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I'd like a shortcut that makes the screen go to a black screen immediately.

What ways can I do that?

How more efficient the solution is to set up, the better.

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You can always press the power button on the display. Or pull the video cable. Or the display's power cord. Or the computer's. Or you can switch off the surge protector. Or take out the battery if it's a notebook. Or you can just close the lid. You should really be more specific. –  user1306322 Dec 30 '13 at 13:54
    
Alternatively you can create a black background fullscreen app and place a shortcut on the taskbar. Also you can set the desktop background to solid black color, hide all items on the desktop and enable taskbar auto-hiding. Then just press Win+D and voila. –  user1306322 Dec 30 '13 at 13:58

7 Answers 7

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can just make a shortcut to the blank screensaver and then set a keyboard shortcut via the properties window for the shortcut.

The screensaver is called scrnsave.scr, located in %SYSTEMROOT%\system32.

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You can easily do this with NirCmd, these four options will give you a black screen each (with side effect):

  • Turn off the monitor.

    nircmd.exe monitor off
    
  • Start the default screen saver (set it to a blank one, so you can make the screen blank).

    nircmd.exe screensaver
    
  • Put your computer in 'standby' mode.

    nircmd.exe standby
    
  • Turn off your computer.

    nircmd.exe exitwin poweroff
    

Make sure that you have nircmd.exe in C:\Windows\System32 if you want to call it from anywhere.


As Dennis Williamson pointed out in his comment, you can simply create a hotkey like this:

nircmd.exe cmdshortcutkey "C:\Windows\Temp" "MO" "Ctrl+Shift+M" monitor off

Or a shortcut on your desktop which you can click like this:

nircmd.exe cmdshortcut "~$folder.desktop$" "Turn Monitorr off" monitor off

With AutoHotkey, you can bind any of the above commands to a hotkey:

#s::Run nircmd.exe monitor off

The above hotkey WIN+S would for example turn the monitor off.

An alternative program, if you dislike scripting, could be PhaseExpress...

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hmm, can you include how to do this automatically with a keyboard shortcut? if you're familiar with whatever software does it –  barlop Feb 19 '11 at 16:23
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@barlop: From the examples nircmd.exe cmdshortcutkey "c:\temp" "Turn Monitor Off" "Ctrl+Shift+M" monitor off –  Dennis Williamson Feb 19 '11 at 16:49
    
@DennisWilliamson: Oh, didn't see that. Updating answer a second time... –  Tom Wijsman Feb 19 '11 at 16:51
    
@Dennis Williamson That just creates a lnk file for it. doesn't run the lnk file on a shortcut –  barlop Feb 19 '11 at 17:16
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@TomWij you're right. This suggestion put together based on dennis's comment and your line and comment, works too C:\nircmd>nircmd cmdshortcutkey "~$folder.desktop$" "TMO2" "Ctrl+Shift+M" monito r off Then the keyboard shortcut works –  barlop Feb 19 '11 at 18:07

Set your screensaver to the one called "blank". Press Win-L.

Here are some examples of using AutoHotkey to turn off the monitor or start the screen saver without needing NirCmd.

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I just tried Win-L and it gave a welcome screen. I like that solution but it'd also be nice to have a more generic solution that'd work for computers with keyboards without a windows key. –  barlop Feb 19 '11 at 16:08
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@barlop: Just make you AHK macro be a key combination that isn't triggered by something involving the Win key -- represented by # at the beginning. The macro can still output one, for example ^o::SendInput #l makes CTRL-o do what Win-L does. –  martineau Feb 19 '11 at 19:13
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@barlop: In the AHK page I linked to in my answer: SendMessage, 0x112, 0xF140, 0,, Program Manager - I just tried it with "blank" as my screen saver and it works. –  Dennis Williamson Feb 19 '11 at 23:03
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@Dennis Williamson: Ah, ha! I just caught the difference. I'm using 0xF170 which is SC_MONITORPOWER, not the one before that you referred to which uses 0xF140 for SC_SCREENSAVE as the second SendMessage argument. –  martineau Feb 20 '11 at 2:07
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For anyone interested this Microsoft page lists the various WM_SYSCOMMAND messages and their hex values. –  martineau Feb 20 '11 at 2:20

There is a built-in function on my laptop. Just hit the Fn+F6. This toggles the black screen on my laptop, anyway: no extra command programming required.

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That only works on a limited number of laptops. But OP didn't specify what device he wants this on, so I guess your answer is ok. –  user1306322 Dec 30 '13 at 9:23
    
@user1306322 given that there are at least hundreds of popular laptops out there, and the probability of it that function making a scree blank is very low.. the specific is not that useful. But the general idea that maybe the laptop has a functio to blank the screen is ok.Perhaps if the answerer showed a screenshot of the picture that blanks the screen, that'd be good.My Fn+F6 key is volume.But if he shows a screenshot then wherever it is if I have that pic I could look. And user, even if I don't have it, somebody else with the same question might(this site isn't for just the 1 questioner) –  barlop Dec 30 '13 at 11:06
    
@barlop well then, the next person to ask should specify their PC type and model, which you, by the way, forgot to do. Otherwise, please, add that you're looking for solutions that could suit multiple PC types. –  user1306322 Dec 30 '13 at 12:13
    
@user1306322 this site rejects questions that are too "localized". (and in this case i'd agree with that rule). Questions have to be useful to people. It's not so useful to many people if a question just answers for one particular model of laptop. Or even if people answer regarding 10 models. The chances of any reader having one of those 10 models is slim. They can also (sometimes stupidly I think), reject questions for being too general. I wouldn't make it so explicitly general as to provoke a dumb closure. But sure a Windows solution is general enough to suit different laptop models... –  barlop Dec 30 '13 at 13:19
    
and yeah if he includes a picture that works. It's just about giving sensible answers. I can't make a question completely idiot proof from everybody. But the question as it stands is concise and clear and anybody that understands the absolutely sane sensible good rule that the site has, would not answer about specific models and would not encourage answering re specific models. those answers would be downvoted for not being useful. Remember, questions and answers should be useful to not just the person asking. This site is first and foremost a database of QnA. –  barlop Dec 30 '13 at 13:23

I used NirCmd to create a task in Win7 task scheduler, that turns the monitor off when I lock the computer (Ctrl+L)

In the Actions, paste: nircmd.exe and in Arguments put monitor off.

Then use the drop-down in Triggers to choose "Workstation is locked". Works like a charm.

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Fn+F2 does it quickly and simply for me (while NOT running PowerPoint or any other program, or hooked up to any other screen or device). Repeat the step to unblank.

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This is device-dependent and no general solution. –  Jens Erat Jun 22 at 12:11

If you want to blank just one display, without disabling or "sleeping" it you can use this VB6 program that simply loads a black background HTML file in full screen without any boarders:

http://jpelectron.com/download/viewit-rev3.zip

Copy all the files to: C:\Program Files (x86)\viewIT\ then run or make a shortcut to viewit.exe

There is also the option to make the entire screen white (like a flashlight app)

I created this because I needed a way to blank my tablet's screen (primary display) while I had a YouTube or other video playing full-screen elsewhere (secondary display)

If you don't like that this loads on the primary display only, I would suggest you open fillblack.htm in a browser, put that browser on the display you want, then press F11 to enable full-screen/kiosk mode - that will do it too.

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