Why Does Your TV (Monitor) Go Black When HDMI is Plugged In?

a black screen TV along with a PS4 console

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What To Know

  • Check and ensure the proper functioning of your TV/monitor and source device, as HDMI black screen issues can stem from faulty hardware or an incorrect power supply.
  • Inspect and potentially replace HDMI cables and ports, and confirm the correct HDMI input source setting on your display.
  • Adjust the output resolution setting of the source device to match the display’s capability and update graphics card drivers to resolve compatibility issues.

In this article, I will present eight possible solutions to help you resolve HDMI black screen issues on your TV and monitor.

Let’s get started. 

Can HDMI Cause Black Screens?

Yes, HDMI cables/ports can cause your display’s black screen.

If you’re using an HDMI cable to connect an input device to a display, it must be set up correctly to work properly.

An incorrect HDMI setup could lead to an inconsistent video or audio feed, a distorted image, and in some cases, a black screen. 

What Causes HDMI Black Screen on Your TV or Monitor?

The following are some likely causes of a black screen on your television or monitor:

  • A display with a failed backlight, faulty LCD/LED panel, etc.
  • A faulty source device.
  • A damaged HDMI cable/port or a loose HDMI connection.
  • The wrong choice of HDMI input source.
  • Faulty power supply.
  • Mismatch of resolution between the source and display devices.
  • “Projection Mode” is set to “PC screen only” or “Second screen only.”
  • Bad or outdated graphics card drivers.

We’ll discuss the above in detail below, alongside their fixes.

How to Fix HDMI Causing Black Screen on TVs or Monitors

1. Check Your TV or Monitor

Begin by ensuring your television or monitor turns on and is functional. It may fail to power itself on for different reasons.

Apps screen on a Samsung TV

The panel or backlight could be bad, an internal component (resistor, capacitor, integrated circuit, etc.) may have failed, the display could be defective from the factory or worn due to age or wear, etc.

If you suspect any of the above, get a professional to inspect the device since a defective backlight, panel, or internal component must be professionally diagnosed and repaired.

Don’t attempt a repair if you don’t have the tools, technical knowledge, or solid experience handling capacitors, resistors, etc.

And if the device is under warranty, don’t take matters into your own hands, even if you are proficient to do the job.

2. Check Source Device

Try connecting the source device, like your laptop or game console, to another TV that you know is working.

PS4 console screen on a Samsung TV

This step will help you determine if the HDMI black screen issue is due to the source device.

Ensure your laptop or game console is in working condition and, if needed, properly powered. 

Also, check that it’s turned on and hasn’t gone into standby mode.

If possible, try connecting another source device to your display to see if the problem still persists.

If the screen remains black, there may be something wrong with the display. If the display begins working correctly, there could be something with your input device. 

3. Check the HDMI Ports and Cables

Check your television or monitor’s HDMI port and see if there’s visible damage. Although HDMI ports are fairly resilient, they can be compromised with reckless use.

two HDMI ports in a near-view

If your device has several HDMI ports, use the alternative ones to check whether the issue persists. Also, use another HDMI cable to rule out cable issues. A damaged HDMI cable is commonly associated with the black screen issue.

a hand is holding a HDMI cable

If the HDMI port or cable is fine, try resetting the connection. Turn off your television or monitor, unplug its HDMI cable, wait a few minutes, and reinsert the cord.

In case the cable was loose or partially unplugged, such physical resetting would help reestablish the link.

If you’ve tried the solutions above and have confirmed that your HDMI cable and port are indeed working, consider investing in a cable lock/clamp. This will hold your HDMI cable in place without damaging it, ensuring your connection will not be interrupted by a loose cable.

Depending on your device, you can choose which one of the two designs listed below will work best for you.

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Watch the video below demonstrating how easy and fast it is to install and use an HDMI EZ lock.

HDMI EZ LOCK INSTALL - #3610

4. Check the HDMI Input Source Setting

Ensure the correct HDMI input is selected on the monitor or TV.

If you plug the cable into your TV’s HDMI 1 port and set the device’s input to HDMI 2, you’ll see a blank screen or a “No signal” error message.

two HDMI ports on the rear side of a smart TV

a HDMI cable is plugging a HDMI port on a smart TV

HDMI 2 label on a Sony TV

No signal on a smart TV screen

Mistakes in choosing the input source can happen if you often switch between devices or use different inputs.

At times, restarting the device or a power outage could change the input source or set it to default, which may not have been the port you chose initially.

Those handling an HDMI cable for the first time often select the wrong input source. It’s a common issue with a straightforward fix.

When inserting the HDMI cable, check the number denoting the port so you can set the input source correctly in the TV or monitor’s settings.

VGA input selected on a monitor

Sometimes, the device’s input setting could be set to VGA or something else.

When I plugged an HDMI cord into a monitor from my computer, the source setting of the monitor was set to VGA and not HDMI.

