No display or black screen on a computer monitor

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

A computer monitor with a blank screen.Tip: If your monitor works when you first turn on your computer but then goes blank when Windows starts to load, see our page on how to resolve an issue related to distorted video after increasing resolution in Windows.

Tip: If you have a laptop, see our laptop screen is black page.

Monitor is not on

It may seem obvious, but make sure the monitor is turned on. If you do not see a power LED (blue, green, or orange light) on the front or bottom of the monitor, press the power button until it comes on. If no light comes on after several attempts, proceed to the next section.

Computer is asleep

If you stepped away from the computer for a bit and returned to a black screen, it is likely that the computer is asleep. Try moving your mouse, clicking the mouse buttons, or pressing any key (e.g., spacebar) to wake it up. If none of those actions work, press the power button.

Loose or improper connections

Tip: See our how to connect a monitor page for help with installing a new monitor.

An HDMI cable.Check the data cable

Ensure that your monitor's data transfer cable is properly connected to the computer. It should be completely inserted and firmly in place. Most new displays utilize a DVI or HDMI cable and port.

Check the power cable

If the data cable is plugged in, make sure the monitor is getting power by verifying that is a light (blue, green, or orange) on the front or bottom of the monitor's bezel.

If you see no lights on the monitor, make sure it is connected to a working wall outlet. If the power cord is removable from the back of the monitor, try replacing it with another power cable. If you still cannot turn on the monitor after trying another wall outlet and cable, the monitor is broken and should be replaced.

Check the LED status

If the monitor status light (usually located on the bottom of the monitor's bezel) is orange or flashing, make sure the monitor is not in a suspend mode by moving the mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard. If this does not help, reconnect the data cable to the computer and back of the monitor, and then restart your computer.

Try a different cable

If your monitor is getting power, but you still don't see an image, the data cable may be the issue. Try using a different DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort cable with your monitor.

Turn up the brightness and contrast

If you're able to view your monitor's settings menu even though the screen is blank, it's likely that you need to turn up the brightness and contrast.

No POST

If the computer doesn't pass POST, it won't turn on and your monitor will remain black. If you hear beeping when you turn on your computer, run through the POST troubleshooting steps to determine the issue.

Hardware Issue

If you have followed the recommendations above and still have the same issue, your computer may have either a bad monitor, video card, or motherboard. The best method of determining this is to try the suggestions below.

Borrow someone else's computer a computer monitor and connect it to your computer

If another monitor works on your computer, it is safe to assume that your monitor is bad and should be replaced. While it may be possible to have the monitor serviced, it is often cheaper and easier to purchase a new one.

Disconnect your monitor and connect it to another computer

If your monitor works on another computer, it is possible that your video card is bad. Try removing video card from the affected computer and installing it in another computer. If it does not work in the other computer, the video card is most likely bad and needs to be replaced.

If your monitor and video card work with another computer, your motherboard probably has an issue. You can attempt to troubleshoot motherboard problems using the link below. If you determine the motherboard is bad, or you are unable to successful run any tests, we suggest replacing the motherboard to fix the display problem.