Second Monitor Says No Signal – How To Fix

Setting up your workspace or a gaming station sometimes involves adding a second monitor. You might have one lying around the house already or maybe you’ve purchased a brand-new screen. Either way, the next step is to connect it with your desktop or laptop computer.

Second Monitor Says No Signal - How To Fix

The setup is relatively straightforward —all you need is another connecting cable. But what happens if you run into a problem and the second monitor says no signal?

It can be a frustrating message to receive, and in most cases, it’s a hardware problem. Although, there are some exceptions. That’s why we’ll take a closer look at this issue and show you what to do if you run into this problem.

Second Monitor Says No Signal

Most people choose to add a second monitor because they want to extend their workspace, but others want to duplicate it. These days, most PCs and laptops can support another screen quickly, but that doesn’t mean every configuration will go effortlessly.

If the second screen says no signal, the best course of action is to check where the problem lies in the first place. But that’s not always easy to figure out, so you’ll have to use a process of elimination. If possible, use a different monitor to see if the problem persists.

Don’t change the input or the connecting cable and see if the same message appears. If the other monitor is connecting without issues, then move on to the next step.

Reset the Monitor

A hard reset can get the second monitor to start working correctly in some instances. This is particularly the case if it’s a somewhat older device.

The hard reset usually involves pressing a combination on the monitor, which can differ depending on the brand. To get it right, you’ll have to visit the manufacturer’s website and search how to reset your monitor to the default settings.

Fortunately, all big brands have this information readily available, and the hard reset doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

Check the Drivers

Out-of-date drivers can cause all sorts of problems with your PC or your laptop, so it’s essential to stay on top of them. When it comes to the second monitor, without the latest drivers you might encounter stuttering problems and the “no signal” message.

Another clue that you might have a drivers issue is that lack of signal only occurs from time to time, not from the start. If that’s the case, here’s how you can get the latest drivers and hopefully fix the problem.

For Windows

  1. Go to “Start” and enter “Device Manager.”
  2. When it pops up, search for “Monitors.”
  3. Expand the “Monitors” category.
  4. Right-click on the second monitor and select “Update Driver.”

The process is automatic and might take a few minutes. Make sure to reboot the computer and check if the second monitor now has a signal.

For macOS

  1. Select the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on “System Preferences,” followed by “Software Update.”
  3. If there are any new drivers available, they will be listed.

Again, make sure to restart your device to check if the second monitor is connecting correctly.

Check the PC Hardware

When the second monitor says no signal, it’s also possible the PC hardware is causing the problem. It might not be a fun process, but opening it up and checking inside may reveal the problem. If there is a loose or faulty component, it can cause all kinds of problems.

A part may be angled incorrectly or entirely out of place. If there’s something wrong quite obviously, try to re-attach it or put it in the right place.

In some cases, it might be that a part is completely broken, but that is more difficult to detect. Taking your computer to a licensed repair service is the best solution.

Important: Make sure to shut down your computer and disconnect all the cables when inspecting the components.

Second Monitor Says No DP Signal

DisplayPort or DP is an audio and video transmission cable widely used with desktop monitors. Typically, though not always, they offer a better bandwidth range than HDMI; thus, they’re often used to connect the second monitor.

Historically, when the second monitor says no signal with DP cable type, it points to a faulty connection. The first remedy should always be to unplug the cable and plug it back in after several minutes. If that doesn’t work, try expanding this process to the entire device. Follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer completely.
  2. Unplug all devices, including all cables, keyboards, speakers, mouses, and everything else.
  3. Leave everything for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Start connecting everything again, including the DisplayPort cable with the second monitor.
  5. Turn on the computer.

If all the components are working properly, this should fix any glitch you were previously experiencing.

However, if the problem persists, you are likely dealing with a faulty DisplayPort cable. The best way to be sure is to try using it with a monitor you know for a fact is working properly.

A faulty cable is difficult to repair and requires specific knowledge and the right tools, so it’s advisable to replace it or find a different way to connect the second monitor.

Second Monitor Says No Input Signal

When the second monitor displays the message “No Input Signal,” you can try a couple of solutions. The most straightforward approach is to check the monitor input source settings.

Nearly all newer monitors have several input sources, so using the correct port with the corresponding cable is vital. For example, if you’re connecting your monitor via DisplayPort, you must ensure the settings reflect it. Here’s how:

  1. Open the “Display Menu” on your monitor. Many models have dedicated buttons on the side.
  2. Search for “Input Source” and choose the input source for the connection you’re trying to create.
  3. Reset your computer.

However, sometimes the lack of input signal means that the monitor is not compatible with the refresh rate settings on your computer. Fortunately, that’s a relatively simple fix.

Changing the Refresh Rate

When your computer is outputting the wrong refresh rate, the second monitor might not be able to handle it. Changing it requires a few easy steps. Here’s what you should do:

For Windows:

  1. Go to “Start” and select “Settings.”
  2. Select “System” and select “Display” on the left-side panel.
  3. Scroll down and select “Advanced Display Settings.”
  4. From the drop-down menu under “Choose Display,” select the second monitor.
  5. Click on “Display Adapter Properties for Display” under “Display Information.”
  6. When a pop-up window appears, select the “Monitor” tab.
  7. Select “Monitor Settings” and change the refresh rate.

You might not know which refresh rate is compatible with the second monitor, so try as many as necessary until you get the right rate.

For macOS

If you’re a Mac user, here’s what you should do to set up a different refresh rate:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Select “Displays” and select the second monitor.
  3. On the pop-up menu, select the “Refresh Rate” option.
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose another refresh rate.

It’s always a good idea to restart your computer when you choose a different setting as sometimes it won’t apply immediately.

Second Monitor Says VGA No Signal

If you’re using an older monitor, it’s likely you also need to connect with a Video Graphics Array or VGA cable. You might even have a laptop that has a VGA port and want to connect it to a second monitor. It’s also possible that the VGA cable you own is rather old and not in great condition.

Make sure to test the cable and see if it’s still working properly. The best way to do that is to connect it to a different monitor and check whether there are any issues. If the cable is working, it’s very likely that the monitor in question has some issues.

You also have to be sure that the cable is connected correctly with the ports and not loose, which sometimes can happen. Don’t’ hesitate to push the cable as much as possible until you’re sure that all the connectors are locked in.

Sometimes, a reboot is necessary when you’re setting up a second monitor with the VGA, as it can resolve some minor technical issues. If none of these efforts pay off, you might need to get a different VGA cable.

Second Monitor Says No HDMI Signal From Your Device

When connecting a second monitor to your computer, most people use the High Definition Multimedia Interface or the HDMI connection.

Sometimes, the HDMI port on your device or the cable itself is faulty, and you can’t connect them correctly. If the cable is too loose and will easily fall out from the port, you might find it challenging to get the signal.

You also have to check for damages to the cable and perhaps even replace it. If the HDMI port is the problem, check if it needs cleaning or consider a different HDMI input on your monitor as many models have several available.

Getting the Signal Right

Unless you’re dealing with brand new equipment, it’s not surprising to encounter issues when connecting a second monitor. Dusting off an old monitor and the DP or VGA cable might mean learning one of these components isn’t in great shape.

Hardware issues often require repairs and even replacements. But sometimes, all you need to do is change a few settings, clean the port, and restart your computer.

Have you ever tried connecting the second monitor to your computer? Which cable did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.

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