Unable to load Desktop after the windows logon in 8.1. The screen goes blank after logon - only pointer is available.

The desktop screen is unable to load in my laptop (windows 8.1). 

I can able to login into the system, but after that everything  is blank. All i could see is the mouse pointer which is working fine as is as my system is working fine.

I can able to open the Task Manager from Ctrl+Alt+Dlt screen, in that i couldn't find 'explorer.exe', and when i tried to open the exeplorer.exe from task manager file -> Run new task -> explorer.exe (OK), it is giving the error as 'The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142).'

I tried starting the system with 'Normal Startup' in msconfig (from task manager new task) General tab. But the outcome is same - Blank desktop with mouse pointer.

i tried clearing the registry errors using CC Cleaner (as per a post in a discussion forum) but it doesn't help.

Please help me.

Thanks in advance. :)




Question Info

Last updated March 10, 2019 Views 15,671 Applies to:

Hi Kruthardha,

I understand that you get a black screen after booting to desktop. It could be difficult when things don't work the way it should be on your computer. This issue could have occurred due any third party application conflict or could be an issue with the display card drivers. Let's try to narrow down to see what is causing this issue and try to fix it.

Please assist me with the following information related to this issue:

  1. What is the make and model of your computer?
  2. Have you installed any third party application software on your computer?
  3. Have you made any changes prior to the start of this issue?

Please follow the methods mentioned below:

Method 1: Disconnect the external devices (like printers, scanner, USB (universal serial bus) drives, etc...) except mouse and the keyboard and check.

Method 2: I suggest you to boot your computer in Safe mode and check if you get to see the desktop icons. If able to see, perform Clean boot. Follow the steps:

Step 1: To boot the computer in Safe mode from the login screen, here are the steps:

  1. Tap or click the Power icon button from the sign-in screen, hold Shift, and then tap or click Restart.
  2. On the Choose an option screen, tap or click Troubleshoot.
  3. Tap or click Startup Settings.
  4. Tap or click Restart.
  5. On the Startup Settings screen, choose the startup setting you want (choose option 4 to Enable Safe Mode).
  6. Now the computer will boot in Safe mode.
  7. Check if you are able to see the icons on your desktop.

For more information: Windows Startup Settings (including safe mode)


Step 2: If you are able to see the desktop icons, perform Clean boot. Clean boot process will help you determine which third party program/app that is causing this issue. It could be an application or programs, which runs on the computer at the background, leading to this issue.

Refer to the link below to perform clean boot:

How to perform a clean boot in Windows


Note: Please go through the section: How to reset the computer to start as usual after troubleshooting with clean boot of the Kb article to boot the computer in normal startup after fixing the issue.

Step 3: Now, try to disable the Display adapter driver. Follow the steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Locate the Display adapter and expand the driver icon.
  4. Right Click on the display driver and select Disable.
  5. Restart the computer and check if you are able to boot the computer normally.

If you are able to see the desktop icons after booting your computer in Normal mode, I suggest you to login to your computer manufacturer website and try to install the latest version of display card drivers and check.

Note: Make sure you enable the Display adaptor driver.

Also see: Download and install drivers



Method 3:

If the issue persist, I suggest you to perform a System Restore from Safe mode and check if it helps to fix the issue. Refer to Method 2-Step 1 on how to boot your computer in Safe mode. After you boot the computer in Safe mode, try to perform System restore. Refer to section: Restore your PC to an earlier point in time from the following link:


Note: If you use System Restore when the computer is in Safe mode, you cannot undo the restore operation. However, you can run System Restore again and choose a different restore point if one exists. 

For additional information: I would like to inform you that Microsoft doesn’t recommend it’s users to use such registry cleaner software. Registry cleaners are unsafe. They can damage your system, make your computer unbootable, and stop your programs from running. They use all kinds of "algorithms" to see what items in your registry should be deleted, and then delete vital registry keys and values that are essential for your computer to run properly. There is no significant improvement in your computer performance from using them.

As you mentioned that you have CC Cleaner installed, I recommend you to un-install them from your computer.


Using Third Party Software, including hardware drivers can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Third Party Software can be solved. Using Third Party Software is at your own risk.


Please reply us with the required information along with the status of the issue to assist you further.

Yaqub Khan

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