Computer Turns On But No Signal To Monitor | Easy Fixes

Written by Branton

Last updated May 19, 2020

A computer that powers on but with no signal to the monitor can be a puzzling thing. There are so many reasons why this could have happened: you may have an ailing monitor, problems with your graphics card, or cable or wiring problems. 

All the more, this problem becomes very worrisome if you need to get things done. What do you have to do to get your computer monitor up and running? Another common issue is with the 2nd monitor detected but not displayingHere are some ways to deal with a computer monitor with no signal problem and how to troubleshoot more complex monitor problems.

Computer Turns On But No Signal to Monitor – Our Solution  

You're ready to start your day at work when you find out your computer turns on, but there's no signal to the monitor. You know your computer is powered on; you can hear the pleasant hum of the fans, the lights are lighting up while you can feel the warm breeze of the fans coming from the ducts. But for some reason, there's no signal on the monitor. This can be frightening, especially when you need to get some work done! 

When your computer turns on but no display, especially if it's a new product like the best 40 inch 4K monitor which cost you pretty penny, there are some things you may consider aside from panicking and worrying. We'll show you how it's done.

The Initial Steps 

Dealing with problems with the computer turns on, but no display on the monitor starts by checking on the monitor itself. Just like most peripherals, the computer monitors age and may need to be replaced. Computer LCD monitors are rated at 30,000 to 60,000 hours or 10 to 20 years of constant use (presuming you use your monitor eight hours a day). 

If you have an older monitor, consider replacing it. You may be interested in the monitors we reviewed, one of which may be a good replacement for your ailing monitor. But if your monitor is new or just a few years old, consider the following troubleshooting tips. 

  1. Is Your Monitor On? 

Now, this is the most common solution to no signal to monitor the problem. Usually, it's just a matter of turning on the monitor. You or anyone in your home or office may have pulled the monitor power plug from the wall socket. If your monitor is plugged to an extension cord, then check if this is busted as well. 

a monitor turned on

Check everything from your monitor to the power source; use another extension cord if you think that this is causing the problem. Use a safety-rated power cord for your monitor and PC. If you suspect that the power outlet is busted, plug your monitor and your computer to another outlet. 

  1. Check The Cable 

The cable that connects your monitor to your computer may be the source of the problem. There are three most common computer monitor cables being used in offices and homes: VGA (the cable with a bright blue end with 15 pins), DVI (a white end with multiple pins at the end), and HDMI. 

computer to monitor cable

Some monitors use special kinds of cables like an S-Video cable, mini DVI, micro-DVI, and many more.

Try to reseat the cable, which is unplugging and plugging the cable back again. If this does not work, use another similar cable or use other monitor connection ports.

3. Reset Your Monitor 

Some monitors come with a Factory Reset option while some don't. If yours has one, then it may be found in the "Menu" section of the monitor. For instance, an LG monitor has a "Factory Reset" on the menu. After placing your monitor to its factory settings, it will revert to its default settings.

You may also hard reset a monitor by simply removing it from the power outlet. Unplug it from the power source and wait for a minute. Plug the monitor back in and check for if the computer turns on, but no signal to monitor the problem persists.

reset menu on the monitor

4. Disconnect All Unnecessary External Devices 

If your monitor is also connected to other devices like your gaming console or home theater system, then consider removing these devices. Sometimes a problem with a non-functioning monitor may be due to problems coming from other connected devices. It is also possible to have malfunctioning device cables, and thus you must remove these right away.

gaming devices

If the busted monitor is secondary, then remove it from the setup and connect this to another computer. If the problem persists, replace the cable. If the monitor works as a primary monitor, then there must be something wrong with the monitor set up of your computer or a problem with its device drivers.

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

Before you start looking for a new monitor, try to solve a monitor, no signal problem first. Don't give up because most computer monitors that act up are salvageable. We are talking about your primary monitor or a set up where you are using only one monitor. 

Sometimes the monitor lights up, but there are weird images, very bright colors, or scratchy images on the screen. Most likely, if this is what you see when you power on your PC, there is a problem with your monitor cables or how the cables are attached to your monitor or computer ports.   

a man in front of the monitor

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

Start by powering your computer on. If your monitor is connected to your computer, the LED power lights should light up at the same time you press the power button. If your monitor is connected to a separate power outlet, you may need to press power on the monitor or use a remote. If the monitor powers on and you still can't find your startup screen, check the input of your monitor and place it to the input where your PC is connected (HDMI, VGA, etc.).

