6+ Projector Display Problems & How to Fix Them Easily

Optoma projector is turning on while displaying the default blue screen

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What To Know

  • Projectors often encounter issues like no display, color distortion, lines or dots, and lamp issues, most of which can be fixed with basic troubleshooting or part replacements.
  • Common problems include overheating, which can be managed by proper placement and cleaning, and power issues, often solvable by checking cords and resetting timers.

In this guide, I’ll show you the most common projector problems, from overheating to power glitches, and offer easy-to-follow solutions.

This article is your go-to for resolving those pesky projector issues, no matter if they’re minor hiccups or more serious faults.

Let’s get started.

Projector Not Turning On

epson projector not turning on

There could be different reasons your projector may not turn on, such as overheating or a broken fan.  

Although these issues are common across brands, how the different manufacturers approach or provide solutions to address them could vary.

Below, we’ve discussed the potential reasons your projector display may not turn on and their resolutions.

If your projector doesn’t power on, it could be due to a faulty lamp, wrecked ballast, a locked panel, etc.

Faulty Lamp

The lamp could have either gone bad or reached the end of its life. It’s usually a problem when the device is a few years old.

Since spent lamps cannot be repaired or revived, changing the light module is the only way out. You could replace the lamp unit yourself or enlist a professional.

Read: Why is My Epson Projector Not Turning On (Not Working)?

The temp indicator flashed orange while the Status indicator flashed blue on an Epson projector

If the lamp in your Optoma projector is experiencing issues, the device could emit a flashing or blinking blue light.

Click here to learn more about the blue light problem and how to fix it.

Locked Panel

control panel lock noti

The panel lock security feature mitigates device tampering or unauthorized usage. When the lock is activated, the projector won’t respond to user commands or turn on.

To unlock the panel, refer to your device’s user manual. The fix usually entails pressing a set of keys on the control panel or the projector remote in a specific pattern or sequence.

Based on the projector model, the unlocking procedure could vary. The manual, therefore, comes in handy.

Read: Your BenQ Projector Won’t Turn On? Here’s How to Fix It

Broken Ballast

ballast board of a projector

The ballast helps ignite the lamp and sustain the illuminance.

If it’s malfunctioning or damaged, the device’s light source will suffer, usually resulting in the projector not powering on.

When the ballast is suspect, you’ll hear strange buzzing or clicking sounds from the projector.

A damaged ballast can be repaired, but that’s a job best left to the specialists since it’s a high-voltage component that needs technical expertise and proper equipment to be handled carefully.

Therefore, contact your projector manufacturer when the ballast goes bad.

Damaged Power Supply Board

the rear side view of the BenQ projector power supply board

A projector’s power supply board converts the supplied electrical power to voltage levels appropriate for the different internal parts’ usage.

When the board is damaged, issues such as no power output, improper voltage regulation, blown fuse, overheating, etc., could arise.

Any of these consequences can cause the projector not to turn on.

Contact the device manufacturer to diagnose the problem and get the necessary repair works or a replacement done.

Projector Turning On & Off

Another common issue with projectors is they automatically shutting down within seconds of being on.

This random shutdown can be even more frustrating than the discoloration concerns since you feel duped or let down right when you think the device was good to go.

The issue hurts the most when you’re about to give a presentation at the office or sit down with friends to watch your favorite movie or TV show.

Also, nothing displayed on the screen means no access to the device’s software settings in search of a potential fix.

Optoma projector is turning off randomly

Fortunately, the issue is not irreparable.

We’ve already written an in-depth piece on the various fixes to the problem, providing solutions specific to major brands such as BenQ, Optoma, and Epson.

If you use Optoma, we have a separate article dedicated to the brand, which delves deeper into the issue and discusses more pertinent solutions.

Projector Red Light Blinking

optoma projector lighting red

If your projector flashes its LED light red, it could mean different things, such as a lamp issue, fan problem, overheating, hardware fault, etc.

And depending on the brand, the issue signaled could be different. In other words, the blinking red may not mean the same problem on a BenQ and an Epson.


benq projector looked from above, lamp light flashes red

On BenQ projectors, a blinking red light typically indicates a problem with the lamp. The lamp could have lived its time, or the ballast board malfunctioned.

If you recently replaced the lamp, maybe the lamp timer wasn’t reset after installing the new light unit.

Kindly read our comprehensive write-up on the topic for a detailed understanding of the problem and the solutions.


