Computer Turns On But No Signal to Monitor – We Have the Solution in Simple Steps

Whether you have a top-rated budget monitor or premium display, everyone knows the feeling of sitting down in our computer to do work or play a game only for the monitor to display a frustrating message: no signal to monitor. This is incredibly frustrating and it’s one of the harder technical difficulties to solve.

Without a display, how can you properly fix the issue? In this guide, we’ll go over what to do if your computer turns on but there’s no signal to the monitor (see also 'How to Close a Laptop and Use a Monitor' article) and what to do about connecting a monitor to a laptop. If your monitor is broken make sure you check out some of the following:

First Steps

Whether you’re a tech expert or someone who doesn’t really know how their computer works, you need to go over a few basic steps before you start taking drastic measures to repair your computer. Technical difficulties are often simpler than they first appear. It does you no good to dive deep into a technical guide if your solution is right in front of you all along. Go over these first steps before plunging deeper into our solutions below.

Is the Monitor On?

First off, don't worry if this solved the issue right off the bat. Lots of people forget that they turned their monitor off or might not do so normally which will always result in a black screen. Even so, try the power button a few times and double check to see that the monitor is actually supposed to be powered up before moving on.

Try Another Monitor

You need to verify the issue is not the monitor. If connecting your PC to another monitor results in it working then the first one you tried may be busted. If it still shows a blank screen on an another monitor then there are some more steps to take.

Check the Cable

Next, double-check the cables for both the monitor and the computer. Check the power cable for the monitor and verify that the outlet from which it is getting electricity is supplying power to other appliances or devices. If the power cable is on a power strip, you might need to double-check and make sure that the power strip is turned on.

But you should also check the cables that lead to the computer itself. Check that the cables are intact and haven’t been broken or chewed on by rodents. Also make sure that they haven’t fallen out or accidentally been pulled out by someone tripping over them.

Remove the power cord and check to see if there is nothing where it was plugged in. Sometimes there can be residue or dust build up that will affect the monitor. Put the power cord back and securely when you'er done.

If the cables are busted, try to find replacement HDMI, VGA, or DVI cables depending on which one you need.

Reset the Monitor

If your monitor is receiving power on and everything is plugged in properly, go ahead and reset the monitor from scratch. That involves turning the monitor off manually and unplugging it from its power supply. Wait about 30 seconds before plugging the monitor back in and turning everything on once more. If resetting the monitor doesn’t do the trick, keep going.

Disconnect All Unnecessary External Devices

Computers can sometimes become confused and frazzled despite our best efforts. If the computer is processing multiple appliances or devices at once, it might be confused and can’t route your monitor signal correctly. To that end, you should disconnect any unnecessary external devices like speakers or webcams. Give the computer a chance to focus on the signal to monitor problem exclusively and see if that does the trick.

Computer Turns On But No Signal To Monitor – 7 Troubleshooting Steps

If you went through the above preliminary steps and still your computer turns on but there’s no signal to the monitor, it’s time to get serious. No signal to monitor might indicate that there’s a software problem or a hardware problem, similarly to the situation with laptop screen not working but external monitor does.

All monitors, from top FreeSync monitors to budget ones, can experience software issues. These mean that there’s some kind of code difficulty that your computer and monitor are encountering. Maybe they can’t properly communicate with one another. Or maybe there’s a problem with drivers.

A hardware issue means that there’s something physically wrong with either the monitor or your computer itself. Also, check out why computer turns on by itself, if you've come across such issue. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

Step 1: Listen as You Power On the Computer and Observe the Lights

If your computer turns on but there’s no display on the monitor, turn your computer completely off and get down next to it before you hit the power button again. You’ll be paying attention to the sounds made by the computer and observing its initial lights closely.

If the computer is powered on and it makes it beeping sound, there are good chances that some of the internal components might be a little loose. You may need to open the computer up and double-check that its various cards and internal cables are correctly in place. You should also make sure that computer fans are going. Without fans, any computer will become too hot over time and eventually break down.

You should also make sure that the computer lights are properly flickering and indicating activity. If the computer comes to life but there are no indicator lights, the computer itself might actually not be functioning.

Step 2: Connect CPU to a Different Monitor

A tried and true techniques narrow down whether the problem is with your monitor or computer is to simply use a second monitor such as a vertical monitor or 240hz monitor. Plug this secondary monitor into the same computer without changing anything. If the secondary monitor works just fine, you know the problem is with your primary monitor.

On the other hand, if the secondary monitor also doesn’t work, chances are good that the issue is with your computer. The odds of two monitors both showing the same “monitor no signal” message are really low.

Step 3: Notice the Changes in the Screen

When you turn your computer on, watch the monitor closely and note any changes that take place. If the monitor screen is powered and on but there are no changes in the display, the issue is probably not with the monitor itself.

