How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Dell Monitor

Summary: Learn how to troubleshoot and fix common display or video issues on a Dell monitor.

Article Content


Symptoms

The troubleshooting steps in this article help resolve common video or display issues with a Dell monitor connected to a desktop or laptop. Some symptoms that indicate an LCD display or video issue include:

  • A blank or black screen
  • Color fade
  • Fuzzy, blurry, distorted, or stretched image
  • Geometric distortion
  • Light leakage or light bleeding
  • Flickering
  • Horizontal or vertical lines
  • Light or dark patches
  • Dead or bright pixel

To learn more, expand and follow each troubleshooting step below.

To learn how to troubleshoot LCD display or video issue on a Dell laptop, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Dell Laptop.

Cause

The LCD display or video issue can occur due to outdated drivers such as BIOS, video card (GPU), chipset, and monitor driver, video, or graphic settings in the operating system, faulty video cable, outdated operating system updates.

Resolution

It is essential to verify if the problem is inherent with the monitor, video card (GPU) or video settings on your computer. A straightforward way to identify this is to connect the computer to a known-good external monitor or TV and ensure that the display cable (S-video, VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, or Thunderbolt 3) is firmly connected to the video port on the computer and the monitor.

To learn more about connecting your Dell computer to a monitor or TV, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Connect a Monitor to a PC.

If the issue persists on the other monitor it may be due to the video card (GPU) or video settings and not the monitor, go to the step Verify display or video issue in Windows Safe Mode. Else go to the next step.

Performance issues may occur if there is any type of damage that is caused to the display cables or the LCD screen. LCD screen may show symptoms like LCD screen stops working, work intermittently, color mismatch, flickering, display horizontal or vertical lines if there is damage to the display cables or the LCD screen.

If you do notice a physical damage, contact Dell Technical Support to learn more about repair options that are available in your region. If there is no damage, go to the next step.

Dell monitors provide a self-test feature check (SFTC) and an integrated self-test (BIST) or integrated diagnostic (BID) tool that helps determine if the screen abnormality you are experiencing is an inherent problem with the Dell monitor or with the video card (GPU) and computer settings.

When you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, it is a good practice to isolate the monitor by running a diagnostic test on the Dell monitor.

To learn more about running a diagnostic test on your Dell monitor, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Run a Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor.

NOTE: Self-test feature check (SFTC) helps check if the Dell monitor is working normally as a stand-alone device. To check for screen abnormalities such as flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, and so on, run the integrated self-test (BIST) or integrated diagnostic (BID) test.
 
NOTE: In certain Dell monitors, the integrated self-test (BIST) or integrated diagnostics (BID) can be run only when one or more video cables are unplugged and the Dell monitor is in self-test mode.

Dell monitors can be reset to factory default settings using the on-screen display (OSD) menu. This can be accessed using the buttons or joystick that is available on the Dell monitor. For step-by-step instructions to reset a Dell monitor to factory default settings, see the User Guide of your Dell monitor at the Dell Manuals website.

  1. Browse to Dell Manuals website.
  2. Identify your Dell monitor:
    1. Enter the model number or Service Tag of the monitor, and then click Search.
    2. Or, click Browse all products, select Electronics & AccessoriesMonitors & Accessories, and select your Dell monitor from the catalog.
  3. Under the Documentation tab, scroll to the Manuals and Documents section and click View PDF next to the monitors User Guide.
  4. In the User Guide, under the Operating the Monitor section, see the Using the On-Screen Display (OSD) Menu.
  5. Follow the menu computer to find and use the Factory Reset option in the On-Screen Display Menu.

Windows Safe Mode allows us to identify if the issue is related to the operating system, video settings, device drivers, or a third-party software. To learn more about how to boot your Dell computer into Safe Mode, see the Dell knowledge base article that is listed below based on the operating system that is installed on your computer:

If the issue persists in safe mode of Microsoft Windows, go to the next step. Else, go to Perform a Windows System Restore.

Starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode (Official Dell Tech Support on YouTube)

Duration: 01:16
Closed captions: English only

Dell recommends updating the device drivers and BIOS as part of your scheduled update cycle. These device drivers and BIOS updates may contain feature enhancements or changes that help keep your system software current and compatible with other computer modules (hardware and software) as well as increased stability.

It is essential to update the following device drivers for optimal video performance and to resolve common video issues:

  • BIOS
  • Chipset driver
  • Video Card (GPU) driver
  • Monitor driver

To learn more about downloading and installing a Dell driver for your Dell monitor or computer, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Download and Install Dell Drivers.

Windows updates can support your Windows operating system in many ways. Windows updates can solve specific problems, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features to the operating system.

How to run Windows Updates on Microsoft Windows 10?

  1. Right-click Start and click Settings.
  2. In the Settings panel, click Update and Security.
  3. In the left panel, select Windows Update.
  4. On the right panel, click Check for updates.
  5. Restart the personal computer after downloading and installing the updates.

Display settings like brightness, refresh rate, resolution, and power management may affect the performance of your Dell monitor. Changing the display settings can help resolve several types of video issues.

To learn more about changing the brightness, refresh rate and resolution on a Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Change the Video Settings or Improve Text in Windows 10.

If you find that the Dell touch-capable monitor is unresponsive to touch or touch works intermittently, you can try some common troubleshooting steps to help fix the issue.

To learn more about troubleshooting touch screen issues, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Troubleshoot Touch Screen or Touch Panel Issues.

NOTE: Before you begin troubleshooting touch screen issues, verify that your Dell monitor is touch-capable.
 
NOTE: Connecting the USB upstream cable from your Dell touch-capable monitor to a working USB port on the computer is essential for the touch feature to work.

Troubleshooting Touch Issues in Windows 10

Duration: 01:45
Closed captions: English only

Stress Test can thoroughly diagnose the video card (GPU) on your computer and report any potential hardware problem. Running a stress test on your computer can verify if the hardware components are stable and thus reliable.

How to run a Stress Test?

  1. Click Start, and open Dell SupportAssist.
  2. In Dell SupportAssist, click Hardware Checkup.
  3. Click Stress (15 minutes) to begin the Stress Test.

Dell SupportAssist Diagnostic Tests (Official Dell Tech Support on YouTube)

Duration: 01:30
Closed captions: English only

System Restore is an integrated Windows tool that is designed to protect and repair the operating system. When something goes wrong with your computer, System Restore must be used before restoring the computer to factory defaults or reinstalling the operating system.

Select the operating system that is installed on your computer to find more information about how to perform System Restore:

If the diagnostic tests on the Dell monitor and video card (GPU) passed, it is most definitely an issue that is related to software that is installed on your computer. If the above troubleshooting steps did not resolve the issue, to restore your computer to factory defaults as a last resort.

Dell computers are built with a small amount of hard disk space that is reserved for reinstalling your operating system. This method is the easiest way to restore your computer to factory condition. The restoration process deletes all user data from the computer, back up all your files before starting this process.

Select the operating system that is installed on your computer to find more information about how to restore your Dell computer to factory defaults:

Perform a Reset in Windows 10

Duration: 01:36
Closed captions: English only

Additional Information

To learn about different types of video ports or connectors on a Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base articles Guide to Ports, Connectors, and Cables on Dell PCs or How do I connect a monitor to a PC?

If the Dell monitor is connected to a Mac, troubleshoot video issues on external monitors connected to a Mac SLN130763_en_US__6iC_External_Link_BD_v1.


 

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Chromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Alienware and Dell Gaming Monitors, C Series, E Series, Legacy Monitors, P Series, S Series, SE Series, UltraSharp Premier (UP) Series, UltraSharp (U) Series, ChromebookChromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Alienware and Dell Gaming Monitors, C Series, E Series, Legacy Monitors, P Series, S Series, SE Series, UltraSharp Premier (UP) Series, UltraSharp (U) Series, Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Fixed Workstations, Mobile WorkstationsSee more

Last Published Date

28 May 2021

Version

6

Article Type

Solution

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