The PC turns on but there is no display (causes, fixes)
A black screen on a working computer is one of the most frustrating situations for computer users.
Your computer is turned on. You can hear the fan spinning and the case beeping. Some lights are on.
You do not see any vital signs on the monitor. There is no image, description, or light.
Good news: You’re not the only one suffering from this issue. We’ve collected all possible causes and their solutions.
Continue reading to get rid of your screen-free headache.
The Computer Turns On, But There Is No Display (Causes or Fixes).
1. Make sure you have a working monitor
Before you start to troubleshoot, make sure that the monitor is functioning properly.
You can try pairing it with a spare case to see if the problem disappears.
If you don’t have another computer, disconnect your monitor and turn it off.
If your monitor isn’t defective it should blink, turn on, or prompt you to do so.
Your monitor will send a signal if it is working correctly, but not enough to display a picture.
You will need to continue to the next check in this instance, but you can also send the monitor back for repair.
2. Take a look at the Connections
Connectivity issues can cause even the best monitor to stop working.
As your next diagnostic step, it’s worth looking at all the ports, wires, and adapters.
Attach the power and video cables securely at both ends with the screws fastened.
You can test your power cord and your graphic cable with other outlets.
You can always try an alternate cable if you are not satisfied.
If your monitor supports it, you can try another type of cable. For example, an HDMI cable could be used to connect your monitor to your VGA cable.
Last but not least, make sure you check your adapters.
DVI to VGA converters, for example, can’t be used in the reverse direction.
3. Start the PC from Scratch
Sometimes your computer will not wake up from Hibernate, Standby or Sleep mode. This gives you the false impression that it is working without a display.
There are many causes.
Perhaps you have disabled your mouse or keyboard to refresh the system. Or maybe your computer isn’t responding to Fast Startup or power-saving modes.
You can rule out this possibility by holding the power switch for a few seconds and then completing a complete shutdown.
Turn it off and on again until the problem disappears.
If you think it will solve the problem, then go to the root cause and try to stop it from happening again.
4. Step up your brightness
Computers can dimm the display to zero so that you don’t see any spots.
You may therefore mistakenly think that the issue is related to the no-display booting issue.
You can use the keyboard shortcuts for brightness to fix the problem.
5. Use The Wake Action Shortcuts
If your system refuses to wake itself up, press Windows Key, Ctrl Shift, Shift and B simultaneously.
This command restarts the graphic driver, allowing your system to start with a working monitor.
Before you start troubleshooting hardware issues, make sure you don’t enable the ” view only” option.
This is how you can check it:
- To enter the display switch menu, press Windows + together.
- Press the P key again and hit . This will take you to the next display mode.
There are four display modes available: ” only on a PC,” Duplicate on a second display,” Extend across all” and ” Only on a second screen.
To ensure that you don’t miss any, repeat the steps four times.
6. Lower the Screen Resolution
The black screen problem may occur after you adjust the resolution of your monitor.
It is therefore useless.
Revert the monitor to its original supported rate in this instance. This will allow it to regain its display capacity.
It is best to set your monitor back to its default settings.
A. Reset the Monitor
The process for resetting your monitor may differ depending on the brand. Here’s how it works:
- To locate the control buttons, look at the sides, back, and bottom of your monitor.
- Press the menu button and then use down/up arrows for the ” RESET” option.
- Follow the prompts to confirm your decision.
- Reboot the system and the display should be on.
This alternative method can lower the resolution of a laptop or monitor that does not have physical switches:
- Wait for the system to reboot and then wait for the short beep sound.
- Hit Enter by pressing the up arrow button on the keyboard.
- Hold down the ” Schift” key, and then press the ” tab_” button.
- Press the right arrow 4 times.
- Once again, press ” Tab“.
- To reduce resolution, use the left arrow and hit Enter.
If you are unable to reset the monitor, you can try Safe Mode.
This feature loads your system at a minimum resolution. It allows you to view Settings and make changes back to normal.
- Turn the computer on and off again.
