In this post, I will show you the steps to turn on a computer. There are quite a few basic parts that have to be connected correctly before you can begin.

This guide will allow you to go through all of the essentials you require when trying to start a computer.

If you follow the instructions carefully, you should be up and running in no time.

Follow these steps to turn a computer on:


  1. Check that the computer is connected to power, and is powered on.
  2. Make sure that your keyboard and mouse are plugged in.
  3. Check that the monitor (screen) is plugged into the computer using its display cable.
  4. Ensure that the monitor is connected to power and is turned on.
  5. Press the power button to turn the computer on.

These are the absolute basic requirements and how to get your computer to turn on. If nothing comes on, make sure you have turned all the power outlets on.

You also need to have a keyboard and mouse connected, in order to use the computer effectively.

If you don’t know what some of these things are, have no fear, here’s more information about what you need to know.

1. Check if your computer is connected to power

computer rear power socket

Make sure the computer cable, shown in the image is plugged in. In most cases, there is a rocker switch near the plug. Make sure it’s set to the 1 position.

Check to see if the other side of the lead is plugged into a power socket. Make sure the power socket has been turned on.

2. Check to see if your keyboard and mouse is connected

keyboard and mouse illustration

usb connector
motherboard ps2 connectors

Follow the cables from the keyboard and mouse to see if they are connected to the computer.
These are the connections that the plugs can go into:

The two top sockets, known as PS2 connectors, aren’t commonly used anymore. The two bottom sockets are known as USB connectors.

If you have PS2 connectors, the keyboard plug is purple, and the green one is for the mouse. A USB plug looks like this:

Make sure both the keyboard and mouse are plugged into the corresponding type of socket.

3. Check if your monitor is connected properly

There are about four common ways your monitor can be connected to a computer. Here is a list of each type, so you can make sure that the plug is inserted into the socket.

Make sure the relevant plug is plugged into a socket on the computer end and at the monitor’s end.

VGA Connectors

vga connector
VGA Socket or Female Connector

VGA stands for ‘Video Graphics Array‘. It’s not all that commonly used anymore, seeing as it contains an analog signal.

That means that the amount of data it is capable of displaying is rather limited. So your image on your screen, won’t be of high-end quality.

DVI Connectors

dvi connector
dvi socket

DVI (Digital Video Interface) comes in an analog or digital version. Obviously, the digital version is the superior of the two.

HDMI Connectors

hdmi plug
hdmi socket

HDMI (High-definition Multimedia Interface) is also a commonly used connector for TVs and gaming consoles. It is a digital interface and provides good results.


display port plug
display port socket

DisplayPort offers good resolutions and excellent speeds.

4. Check your monitor is connected to power

power supply for monitor

After you have the correct display lead plugged into your computer, check to see if your monitor (screen) has power hooked up to it.

It may have a power brick connected to a mains cable.

In this case, make sure the barrel plug is connected to the monitor, and the power cable end is connected to a mains socket and turned on.

If it doesn’t have one of these, connect the power cable directly to the monitor. Plug the other end into a mains socket and turn it on. It should look like your computer’s power cable.

iec plug and socket

5. Power up the computer

You are now ready to power up the computer. There will be a power button somewhere near the front end of the computer.

If you aren’t sure of which one it is, press one at a time. Continue through each button you can find. Wait fifteen seconds before trying the next button.

Eventually, you will hear the computer startup. When it does, stop pressing buttons immediately.

If you have cycled through each button and you don’t get any lights to come on, or hear anything, recheck the power connector.

Make sure it’s plugged into the back of the computer and the other end of the cable is plugged into the wall socket. 

Also recheck the switch on the back of the computer, where the power lead plugs in. Make sure that is in the 1 position.

Also, make sure the wall socket switch is turned on. If you still don’t hear or see anything happen, bad news, the computer is faulty.

If your computer sounds like it’s started and you don’t see anything on your screen inspect around the monitor for any buttons.

Check to see if your monitor has a power button you can press. If you don’t see any lights on the screen, it is likely to be turned off.

Once you have pressed a power button on the screen and nothing happens, make sure it has power by rechecking your power cable to the monitor.

If you still cannot get an image or a light, your monitor may be faulty.

If you have an image and your computer is running, well done! You have been successful in starting up your computer.

Extra Tip: A much more advanced way to turn on a computer, is to set a wake-up feature in your computer’s CMOS.

You can wake it up using your keyboard, mouse, or another device plugged into a peripheral port. Further details of this will be discussed in another post.


These were the steps to turn on a computer, we hope you were successful and you can enjoy completing many new tasks with it.

Happy computing!