Skip to Content

PC Not Connecting to Monitor (Causes and Fixes)

As an owner of a desktop computer, I know how frustrating it can be when your PC is not connecting to the monitor. Recently, I faced this problem myself and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the issue was. After doing some research and testing, I managed to find a solution. In this blog post, I will share with you what I discovered and other possible solutions to this problem. Hopefully, this post will be able to help anyone who is experiencing the same issue.

A PC not connecting to monitor can be caused by anything from a loose cable to faulty hardware. Fortunately, there are a few handy tips to fix this.

Loose or faulty cablesInspect cables for damage, check cable ports for dust or debris, and ensure all cables are firmly connected.
Wrong portEnsure HDMI cable is plugged into the correct port (e.g., graphics card slot).
Incorrect input sourceCheck input settings on the monitor, cycle through input sources, and wait for the display to come on.
Faulty adapterReplace or test with a different adapter.
Loose graphics card or RAM sticksInspect and ensure that the graphics card is fully attached to the PCIe slot, and secure locks are in place. Check other hardware components such as RAM sticks.
Outdated device driverUpdate the device driver to the latest version.
Blown monitorTest with a different monitor to rule out a faulty display. Adjust display resolution settings if needed. Seek professional help or consider buying a new monitor if none of the solutions work.

What Are the Causes of a PC Not Connecting to the Monitor?

A black screen, with or without an error message, is a dreadful sight indeed. Clearly, there’s a connection issue happening in the background. 

There are a handful of reasons your PC won’t connect to your monitor. These include:

  • Loose or faulty cables
  • The cable is plugged into the wrong port
  • Incorrect input source
  • Faulty adapter
  • Loose graphics card or RAM sticks
  • Outdated device driver
  • Blown monitor

How to Fix a PC Not Connecting to the Monitor

You can only know for sure what’s preventing your monitor from powering up if any of these troubleshooting tips fixes the issue. 

Check Your Monitor’s Indicator Light

Before you proceed, determine your monitor’s status once you turn it on:

  • If the tiny LED light at the bottom of the monitor is on, it means that it’s getting power but not a video signal.
  • If there’s no light at all, then it’s not receiving power. 

Examine Your Cables

  1. Unplug your computer.
  2. Disconnect your power and data cables.
  3. Inspect your cables for any signs of damage. Look out for any kinks, bent, missing pins, or deformities. Replace damaged cables.
  4. Check your cable ports for dust, dirt, or any foreign objects, including dead critters. 
  5. Use a small brush, pin, or toothpick to remove all the gunk. You can also lightly damp a Q-Tip to clean the ports. 
  6. Reconnect your cables and make sure they’re firmly connected. 

If you have a graphics card, make sure the HDMI cable is plugged into the port of that slot. You’ll need to upgrade to a faster HDMI cable with a high-resolution display.

  1. Plug in the computer and turn on the PC and monitor.  

Check the Input Source

  1. Turn on the computer and monitor. 
  2. Check the input setting on the screen.
  3. Some monitors have physical buttons along the edge. Press the menu button and go through the input sources. 
  4. Other monitors have arrow buttons to navigate through the input source options. Pause each source and wait if the display comes on.

Reset Your Monitor

Here’s a quick way to reset your monitor manually.

  1. Turn off your PC and monitor.
  2. Switch on the computer. Make sure it’s fully rebooted.
  3. Turn on the monitor.

You can also reset the monitor to factory settings.

  1. Press the Menu button on the monitor. 
  2. Press the reset option. 
  3. In the Reset menu, choose the OK button.

Try Another Monitor

You can rule out a busted monitor by swapping in a different one. If you have a spare lying around (you can also borrow it from a friend or colleague), replace your suspicious monitor with it.

If the spare monitor works perfectly fine, then your old one’s at fault. At this point, it’s worth checking the display resolution setting of your computer. You want to make sure that the resolution isn’t configured to be higher than your old monitor can handle. 

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Select display.
  3. Click the Display Resolution drop-down menu to see all available options.
  4. Try a lower resolution.
  5. Select Keep Changes from the pop-up window.
  6. Check if the new setting works with your old monitor. If your monitor still won’t budge, then your PC is likely the issue. 

Check Your Graphics Card and Other Hardware

You’ll need some digging to make sure there isn’t any loose hardware inside your PC. While you’re at it, you can also do some needed cleaning. 

  1. Turn off your computer.
  2. Disconnect all power and data cables.
  3. Place the computer on a table in a well-lit area of the house.
  4. Remove the thumbscrews from the side panel and set them aside in a safe container. Use a screwdriver as needed.
  5. Inspect if your graphics card is fully attached to the PCIe slot. Check if the secure locks are in place and if the PSU cable is plugged in properly.
  6. Do the same thing with other hardware components, such as the RAM sticks.
  7. Reattach the removable panel.
  8. Connect all the cables and switch on the PC and monitor.

Wrapping Up

If all the suggested fixes for your PC not connecting to monitor prove futile, it’s time to ask for professional help. A certified technician may be able to salvage your display. However, there’s a good chance you might need to buy a new one.