My Laptop Monitor Won't Come On

By Bennett Gavrish

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • PC laptop

  • External monitor

  • VGA cable

Laptop monitors may stop working for a variety of reasons.
i laptop image by Dušan Zidar from

Since laptop computers are permanently connected to their LCD displays, a malfunctioning screen can make it very difficult to use your computer at all. In many cases, PC users experience a problem in which their screen will not come on after entering standby or hibernation mode. Other times, a laptop's internal parts will start up properly but the screen remains black. You can troubleshoot these types of issues to narrow down the source of the screen problem.

Press several keys on your laptop's keyboard to try to wake up your machine from standby or hibernation mode. Be aware that some laptops may take up to a minute to come on after being in standby or hibernation mode.

Use the "Fn" key with the up arrow key to increase the screen's contrast. Your laptop monitor may appear to be malfunctioning if the contrast level was accidentally turned down too low.

Hold down the laptop's power button for five seconds to force the machine to shut down.

Unplug all cables, including the power adapter, and remove the battery. Then, wait 10 minutes and reconnect the battery and the power adapter.

Press the power button and wait for the laptop to boot. If you can hear the internal components of the laptop warming up, you can isolate the problem to the monitor.

Connect your laptop to an external monitor using a VGA cable if the laptop's screen is still not working. You may need to reboot the computer again in order for it to recognize the external monitor.

Open the Start menu, right-click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties."

Go to the "Hardware" tab and click on the "Device Manager" button.

Double-click on your monitor from the list of hardware devices and select the "Update Driver" option in the pop-up window. In many cases, updating your graphics driver will resolve issues with monitors not working properly.

Contact your laptop's manufacturer if the monitor will still not display anything, because the problem is likely a broken inverter. As long as your machine is under warranty, the manufacturer will repair the problem.