How to Fix an OBS Black Screen Capture Error.
One of the most popular streaming applications is OBS Studio (commonly referred to as OBS). However, a common problem faced by people using it to stream or record on the desktop is the black screen capture error.
This is when you try to take a screenshot of the desktop, window, or game application and the only thing that comes up is a black screen.
There are several reasons for OBS black screen capture error and this article shows you how to fix each of them.
Make Sure the Right GPU Is Selected
The most common problem with OBS Studio is when people try to capture an image and the entire preview window turns gray or black. Then your output recording will be nothing more than a black video.
This can happen regardless of whether you are trying to take a screenshot of a window or a screenshot. This will most likely happen on a laptop.
The reason for this is that laptops (especially gaming) can have two gaming cards. One of them is intended primarily for rendering the desktop and windows and is the only one in the power saving mode. The second is to improve performance (for example, games).
This allows the laptop to turn off the more powerful graphics card in power saving mode. The problem is that if you try to tell OBS to capture your display, it might capture the output of the inactive graphics card. Result? OBS black screen capture error.
To fix this:
1. Select the “Start” menu, enter “Settings” and select the “Settings” application. In the settings menu, select System.
2. Select Display from the left menu, then scroll to the right pane to the Multiple Displays section and select Graphics Settings.
3. In the next window, make sure the “Select Application to Set Preferences” option is set to “Desktop Application” and then select “Browse”.
4. Navigate to the OBS application, which should be located in the path: C: program files obs-studio bin 64bit obs64.exe. Replace C: with the letter of your primary hard drive. Select “Add”.
5. After adding OBS Studio to the list, it will appear in the graphics settings window. Click the Options button.
6. You will see the graphics settings window. Change the setting to High Performance and select Save.
You are now ready to try again to capture the window or screen. Be sure to close and restart OBS Studio before trying again.
For most people, this tip fixes most OBS black screen capture error issues.
Youâ€™re Trying to Capture DRM Web Content
Another common mistake people make is using OBS Studio to record copyrighted movies in apps like the Netflix desktop app. Most of the content on Netflix and other streaming sites is protected by digital rights management (DRM) technology.
These safeguards will block screen capture apps like OBS from recording this video stream.
If you select Window Capture and select the Netflix desktop app, OBS Studio will appear first to properly capture the window contents. However, once you hit the play button and the movie starts watching, you will notice that only black video is displayed in the OBS Studio preview window.
This is a feature built into the Netflix app (or whatever streaming app you use). This is not an OBS Studio problem, and there is nothing you can (or should) do to fix it.
You can start the video stream from another application (for example, play it in the Chrome browser). OBS can record video from a browser window or from this display. However, you shouldn’t do this anyway, because recording DRM-protected content with OBS is illegal.
Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
Another very common problem people run into when they encounter the OBS black screen capture error is trying to capture any hardware accelerated windows. If you have hardware acceleration enabled in Firefox, Chrome, or any other browser (or application) that uses it, OBS will show a black screen.
This is a problem that frustrates many OBS users, but at least you have a workaround. You can turn off hardware acceleration when trying to capture this browser window.
Disable hardware acceleration in Chrome
To disable hardware acceleration in Chrome:
1. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser to open the menu and select “Settings”.
2. Scroll down to the “System” section (select “Advanced” if necessary) and uncheck the switch to the right of “Use hardware acceleration when available.”
3. Select “Restart” to restart the browser without hardware acceleration.
Disable hardware acceleration in Firefox
To disable hardware acceleration in Firefox:
1. Select the menu in the upper right corner of the browser window and select Options.
2. Make sure General is selected in the left menu. Scroll down to the Performance section and uncheck the box to the left of Use Recommended Performance Settings.
3. After you uncheck this box, new settings will appear below it. Uncheck the box to the left of Use hardware acceleration when available.
Finally, restart Firefox to open it without hardware acceleration.
Disable Windows 10 Game Mode
Another Windows 10 setting that can break OBS screen capture is Windows 10 Game Mode.
This mode can cause OBS black screen capture error as it allocates all graphics card resources for the current game you are playing. This takes resources away from OBS and can disrupt the video capture process.
This is especially problematic if your whole purpose of live streaming is to show everyone what game you are currently playing.
To disable Windows 10 Game Mode:
1. Launch the Settings app and select Games.
2. Select “Game Mode” from the left navigation menu and turn off the toggle under “Game Mode” on the right.
It is recommended that you restart Windows before attempting to restart the game and start live streaming or recording the video you are playing it on.
Use Game Capture Instead of Window Capture
Another quick tip that can help optimize video capture in game windows to avoid the OBS black screen capture error is to use the game capture feature instead of Windows or screen capture.
OBS optimizes window capture specifically for games when you select the Game Capture option.
To do this:
1. Click the plus sign at the bottom of the Sources field in OBS and select Capture Game.
2. In the New / Select Source window, rename the game capture scene if you want, then click OK.
3. In the next window, use the “Mode” drop-down list and select “Capture Specific Window”.
4. In the “Window” drop-down list, select the window with the name of the game that you launched and which you are currently playing.
You should see a preview of the game window in the small preview pane above. If everything is ok, just click OK to finish.
Try Running OBS Studio as Administrator
Hopefully one of the fixes above helped you fix the OBS black screen capture error. If it doesn’t, the last method that worked for some users is to simply launch the OBS app with administrator privileges.
To do this, select the Start menu and type OBS. Right-click the OBS Studio (64-bit) application and select “Run as administrator”.
Try to take the screenshot again and the black screen problem will be gone!
How to Fix an OBS Black Screen Capture Error
How to Fix an OBS Black Screen Capture Error