- Press and hold the F8 key while the system is booting.
- There are a few options available: Choose ” Safe Mod” from the list.
- Go to System Settings, and reduce the resolution in the same manner as you raised it.
- To access the Start menu, press the Windows icon in the lower-left corner.
- To enter Windows Settings, press the small gear icon.
- Navigate to system > display > scale & layout > display resolution.
- Keep to the rate recommended and don’t change it.
7. Adjust the Voltage Selector Switch
The Voltage Selector Switch, a button located at the back your computer, allows you to balance the device’s internal circuit and the input voltage level.
This mechanism can cause your computer to not boot if it is set incorrectly.
The Voltage Switch default value doesn’t require any modifications, as long as it meets your Country’s requirements.
If you purchased it from an overseas seller or moved to a different country, you will need to make adjustments.
For example, 110 Volts is acceptable in the USA.
You may need to increase the voltage to 230 V if you live in Europe.
This chart shows the correct values around the globe.
8. Listen to The Beep Sounds
Many computers have an internal speaker built into the motherboard to alert you of hardware problems during startup.
Normal situations will have the speaker emit one to two short beeping sounds when it hits the power button. This indicates that the BIOS has successfully booted the machine.
The sound you hear may not be the same if your computer has no display.
The cause of the issue may affect the order, duration and pattern of the beeps.
Pay attention to the sound and write the pattern down.
You can also use this guide if you have lost the manual to understand what the speaker means.
Your memory modules, graphics cards, cables or CPU may be defective.
Once you can decode the sound it becomes easy to work around.
9. Disconnect all the Peripherals
Sometimes, a compatibility problem with a peripheral can cause a no-display error with your computer.
Turn off your computer, and disconnect as many USB devices from it as you can.
You can have everything, from Bluetooth, keyboard, and mouse to cameras, scanners, and speakers.
Next, press the power button.
To find the root cause of the problem, connect the peripherals one at a time until it disappears.
To prevent this issue from happening again, you can try one or more the following:
- We’ll show you how to update the driver.
- To report the problem and receive assistance, contact the manufacturer’s customer service team.
- You can search the device’s name and model to find out if others have had the same problem and what they did to fix it.
- Replace the problematic device with a compatible replacement.
10. Updating Your Drivers
Your computer may be unable to start due to a corrupted or obsolete driver. This could happen whether it is for the graphics cards, peripherals, or hardware.
This can help you get rid of the no-display problem.
You can’t go to Settings to update something unless you turn the screen on.
You’re now good to go if you have successfully repaired the monitor’s display using a defective peripheral.
To see the basic configurations of your PC, launch it in Safe Mode.
Next, follow the steps below:
- In the taskbar, type “Device Manager“.
- To open the app, click the top result.
- Expand a category depending on which driver you wish to update.
It can be either a category of peripherals such as Bluetooth, Keyboards and Cameras, or the category Display Adapters.
- Next, click on the device name you wish to select from the list.
- To proceed to the onscreen instructions, click ” Update driver“.
11. Clear the BIOS Configs
The BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is an integrated program that your microprocessor uses in order to start your OS.
It may be responsible for turning on your computer with a blank screen because it is a key boot-up programme.
A non-loading system can be caused by software configuration errors.
You can access the settings even if the screen is dead. However, the good news is that you can clear the memory of the BIOS chip located on the motherboard.
This will then reset your BIOS to the default status.
- Hold the power button down for approximately ten seconds. This will turn off the static electricity and switch it off.
- It should not be plugged into the power source.
- To access the motherboard of your computer, open its chassis.
- Find the CMOS coin battery and flip the protective clip if one is present.
- Next, place your finger under the battery to release it from its original position.
- Give the battery a rest for about five minutes before you reconnect the power.
Note – If this doesn’t work, you can try removing the CMOS from your computer again and then restart it without it.
This is because the CMOS might be the problem. It can stop your computer from starting if it is low.
