How to Fix a Black Screen on a PSP
By Marie Cartwright
Without a functional screen, the PSP doesn't have much of a purpose. If the power light next to your screen is off as well, all your PSP needs is a good long battery charge. But if the power light is on and the screen is still dark, a few quick troubleshooting steps can help you get to the root of the problem. If troubleshooting doesn't work, you will need to contact Sony eService through its support site, particularly if your PSP has recently been dropped or had liquid spilled on it.
Turn off your PSP. Remove the battery pack. Replace the battery pack, making sure that it is securely inserted. Turn the PSP back on. If the screen is still black, continue to Step 2.
Press any system button. If the backlight is turned off, pressing a system button should reactivate it. If the screen has turned back on, go to the PSP settings menu. Select "Power Save Settings." Select "Backlight Auto-Off." This option automatically turns off the screen if the PSP has been idle. If you do not wish to have this feature active, select "Off." If this step did not solve the problem, continue to Step 3.
Press the screen brightness button below the screen. This button is marked with a small donut-like icon. Pressing the button will incrementally increase the brightness of the screen. Holding down the button will turn off the backlight. It is possible that this button was accidentally pressed down after placing the PSP in a pocket or a backpack. If the screen remains black after the brightness has been increased to full, continue to Step 4 if your model of PSP is any but the PSP Go.
Open the top hatch on the PSP. This will eject the UMD disc. Only touch the UMD at the edges, as fingerprints can interfere with the disc's functionality. Clean the surface of the UMD with a clean, dry cloth. Do not clean the UMD with water or any other chemicals. If the disc looks scratched or damaged, this is likely the cause of the screen issue. Additionally, moisture can condense on the UMD if the PSP has undergone a recent temperature change, such as being brought into a warm house from a cold car. If the UMD looks wet, turn off the PSP and allow the UMD to air dry. Wait several hours before trying to restart your PSP.
- If you have recently tried to install unauthorized software or tweak your PSP's hardware, it is possible that the dark screen is a symptom of "bricking" -- making a device useless, usually due to a hack or mod. Unfortunately, in this case, Sony will not help you, as modding a PSP voids the warranty.
Marie Cartwright began writing in 2010. Her work has appeared on various websites. Having held office jobs in copywriting and editing, Cartwright now works from her home in Northern California. She also maintains an events website geared toward the science and technology community.