5 hours to fully charge, and the battery will run down faster if you've been watching a movie, for example. So if you've been using power-hungry apps, or left it turned on without replenishing the juice, it might simply be dead. Plug it in, leave it, and see what happens. Try a different cable if nothing seems to be happening.
- Try launching a game via the Oculus app on your phone. This will tell you if your app can detect your headset. If it does, start a game, and see whether your headset comes back to life.
- It's also possible that the Quest is undergoing a software update. These can sometimes take their sweet time, so plug it in, and leave it for thirty minutes to an hour. This will ensure that if it was in the midst of an update, it will have sufficient power to complete that process.
- Press the menu button on your left controller and the Oculus button on your right one, to open the Oculus menu. If this works, then try and open an app, to see if that resolves the error.
- Give the proximity sensor a clean. Wipe it with a clean microfibre cloth, to remove any built-up gunk. Then try covering the sensor and see if the screen starts working again.
- Paying yet more attention to the proximity sensor, it is possible that your issue is caused by a new update or a third-party accessory affecting the sensor. So you have a couple of options here:
- One suggestion is to put a thin piece of tape onto the proximity sensor, to make it think you are wearing it.
- Another option is to disable the proximity sensor. To do this, download either Developer’s Hub from Oculus or SideQuest onto a PC and disable the proximity sensor completely. You have to turn on developer options on the quest via the app. Then allow the device. Further instructions are available here.
If you've tried all of the above without success, then it's time to move on to some other possible solutions:
- Hard reset your Oculus Quest. To do this, press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds. This will cause the Quest to perform a hard reset, which may resolve the fault.
- Your next option is to use the boot loader menu to boot up your Quest. For this:
- Press and hold power and volume down together for at least 10 seconds
- Use the volume buttons to choose boot device
- Press the power button
- If none of these has succeeded, then we are down to the nuclear option: factory reset. This is the weapon of last resort, as it will wipe everything from your Quest and restore it to factory settings. So make sure you've exhausted all your other options, unless you are happy to lose all your data. According to Oculus Support, there are two ways of doing this, one using the headset, and the other via the app:
To perform a factory reset using your phone:
- Open the Oculus app on your phone.
- Press Settings in the bottom menu.
- Tap the headset connected to your phone.
- Select More Settings.
- Tap Factory Reset, then Reset.
To perform a factory reset using the headset:
- Turn off your headset.
- Hold the power and volume down buttons on your headset down simultaneously until the boot screen loads on your headset.
- Use the volume buttons on your headset to highlight Factory Reset and press the power button.
- Use the volume buttons on your headset to highlight Yes and press the power button.
Failing this, your only other option is to contact Oculus Support for further assistance.
Read More: How to fix Oculus Quest 2 Slow Charging
What seems to cause the problem in the first place?
As you can tell, there are plenty of potential reasons you are experiencing this problem. They range from the very simple, like a flat battery, to more complex issues, like a partial software update.
Perhaps most seriously, the issue can also be caused by corrupted software or damaged hardware. If we are reaching this stage in the conversation, then getting your hardware repaired or replaced (depending on the warranty status) is your most likely course of action.