All I see is a black screen—what do I do?

  • Updated

There are several reasons why you may see a black screen or black background. Here are some quick troubleshooting tricks you can try to resolve your issue.

Reset Your Location

Occasionally there may be an issue with your current position due to map edits or other situations. The quickest way to resolve this is to try and respawn to a default spawn location in the space. Select your name (the personal menu) in the toolbar, then select Respawn.

A View of the game room template, with a red outline around Riley's name in the Bottom Bar. A red line connects from the name to the expanded Bottom Bar menu, where Respawn is outlined in red.

Try a Hard Refresh

A hard refresh in your browser is different from a regular refresh in that it also clears the webpage's cache. Doing this will not log you out of Gather or forget your position in the space, and cached files for other sites will not be affected. 

First, go to the Gather space that's having the problem. Then use the following key combination to refresh the page:

  • Chrome or Firefox for Windows: Press Ctrl+F5. If that doesn’t work, try Shift+F5 or Ctrl+Shift+R.
  • Chrome or Firefox for Mac: Press Shift+Command+R.
  • Other Browsers: Try pressing the browser's refresh button while holding down shift, or manually clear the website cache in the browser's settings.

Add a Background

If you see a black background, but you can still see objects, the background may have been accidentally deleted (or not saved, if you were using the Walls and Floors tool in the Mapmaker). If you own the space and you have a copy of the background, you can try uploading it again. 

Open the Mapmaker. Click the hamburger menu in the top left corner. Click Background & Foreground, then Upload a Background. 

A view of a blank map in the Mapmaker. The hamburger menu is outlined in red, and the menu is expanded. Background & Foreground is selected, and another expanded menu has Upload Background, Upload Foreground, Download Background, and Download Foreground.

If you used the Walls and Floors Painter tool (drew your own background), you will need to recreate it. When you are finished drawing or uploading your background, click Done in the Top Nav Menu of the Mapmaker, and then click Save before reloading the space. 

Check out our article on adding and managing Backgrounds and Foregrounds for more details.

Check If You Are Banned

If your entire screen is black and you do not see any objects, there is a high possibility that you were banned from the space. Bans are done by IP address. This means if you tested the ban function on yourself or a member of your household, you may have banned yourself from your space. For more information and available options moving forward, please see our page on how to Block, Kick, & Ban Users.

Clear Your Cache

Occasionally there may be issues with stored cookies or other information in your browser's cache. Try clearing your browser's cache to help resolve these issues.

Contact Support

If these suggestions don't resolve the black screen you're seeing, feel free to contact our support team and we can help you troubleshoot. 

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