Some people don’t notice them at all, while others hate them. VGA cables used to be the most common display connector until recently. Although they are slowly becoming outdated, many people still use them. The question is, why do they have those annoying screws?
VGA connectors have screws that lock the connectors in place to keep them stable. The primary reason for this is that the VGA pins on each connector are fragile. At the same time, the cable itself is usually heavy, which is exacerbated when the end of the cable is below the other.
I want to expand on that answer as we carry on with this article. Once we have gone through everything that you need to know about why VGA cables have screws, I can move on to answering more of your questions. Let’s get into it.
Why Do VGA Ports/Cables Have Screws?
When working with a VGA cable, you will notice that both ends will have a set of screws. There are two primary reasons for this:
- The screws help prevent ending up with broken pins.
- Many monitors have their connectors facing down, which could cause the VGA cable to slip out without screws.
- The screws create a stable connection by preventing any movement that might interrupt your connection. VGA utilizes an analog signal which is more prone to interference than a digital signal seen in HDMI or display ports.
To better understand this, we need to look at the two most popular connectors: the display port and HDMI. They don’t have screws, but they use other tricks to stay stable in their ports.
- Display ports: When you look at the top of these, you will notice two little hooks. These hooks lock the display port and require a little bit of force to be unhooked.
- HDMI: These cables and connectors don’t have any hooks or screws. Instead, their design is what keeps them in place. The grooves on either side of the connector allow it to lock in place. Think of it as a monkey grip.
What If A VGA Pin Breaks?
While we are on the topic of why VGA connectors and ports have screws, I think it is essential to discuss what happens if one of the pins breaks, perhaps because you didn’t screw the connector to the port.
Each pin in a VGA connector moves data from the PC to the monitor. Some of the pins are more important than others without getting too technical. Now in some cases, if a pin were to break, the entire cable would become useless.
However, it is possible to have a broken pin, but the VGA connector will still work. The problem is that the quality of the VGA cable will take a massive hit.
The best thing to do is replace the entire VGA cable, even if it still works with a broken pin.
Are VGA Cables Expensive To Replace?
Although many monitors, motherboards, and GPUs do away with VGA ports, you can still buy the cables.
For a six foot cable such as the Rankie VGA to VGA Cable , you can expect to pay an affordable price. This price point is on the premium side.
For example, the cable mentioned can output 1080P, and has gold-plated connectors.
- 6 Feet. Screw-in VGA cable with 15-pin male input and output
- Supports resolutions at 800x600 (SVGA), 1024x768 (XGA), 1600x1200 (UXGA), 1080p (Full HD), 1920x1200...
- The VGA cord engineered with molded strain relief connectors for durability, grip treads for easy...
Last update on 2023-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Do All VGA Ports/Cables Have Screws?
The screws found in VGA cables and ports add no functionality to the cables. They are designed to keep everything in place.So, it is possible to have VGA cables and ports that do not have any screws. However, I have never seen one.
By that, I mean I have never seen a VGA cable built to not screw in place because, in some cases, those screws can get lost, and it happens more often than you think.
If a VGA cable does not have the screws, I will not purchase it because I like the screws’ functionality. They provide a stable connection and prevent damage.
How Do You Screw In A VGA Cable? 7 easy steps
In my experience, the most common way to damage a VGA connector pin is during the setup. If you do not take the time to line everything up, you will be pressing the pins against a hard surface, and as I have said, they are fragile.
So, if you follow these seven steps, you should have no problem screwing in your VGA cable.
- I prefer to switch off the PC before I plug anything in.
- Look at the offset on both the connector and the port. The top and bottom row pins will be parallel to each other. The middle pins will have the offset.
- You want to line up the pins with the holes in the port. You have to get this right, or you might damage a pin.
- Gently plug the connector into the port. I like to place my thumbs under the screws in case they fall out.
- Once the connector is on, screw in the screws one at a time.
- Remember, clockwise is to tighten the screw.
- As soon as it starts to become tight, stop. You do not want to strip the screws.
If you are still unsure, here is a great video that walks you through the process:
How Do You Remove A Screw From A VGA cable?
Another way to damage a VGA pin is not removing it properly. It would be best if you never yanked the cable out. Instead, you want to remove the screws properly. I am going to explain how to do that in these 11 easy steps:
- Switch off your PC and monitor.
- With one hand, hold the VGA connector. You can apply a minor amount of pressure to keep it stable.
- Unscrew one side by turning the screw anticlockwise.
- You should feel when the screw loses its bite.
- Keep holding the connector, so the loose side does not start to slip out.
- Unscrew the other side.
- Gently pull the connector out from the port.
- Once the connector is out, you should leave the screws in the connector for future use.
- If you want to remove them, carry on.
- Remove the screws from the connector by turning them anticlockwise.
- Once again, you can pull them out, as soon as they lose their bite.
Do You Have To Screw In A VGA Cable?
You might be wondering whether or not you have to use the screws and VGA cables; perhaps you lost yours and still want to use the cable.
If the VGA port points down, you will experience a lot of interference, and your connection quality will be hindered.
On the other hand, if you have a horizontal port, the weight of the cable can pull down on the VGA pins. After enough time, the pins will start to bend, and you will lose quality in your connection.
When it comes to electronics, there will always be standards. Those standards come about from years of research and development. The screws in the VGA cable are a result of that RND. So, they serve a purpose, and it is a wise choice to use them.
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.