PC Tower Not Connecting To Monitor?

You’ve just assembled your brand-new PC and connected it to your monitor, only to be disappointed by a no-signal display. Or perhaps your PC display was working fine the other day but is suddenly giving you problems. Here’s what to do when your PC tower doesn’t want to connect to a monitor.

Preliminary Check

While a no-connectivity issue is quite frustrating, you’ll be able to deal with it at home most of the time.

Important Tip: Remove any extra display cables to multiple monitors to ensure that you don’t have other factors causing your monitor to stay blank before you continue your troubleshooting.

Reasons and Fixes for a Monitor Not Connecting to a PC

Keep reading for a step-by-step troubleshooting guide on restoring connectivity between your PC and monitor. 

1. Either Your Monitor or PC Is Turned Off

We must get the seemingly obvious out of the way before moving on to the more problematic causes of a no-signal display.

Your monitor and PC must be on and receiving power to generate a display. You can confirm that both units are on by inspecting the tiny LED lights they typically have. If you have an older PC case that doesn’t give you any visual feedback when turned on, you may have to check for other signs of activity, such as spinning fans or a rotating hard disc.

How to Fix:

  • Check that your monitor and PC are connected firmly to their respective power adapters and turned on.
  • If this was all it took to bring back your display, congratulations. If not, keep reading as we go through the most common causes.

2. Your Monitor Is Set to Display the Wrong Input Source

Modern-day monitors come equipped with several ports. However, it is possible to manually alter a monitor’s settings to use signals from a particular input source.

How to Fix:

  • Try reconnecting your display cable. Monitors can detect incoming signals and usually revert to the appropriate channel automatically.
  • If this doesn’t happen, try manually changing the input source setting on your monitor using the control buttons built into the monitor’s frame. Consult your monitor’s user manual if needed.

3. Your Display Cable Is Connected to Your Motherboard Instead of Your Graphics Card

An illustration shows where to move the monitor's display cable plug to get an output from the graphics card instead of the motherboard.

The display cable carries signals from your computer to your monitor. It’s supposed to be connected to your GPU on one end and your monitor on the other.

How to Fix:

  • Check whether your display cable is connected to one of your GPU’s ports or one of your motherboard’s ports.
  • If it’s the latter, plug it out and connect it to your GPU.

4. There’s a Fault in the Display Cable

A loose cable is the most common culprit behind a no-signal display. Your monitor probably only connects to two cables: one for power and one for the monitor.

How to Fix:

  • Identify your system’s display cable and disconnect it from both ends.
  • Examine the condition of both connectors and the cable itself for any physical damage or discoloration.
  • Clear out the dust inside the ports using a cotton swab or compressed air.
  • Plug the cable back in and check for a display. If nothing pops up on the screen, try connecting your PC and monitor via another cable to find out if the original cable was faulty.

5. One of Your PC Components Is Loosely Connected

Your computer comprises multiple components that operate in tandem to maintain the system’s normal function and generate a display on your screen. Even if one of these components loses its connection to the rest, the system can cease functioning.

How to Fix:

  • Check the integrity of external cables and ensure they are connected to the electrical outlet and their respective ports.
  • Open your PC using a screwdriver and turn off your PC before you continue.
  • Check your RAM sticks, storage device, GPU, and internal components to ensure they are connected firmly to their respective sockets/ports and are working normally.

6. Your Graphics Card Isn’t Producing a Display

If you’ve tried all the above and the display still isn’t working, the problem may lie in your graphics card, your discrete GPU, to be more precise.

How to Fix:

  • Disconnect the GPU from the motherboard and inspect it for signs of damage.
  • Clean the PCI connectors that plug into the motherboard and reconnect the GPU to its PCI slot firmly.
  • Ensure the GPU is connected to its dedicated power connector if needed. Try using a different port on the GPU to test if it’s working.

7. Hardware Incompatibility

When analyzing the term, not connecting to a monitor, you can also interpret a physical plug incompatibility that doesn’t allow you to plug your monitor’s display cable into the back of a computer.

How to Fix:

  • Order or purchase an adapter or dongle for the right converter or adapter for your monitor.
  • Determine the plug type on the monitor’s display cable and the graphics card output port on the back of your computer.
  • Purchase the correct solution for your needs. Here is a short list of some common converters you might need:
    • DVI to VGA Adapter.
    • HDMI to VGA Converter (DAC).
    • HDMI to DVI Adapter or Converter.
    • DisplayPort to DVI Adapter.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the issue of your PC tower not connecting to your monitor. If the problem persists, you may need to consult a professional technician for further assistance.