If the problem persists, watch the lights (LED lights on the CPU tower, keyboard and mouse) and listen for system activity. If you can feel the hum and the air coming from the fans and the LEDs light up in succession, then the monitor may not be responding. 


Step 2: Connect CPU to a Different Monitor 

Now that you have identified that the monitor itself may be the problem try to hook up another monitor to your computer. This must be a working monitor, cables and all. Connect it to your system through the same port. For instance, if your old ailing monitor connected to your PC through VGA, then use this port as well. If the new monitor fails to work through the VGA port, try other ports. 

No spare monitor? Take your CPU to a repair center. Most computer repair centers don't charge for PC diagnosis, and you'll even get free monitor troubleshooting tips. 


Step 3: Notice the Changes in the Screen 

Sometimes ailing computer monitors may still be working, but the screen is acting up. You'll notice faint lights, or you may see the display faintly from the monitor. This is the problem with old CRT monitors, and this is a sign that you need to replace your old display.

If you find this problem with a newer monitor, then there may be problems with the monitor cable or the computer video cards and ports. In VGA cables, loose or missing pins can be the cause of this problem.  Check the cables and replace any problematic cables and ports right away. 


Step 4: Check the Display Adapters

Moving your set up or changing your setup may cause computer monitor adapters and wires to become loose. If any of these wires are loose, signals from the CPU to the monitor will be affected and cause no signal to monitor issues. Power off your PC and take a flashlight and take a look at the back. Locate the display adapters and the computer monitor cables and reseat them.

Reseating is removing the connection and then, after a few seconds, placing it back again. But before placing the connection back, check the pins, holes, or the jack using your flashlight. Check for missing pins, decaying or rusty ports, and any cuts or problems with the wires. If you see any problem, replace the cable with a new one. For a problem with the port, use another well available port for your monitor.  


Step 5: Fix Loose Internal Computer Components 

If you opened or changed your computer components for any reason, then there is a possibility that any of the video components may have become loose. Power off your computer and open the CPU case. With a flashlight, check the video graphics cards, wire connectors, and the video ports. Any loose components should be fixed right away.

If you're in doubt, take your PC to a professional repair center. Has it been diagnosed and repaired? Remember to replace or upgrade parts with genuine parts only.


Step 6: Reset BIOS to Default Configuration 

If all else fails, reset your computer BIOS. This will restore your system to default. When you are in your PC Bios, press the F9 to open the Load Default Options. Click on Yes to restore the Bios to its default set up. 

Another way to reset the Bios is by removing the CMOS battery on the motherboard. The CMOS battery is a flat, coin-shaped battery similar to the battery of a watch. Your PC should be powered off with the power cord out of the outlet. Locate the CMOS and remove it. Put it back in after 10 minutes. This will be enough to rest the Bios. 


Step 7: Replace Video Card or Repair the Hardware 

If all the steps and techniques fail, and still your computer turns on but no display, you may be facing some computer hardware issues. It may also be time to replace an old video graphics card or to take your PC to a professional for some repairs. 

You may choose to update your motherboard, install new video card components or possibly, get a new monitor. If you are certain that there's nothing wrong with your system, take your monitor to a repair center. Check your monitor warranty; if it's under warranty, then take it for repairs. If it's an old monitor, we recommend purchasing a new one instead. 

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May 2, 2023 5:25 am

your mase poes hoor jy

February 11, 2022 8:12 pm

Great article, you just forgot one this. In the very first place, you should check your monitor’s power chord. Anyways thanks for the great information.

February 12, 2022 4:13 pm
Reply to  Blade

Yes, good point, don’t forget the basic troubleshooting steps!

May 21, 2023 8:25 am
Reply to  Blade

If the monitor’s not getting power it won’t be able to turn on and show you the ´no signal´ screen in the first place

November 3, 2021 6:26 pm

Easy fix. Power down. So reset. Before powering on. Plug hdmi into motherboard. Plug other end of hdmi into gpu. Nothing conne ted to monitor. Power up. Give it 1-2 min. Disco hdmi from motherboard and conmect to monitor

July 11, 2021 2:15 pm

Pc not outputing signal after turning secure boot on? Help

January 11, 2021 11:28 am


January 25, 2021 4:49 pm
Reply to  Anonymous


July 25, 2021 4:27 am
Reply to  Anonymous


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