12. You can check and reinstall your hardware
You may find that some internal components have become loose after you have rebuilt, cleaned, upgraded or moved your tower. This could prevent your computer from loading.
It’s a smart idea to remove all hardware from the chassis and open it up.
These are the most crucial pieces you should be looking at.
Your motherboard’s graphics card, also known as GPU, is a circuit board that processes graphical data and then converts it into meaningful signals for the monitor to display the relevant images.
Your graphics card could be the problem if your monitor does not display anything.
The graphics card could be affected by corrosion, griminess, physical damage or wobbly.
It is necessary to take the unit apart, clean it and its bracket, and make sure it is securely bolted.
- Once the computer is unplugged, disconnect all cables from the back of your PC tower.
- Use a screwdriver to open the enclosure.
- Locate the board and remove it from the bracket.
- To remove the board from its mounting place, hold it with one hand.
Connect the cables to the computer and then turn it on without the graphics card.
If the monitor doesn’t show up, follow these steps:
- You can see signs of corrosion on the gold pins by dampening a cloth with isopropyl Alcohol and gently rubbing it.
- Next, clean the slot with a damp cotton cloth and an air compressor.
- Place the graphics card back on the board and make sure the ejector clips are securely attached. If it does, you’ll hear a clicking sound.
- Test your computer by attaching all wires.
- If the display is still blank, move the graphics card to a different slot (if you have more than one slot for a graphic card).
- If your PC turns on but has no display, you can replace it or take it to a repair shop.
Your computer may not turn on due to a loose connection between the RAM sticks and motherboard.
The same can be caused by clogged memory slots or faulty, corroded or damaged modules.
Here are some ways to verify:
- Open the cabinet of your computer.
- You will find two to four rectangular green sticks in the motherboard grooves.
- Two clamps are located at each end of the stick. Use them to squeeze the board out of their sockets.
- Place the sticks on a clean, dry cloth.
- To remove dust from the fracture, use a cotton swab with compressed air.
- Grab one module by the edge, without touching the gold pins.
- Push the stick down until the lock clicks.
- Make sure that every wire from and to the motherboard is in the correct place.
Note – If you don’t get the problem, there is a chance that one of the apertures or models is wrong.
Here are some ways to find out:
- To see how your system works, activate it with one module.
- Next, insert the same module in different slots. After each attempt, test your computer.
- This process can be repeated for each stick to identify the unsound pieces.
The CPU is your core component or technically the brain of your computer.
The motherboard is the backbone of the processor, the main sheet that holds all components and connects them with the processor.
It is no surprise that any small fault in the hardware could cause a major problem for your computer.
These components are highly vulnerable and you cannot simply remove them, clean them, and reinstall the parts to determine if they are the root cause of your problem.
You can perform a physical test to obtain information about the CPU.
This allows you to see if any of the parts have been damaged, overheated or crashed.
Then you can determine if professional assistance is required.
D. Visual Check
- Open the computer tower to check if there is any leakage, inflammation or indentation at the top.
- Examine for bent pins towards the motherboard.
- To test if the fan blows enough air, place your hand in front.
- If you hear a creaking sound coming from the fan, it could be a sign that your CPU is defective.
E. Temperature Check
The BIOS can be used to determine the temperature of your CPU to test its performance.
This trick can only be used if Windows is loaded in Safe Mode
- When you are in Safe Mode, open the Start menu and click the Settings icon.
- Navigate to Security > Recover > Advanced Startup.
- To view a blue window saying ” Choose an option“, click the ” Start Now” button.
- Click on “HT0_ Troubleshoot “, then ” Advanced Options“, then ” Firmware Settings “.
- The BIOS page will now appear. Look for the option “PC Health Status” or “System Hardware Monitoring“, or something similar. It may be referred to as a different category depending on the model of your computer.
- You should ensure that the CPU temperature remains below 70degC (or 158degF).
(Note: The safe range can vary depending on your computer and CPU model, your activity, etc. So take a look to this video before you think your CPU is overheating.
Only send your computer to a service centre if there is anything suspicious.