Gaming PC Won’t Connect To TV? Here’s How To Fix It

As you want to kick back and enjoy the latest AAA title in all its glory, you tried connecting your gaming PC to the TV. However, it doesn’t look like it’s working as the TV shows no signal, or you’re greeted by a black screen. How can you fix this problem and enjoy your gaming session?

When the gaming PC doesn’t connect to the TV, check if the system detects the external display. Plugging the HDMI cable into the graphics card and installing the latest display drivers can help. If it still doesn’t work, run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

Here’s an extensive guide that will help you diagnose why your gaming PC isn’t connecting to your TV. It also contains tips on fixing this problem based on what’s causing it in your system.

1. Ensure All Cables Are Inserted Properly

An HDMI cable is being plugged into the back of a TV.

When your gaming PC doesn’t connect to the TV, check the cables. Depending on what your TV supports, you’ll be using one of the following cables:

  • VGA Cable.
  • DVI Cable.
  • HDMI Cable.

Ensure you’ve inserted the cable properly, i.e., it doesn’t come out of the port if you give it a slight tug. Turn on your gaming PC and check if the TV picks up the signal and displays it on the screen. If this doesn’t fix your problem, proceed to the next step.

2. Choose the Right Source on the TV

You may not see anything on the TV after connecting it to the gaming PC because the wrong source was selected by default. An example includes inserting an HDMI cable into the TV’s HDMI port when the TV uses HDMI 1 as the source.

First, identify which port you plugged the cable into the TV. Most TVs have a few HDMI ports, with each one identified by a tiny label or printing alongside it. 

Now, turn on your TV and select the source. Irrespective of the model, you should be able to do this directly via the remote. Otherwise, you’ll have to go into the settings and find this option. If you can’t find this setting, refer to the TV’s user manual, which will have all the instructions you need. 

Did this method fix your problem? If the answer is still no, try the next step.

3. Reseat the Graphics Card

Returning a graphics card back into a gaming PC.

Sometimes, the discrete graphics processing unit (dGPU), the graphics card in your gaming PC, becomes loose. This can happen while you move around with the computer. 

It can also be the case if you bought a pre-built gaming PC and this is the first time you’re using it. When shipping pre-built gaming PCs, the manufacturer may not have connected all the parts properly, or the components became loose during shipping. 

Here’s how you can reseat your graphics card:

  1. Open up the side panel of your gaming PC cabinet. If you need help with this, always refer to the cabinet’s user manual.
  2. Locate the graphics card and remove the power cord connected to it. This will prevent the cable from getting damaged when you pull out the graphics card.
  3. Take the graphics card out from the motherboard. Depending on your cabinet, you may have to remove screws from the back of the case. 
  4. The peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe), where the dGPU is connected to the motherboard, may have a locking mechanism, like a clip, to keep the graphics card in place. Push the clip, and you can remove the graphics card.
  5. Put the graphics card back into the same PCIe slot on the motherboard and plug the power cord into the dGPU.

Can you see anything on the TV after plugging in your gaming PC? If the answer is no, go to the next step.

4. Plug the Cable Into the Right Port on the Gaming PC

We’ve all been there – trying to figure out why our PC won’t display any output when we first get our system, only to realize that we’ve plugged the Display/HDMI cable into the wrong port. 

Look at the back of the gaming PC cabinet. You’ll find a DVI, HDMI, and VGA port near the top of the case. These ports connect to the motherboard, meaning you need a central processing unit (CPU) with an integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU).

If you need help determining whether your gaming PC’s CPU has an iGPU, search for the model online. 

For CPUs without an iGPU, you need to connect the Display/HDMI cable directly to the dGPU, aka your graphics card. At the back of the gaming PC case, look for display/HDMI ports from the dGPU.

Turn on your gaming PC and the TV. Did this solution work for you? If not, move to the next step. 

5. Check if the Gaming PC Detects the TV

You should find out if your gaming PC can detect the TV as a display. This is essential as all the other steps will only work if the TV is visible to the system. Here’s how you can check this on your gaming PC.

  1. Sign into your system, right-click on the desktop, and choose the Display Settings option. You can also search for Display. Press the Windows key, type Display, and select the first search result. 
  2. Scroll down till you find Multiple Displays. Below it will be a Detect button. Click on it, and the system will try to connect to the TV. 

The system will let you know if the gaming PC detects the TV. You can also scroll back up and see if the option Rearrange Your Displays appears. Now press the Windows key + P to open the Project menu. Select one of the four options and check whether the TV acts as a display.

Look at the TV’s resolution and refresh rate and ensure it matches the resolution supported natively by the TV. 

You can change the resolution under Display Resolution in the Display menu. For refresh rate, scroll down until you find Advanced Display Settings. Open it to see the refresh rate.

If you still can’t connect to the TV, try plugging the cable into different ports and see if that works. For example, instead of using HDMI 1, use HDMI 2. If you have an extra cable, you can use it to determine whether the cable is the problem. 

Give the next solution a shot if you still don’t see anything on the TV after connecting your gaming PC to it.

