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How to Troubleshoot Display or Video Issues on a Dell Laptop

Summary: Learn how to troubleshoot and fix common LCD display or video issues on a Dell laptop. Troubleshoot issues such as blank or black screen, distortion, color fade, horizontal or verticalSee more

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Article Content


Symptoms

Run the LCD BIST to See if the Video Distortion Issue is Present.

Duration: 00:21
Closed captions: English only

Display issues on laptop can originate from the display panel, video card, or video settings. The troubleshooting steps below can help resolve common issues. Some symptoms that indicate a display or video issue are:

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

Try these quick steps to resolve video issues on a Dell computer.

Cause

To troubleshoot display or video issues on a Dell desktop computer or a Dell monitor, see the Dell knowledge base article Troubleshooting Display or Video Issues on Dell Monitors.

Resolution

Troubleshooting Display Issues

Dell recommends ensuring that the device drivers and BIOS are up to date using the SupportAssist application for optimal video performance and to help resolve common video-related issues.

To run the SupportAssist application, perform the following steps.

  1. Press and hold the Windows key (Windows Button), and then press the Q key.
  2. In the search box type SupportAssist.
  3. Select SupportAssist (App) in the list of results.
    NOTE: When SupportAssist does not show up in the search results, go to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page for information about downloading and installing SupportAssist.
  4. Touch or click Start Now to run the tests.
    NOTE: You can touch or click the down arrow and then run the individual test. Dell recommends running a full computer test.
  5. SupportAssist runs the tests one by one and provides the results and suggested actions.

Optimize your System using SupportAssist

Duration: 00:32
Closed captions: Available in multiple languages. Click the Closed Caption icon and select the language that you want.

To learn how to manually download and install a device driver such as Chipset, Video card (GPU), and Monitor driver (if required, most monitor drivers are delivered automatically through Windows Update) on your Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Download and Install Dell Drivers.

Learn how to access, navigate, and update the BIOS on a Dell computer.

NOTE: Dell recommends restarting the computer after installing the driver updates.

Update your System Setup (BIOS)

Duration: 02:06
Closed captions: Available in multiple languages. Click the Closed Caption icon and select the language that you want.

If the issue persists, go to the next step.

We must verify whether the problem is the display screen of the laptop, video card (GPU), or video settings on the computer. A straightforward way to identify this is to connect the laptop to an external monitor or TV.

To connect your Dell laptop to an external monitor or a TV, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Connect a Monitor to a Personal Computer.

If the issue persists on the external monitor, it may be an issue with the video card (GPU) or video settings and not the laptop LCD panel. Go to verify display or video issues in Windows Safe Mode. Otherwise, go to the next step.

Performance issues may occur if there is any damage to the LCD screen. The display may stop working, work intermittently, flicker, display horizontal or vertical lines, and so on, if there is damage to the display screen.

If you 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 laptops have integrated diagnostic tools that can determine if the screen abnormality is an inherent problem with the LCD screen of the Dell laptop or with the video card (GPU) and computer settings.

When you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry images, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, running a diagnostic test on the LCD helps identify if the issue is with the LCD panel.

Method 1

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect any devices that are connected to the computer, and connect the AC Adapter (charger).
  3. Ensure that the LCD screen is clean (no dust particles are on the surface of the screen).
  4. Press and hold the D key and turn on the computer to enter the LCD built-in self-test (BIST) mode. Continue to hold the D key until you see the entire screen change colors.
  5. The screen changes colors to black, white, red, green, and blue.
  6. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  7. Press the Esc key to exit.

Method 2

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect any devices that are connected to the computer, and connect the AC Adapter (charger).
  3. Ensure that the LCD screen is clean (no dust particles are on the surface of the screen).
  4. Turn on the computer and tap the F12 key several times until the One Time Boot Menu appears.
  5. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard and select Diagnostics, and press the Enter key.
  6. The preboot computer assessment runs a series of tests on the computer.
  7. Press the N key to enter LCD-integrated self-test mode when you see the message Do you see the color bars? Yes/No.
    NOTE: If you do not respond for 30 seconds, the diagnostics will automatically assume your response as No and go to the LCD built-in self-test.
  8. The screen displays multiple color bars and changes colors on the entire screen to black, white, red, green, and blue.
  9. Carefully inspect the screen for abnormalities.
  10. The computer restarts after the remaining tests are completed.

If you do not detect any screen abnormalities in the integrated self-test mode, the LCD panel of the laptop is functioning properly. Go to the Update the video card (GPU) driver, monitor driver, and BIOS section.

If you notice any abnormalities in the LCD built-in self-test mode, contact Dell Technical Support to learn more about repair options that are available in your region.

Test Your Laptop Screen

Duration: 01:44
Closed captions: English only

Windows Safe Mode does not load any drivers, startup applications, third-party services. This will help us identify if the issue is related to the operating system, video settings, device drivers, or third-party software. To learn how to boot your computer into Safe Mode, see the Dell knowledge base article below based on the operating system that is installed on the computer:

If the issue persists in Safe Mode, go to the next step. Else, go to perform a Windows System Restore.

How to boot in Safe Mode with Networking

Duration: 0:50
Closed captions: English only

Windows updates can support your Windows operating system in many ways. Windows updates can solve specific problems, provide security patches and 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. In the right panel, click Check for updates.
  5. Restart the computer after downloading and installing the updates.

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

To change the brightness, refresh rate, and resolution on a Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge-base article:

NOTE: Depending on the model of the Dell laptop, the shortcut keys to adjust or change the brightness may differ. See the User Guide or User Manual of your Dell laptop for model-specific information.

If you find that the Dell laptop is unresponsive to touch, touch stops working entirely, or other touch-related issues, you can try some common troubleshooting steps to help fix the touch-related issue.

Learn How to Troubleshoot Touch Screen or Touch-Panel Issues.

NOTE: Before you begin troubleshooting touch screen issues, ensure that your Dell laptop has a touch screen capable screen.

Troubleshooting Touch Screen 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, then select 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 you try to restore the operating system to factory default settings.

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 LCD panel and the video card (GPU) passed, it is most definitely an issue that is related to software that is installed on the computer. If the above troubleshooting steps did not resolve the issue, you may try to restore the computer to factory default settings as a last resort.

WARNING: Restoring or resetting the computer to factory default settings will erase all personal data on the computer. Back up all important data like documents, images, music files, spreadsheets, videos to an external hard drive or a cloud-based backup like Microsoft OneDrive.

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

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

Perform a Reset in Windows 10.

Duration: 01:36
Closed captions: English only

Additional Information

General Information


Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to 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 are not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models

Last Published Date

01 Aug 2022

Version

12

Article Type

Solution