Plug it in, turn it on – it sounds easy enough to get your computer to work, but it’s not always that simple. It doesn’t matter if your PC fans are spinning if you don’t see anything on your monitor that allows you to use it. The monitor no signal error can make you scratch your head with no response.
Fortunately, this problem is usually easy to fix. If some of the more common fixes do not work, this indicates a probable hardware problem that you need to investigate for repair or replacement. To help you deal with display problems, here are some troubleshooting tips that you can try when your PC monitor has no signal.
Check Cables & Power
Before rushing to remove your graphics card or head to Amazon to buy a new monitor, you should take a close look at your computer and monitor to make sure you don’t have cable or power issues.
This is a simple test. Start by routing cables between your monitor and PC to make sure you don’t have loose connections. For example, a loose HDMI cable can prevent your PC from displaying output (and vice versa).
You may also find that the display cable itself is faulty. If you see damage to the cable or if it is rather old, replace it with a different one. Sometimes this can immediately fix any problem with your monitor display.
There could also be a power issue that is preventing your monitor from working properly. If your monitor displays a no signal error, then you can assume that your monitor has power, but if your computer is not turned on, you will not see any errors.
Is the screen input source correct?
A monitor no signal error may be an indication that your PC monitor is ignoring the graphics output from your PC. This can sometimes happen if the wrong device is set as the input source on your monitor.
Most on-screen monitors have several input sources available, including VGA, HDMI, and DVI inputs. This allows multiple devices to be connected to one display. This can be multiple computers or a computer and game console that you can switch between using the monitor firmware menus or physical controls.
In this case, make sure the input source on your monitor is set correctly. If not, switch to the correct source (such as HDMI or DVI for modern PCs) to get the monitor working again.
Check your screen resolution
A PC monitor has a preset range of display resolutions that it can use to display output from a PC. If your PC’s graphics card is set to a screen resolution higher than what your monitor can display, you will most likely see a blank screen or no signal message.
Fortunately, fixing a blank monitor screen after changing your display settings is a simple process. If the monitor suddenly loses its resolution after changing the settings on its own, wait 15 seconds – Windows will revert to the previous resolution after this point.
If you haven’t changed your display settings recently, your monitor resolution may have changed automatically. There are ways to work around this, including restarting Windows and booting into Safe Mode to work around the higher resolution issue.
By default, Windows in Safe Mode will use a much lower screen resolution than normal use. This will allow you to change the standard screen resolution to a lower value supported by your monitor.
If you are not sure what resolutions your monitor supports, check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you can use a 15 second window to change the resolution slightly by trial and error. If the resolution is preventing your monitor from working, Windows will revert the setting to the previous setting that worked.
Update your graphics card drivers
When a display issue occurs, the monitor itself can often be at the center of your diagnostic efforts, but the video card your computer is using is often the more serious culprit. If you see a blank screen on a new monitor, chances are you need a new graphics driver.
As we explained above, your computer may sometimes use a resolution that is out of the range supported by your monitor. Likewise, your monitor can sometimes support resolutions your graphics card does not yet support, especially if you are upgrading to a 4K monitor or from a 60Hz to 240Hz display.
Fortunately, this is often solved by updating the video card drivers (if the video card is relatively new). We recommend that you update your drivers regularly to gain access to new features and bug fixes. This includes support for new monitors and display resolutions.
For example, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can easily update your NVIDIA drivers using Windows Update or, for the latest drivers, directly download them from the NVIDIA website.
Test using an alternate screen or PC
If you are confident that a software problem (such as outdated drivers) is not causing your display to be missing, you may need to try a different monitor or computer as part of your troubleshooting efforts.
Replace the monitor connected to your PC with a spare one (if you have one). If the problem persists, it most likely indicates a problem with your computer that you will need to diagnose further.
Likewise, if your primary monitor stops working and the spare works fine, it could indicate a hardware problem with your monitor. However, this does not necessarily preclude additional software problems. For example, outdated drivers or incorrect screen resolutions can still be the cause of this error, so further research is required.
Replace your devices
After thorough testing, if you have exhausted all possible software fixes and any problems with your hardware can be reproduced with other connected devices, then you need to consider replacing your hardware.
For example, a broken video card can stop displaying images on your monitor, resulting in no input signal. If the problem is not with the drivers, you need to replace the video card.
Likewise, a broken monitor that doesn’t work with multiple devices won’t fix itself. You should look into warranty repair options or, if not, consider buying a new monitor.
It will also be a smart solution if your monitor is flickering or there is a sign that your device is starting to malfunction. This can happen, for example, if your display turns on for a long time.
Fix Computer Problems
Do not panic when a no input signal error message is displayed on the monitor. The steps above should help you troubleshoot the problem, but you may need additional diagnostics on your monitor or computer to decide if you need replacement or repair under the device warranty.
It’s very important to invest in the right PC hardware – you don’t want to be in the same situation a year or two in the future. Cheap isn’t always cost effective, but be sure to consider your budget carefully before rushing into buying new PC components, a new PC, or an entire monitor.