The VGA cable used to be the most common connecting cable used for gaming, TV, computer monitors, projectors, and other devices in the late 90s and early 2000s. You should recognize it from its popular D-shape and two tightening screws on each end.
It is common to find missing pins on your VGA cable. Keep reading further to find out if your VGA cable or port will work with a missing pin or not.
- What Do the Pins on a VGA Cable Do?
- Will a VGA Cable/Port Work with a Missing Pin?
- How Do I Fix a Broken VGA Pin?
- The Bottom Line
What Do the Pins on a VGA Cable Do?
A VGA cable has a total of 15 pins that are arranged in three rows. This is the reason why a VGA cable is also called a 15-pin DE-15 connector at times.
The pins on a VGA cable help carry color, horizontal, and sync signals from one device to another. Some primary pins in the VGA cable help with each functionality to ensure that the user gets a proper display.
How Many Pins Does VGA Use?
A VGA Cable has 15 pins in total. However, it makes use of ten pins primarily for an uninterrupted and picture-perfect display.
Which VGA Pins are Used and Why?
The first three pins in the VGA cable carry RGB signals, namely red, green and blue signals. These pins help create colored displays on the screen. These pins also help determine the color intensity of your display.
In addition to this, there are five pins on the VGA cable responsible for preventing signal interference. These pins are 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10, respectively. These pins help regulate and control electrical signals to ensure that the user gets a consistent picture display.
Moreover, two more pins, 13 and 14, are responsible for controlling the horizontal and vertical sync signals. As VGA connection works on a dual-signal mechanism, both these pins maintain a steady vertical and horizontal connection that helps give a unified and blended picture display.
Which VGA Pins are Not Used Anymore and Why?
There are five pins on the VGA cable not in use, namely, 4, 9, 11, 12, and 15. These pins offer limited functionality, and your VGA cable can still function without them.
The original functionality of these cables was to identify the monitor or display screen in use during analog times. However, with the advent of digital screens and devices, these pins were no longer useful as the resolution had changed by now.
Will a VGA Cable/Port Work with a Missing Pin?
Yes, not all 15 pins are required for a VGA connection. If your VGA cable/port is missing a pin, it is still possible for the cable to work. However, whether the cable works or not depends on which pin is missing.
As discussed earlier, 5 VGA pins have become redundant and are not required for a stable display connection. These pins are also called reserved pins.
Therefore, if you are missing any of the reserved pins on your VGA cable, including 4, 9, 11, 12, or 15, your cable can still function properly without them.
If your VGA cable is missing any other pins apart from the reserved pins, you will have to get your cable fixed or replace it with a new one.
How Do I Fix a Broken VGA Pin?
If you have a broken VGA pin, you can follow the tutorial shared above to fix it.
There are various methods of fixing broken VGA pins. Here are the most common ones:
1. Use Pliers to Fix a Crooked VGA Pin
It is common for VGA pins to get bent or crooked while you try to plug them in. If you notice a bent VGA pin, you can easily fix it at home.
It would be best if you had a good old pair of sturdy pliers and used them to straighten and unbend a VGA pin.
2. Solder the Pin
If you are experienced in repairing electrical devices or metal components, you have a soldering gun at home. You can use it to solder the broken pin back into place.
However, you have to be very careful while doing so to avoid damaging any nearby pins.
Tech experts recommend going to a computer repair shop for this purpose and letting professional experts take care of the job.
3. Replace the Cable
Sometimes, the cost of repairing a small component is higher than the price of the project itself.
If you cannot find a replacement for your missing VGA pin, it is better to purchase a new VGA pin altogether.
Q1. How to tell if my VGA cable is working or not?
It is important to restart your devices to confirm whether your VGA cable is working fine or not.
- Make sure that you first unplug all your devices that your VGA connects to. This will include your computer and monitor.
- Once all the devices are unplugged, then remove the VGA cables from their connection.
- Now all you need to do is wait for a minute or two before reconnecting the VGA cable to your computer and monitor.
- After reconnecting the VGA cable, plug in your devices and check whether the VGA cable is working or not.
Q2. Why does my cable appear to be missing pins?
As discussed earlier, not all the pins of your VGA cable need to be used to give you a steady display. The five reserved pins, now redundant, may not be included in some recent VGA cables.
Some VGA pins are only included keeping the scalability factor in mind. Therefore, even if your VGA cable is missing reserved pins, it is not a cause for concern.
Q3. Why was pin 9 removed from VGA cables?
You will usually find two types of VGA cables in the market: 14-pin VGA cable and 15-pin VGA cable.
14-pin VGA cables do not have pin 9 because the key signal was no longer required for modern PC monitors. Hence, pin 9 had to be removed from 14-pin VGA cables while 15-pin VGA cables still have it.
Q4. My VGA cable has all 15 pins. Why is my VGA port still not working?
If you do not have any pins missing from your VGA cable, but your VGA port is not working, there could be other reasons.
This usually happens because of outdated or malfunctioned graphics card drivers. Therefore, make sure that your graphics card driver is up to date and in proper working condition for a stable VGA connection.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, the final answer to ‘Will a VGA cable or port work with a missing pin?’ is ‘Yes’.
Your VGA cable/port will still work without a missing pin, as long as it is a reserved pin.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.