However, if the connect and monitor display some kind of information or a startup screen and then goes blank, the operating system is probably the issue. That's because this development indicates that the monitor can receive a signal from your computer, but the computer's operating system is having trouble.

You may need to reinstall your Windows or Mac operating systems. Or your computer might be set at a resolution that’s not supported by the monitor. This could happen if you just replaced an older monitor and are plugging a new display into an older machine.

Step 4: Check the Display Adapters

Many monitors use HDMI or DVI VGA cables. These might be the problem if you use an adapter to facilitate a good connection between your computer and the monitor. Double-check the adapters themselves and make sure they are not broken or damaged in any way.

Another potential issue might be with the type of adapter you use. If you have an active adapter, you can support higher resolutions. Passive adapters support lower resolutions for their port type. This means that if your operating system is set to a higher resolution than your current adapter supports, the adapter might be preventing a signal from going through properly.

Step 5: Fix Loose Internal Computer Components

If you do have any internal components that are rattling loose, you'll need to take care of those. If the computer is ever moved or even bumped from foot traffic, various modules or video cards and processors might shake free from their normal positions. The processor and internal cables can also become loose.

In this case, you should totally unplug the computer and detach all the cables you can. Then you can remove the screws for the rear panel of your computer and slide the panel away. You should fix any loose components or video cards. Secure them with a flat ribbon or cable to ensure that they don’t wobble free again.

Then you can replace the back panel in power on the computer once more. If this still hasn’t solved your troubles, the video card itself may be the culprit.

Step 6: Reset BIOS to Default Configuration

BIOS is a type of firmware that performs hardware initialization as your computer boots up. If the properties of your BIOS have changed, this may affect your monitor display as your computer starts each time. You’ll need to reset the settings of this firmware to default manufacturer levels.

You can do this fairly simply. Hold down the power button of your computer. Then press the F10 key repeatedly for 10 seconds. Press the down arrow key three times, then press the enter key two times. This will restart your computer and reset the firmware / BIOS settings.

Step 7: Replace Video Card or Repair the Hardware

Finally, if all else fails, you may need to replace your computer's video card or repair the monitor's hardware itself. Video cards, like any other computer components, can become overheated or outdated over time. This is especially true with older computers. You might just need to purchase a new video card that is more up to date so it works better with your new monitor.

You might also need to purchase a new monitor and see if you can get a replacement model of the exact same kind. If there’s a manufacturer defect with the monitor itself on an internal level, nothing you do will be able to fix your no signal on monitor problem.


1. How do you fix a computer that turns on but no display?

How to Troubleshoot a Computer That Turns On but Does Not Display Anything.

Perform a monitor test.
Verify that your computer has restarted completely and is powering up from a completely powered down state.
If you are fortunate enough to receive a beep code, troubleshoot the cause.
CMOS memory must be cleared.
Ensure that the voltage switch on the power supply is set correctly.
Remove and reinstall everything possible inside your computer.

2. Why won't my PC detect my monitor?

A faulty, out-of-date, or corrupted graphics driver could be one of the primary reasons Windows 10 fails to detect your second PC monitor. To fix and restore the connection between your computer and the second monitor, you can update, reinstall, or roll back the driver to a previous version.

3. What to do if monitor is not displaying?

One possible reason is the power.

1. Disconnect the monitor from the wall outlet.
2. Unplug the monitor's cord from the back.
3. Give it a minute.
4. Reconnect the monitor cable to the monitor and a known-working wall outlet.
5. Power on the monitor by pressing the power button.
6. If this still does not work, replace the power cord with a known-good one.

4. Can a bad PSU cause no display?

Inadequate power can result in the CPU and graphics card rendering monitor displays in an inconsistent manner. Additionally, if there is insufficient power to render on-screen graphics, the graphics card may turn off the monitor. This is especially prevalent in multi-monitor configurations.

5. How do I reset my monitor?

How to restore the LCD monitor's factory settings.

1. On the monitor's front panel, press the MENU button.
2. In the MENU window, select the RESET icon by pressing the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW buttons.
3. Click on the OK button.
4. In the RESET window, use the ARROW BUTTONS to select OK or ALL RESET.
5. Click on the OK button.
6. Select the MENU option.

About Lawrence Jung

Lawrence graduated cum laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Journalism. He then started working with The New York Times for 3 years as an editor. Upon their acquisition of online review website the Wire Cutter he became exposed to the digital world of review-style articles and digital content. He was a writer for many tech review products where he developed his expertise in the electronic and PC peripheral space. He quickly got promoted to managing a writing team where he was responsible for training and managing a team of over a dozen writers. After being there for another 3.5 years, Lawrence left in late 2019 to help Dusan create VSS Monitoring, where he could help design and contribute to the site’s content and website’s architecture to develop what he wants to become THE top tech resource online.

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