6. Clean Install the Latest Display Drivers

Corrupt or old display drivers can cause issues when you connect your PC to any external display, like a TV or a gaming monitor. The best way to ensure there are no issues with the driver is to uninstall it before installing the latest one on your system. 

If you have an AMD CPU with iGPU or an AMD dGPU, updating Windows may also update your display drivers. This may cause a lot of problems with your GPU. If you’re suddenly facing issues after an update, this is likely the culprit. 

Here’s how you can remove the display drivers from your gaming PC.

  1. Download Display Driver Uninstaller. This software is compatible with all graphic card vendors – AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA.
  2. Boot your system into safe mode.
    1. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it. You can also follow this guide from Microsoft if you need help with the steps we’ve shown.
    2. Press the Windows key, type Recovery Options, and open it.
    3. Navigate to Advanced Start-Up and select Restart Now. Wait for your PC to restart.
    4. Once you’re in the advanced start-up menu, select Troubleshoot.
    5. Navigate to the following – Advanced Options>Startup Settings>Restart. The system will now reboot and show the Startup Settings menu.
    6. Select Enable Safe Mode
  3. Enter your login details.
  4. After you log in, locate the Display Driver Uninstaller and open it. As it is in .zip format, you’ll need software like WinRAR, WinZip, or 7-Zip
  5. Once you extract the files, open the folder and run DDU. It will ask you to select a location on your drive to extract the software.
  6. Open the newly extracted folder and run Display Driver Uninstaller. You’ll have to grant the administrator access to open the software.
  7. Read the pop-up and select Ok. 
  8. Another menu (options) will appear. Here you can select and deselect various options regarding what you want to remove from your system. Click Close, as you don’t have to change anything unless you’re sure about these settings.
  9. On the left, you’ll see Select Device Type. Click on it and choose GPU. The software will automatically choose the vendor. If it is incorrect, you should change it.
  10. Select Clean and Restart. Follow all the instructions and wait for your system to reboot.

You’ve successfully removed all display drivers from your system. Now you can start downloading the latest drivers for your GPU. Visit the following links, depending on your graphics card manufacturer.

Activate the installer and follow the prompts for the installation. If you have the option of doing a clean install, use it.

After you’ve installed the display drivers, restart your system and connect your gaming PC to the TV. Has this fixed this issue in your system? If you’re still not seeing anything on the TV, the following solution can help you.

7. Install the Display Drivers in Compatibility Mode

Compatibility mode allows you to run the software as though you’re using an earlier version of Windows. This helps fix various issues due to incompatibility, which can happen when you install major OS updates (like going from Windows 7 to Windows 10 or Windows 10 to Windows 11).

  1. Before attempting this method, make sure you run DDU in safe mode to remove the display drivers completely. 
  2. Go to the drive location where you’ve downloaded the display drivers for your system.
  3. Right-click on the software and select Properties.
  4. In the new pop-up, find Compatibility and select it.
  5. In Compatibility Mode, select Run This Program in Compatibility Mode For. This allows you to interact with the drop-down menu just below it.
  6. Click on the drop-down menu and select the previous Windows version. For example, if you’re running Windows 11, choose Windows 10 or Windows 8.
  7. Click on Ok and run the installer. Grant administrator access and follow the instructions in the application. 
  8. Restart the PC if the installer doesn’t do it automatically.

Give the next method a shot if this doesn’t work for you.

8. Run the Troubleshooter for Hardware and Devices

The Windows 11 Troubleshooter for Hardware.

If you encounter problems using your system, Windows makes it easy to troubleshoot issues by making suggestions. It does so with the help of the troubleshooter.

Here’s how you can run it on your gaming PC:

  1. Press the Windows key and type cmd. The first search result is Command Prompt. Change Run as the Administrator and allocate it the necessary permissions. 
  2. Copy the following command and paste it into Command Prompt – msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
  3. Press the Enter key. This will open up the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  4. Select Next and follow the instructions. 

Try the last solution if you don’t get any results from this one.

9. Power Cycle Your TV and Gaming PC

Performing a power cycle can fix some issues with your TV and gaming PC. This troubleshooting step is helpful, especially if your system cannot recognize a connected device like the TV. Here’s what you need to do.

PC

  1. Hit the Windows key and select the Power icon.
  2. Click Shutdown and wait for your PC to turn off. 
  3. Remove the power cable from the system. You’ll find it on the back of the cabinet.
  4. Press and hold the PC’s power button for 60 seconds and let go.
  5. Plug the power cable into the system.
  6. Start your PC.

TV

  1. Switch off your TV with the remote.
  2. Remove the power cord connected to the electrical socket.
  3. Wait for 60 seconds and connect the power cord back to the outlet.
  4. Turn on the TV. 

This should fix the issue of your gaming PC being unable to connect to the TV. If you still can’t resolve this problem, check whether your system works with another monitor.

Passing this test means there’s nothing wrong with your PC. Otherwise, you’ll need to call an expert to help you out.

Similarly, see if you can connect your TV to another device, like a laptop. If you can’t, you should call customer support, as there may be an issue with your TV.

Final Thoughts

When a gaming PC can’t connect to a TV, it can be incredibly frustrating. We hope we were able to fix this problem for you. Make sure you go through each step diligently before reaching out to an expert for help.