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Frozen Tesla Screen? Here’s How To Fix It!

Frozen Tesla Screen? Here’s How To Fix It!

Tesla has become the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles. That doesn’t mean they’re immune to issues, though!

If you’ve had a frozen screen, you know how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, you can fix them without any problems most of the time.

Simply perform a soft reset, and it’ll start working again usually. Or, you might need to perform a hard reset instead. Either way, you should have a fully functional screen again in no time!

Methods to Reset a Tesla Screen

Performing a soft reset would be the simplest solution for most Teslas. However, you might need to perform a hard reset in some cases. Doing this will differ depending on your model.

Some Teslas have the master computer unit 1 or MCU1. Others have the master computer unit 2 or MCU2. You’ll reset them differently.

You can also reset just the touchscreen on some models. You can even do this while you’re on the road. So, it might be a convenient way to solve your problem without stopping.

If you’ve got a Model S or X, then you’ve probably got an MCU1. For these vehicles, follow these steps.

Press down on both of the scroll wheels at the same time. Keep holding them down until you see the screen go off. It should reboot within a few moments. Most of the time, it’ll take about 10 to 15 seconds to refresh. This solves the frozen screen usually.

You can’t do a full soft reboot without putting yourself into Park. So, if the touchscreen reboot didn’t work, go ahead and pull over.

Once you’re in Park, make sure all the doors are shut. If the touchscreen still functions, navigate to the control menu. From there, look for the safety and security screen. Enter that screen and look for the power off option. Hit that button and wait for the screen to reboot.

If the touchscreen isn’t working, you can use another method. Apply pressure to the brake pedal and keep holding it down. While doing that, you’re going to press 4 buttons. Press down both scroll wheels at the same time. Hold down the buttons above the scroll wheels, too.

Make sure you’re still holding the brake pedal while pressing all 4 buttons. Keep doing that until you see the screen turn back on.

That usually works to fix a frozen screen. If not, you’ll need to do a hard reset. That’s also called a power cycle.

To do this, you’ve got to unplug the batteries.

You might want to get a professional to help you with this if you’re not confident. However, it’s not too hard to do yourself.

First, power off the climate control system. Then, roll the driver’s window all the way down.

Next, open the trunk. Now, take out the Underhood storage unit. Then,

remove the panels on top of the batteries. Once they’re exposed, disconnect the ground cable. That’s the one with the negative sign.

After disconnecting the ground, insulate the terminal. Then, unhook the first responder loop. That should totally power off the battery.

Wait for a couple of minutes while the battery is unhooked. After that, reconnect the ground cable first. Then, hook up the first responder loop again.

Finally, replace the battery’s cover. And, put the Underhood storage unit back in place.

If you’ve done everything properly, the Tesla should be reset.

You can do the same thing for newer units as well. The only difference would be with the soft reset. You won’t have to hold down 4 buttons on them. You’ve just got to hold down both scroll wheels.

What Causes Frozen Screens?

Frozen screens may happen for a variety of reasons. They seem to be more common in Teslas with the MCU1. This older computer module doesn’t have as much processing power as the newer ones.

If you’re getting a lot of frozen screens, try updating the computer system. This could prevent the screen from freezing again.

Often, drivers report they have issues after software updates. Some updates don’t function as well as others. Sometimes, people haven’t updated their software at all. So, you might want to check whether you’ve updated yours recently.

Swapping USB drives while you’re on the road could also cause the screen to freeze. Keep track of when it’s freezing. If it’s happening while you’re swapping USBs, that could be the problem.

Another reason could be a problem with the embedded multimedia card. Older Teslas didn’t have enough memory on them. So, they would start to crash frequently.

Tesla issued a recall for drivers experiencing this issue, though. Take yours to the nearest dealership to see if they’ll be able to help.

Can You Reset a Tesla Screen While Driving?

You cannot perform a full reset while you’re driving. Neither the soft reset nor the hard reset will work.

However, you may perform a touchscreen reset without pulling over. To do this, you’ve just got to hold down both scroll wheel buttons. Keep them held down until you see the screen reboot.

While the screen is off, you won’t be able to adjust settings. Your headlights will stay off. Or, if they were already on, you can’t turn them off.

Performing a touchscreen reboot won’t affect the computer units. But, it will fix a frozen screen in a lot of cases. It’s easier to do this since you don’t have to pull over, too.

If your screen appears frozen, try doing the touchscreen reboot first. It doesn’t take long, and it usually solves the problem.

How Do You Fix a Black Screen on a Tesla?

Black or blank screens are usually because of an issue with the eMMC. That’s the embedded multimedia card. This logs all the driver’s data while you’re on the road.

Older Teslas only had 8 GB of memory in them. If you drive a lot, you might fill them up all the way. Then, you’ll start having issues with the screen.

You might not be able to fix them using a reboot, either. For that reason, you’ve got to go to a dealership.

Tesla issued a recall for models affected by this issue. As such, they’ll replace the eMMC without charging you anything. Once you’ve replaced it, you won’t have any more screen issues.

Tesla will even issue you a reimbursement if you’ve paid for the repair elsewhere. Simply contact them and let them know what’s happened.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!