One of the most common issues we hear about at Micro Center are monitor or display issues, especially with new computer builds or new computer setups.
There are a lot of different things that could cause this, but there are a few things you can do pretty quickly to troubleshoot it yourself.
We will walk you through a few different solutions to try in this guide!
- Make sure you have only one video cable plugged into your monitor
- Make sure your monitor is plugged into the right port on the back of your PC
- Power Cycle/Clear Caps on your computer
- Check the monitor input setting on your monitor
- Test another monitor or cable with your computer
Make sure you only have one video cable plugged into your monitor
Only one cable should be connected from the computer to the monitor for display. While your monitor and PC have multiple video ports available, these are simply to allow more flexibility and add more monitors if you need them.
First, power down your desktop by holding the power button in for 5-10 seconds. While powered off, disconnect one of the cables from the computer and monitor. Now press the power button to turn the desktop back on. Allow the computer to boot backup normally and your monitor should display properly.
Make sure your monitor is plugged into the right port on the back of your PC
When looking at the back of your PC, you will see a variety of ports. The motherboard in your computer will have USB ports, audio ports and video ports on the back. However, depending on the hardware in your computer you can’t always use the video ports on the motherboard. If your computer has a dedicated video card, your monitor needs to plug directly into it.
In the example picture the area labeled #1 is the onboard video ports on the motherboard. All ports will be labeled next to their port with symbols/text such as DVI, HDMI, DP and VGA. The area labeled #2 is the video card.
If there is a video card in your system the motherboard video ports won’t work by default. You will need to use the video card instead. If you cannot find the ports you are looking for on your video card, they may be covered/capped, which is very common in a new computer/video card. In the example below, the DisplayPort (on the top) and DVI port (on the bottom) are covered:
These ports are fully functional but are covered to protect the slot when not in use. Just pull those covers off and reveal the available video ports and you’ll be able to use them.
If your display doesn’t show up after switching your cable to the video card, you may need to power cycle your computer.
Power Cycle/Clear Caps on your computer
Once your cables are all in order, most likely your system will be showing something. If not, one easy step you can do is what we call “clearing caps.”
Hold the power button down on your computer until it shuts off. Once it’s shut off, disconnect the power cable from the back of the computer. While it’s unplugged, press and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. This will discharge any electricity still being stored. After 30 seconds are up, plug the system back in and try turning it back on. You can also do this if your computer won’t wake up from sleep mode.
Check the monitor input setting with the buttons/menu on the monitor
Your monitor may just be on the wrong input if it’s not showing anything. Monitors will have a menu button or input button you can use to change which input/port is being used. These buttons are typically located on the bottom-right corner of the monitor, sometimes in the center or on the back. Check the monitor owner’s manual if you’re not sure where they are located.
You want to cycle through the inputs until it’s on the one that matches the cable you have plugged into the monitor.
Test out another monitor or cable
If you make it through all the previous steps and your monitor is still not displaying anything, then it’s likely an issue related to hardware. If you have another cable to test with your monitor, try that first. If it’s still not displaying after that, then try a different monitor that you know works. If the other monitor displays something then we know it’s an issue with the first monitor. If the other monitor also does not display anything, then the computer is likely experiencing an issue that is preventing it from displaying.