I received the following blank screen and a “NO SIGNAL” message on the screen.

NO SIGNAL message on a monitor

5. Faulty Power Supply

Fault power supplies can make it difficult for displays to properly turn on and illuminate their screens. The display may also randomly turn off, displaying the input source one moment and turning black the next.

Test your wall outlet’s electrical output using an AstroAI Multimeter.

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Then, compare this output to your display’s voltage to ensure they are compatible. Depending on where you live, your TV should be compatible with the following voltage:

  • 110 volts for the USA and Canada
  • 220 volts for the UK and Australia

information label on the rear side of a TCL Roku TV

Watch the video tutorial below to learn how to check a wall outlet’s electrical output.

How to Test Voltage in a Receptacle | Repair and Replace

If you live in an area that experiences regular power fluctuations, power surges, or extreme weather events that may affect the power supply, consider using an APC Automatic Voltage Regulator.

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This nifty gadget will regulate the voltage your TV receives, ensuring it’s not over or underpowered. Many AVRs also have multiple outlets, allowing you to connect multiple devices to one wall outlet. 

6. Check the Output Resolution Setting on the Source Device

If the resolution settings of the input and output devices don’t match, the HDMI blank screen could appear.

When connecting a game console, streaming device, or laptop/desktop computer to an external monitor or TV, you must be aware of the maximum resolution the respective devices support and set them accordingly.

I faced this issue when plugging my Roku streaming device into my monitor using an HDMI cord. My monitor supports up to Full HD resolution, but I was trying to push my Roku player’s 4K resolution onto it.

Consequently, the monitor popped a blank/black screen for some seconds. Then, it communicated that it didn’t support 4K resolution and reverted to its FHD glory.

It looks like that setting didn't work message on a monitor

Several PS4 users have encountered a blank screen on their TV displays, with the audio playing in the background like normal.

In such scenarios, setting the console’s resolution to match the TV or monitor is the only solution.

Here is how you do that:

Step 1: Long-press your PS4’s power button for around seven seconds and enter “Safe Mode.”

a hand is pressing the power button of a PS4 console

Step 2: Connect your PS4 console and controller using a USB cable. Next, press the PS key on the controller.

press the PS button on a PS4 controller

Step 3: Select “Change Resolution.” Then, choose “OK.”

select Change Resolution in PS4 Safe Mode screen

Step 4: Choose a lower resolution that matches your external monitor or television. Hit “OK” to confirm.  

select the 480p resolution video output option of the PS4 console

If you don’t know your TV or monitor’s maximum resolution, check the product manual or look up the info online.

Change the resolution on your laptop or desktop PC by right-clicking on your desktop, heading to Display Settings and then Display Resolution. Finally, choose a resolution that your monitor or television supports.

select Display settings on Windows PC

select Display resolution settings on Windows PC

select 1920x1080 resolution settings on Windows PC

7. Check the Projection Mode Setting

When connecting your laptop or desktop computer to an external device, you can choose between displaying content on multiple screens or just one.

When the mode is set to “Second screen only,” as shown below, the laptop or PC screen will turn black, and the video will appear only on the external monitor or TV connected via HDMI.

select the Second screen-only option in the Windows PC PROJECT setting

Alternatively, if the projection is set to “PC screen only,” you’ll see the black screen on your television or external display.

Although you have complete control over the process, you may have inadvertently set the projection settings to “PC screen only” or “Second screen only” mode and forgotten the same.

Therefore, if you see a blank screen, confirm the projection setting is correct or to your preference.

So, what setting should one choose? If you’re hooking a TV or monitor to your computer, choose “Extend” or “Duplicate” as the projection mode.

select Extend in Windows PC PROJECT setting

select Duplicate in Windows PC PROJECT setting

That way, the video will be displayed on both the computer screen and the external display.

8. Update Graphics Card Driver

A bad or archaic video card driver could cause the HDMI black screen problem.

For instance, an outdated graphics card driver may not be compatible with the external display’s various communication protocols or modes.

The wrong drivers could bungle resolution, refresh rate, and other pertinent display settings, causing a black screen. The reasons outdated drivers cause display issues, such as a black screen, are multifold.

If your computer’s operating system is up-to-date, the video card drivers are likely up to snuff as well. In the event they aren’t, or you’d like to check their status quo, here are the steps:

Step 1: On your computer, right-click the Windows sign located at the bottom-left of your computer’s home screen. From the options, select Device Manager.

select Device Manager on Windows PC

Step 2: Click the small right arrow next to Display adapters.

select Intel HD Graphics 530 on a Windows PC

Right-click your video card adapter and select Update driver.

select the Update driver option on Windows PC

Step 3: Choose “Search automatically for drivers” and roll with the subsequent instructions to install the available updates, if any.

select Search automatically for drivers on Windows PC

While at it, ensure your external monitor or TV software is the most recent version, too.

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