How to Fix OBS Studio Blank Screen

I’m new to internet broadcasting and live streaming. But, due to our recent need to share most of our information online —thanks to the pandemic, I’m compelled to learn how to do that, well at least the basics of it.

So after a little research for what are the choices for streaming software —and platform. my choice goes to OBS Studio. Mainly because it’s free and it does not have a steep learning curve. Sure it’s pretty daunting when I first see the interface, but after a bit of tutorial on youtube, it just runs smoothly.

What Happened

Everything was fine for a few days when suddenly my OBS Studio just stop capturing displays. Neither the display capture nor the game capture is only showing a blank screen.

I didn’t know what happened, I didn’t tweak any settings on OBS Studio nor my Windows. This really makes me scratch my head.

The Problem

So I’m back to my research lab —*cough* Google *cough*— to find out what caused it. Finally, after some intensive research through piles of forums, blog, and youtube videos, I found out most people who got this same problem is using a laptop.

Which means they have two graphic cards (embedded and discrete), for you who doesn’t know this, most modern laptop shipped with two GPU, one for everyday use as in typing in office software which is energy-saving, and the other is for high-performance usages, such as gaming or rendering videos.

Now here’s the catch, for OBS Studio to capture something, it must use the same GPU as the one it’s going to capture.

So if we are going to capture a game, OBS Studio must use the GPU used for that game. For example: If OBS is running on the energy saving graphic card, and an image is being processed by the other graphic card, then you will get a black screen when trying to capture it.

The Solution

Upon searching for solutions online, I found a couple of ways to fix this issue, although unfortunately, those solutions didn’t fix my problem.

So I tried this step instead.

First go to Settings > System > Display > Graphic settings.

Browse for OBS Studio executable. mine is in C:\Program Files\obs-studio\bin\64bit\obs64.exe because I use Windows 10 64 bit.

Windows graphic settings

Next hit Options and choose the GPU that your application used — It’s usually high performance for game capture, or power saving if you want to show your desktop or windowed application. Save and close.

OBS Studio graphic options

Try and open your OBS Studio, now it should be able to capture your game/apps.

Conclusion

This solution might not be a perfect solution because I still need to go back to settings if I want to capture between GPUs, But at least I have my problem solved for now, and I hope this solution will help you too.

Related Articles