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No display or black screen on a computer monitor

Updated: Tue, 9 Jun, 2020 at 2:53 PM

If you are experiencing troubles with a computer monitor that has no display, only a black screen, when you turn on your computer, review the troubleshooting sections below.

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 again. If no light comes on after several attempts, proceed to the next section.

How to turn on a computer desktop monitor

LCD monitor


Before a monitor can be turned on, it must be connected correctly with the power cord and data cord. If you're not sure about how to connect a monitor to a computer, see the following page.

Locate the monitor power button

Once a monitor is connected to the computer, the next step is locating the power button. Unfortunately, there is no standard for where a monitor power button is placed but should be in one of the following locations.

  • The front of the monitor, below the screen, commonly on the bottom right corner.
  • The top or bottom edge of the monitor, commonly on the top-left or bottom-right side.
  • The Left or right side edge of monitor.
  • Bottom center of the monitor.

When the monitor power button is pressed correctly on a properly connected monitor, an LED (light-emitting diode) on the monitor should illuminate. If the computer is powered on and sending a signal, a picture on the monitor should be seen.

If pressing the power button does nothing, make sure the power cable is firmly connected to the back of the monitor and the computer. If the cable appears to be firmly connected and it's connected to a known good power outlet, the monitor is likely defective.

Computer is asleep

If you stepped away from the computer for a bit and returned to a black screen, the computer is likely 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

Check the data cable

Ensure that your monitor's data transfer cable is connected correctly 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

Next, verify the monitor has power by looking for a blue, green, or orange light 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 is orange or flashing, make sure the monitor is not in "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 DVIHDMI, 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, you likely need to turn up the brightness and contrast.

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