Espon projectors come with multiple LED light indicators. And fittingly, the reasons the various LED lights could blink are galore.

We’ve already discussed flashing Epson projector lights, what they indicate, and how to fix them.

epson projector lighting hot color


A typical Optoma projector has power, lamp, and temperature indicator lights. And any of these three lights could blink red.  

If the lamp-denoting light flashes red, you can conclude something is wrong with the lamp. Similarly, if the temp light goes off red, the device’s internal temperature has risen abnormally.

Sometimes, two or more lights could blink red simultaneously to convey a unique problem.

power and lamp indicators are red and steady on the Optoma projector control panel

Here is an article discussing all possible issues an Optoma projector’s flashing lights try to communicate and how to restore normalcy.

Displaying Incorrect Colors on a Projector

The list of issues with projector displays doesn’t end here yet. Another common problem is color inaccuracy.

a green tint projection image

There could be several reasons why the projector is not producing accurate colors, such as color settings, input source, image processing, or color wheel issues.

Let’s discuss the typical projector display color accuracy concerns in more detail.

Green Screen on Projector

A greenish tint could show on the screen if you connect your projector and its input device (laptop, streaming device, etc.) using a VGA cable.  

VGA employs three color pins: red, green, and blue.

If any of these pins break, the color signal transmission pathor quality breaks, leading to a green tint.

some bent pins in the VGA cable connector

It’s akin to what happens when you connect a desktop or laptop computer to an external monitor through VGA.

Here is an article discussing the green tint issue with projectors in great detail.

Projector Discoloration

Projector discoloration is not just limited to green. A few other unintended colors that could manifest include green, yellow, purple, etc.

A discoloration projection image on the projection screen

Needless to say, ascertaining the exact cause for those various hues embracing the screen can be challenging.

Luckily, projector discoloration is not a rare or grave significant concern and can be addressed by digging into the issue.

Here is an article that lets you know everything about projector discoloration.

Horizontal or Vertical Lines

Vertical lines from the Optoma projector

Besides color issues, projector displays could show unsightly geometrical lines, impairing the viewing experience. Let’s understand what they are, their causes, and how to address them.

Horizontal Lines

Horizontal lines are not unique to projectors. They can show on any device with a digital display, such as TVs, monitors, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Similar to discoloration, these flat lines are eyesores and distracting. Also, the exact causes they show up are complicated to determine immediately.

Fixing the issue could entail dismantling the projector to check for any hardware causes, such as loose ribbon cables.

Or maybe the controller board (a central hub processing and managing various projector functions) is damaged. In that case, replacing the board is the only way out.

There could be other reasons the horizontal lines appear. In the article link, we’ve comprehensively explored the reasons behind horizontal lines on projectors and provided effective solutions to fix them.

Vertical Lines

The vertical line issue on projectors is similar to the horizontal lines discussed above, and their causes are not necessarily unique.

In other words, a loose ribbon cable could cause vertical or horizontal lines to appear on the screen.

A simple possible fix to both is opening up the projector, unplugging its internal cords, and connecting them again.

A hand is plugging the ribbon cable inside an Optoma projector

This is akin to a soft reset but involves cables within the device.

Although not very sophisticated, you can also try pressing on the projector gently with your bare hands. Don’t push down too hard, for you could break the cabinet.

If the two purported fixes don’t help, proceed with the more standard resolutions. Explore our detailed article that discusses vertical lines on Optoma projectors, offering insights and solutions for this common issue.

Blurry Images on Projector

Blurry visuals on a projector are usually because of the lens. Often, cleaning the projector lens or correcting the focus wheel will help.

Physically moving the projector or tweaking its software settings may do the trick, too.

moving an epson projector vertically

Read this article for the complete lowdown on resolving blurry picture problems with Epson projectors. You’ll find more solutions that have not been brought to light here.

Even if you don’t use an Epson, the solutions discussed are fairly brand-agnostic and should help the blurred visuals problem with your Optoma, BenQ, or another brand of projectors.


Projector issues like the display not turning on, powering off automatically within a few seconds, inaccurate colors, weird lines on the screen, etc., are not ghostly concerns. There are resolutions to them all.

You need to know what those issues are and their possible causes. Hopefully, this article lets you know everything you need to know if you face the concerns mentioned above with your device.

Start with less intrusive fixes. If they don’t help, venture into the device. If that doesn’t help or there’s a major hardware concern, contact the manufacturer. 

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