GMC Canyon Screen Not Working – What To Do?

Technology is great, as long as it's working properly. When GMC began installing infotainment systems in their model Canyons, owners began to complain of what is known as "the black screen of death." The infotainment screen would be blank, not allowing for the backup camera or GPS to display or allowing the driver to see the audio settings. If you own or drive a GMC Canyon, what do you do when the infotainment screen isn't working?

There are several reasons why the infotainment screen in your GMC Canyon might not be properly working:

  • Outdated software
  • Broken screen
  • Software glitch

While there aren't very many reasons as to why the GMC Canyon's infotainment system might be on the fritz, it's helpful to know the potential causes so that you can begin troubleshooting them. We've researched the issues with the Canyon's infotainment system and will present our findings in this post. You might also be wondering how to reset your GMC Canyon's infotainment system, or how to download updated software. Keep reading this post to see what we've learned.

GMC Canyon AT4 outside a car dealership, GMC Canyon Screen Not Working - What To Do?

Reasons Your GMC Infotainment System Might Not Be Working

GMC Canyon AT4 outside a car dealership

A class-action lawsuit filed in October of 2020 highlighted a lot of the problems that owners of GMC's Canyon have had issues with, regarding the vehicle's infotainment system. While this suit relates to systems that are not readily fixable, a good number of systems have problems that can be handled on the consumer's end. We break down the possible causes of why your infotainment system might be failing here.

Outdated software

If your screen is black or you're not seeing all of the items on it that you generally do, then you might need to update your software for the infotainment system. If you still have some screen visible, you might be able to manually search for updates under the "settings" button and then download it yourself.

While the downloading of this software update can be done while you're driving, the actual installation has to be done while you're in park with the ignition key on. We go over software updates in more detail later in this post. 

If this isn't an option, you'll need to take it to your dealership to have them do the update.

Broken screen

Is your screen broken? Any impact to it can damage it in a way that would blank out the screen. The damage may have been done without you even being aware of it.

Look for cracks in the screen. While sometimes an infotainment system can still fully function with a cracked screen, sometimes whatever made an impact on it damaged an important component behind the screen. Should you see any cracking at all, your screen must be the issue. If this is the problem, you won't be able to fix it yourself. Make an appointment with your GMC dealer to have it replaced.

Software glitch

Software glitches are very common with the onboard infotainment system in the GMC Canyon. Later in this post, we outline how to best perform a reset. This usually solves this problem. Unfortunately, some owners are having to perform this reset pretty often. This has led to GMC having to outright replace the systems entirely.

How Do Reset Your GMC Infotainment System?

The quick way to reset your GMC infotainment system is to press the OnStar call button and quickly hang up. If this doesn't work after several tries, you'll have to take it into the dealership for a factory reset.

Sometimes these resets work, sometimes they do not. A lot of owners complain that even when they do work, they have to perform this reset over and over again. The time between the needed resets vary, but the need occurs often enough that it's caused some frustration. 

If you find that the reset strategy works, but you're having to reset it often, take your GMC Canyon to your local GMC dealership. They may be able to fix it for you. Or they may determine that the unit has to be replaced entirely.

How Do You Update The GMC Infotainment Software?

GMC's infotainment system can be updated over the air, making the update fast and easy. For this to work, you'll need to be where you have 4G internet service. This connection to the internet is critical to being able to download and update the Canyon's software.

You'll need to accept the user agreement between yourself and GMC in order for the infotainment system to be eligible for software updates. You can do this through the infotainment system itself.

Any software updates will then be sent to your GMC Canyon's infotainment system. Or, you can manually check and see if there are any available. 

How To Download

Once you get a notification that your infotainment system is downloading an update, you can continue to drive normally. This update will pause when you shut off your Canyon and then resume the next time you're driving it. The time of the download will depend on your internet strength and how big the download is. You can check the progress of the download through "settings" on your infotainment menu.

How To Install

After the software update has been downloaded, your infotainment system will need to install it. When it's ready for installation, you'll be prompted to accept the install agreement the next time you turn on your engine. You will need to accept it and then place the Canyon in park while the installation is being completed. This usually takes about twenty minutes. Track the progress by utilizing the "settings" menu on your infotainment screen.

While the software is being installed, you can leave your vehicle. Just be sure to roll up all the windows and lock the doors. And don't leave anyone inside of your GMC Canyon while you're away.

Unfortunately, you're not able to drive the GMC Canyon while the infotainment software is being installed. You will have a choice to accept or reject the installation. If you choose to reject it, you may be forced to take your vehicle to the dealership so that it can be installed at a later date.

Why Is The GMC Bluetooth Not Working?

Did your bluetooth application stop working in your GMC Canyon, or have you never had it working? There could be a difference in reasons why the bluetooth isn't functioning properly depending on how you answer the above question.

What To Do If It Has Never Worked

If it's never worked, it's most likely due to it not being activated on your phone properly. On your phone's settings screen, make sure that your phone has enabled bluetooth. When this is done, the bluetooth from your phone will need to be paired with your Canyon.

With the engine running and the Canyon in park, hit the phone button on the infotainment screen. Select "pair phone," and then "add phone." Select your device and you're all set. You can also pair it with voice recognition by hitting the "push to talk" button on the infotainment screen, then stating "pair phone" after you hear the tone.

What To Do If It Stopped Working

If you've had bluetooth working in your Canyon and it's suddenly stopped, check to see that it's still enabled in your phone and that it's paired to your Canyon. Sometimes glitches can unpair the two devices.

If this isn't the issue, the most likely culprit will be one of two things. You will either need to do a reset of the infotainment system, as we outlined earlier in this post, or you will need to download and install updated software for your Canyon's infotainment system. 

Should none of these tricks work, contact your GMC Canyon dealer.

In Closing

The addition of the infotainment system to the GMC Canyon has afforded the driver with numerous new features that make driving safer and more comfortable. The all-in-one system makes it easier for on-board navigation, as well as using your favorite audio streaming services.

While the infotainment system is convenient technology, it has been plagued with problems. Even though some of the issues that the GMC infotainment system has cannot be fixed, some of the glitches can be remediated by resetting the system itself or performing a factory recommended update.

If you'd like to learn more about the GMC Canyon, you might find the following posts helpful and informative:

Does GMC Canyon Have Push Button Start?

How Much Does a GMC Canyon Weigh? [By Model and Trim Level]

How Many Miles Can A GMC Canyon Last?

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One comment

  1. To reset the infotainment system, you say “Press the OnStar call button…” But what if I have not subscribed to OnStar for 4 years and don’t want to activate it because it is glitchy, too. And I don’t want to pay for it.
    What are the consequences if I press OnStar merely to reset my malfunctioning infotainment system. Thank you.

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